Flux Pavilion, known also for their Dubstep remix of “Gold Dust” (Soundcloud link below) has once again hit the Dubstep charts with their new remix of Midnight Run by Example. It has the same great signature Flux Pavilion dubby high pitched synths over the top. Another great track coming out from UKF!
Snag it free here (While the download link remains active)
There’s something about this track that captivates me. So much music is overly hyped these days with gnarly intense synth builds and face-melting beats that its sometimes nice to come across something that just sounds chill. My original goal with iClub was to give tracks that will never see the light of Radio the attention they deserve. This track is a perfect example: What a great, soothing track that would never be heard by the masses if it weren’t for the internet. Props to Shoolcraft, they appear to be relatively unknown. Hopefully this remix brings them into the spotlight!
I first met Blair & Zander, the two Santa Barbarians behind the new Indie-Electrish-Dubby-Glitch fusion group “Traveler” at an Ableton Live conference in Hollywood back in 2009. Stoked to hear their first fully mastered remix! Pretty cool little track; there are not very many electronic producers that are able to nail the 85-95bpm range and this track definitely flows with the tempo well. Solid work guys, looking forward to hearing more from you!
Not just a sweet Dubstep remix by Butch Clancy, but also a stellar dance routine by Marquese Scott as well. Maybe Cheyenne Giles or Craig Smoove will throw this in an upcoming iClub: Dub episode?
Dont forget to mark October 7th, 2011 on your calendars for the iClub 2 millionth download live event on iClub: Live!
Or if you’re in the southern California area and wanna hop on down to Analog Bar in San Diego, you can find details on the event on facebook.
^iClub Episode 1: The show has come a LONNNNG way hah!^
iClub.fm’s new milestone has finally arrived; last night we officially received our Two Millionth download! So much work has gone into the production of the iClub.fm podcast phenomenon and I’d like to offer out a big thank you to all of our fans that download the show every week. iClub was started by yours truly (DJRi) in my Junior year at SDSU and I never thought iClub would be received as it has. Just in the last 5 months alone iClub has expanded from averaging around 50,000 downloads a month to pushing 200,000 a month across the entire network. During that time we have also launched 5 new genre stations including: Mashed – DUB – Festival – Deep – Indie. The goal now is to build iClub to become not only the largest podcast network on the internet, but the ultimate destination for music discovery.
Monthly Network Download Averages Since 2009
We will be hosting the iClub 2 millionth download party October 7th, 2011 at Analog Bar in Downtown San Diego. If you can’t make the event because you’re not in San Diego, none-to fear! We will be broadcasting the entire event and the audio live on Ustream. Stay tuned on our Twitter and Facebook for links to the broadcast on Oct. 7th.
I would also like to thank all the amazing production team and DJs that have been apart of the show(s) over the last few years:
In an attempt to give fellow DJs some credit where credit is due, I will be starting up a bi-monthly ‘DJ Spotlight’ on colleagues and homies that I believe are stepping outside the normal realm of the expectations of a DJ, and doing something a bit above-n-beyond for everyone in the industry.
One of my main inspirations for starting this article series resides in the work of DJ Cheapshot; S.K.A.M. Artist DJ/creator (and fund-er?) of Fire Poo.
So what is Fire Poo? Essentially it it a wing eating contest for DJs held at a rotating venue in (typically) the Los Angles area every few weeks. You can see when and where the next Fire Poo event is at firepoo.com, or by following the Official Fire Poo twitter @fire_poo.
The goal of Fire Poo is to take everyone out of the club environment, down some wings and beer, and meet/network with other DJs where the conversation can wander a bit farther than the typical DJ booth’s “Nice set, here’s my card. Need a drink/shot?” There is always a larger wing-off between some kind of established group such as S.K.A.M. Vs. DJ City, or Skull Candy Vs. Aerial 7 to determine who wins the coveted Bronze Toilet award (literally bronze toilet trophies are given to the winners). All walks of DJ’s attend, from new openers emerging into the scene, to guys like Z-Trip and DJ Quik. Post-event, many DJs end up at the Dime to goggle over great DJ’s like DJ-R burn though records. All of us at Starry Eyed Music drive up from San Diego for Fire Poo and I would highly recommend trying to make the next one if you are within a reasonable travel distance from LA.
Thanks Cheapshot for the stellar event and hopefully there are plenty more Fire Poo’s in the future in the race to the Pooper Bowl.
Is Radio Dying or Growing? A look at the future of traditional radio frequencies as the internet and 3G/4G wireless networks begin to overtake the radio waves of the past.
