The CyberPR (Ariel Publicity)New Media Pioneer Interviews 16

ampone

New Media Pioneer: Pete Cogle, one of the podcasters at the Association Of Music Podcasting

Host of  the PC Podcast, featuring eclectic music from around the world: http://pcpodcast.blogsome.com and

The Dub Zone, featuring the very best dub reggae: http://thedubzone.blogsome.com and

PCP{2}, a deeper look into the musical genres explored in PC Podcast: http://pcp2.blogsome.com

 

Plus he is the co-host of

Made In The UK, featuring some of the very best UK music, for the world: http://madeintheukshow.co.uk

AMPed, the weekly digest of the Association of Music Podcasting at: http://musicpodcasting.org

Q: How can a podcaster become a part of Association of Music Podcasting (AMP)?

 

Firstly, you need to have produced at least 5 episodes of your podcast. We want to make sure you don’t “podfade” after your first couple of episodes.  Secondly, all of the music must be podsafe. AMP is about the music that doesn’t get airplay on mainstream radio. Unless artists have specifically made some of their music podsafe, we can’t play it.  We also charge a small membership fee, which helps with hosting and other activities.

 

Most importantly you need to be good at podcasting. Before becoming a member, your podcast will be peer reviewed. We take into consideration the podcaster’s passion about their music, their broadcasting style, the quality of their broadcasting equipment, the quality of the music they play and even the sample rate they create the podcast at.  Not everyone makes the grade.

 

Q: What is the background story on how AMP came about? 

 

AMP’s history goes back to late 2004, long before I joined. Chris MacDonald, Derrick Oien, Bob Goyetche and Jason Evangelho all had important parts to play in setting up the association long before podcasting became a mainstream term.  Back then, Apple was reluctant to accept music podcasts into their iTunes store, because they were worried about licensed music being freely distributed under their umbrella.  AMP became the first association to offer Apple a “safe harbour” knowing that AMP member’s podcasts would be podsafe. AMP was also the first association to offer episodic downloadable media, and start creating a library of music. This library later went on to become a profit-making enterprise as the Podsafe Music Network.

AMP was, and remains, a non-profit making association, and after a hiatus in mid 2005, George Smyth got things moving again. After revamping the website and building some tools to automate the process of making a collective podcast, the AMPed podcast became a weekly event in the podosphere.

I joined the association in March 2006 and have been a regular contributor since then.  Like many new members, initially I just submitted tracks to be played on AMPed, and occasionally became the host.  More recently I’ve taken over a few more duties, like webmaster and membership secretary.  Now many of the members have regular roles maintaining the podcast feed, making sure we all submit music on time, organizing the host rota and hosting the show.  Everyone gets to do as much as they want to do. We’re a good team.

 

The best thing about the association is that we all have a voice. We’ve had some great suggestions from new members and old members alike and we keep moving forward.

 

Q: How do you go about choosing which shows to feature on http://amped.musicpodcasting.org/?

 

Each podcaster can submit a track to AMPed each week.  If everyone submitted a track the show would be 3 hours long, but we generally get enough submissions to fill a 40-60 minute show. It’s entirely up to the podcaster which tracks they want to play, but as they have only one track to chose, it means AMPed ends up being the best of the best. AMPed is also work and child safe.

 

The week’s host is the final arbiter of what tracks make the show, and the running order. All the hosts have a different style and like different kinds of music, so it’s as much of a journey of discovery for them as it is for the listeners. I’m sure some of the hosts groan when I’ve submitted a track sung in Russian or Cambodian, but hey, I like that stuff, and I think the listeners deserve to hear it. You don’t hear that on mainstream radio!

 

Q: How does AMP keep changing?

 

Every new podcaster brings a new perspective on how to promote their podcast and their favourite music. We have members who really understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and we’ve completely revamped out website, http://musicpodcasting.org to pull in all the latest information from our member’s blogs and podcasts, straight to our front page.

 

We have other members who are really passionate about social networking, be that via Facebook, Myspace or last.fm.  We’ve recently started using Twitter to publicize when we have new podcasts available, and we’re looking at using Twiturm to “tweet” podcast “samplers” of the shows out to people on the move.

 

We also want to hear what our listeners have to say, so we’ve created a survey on the main page of our website http://musicpodcasting.org. They can tell us what they think of the show, what we do right, and what we should be doing better.

 

 

Q: What changes in content laws, broadcasting rights, etc. have affected any podcasters being able to air their music?

 

Back in 2004, there were no clear guidelines, but, as I mentioned, Apple were worried about allowing music podcasts into the iTunes store, especially after the legal ruling in the MyMP3.com case.  Because all AMP podcasts were vouched podsafe, this gave Apple the solution they needed and all the AMP member podcasts were approved.

 

Since then, many content laws and broadcasting rights have been suggested, and these vary from country to country. AMP has always been international and we have podcasters based in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Portugal, Australia and even Nepal, so it’s not easy to see which rules would apply. There are also more stringent rules for streaming services, than there are for podcast downloads, but as long as we keep within our guidelines of using podsafe music, we can continue producing podcasts.

 

Today there are a large number of resources that podcasters can use to get podsafe or Creative Commons licensed music, such as IODA Promonet, Magnatune, Jamendo and Music SUBMIT as well as the Podsafe Music Network, and, of course, Ariel Publicity.  We also get music from other sources such as Myspace, last.fm and from the artists directly, but we do need to make sure the artist, manager, or label gives us permission first. Ariel Publicity is a great service for us, because we know all the hard work has been done beforehand and we can legally play the music.

 

Of course, nowadays everyone knows what a podcast is. When AMP first started, artists were quite unsure of our motives or even what a podcast was.  It’s great to see some of the big artists like, Tom Waits, Bloc Party, Nick Cave or the Manic Street Preachers leading the way and making some tracks podsafe. This encourages up and coming artists to do the same.

 

Q: A recent study found blogs to be more effective than MySpace in generating album sales, do you feel that podcasts will have the same effect as well?

 

Absolutely!  I wear a T-shirt that says “Podcasting Is Selling Music” and another one of our members talks about “Promotion Not Piracy”. 

 

Myspace is great for artists to allow listeners to hear their music, but the listener has to go searching if they want to find something new.  If you find a podcast that you like, you can let the podcaster be your guide. We’ve all heard from listeners that they’ve bought an album that they never expected to like because they’ve heard it first on a podcast. 

 

I’ve played bands back in 2006 that none of my friends had heard of, and now they’re playing the main stage of the largest festivals in Europe. OK, that’s not all down to podcasting, but it’s part of the process. Mainstream radio only picks up on bands when they have a major record deal. Podcasters are playing the music months, even years before then.

 

If you want to hear something you’ve heard before by the Beatles or the Eagles, then feel free to go to Myspace or listen to mainstream radio. If you really want to hear something really new; something recorded this year, recorded yesterday, something that’s not even finished yet – then listen to a podcast!