Many music podcasts are available online, distributed by podcasters who want to share their collection withthe world. Some of these are distributed by independentmusicians, groups or individuals who enjoy creatingand sharing their music but have a small fanbase. Forthem, a podcast means closer contact with theirlisteners, and the blog that usually accompanies apodcast often allows for the comments and opinions ofthe listeners to be shared with the musicians. Thelisteners often appreciate this close contact, and somebecome resentful when their favorite groups gainwidespread popularity. Musicians may find that themusic podcast they share is a way to build a followingand gain an audience that is loyal to them. Since manyof the musicians who podcast do so as independentartists who lack the sound the music industry is lookingfor or simply haven’t been noticed yet, a music podcastmay build a following that attracts attention to them andgives them an entry point into the music industry.
For others, a music podcast may be the chance tobecome a dj, and the episodes they share will containmixes of different songs, highlighting obscure yetaccomplished artists and taking their listeners on a tourevery episode. These amateurs podcast merely becausethey enjoy the activity, as most independent podcastersdo. Yet another type of music podcast, however,involves the online radio station. While some radiostations have taken the leap to the internet by offeringstreaming connections to their current playlist, othershave accepted the podcast as a way of sharing theirmusic. Such a style is very similar to the amateur dj, butbrings a level of professionalism that is not found withthe amateur podcasters.
A music podcast may also be a way to sample works bymore well known artists before purchasing. Somemusicians and groups will podcast their new music, orportions of the new pieces, in order to peak interest inthe songs before release. Fans get to listen to the musicand find out what they might like before purchasing thewhole album. A possibility, however, is that musicpodcasts become subscription based, and musiciansbegin charging for access to the feed. The online sale ofmusic has proved its popularity, with Apple’s iTunesreaching its one billionth paid download recently. Amusic group could conceivably offer a feed to its fansthat they could pay for, and regularily update it withnew songs that would be downloaded directly to thefan’s computers Although this distribution model is notyet in place, it seems to fit with the over all trend.Already, some nonmusic groups have agreed to podcasttheir files, on the condition that a paid subscription isbought.