The death of radio has been regularly predicted ever since tape deck players were installed in vehicles. Even more recently with the advent of MP3 players and satellite radio, many critics of the increasingly archaic AM/FM technology have been wrong about the extinction of commercial radio, however those critics may be proved right in the upcoming years. The reason radio has outlived previous predictions is because of the ease and diversity of live content. On AM, news could be listened to in real-time, while FM radio could still break new music to listeners. Where existing radio technology has finally seen its inevitable death is with the advent of 3G wireless networks. Consumers now have the ability to stream content directly to their vehicles through their Smartphones, and app’s like Pandora allow consumers to create their own radio station based on their favorite artists. FM radio particularly will not be able to continue to be profitable for media companies like Clear Channel as the majority of Americans begin converting to smart phones with 3G and 4G technology, especially when considering that this new 3G radio medium is still being pioneered.
The largest new threat to conventional radio is the Podcast. While taking hold in 2004 with the launch of the iTunes Podcast section, this new online radio standard has never been fully utilized. To-date there is an estimated 90,000+ podcasts being produced with roughly 30 million individuals downloading at least 1 podcast over the last 5 years world-wide. While 30 million sounds like a relatively low number in comparison to the 8+ billion people on the earth, the number of regular podcast consumers is likely even smaller, only because of the difficulty of connecting the content with the listener. Usability of the podcast concept is still too difficult for the average person to discover, however that is all about to change.
Itunes currently does not understand the power they have with their podcast library. As a podcast producer, it is extremely apparent that there is a very small staff of employees overseeing the podcast section. The way podcasting will become the next big breakout business is when Smartphones, like the iPhone, are connected to stream content over 3G & 4G. To better explain this it is important to understand how podcasting currently operates, and how a simple new Smartphone innovation will make podcasts the new standard for media consumers.
Currently there is no simple way to stream a podcast directly to your 3G or 4G enabled device. That means to listen to a podcast, the easiest way involves a bit of preplanning by searching for shows on your computer, subscribing, and linking that podcast to sync with your Smartphone. Now imagine if this could all be done from your phone on the fly, no syncing necessary. A new app would exist on your homescreen that would allow you to search for podcasts, see top charts, genre types, and subscribing would be as easy as pressing a button on your favorite show.
You would be easily connected to 90,000+ broadcasts covering any and all talk radio topics and genres of music you might be interested in. When subscribed, push notifications would alert you when new episodes are available for streaming right to wherever you are with your 3G connected phone. From hourly updates from CNN and BBC World News, to daily comedic shows from Adam Carolla or Ricky Gervais, to weekly mixes from your favorite DJs that American radio refuses to play like Tiesto and Armin Van Buuren, you the consumer can choose the best content that carters to your informational and musical tastes. The killer of conventional radio will be the revolution of massive amounts of easily accessible podcasting content. The ease of the Pandora interface merged with the content of podcasters will bridge the missing link between the typical consumer and podcasting. Many people I know complain that radio content sucks, and it does, but soon we will have the choice to listen to radio that doesn’t suck and it will be driven through podcasting.
Starting a podcast on iTunes often seems like a great idea, but when getting into the actual work of launching a successful show it is often realized that this task is filled with a lot of difficult work and unknowns. I have spent countless hours raising my podcast network, iClub, from 0 listeners to doing volumes of about 250,000 downloads a month on iTunes. When I started iClub there was no good “how to podcast on iTunes” guide, and especially in regards to how to grow a podcast audience. So far I’m 5/5 with the iClub stations launched on iTunes typically in the top 50 music charts so I am either really lucky or I have figured something out. Below is my guide to how to launch a podcast and how to grow your listener count.
Branding is THE first thing you need to think about. What material is your show going to cover? EX: Musical mixtape podcast? Spoken word podcast about hot stocks? Whatever your topic is, the name of the podcast needs to convey the shows content coverage in as short a word(s) as possible. Since my podcast was going to be a continuous mixtape show from club DJ’s i chose “iClub” The title is short, to the point, and potential listeners probably know what the content will be like from reading the title. Study the top shows on iTunes and look at their titles. Try to model your title in a brief and creative manner that stands out among the other iTunes podcast titles. If your title is the best, you will end up with more listeners as a result. Always study your competition and judge what they are doing right, and especially what they are doing wrong and make changes to your show accordingly making sure not to repeat other podcasters weaknesses.
