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The Dos and Don’ts of Podcasting

Katy Krassner

June 3, 2021

I have a secret. Shhhhh…

Along with writing blogs for Play MPE, I have a side hustle – or is Play MPE my side hustle? Regardless, I have one, and it might surprise you.

I host a weekly show on SiriusXM’s VOLUME channel. It’s called WHOOOSH!, and a new episode airs every Wednesday at 9pm, EST, and then repeats on Saturday at 3pm EST & 10pm EST, and again at 2pm EST on Sunday. That’s a lot of airtime! The VOLUME channel touts itself as “your liner notes to the world of music,” and, as such, the shows on the channel talk about music as much as they play it. WHOOOSH!– that’s the sound of your mind expanding to take on a new idea – plays 9 tracks each week and talks about each one of them.  Most songs we play are new, released between 2020 and 2021, but every now and again, an older track makes an appearance…like this gem we played a few shows ago.

Before I get ahead of myself, I have to tell you who “we” are. One is me, and the other is Simon Le Bon, who you may know as the lead singer of Duran Duran. We’ve been friends (and co-workers) for a long time, so when Covid hit, and the world shut down, we wondered what we could do to keep Duran Duran fans entertained while people were in lock down. What started out as a small thing we did on the band’s website grew into a weekly show that was on Spotify and then moved over to SiriusXM in 2021. 

While we aren’t a podcast, we sort of operate like one. Simon curates all the music – and he’s the Maestro of the segue, so the run order is super-important – and then he sends me the playlist. From there, I research all the songs and the artists, pull up their social channels and even the label they’re on, so when we record our show, I have all the information at my fingertips (hopefully!) I am happily the second banana, but it’s OUR show, which I am insanely proud of.  Not surprisingly, I get a lot of questions about how to do a podcast. Here’s my (semi) professional advice to anyone who is reading this and wants to produce their own:

DO brush up on your pronunciation. There’s nothing Simon likes more than razzing me when I mis-pronounce something, which is more often than I’d like to admit. 

DON’T interrupt your co-host (Simon!). We speak over each other a lot (him, him, him) and maybe “we” get away with it because he’s charming and famous, but mostly, you shouldn’t do that. 

DO come to your podcast prepared. There’s nothing worse than not knowing enough about your subject.

DON’T spend a lot of time talking about things your listeners won’t understand, like an inside joke between you and your co-host or guest. Boringggg.

DO find a good co-host. Yes, I am lucky to be paired with someone who has hands-on knowledge of all aspects of the music business, BUT it wouldn’t work if we didn’t work.

DON’T use crummy equipment. On our very first episode (don’t look for it, we took it down), we used an iPhone app to record our conversation. YIKES! We upgraded to real mics and headphones as soon as we got serious about it. 

DO make sure you use good software to record your podcast. We’re lucky to have the Sirius team record us and edit the show, but when you’re just getting started, try one of these: Anchor, Squadcast or Audacity.

DON’T say “uh” or “ummm” or make weird sounds with your mouth or drink water from a plastic water bottle (raises hand). Once you listen to yourself, you’d be surprised at how often you might do one of these things. It’s hard to sound natural while you’re also checking yourself, but you’ll get used to it.

DO make sure your show is about something you’re passionate about. Simon loves sailing, I do not. I love watching every Oscar nominated film, Simon does not. However, we both love music. I’ve worked in the music industry my whole adult life, and well, his band has sold over 100 million records worldwide. So, there’s that. 

How is this info useful to you? If you want to start a podcast, take some of my advice, at least ½ of what I say is valuable! And whether it’s for WHOOOSH! or another music podcast, consider partnering with Play MPE to take advantage of their far and wide distribution lists – music industry tastemakers can *request access to Player where the latest music from around the world hangs out. Everything from major label releases to obscure indies and all the in betweens. If you’re a musician or artist manager, you might want to consider submitting your music through Play MPE’s Caster, so that your songs are in the running as music supervisors, curators and, yes, podcasters make their content decisions. You don’t need to be on a label or have millions of streams, anyone can submit their music this way. 

And finally, do your research and listen to a few episodes of your choice podcasts before you submit so you have a handle on what kind of music they typically play. You can hear ours on the WHOOOSH! website to get a sense of what the boss-man likes. Every podcaster has different tastes and their decisions will be unique to the show’s style, format and episode focus. There’s a ton of room for creativity in the process, whether you’re curating or submitting your music. 

Nice work if you can get it – and you can get it if you try! (And do your research.) 

 

*Please note Player recipients go through a vetting process as Player is for music industry professionals.

 

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