Will Podcasts Save the Album?

Article by Elizabeth Carney, Content Editor, Night is Alive

With audio streaming on the rise, artists are moving away from traditional album releases. Instead of creating cohesive pieces that tell a story over multiple tracks, an artist will release songs one at a time and focus their efforts on promoting them individually. This makes it easier to have music featured on popular playlists of large streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and iTunes.

So what does this mean for the traditional album format? What if an artist still wants to tell a story through their music and not release bits and pieces here and there? Folk-Rock singer-songwriter Bhi Bhiman may have found a potential solution through an unlikely source: the podcast.

As reported in a December 2018 issue of The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Bhiman is using the podcast format to release his new album “Peace of Mind”, with songs debuting in weekly episodes. This is an interesting concept that, in a way, combines single-release streaming with the standard album format. Listeners have the option to tune in to one episode or commit to the entire series. It is a low-pressure and easily accessible format.

Using a podcast also allows the artist more flexibility in the way their music is presented. They can take the podcast any direction they want, focusing discussions around the creation of the music itself (conception, mixing, etc.), talking more about the “why” behind the music (politics, social change, love/emotion, etc.), or even conducting interviews that somehow relate back to their pieces. Regardless, something unique about the podcast format is the potential insight into an artist’s mind, allowing the listener a more intimate experience with the music as a whole. Could the marrying of podcast and album be a perfect union? 

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