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The icon of your podcast is equally important as its title. If the show doesnt look attractive, potential listeners are not as likely to click on it. This is another area to study your competition: in general I have noticed that most podcasters do not spend much time developing their podcast icons. This is a HUGE advantage to the podcasts with eye-catching logos; in a sea of bland, the bright colored & flashy logo is king. I happen to do a bit of graphic design on the side as a hobby so I designed my own icon. It took me around 6 months to finally land on the current design so being able to design your own allows you to test it out and see how well it compares to the other podcast logos. If you are not artistically inclined, hire a graphic designer to create your icon. This is not an area to skip over as a good icon adds legitimacy to your show. Keep in mind when I started my show, iClub, I had never landed a professional DJ gig and was competing on iTunes against the biggest DJs in the world, so when people come across your show among hundreds of professionals, your show needs to look the most professional to become established.
Your content is your most important aspect of the podcast. Any logical person can put together that if you create interesting show content, people will naturally want to listen to the next episode. Always keep in mind that your #1 goal is to get every new listener to click that subscribe button so think of ways that you can start your show out in the most interesting and captivating way possible to keep the average persons attention span on your show. If your content is slow to start, lacks professionalism, or is generally uninteresting, that will be the only episode a first-time listener will download. The ways I have started my content out as interesting as possible is I have a 30 second intro which essentially quickmixes 3-4 top songs of the shows genre type, therefore showing each new listener the best of the music that is likely covered in the show. For people looking for a show with that genre type, they will know in the first 30 seconds that this show is for them and they are much more likely to subscribe. I also make sure that at least one song plays before I begin any kind of promotional voice-overs in order to establish that my show is a musical podcast and that it is not chocked full of announcements. Lastly I will typically choose my favorite track of the week to place first in the mix. Assuming that my job is to help others discover good music, putting the best track first will cause new listeners to want to listen to the whole mix so they can find other good tracks. If there is something to stress about the content it is to provide as interesting a show as early as you can. This principle should work for talk show podcasts as well.
Mac computers are the best platform for producing your podcast solely because of GarageBand (a program not available on PC’s) GarageBand has the ability to create .m4a file which enable you to create a chapter-listing complete with album artwork, and embedded website links which can be used with iPods and when played through iTunes. There is currently no PC software that can create .m4a audio files. I chose this because it is on another level of professional production that the majority of podcasts do not use yet, therefore it makes my show stand out with its user friendliness and helpful content.
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Podcast hosting sites are where you upload all of your content and generate your RSS feed. If you have a 1hr long talk show, you upload your audio file to your host, edit all of the ‘author’ ‘title’ ‘description’ etc. information in your host’s interface. Choosing your hosting site is extremely important because once the RSS feed is created and your show begins to accumulate subscribers, changing hosting sites will change your RSS feed, which means you will lose all your subscribers if your change hosts. Pick your podcast host for the long-run, not the short run. Itunes does not host any podcasts, you do not upload anything to iTunes. iTunes reads your RSS feed and essentially re-posts your content on their interface. Here are two popular hosting services:
Pros: Can start out with a limited free account to see if podcasting is really something you want to do. The bandwidth limit is extremely low so you will exceed it if your show gets any kind of a small following. This is one of the most popular hosts because you can begin with a free account.
Cons: You pay per bandwidth, so if your show becomes popular you will be paying more and more to get more bandwidth. Bandwidth is the traffic measurement of your podcast. EX: if you post one episode that is 100MB one download will equal 100MB of bandwidth. Now imagine you do a volume one month of 100,000 downloads. That’s 10 terabytes of bandwidth, which I am not even sure podomatic has a price plan for. You can be sure that the more successful your show becomes, the more money you will be paying.
Pros: Libsyn charges based on hosting allotment, not bandwidth. That means you purchase a plan that matches your episode release schedule. The price is no different if you get 1 download a month or 1 million. Hosting packages come in all price ranges from $5 for 50MB a month of hosting space to as large as 1.5GB for $75. If you produce a 50 minute talk show (average 50+MB in size) with a new episode every week, that is 4 weeks X 50MB = 200-250MB a month of hosting space that you would need. Libsyn’s package that fits you is 250MB a month which is $15 a month. That price will never increase unless your posting more than 250MB of content a month. Download bandwidth is unlimited and episodes archive every month allowing a new episode to be uploaded while keeping all old episodes available and online for as long as you remain a libsyn customer. I am personally a libsyn user and would highly recommend their service over podomatic, mainly because of their unlimited bandwidth policy.
Cons: They have no free starting package so at the very least your going to be paying $5 a month to test out podcasting. Every once in a while I have experiences service interruptions as well, however they are usually resolved within 24 hours.
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What is an RSS feed? It’s a raw informational website that is instantly updated whenever you do something with your podcast (like upload a new mix.) Users can subscribe to an RSS feed and will be updated whenever the RSS author publishes new content. In terms of iTunes, your RSS feed is what automatically updates the iTunes interface and your listeners that you have released something new. Your RSS feed also hosts information of where your Podcast artwork is, or where the text is that you want to describe your podcast on your shows iTunes page, etc. Your podcast hosting service will have a fairly straightforward editor where you can post all this information. iTunes reads the content of your RSS feed and translates it over to the iTunes interface. Once you have completed uploading and filling out your podcast content, icon artwork, and text fields, you are ready to submit your RSS feed website address to iTunes for approval.
