The Evolution of Music Podcasts

5 mins read

Live entertainers have been facing a harsh reality for the past two years. Musicians who relied on live performances for their income were thrown for a loop when the prolonged nature of the pandemic became apparent, and many turned to podcasting to promote their music.

As we all know, life is dynamic. Is it time to readjust again? With a sense of normalcy seeming to creep in, live performances are on everyone’s radar. There seems to be hope on the horizon for events like concerts and music festivals.

Nevertheless, podcasting has made its mark on the entertainment industry, as it offers an intimate experience for fans that can’t be replicated live. In spite of the imminent resurgence of live events, Ciro Romano, former Universal Records lawyer and founder of The Love Supreme Jazz Festival, still plans on leveraging the power of podcasting. The upcoming podcast by the same name will feature interviews with some of the greatest musicians from the event—the largest outdoor jazz festival in Europe.

Love Supreme 2013 was the first full weekend camping jazz festival in the UK. Since then, it has featured emerging performers as well as a wide array of artists from the world of jazz, soul, and R&B, including Lauryn Hill, Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind & Fire, George Benson, Nile Rodgers, Chick Corea, Van Morrison, Grace Jones, Gladys Knight, Jamie Cullum, Hugh Masekela, Michael Kiwanuka, Steve Winwood, George Clinton, Pharoah Sanders, Gregory Porter, Laura Mvula, Lianne La Havas, Louie Vega, Bryan Ferry, Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Tom Misch, Esperanza Spalding, Melody Gardot, Brad Mehldau, Chaka Khan, Branford Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Snarky Puppy, and many others.

Understandably, Love Supreme 2021 was postponed to July 2022. Erykah Badu, TLC, Tom Misch, Sister Sledge, and Candi Staton are among the stellar artists in the line-up.

The aim of the podcast is to use the festival performers’ experiences of live music to explore their lives and careers and understand the stories behind the music.

Festival goers have also been invited to share their favorite Love Supreme memories for potential inclusion in the podcast.

This is a period of optimism, yet lingering uncertainty remains. This means that there are opportunities for those who are brave enough to experiment.

Live podcasts can bridge the gap between the podcast world and the live arena. FRQNCY1 is a virtual festival, named after FRQNCY, a new streaming platform that connects artists and fans.

It is worth noting that the founders of FRQNCY also created the annual Pickathon music and arts festival in Portland, Oregon.

The idea is to replicate the festival experience by having all the acts perform in one venue, just as they would for a regular festival. Those who purchase tickets will watch the livestream at home. Interactive elements include a feature that allows viewers to applaud into a computer microphone, so it can be visually communicated to the performers. 

That’s not all. Ticketholders also get a “backstage experience” through a camera that will be set up in a specific spot in the venue. Between performances, artists will connect with this segment of the virtual audience.

Reportedly, the FRQNCY concept was created before the COVID-19 pandemic. It was originally developed to allow larger audiences than live venues could accommodate to have a high-quality experience, whether they were viewing the performances live or virtually. The platform was essentially designed to help event producers scale without diminishing the audience experience in any way. 

While this streaming experience lends itself naturally to a visual experience, it can be used to create a new live podcast phenomenon that may be an exciting departure from the recorded audio format most music podcasters currently use. 

Combining a podcast with a live element may be the solution for 2022 and beyond to elevate the show and deepen the support of any musician’s audience, turning them into raving fans.

While podcasters are likely to uncover some challenges as they seek to merge the live element with the podcast framework, if a live experiment turns out to be successful, imagine the audience loyalty they’ll receive!

Could we be witnessing a next-level evolution of music podcasts? Time will tell. Stay tuned…

 

January 2022 Issue

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