Irish & Celtic Music Podcast

FAQ

You should play…

I need permission from every artist that I play on the podcast. If there's an artist you love who hasn't appeared on the podcast before, please email them. Ask them to complete the permission form and submit their music to the show.

How do artists submit music to the podcast?

It's easier than ever. Just complete this form for each CD that you release.

If you have multiple older releases, you are welcome to put all of those album names in the name category. Then list the top song from each album.

Why do you need permission to play my music?

By completing the submission form, you understand that I cannot pay royalties for music played in the podcast.

Why don't artists get paid to be featured on the podcast?

Podcasts are not like streaming radio. The standard royalty rate for streaming radio is like 0.005% or something like that.

For podcasts, it is the same as when someone sells a song. That standard royalty rate is 9.1 cents per song per download.

Each hour-long episode of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast features about 16 songs. The show gets over 14,000 downloads of each episode. That means if I were to pay each artist the standard royalty rate, it would cost $20,384 per episode. The podcast earns $482 per episode (as of April 2017).

If I could afford to pay royalties to the artists, I would. Instead, I donate a percentage of my income to Celtic non-profits.

What do you to make it worthwhile for musicians to be featured?

I am a full-time musician too. I know how hard it is for musicians to make money. I know how easy it is for musicians to waste money on promotion. That's why I offer free promotion for you. I don't even accept CDs.

Since the beginning, I have emphasized the importance of supporting the artists featured in the podcast whether through buying CDs, downloads, and swag and seeing shows. I consider it extremely important that musicians be compensated and I harp on (pun intended) that idea in EVERY episode.

As a result, I've heard from numerous musicians who've told me about how well their albums have sold because of the podcast. I also get regular emails from listeners saying, I bought this or that album.

I also advertise the podcast and include Facebook links for each episode to make it easier for fans to find bands. I also do occasional special features of bands.

Why does the podcast make money?

It would be easier to answer this questions if the podcast was completely not-for-profit. I was young and single when I started it. In the beginning, I just wanted it to cover my expenses. I didn't really care if I made money. That's about all it did.

Now, I have a wife and two young daughters (6 and 2 years old) at home. I'm a stay-at-home dad. My work week has gone from about 16 hour work days, 7 days a a week to about 20 hours a week of actual work time for both my music AND the podcast. I have too many ideas and not enough time to implement them.

I do not have time to run a podcast. The only way I can make it happens it by making it my "job". As with any job, I have to get paid to do it. If I could not earn money from the podcast, I would have to stop creating it.

Do artists earn any money from the podcast?

Yes. A little bit. The podcast is syndicated on several streaming radio stations and terrestrial radio stations as well. Those stations are required to pay royalties to Soundexchange or the Performance Rights Organizations (ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC)

The show is also cross-posted to YouTube. They too pay streaming royalty rates for songs played. (I know CD Baby will collect some of those royalties). While most of the shows don't get but a few hundred listens, some shows have hit over 200,000.

Do you keep all of the money that the podcast earns?

No, I do not.

I'm like you. I wish I could pay you royalties for music earned. I looked at numerous ideas. I decided that the easiest way was to use the money to promote Celtic culture and music. I donate 10% of all the income earned through Patreon to Celtic non-profits. I also donate about 30% of compilation album sales to Celtic non-profits. To date, I've given away $25,000.

Many of these donations go to non-profit Celtic festivals. It works quite well in fact. My donation helps to promote the podcast which promotes the artists in the podcast AND of course, it also helps the festival hire more Celtic musicians and make their events great. It's a win-win!

I also have a LOT of expenses that are directly associated with the podcast. Here are some the monthly expenses associated with running this podcast (as of June 2017):

  • MP3 Hosting $30 per month
  • Mailing list $80 per month
  • High-speed internet $80 per month
  • Web support technician $60 per month
  • Advertising $100 per month
  • Virtual assistant $150 per month

Total =  $500 per month

Plus, there are numerous miscellaneous expenses I must hire on a nearly monthly basis, including:

  • Web designers
  • Computer repair
  • Graphic designer
  • WordPress technician
  • Business card printing
  • Sticker printing
  • Banners for festivals

The remainder of the money pays for my time in producing the show. I spend between 10-20 hours per week creating the podcast and promoting it. The money helps me continue to produce this podcast while still feeding, clothing, and housing my wife, 2 daughters, 3 cats and 2 mice.

Why not get a real job?

One of my strongest skills is internet marketing. Numerous people have suggested I go into marketing as a profession. That idea disgusts me. I love Celtic music. I love my Celtic heritage. I LOVE that I have the skill to help indie Celtic bands gain greater recognition. I want to do that.

I would rather be struggling, poor, and helping my fellow musicians bring great Celtic music to the world!

Why do you focus on indie Celtic bands?

When I started playing Celtic music in 1999 with the Brobdingnagian Bards, I struggled to get our music heard. We were not "traditional Irish music". We were not Celtic rock. We were in a realm all our own, and we were shunned.

I started the Celtic Music Magazine and then the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast to give other indie Celtic bands and artists an opportunity to be heard. Most Celtic radio programs like the amazing Thistle & Shamrock, focus on the music from Ireland and Scotland, or Celtic classics in the U.S. like The Clancy Brothers or The Chieftains.

That's awesome. But in every part of the world, you will find incredible Celtic music. It might not sound like something from Compass Records. Often, it fuses local sounds with traditional Celtic music. This music is largely ignored by most Celtic radio programs.

Yes, I got permission from several Celtic record labels to play their music on the podcast. But those labels have money. They don't need MY help. But those small bands from Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Washington, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, and yes also, Ireland and Scotland. Those are the ones who need help being heard.

My goal is to give these artists a voice.