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This process is unfortunately extremely slow and can even take over a month for your show to be approved. iTunes has become increasingly selective in the shows they let into their podcast section, and with good reason. There are now an estimated 80,000-90,000 podcasts on iTunes which makes that market a difficult one to crack into even if you are approved. Many of the top podcasts have established such high subscriber volumes that the success of a small upstart podcast is almost impossible unless their content and production is something really unique and the author understands how to promote their show. iTunes therefore is only looking for additional shows that they believe will contribute to their platform and also ones that do not violate their policies in anyway. If your RSS feed contains one incorrect line of coding, iTunes will reject it so it is exceedingly important that you have a few shows posted, and that all of your podcast description, title, author etc. fields are filled out in your podcast host. Before submitting your RSS feed to iTunes use a RSS feed validatior to make sure your feed is up to iTunes’ current standards. If you believe your shows ready to rock, submit your feed to iTunes :here: Make sure the email you provide is one you check regularly because iTunes will let you know if they rejected your show via email. They may not email you for weeks, they may not email you at all. Search the iTunes store for your show every few days and if it shows up, your show is online. Average wait time for a show to be approved or denied is around 2-4 weeks.
The first month your show is on iTunes is the most important month you have to promote your show. Share links to your podcasts location in iTunes with friends via social networks such as facebook and twitter, get blogs to feature it, and get as many people as possible to rate and review the show in iTunes. Rating and reviewing serve 2 ranking purposes. First off if someone rankes and reviews the show, they are also likely going to subscribe which adds to your shows rating in iTunes. Initially a podcasts rating amount and quality also determine whether or not the show will be featured on iTunes’ “New and Notable” section. As a way for iTunes to help out new podcasts they have developed a large, 4 icon bar at the top of the podcasting section where they rotate through the highest rated and most subscribed 20 new podcasts that month. These icons are even larger than those in the “top podcasts” bar. If you never make the new and notable, it is likely that your show will never catch on unless your able to promote it outside iTunes. You can assume that if you are able to get 100 people to rate and review your show in iTunes in the first 7 days it is online, that there is a good chance that it will hit the new and notable. This section is the most free promotion you will ever have for your show and the earlier you can get it there, the more subscribers you will accumulate in the first month. I estimate that I probably accumulated over 2,000 new subscribers with the launch of iClub: Mashed due to the New and Notable section. Assuming you land there early, you will see exponential growth in the show for the first month it is on iTunes, in my experience averaging 3,000-6,000 new downloads a day. At the end of the month your daily download rate will fall considerably due to your show no longer being featured on such a prominent spot on iTunes, but you will have established a considerable fan base that would have not been possible without being featured. From there on out its all about your show spreading via word-of-mouth from your fans (assuming your not willing to pay to advertise it) If your shows professionally produced, and the content is good, your show will continue to succeed over the long run.
Always think of easy ways to promote the show through your fan base. Make a twitter account and facebook page and direct fans to those locations to ask questions and interact. This will build more fan loyalty which is key for breaking into new listeners via fans sharing the show with friends. Ask fans to rate and review the show every once in a while, keeping in mind that moderation is key to keeping the balance between annoying advertising and genuine rhetoric asking for a bit of help. By that I mean you should always be careful when excessively driving people to do something. EX: if you ask your listeners to follow you on twitter, facebook and rate and review every 5 minutes, your show’s quality will be effected and you may lose listeners so be sure to do this sparingly. There are endless ways to start building off your initial fan base. Think of creative ways to drive new listeners to your show without being invasive.
If you found this post interesting, please click the facebook “like” button in the top left of this post, or share it on Twitter. I also provided my social network links, say hello and/or let me know you liked the article!
-DJRi Founder of the iClub podcast network on iTunes
Brother Ali – Us | First off, Brother Ali is the most under discovered rappers on the planet. His tracks are some of the absolute illest rap music that exists, and when you see that he is a big Albino dude it’s just amazing that he is able to crush all the steriotypes of being a rapper. He has been one of my favorite rap producers for many years, and it would be great to see him rise a bit higher out of his underground hip hop status and really make more of an impact on the scene. His label, Rhyme Sayers, is one of the last few record labels sticking to good hip hop artists, you can find much more great music there. Like Rap? Check out our station, iClub: Hip Hop. | Brother Ali – Us