Indie Music Music Licensing

New Nashville Music Tech Startup Music to Podcasters Ears

Thursday, June 23, 2016 Louis Vasseur

Chances are pretty good that you recently listened to a podcast on your smartphone or tablet.  According to Edison Research, podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, and 75% since 2013.  Their research shows that 21% of Americans ages 12 and older have listened to a podcast in the past month.  To put this into perspective, only 13% of Americans listened to Spotify and 21% use Twitter.  In addition, 64% of all podcasts are listened to on a smartphone or tablet.  According to Apple, podcasts subscriptions surpassed the one billion mark across 250,000 unique podcasts in over 100 languages.

Nashville entrepreneur Jesse Walker listens to several podcasts per day.  He noticed that some podcasters utilized music better than others to help enhance their programs and wondered why.   Sensing an opportunity, Walker discovered whether to include music or not was a constant curiosity and debate among podcasters.  Some podcasters worked diligently to include music in their podcasts that they know is “podcast safe”, often sourced directly from the artist that created it.  Part of the problem is that podcasts fall into a gray area in the music licensing and intellectual property regulations.  There is significant confusion within the podcasting industry about what designates "podcast safe" music.  The improper use of a piece of music, intentionally or not, could result in a podcast being forced off the air

To address this issue, Walker started :30cast, the first music licensing platform exclusively for podcasters.  The Nashville-based music tech company has created a platform for podcasters to directly license 30 second music clips from musicians, songwriters, and labels.  The company provides a go-between for podcasters who need music and the musicians who can provide it.  Musicians, or those who control song copyrights, submit 30-second song clips of their music to the :30cast website to be considered for inclusion in their music library.  Podcasters submit an application for membership, and once approved, have access to :30cast’s online shop to purchase a license for specific music clips for use in their podcasts.  Podcasters have the options of a single use, 3-month, 6-month, and one year license periods.  Each transaction earns a royalty payable to the song rights owner, who then distributes portions to any other parties with ownership in the song. 

:30cast Founder Jesse Walker
Walker says :30cast will help podcasters find production quality music that has been pre-cleared for use in their podcasts.  In addition,  song royalties provide another potential stream of revenue for the artists, as well as an avenue for greater exposure and to gain new fans.  The company will officially launch this summer at the Podcast Movement Conference, scheduled to be held in Chicago in early July.  Podcast Movement is the largest podcasting conference in the country, drawing over 1,500 active and aspiring podcasters who will gather to discuss developing industry trends and the future of podcasting.

To learn more about :30cast, visit

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