How to top the podcast charts

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A key step to furthering your career is via a music-based podcast. Music is the common denominator that joins all of us, and it’s a way of sharing memories or introducing us to new artists, songs, and even styles. Once you’ve determined your show’s theme (this should be loosely based on your own musical style as a producer), you need to come up with an estimated length. One of the benefits of podcasting is that you’re not limited to a specific time slot. Your show doesn’t always have to be 60 minutes long, for example. Most DJs favour a one hour slot, with a few – Above & Beyond’s ‘Group Therapy’ for example – favouring two hours, though this is due to the amount of Anjunabeats tracks the trance trio play in addition to their own material.

Assemble the pieces

Once you’ve determined your show’s style, you can begin the fun process of gathering your music. For the most part, it’s a good idea to be consistent with the file format of the tracks you’ll be playing. For compatibility across the board, you should keep your music in MP3 format, encoded at a bit rate that balances good quality with small file size: 128 kbps to 192 kbps. For consistency, you might want to have a theme song at the beginning of your show. Many podcasters begin their shows with a piece of music or spoken info about the show. Whether you are planning on using a piece of music or something you’ve composed yourself, you’ll want to make a special version of the track that automatically fades out at the point at which you’ll start talking in your show.

Speak up!

Now, we move on to your voice. Narrate your show. Here’s your chance to release your inner personality. Your listeners might want to know why you picked the track you’re playing, or if it’s not a well-known song, the artist’s name and where they can find the song. If you’ve gone through the trouble to get permission from an artist to play his or her song in your podcast, the least you can do is give them credit, and let people know where they can find out more about that artist. Not all producers/DJs enjoy speaking during a podcast, and though this doesn’t have to be excessive, it might be worth just a few words here and there to create a personal feel to your audience.

Know what you’re playing

Ready to record your first podcast? Keep in mind that you won’t be playing your music directly from your playlist organizer, for two good reasons. Also, listen to the beginning and end of each track. Roughly figure out how much time passes in the song before the singer starts singing, and whether the song has an abrupt ending—with or without singing—or a fade out. You’ll use this information to keep from talking over the singing, or from starting a new track before the singing has stopped on the old one. As you do more and more of these, you’ll get better at anticipating how much you can say before the singer starts. Also, if the song fades out with a repeating chorus, you can start your back-announcing (telling people about the song you just played), after the first fully repeated chorus or when the track fades out to about 50% of its normal volume.

Recording Your First Podcast

Part of the charm of podcasting is its informality. Address your listeners as you would speak to your friends, and don’t get too hung up in preventing “ums” and “ers”. A lot of tools will allow you to edit your podcast after you’ve recorded it, so if it really worries you, or if you make a major mistake, you can go back and edit it later. Play your intro and right before the song starts to fade, you can start talking. Introduce yourself, give a really quick description of the show (for new listeners). When introducing the song, start playing the song as a music bed (if there is an intro), and stop talking before the vocal begins. Then, turn off your mic and fade out the introduction music if it’s still playing.

Promoting Your Podcast

Get a few shows under your belt before you do too much self-promotion. Many shows don’t get their rhythm until the third or fourth show, and you might find that tweaking your show’s theme appeals to you. Don’t lose heart if your show doesn’t sound like you expected. As you get your theme and your technical issues cemented, your show will sound more like the show you intended to produce. Once you’ve got the hang of doing your show, after the second or third podcast, start mentioning it on relevant forums and across your social media channels. It absolutely comes through in the sound of your show if you enjoy doing what you’re doing. Many of the biggest names in dance music have furthered their careers with acclaimed podcasts as the likes of Oliver Heldens (Heldeep Radio), Don Diablo (Hexagon Radio), Tiësto (ClubLife) all take their branding to next level via the music played to their fans weekly. If you follow the above tips, there is no reason why your podcast won’t sit at the summit of the dance music podcasts on Apple’s charts soon – and doing so – will enhance both your brand and your popularity to levels higher than you could ever imagine.