This series is all about libsyn podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
Q & A’s with Marc Gunn from The Irish And Celtic Music Podcast
When did you start podcasting?
My name is Marc Gunn, The Celtfather.
I am the host of the award-winning show, Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.
In 2009 and 2010, my show won Best Podsafe Music in the Podcast Awards. One of only five podcasts to ever win that award in its ten-year history.
Ten years. That’s also how long I’ve been podcasting too. I posted my first podcast in May 2005. That’s incredible to think about.
Why did you start podcasting?
I started podcasting as a promotional tool for my music. I am a Celtic Geek musician. Some folks refer to me as the Weird Al of Celtic music.
You can sort of hear an evolution of my music through my podcasts.
The first podcast I released was the Cat Lovers Podcast to promote my Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers CD.
Then I started the Renaissance Festival Podcast to promote my former band, Brobdingnagian Bards.
On July 28, 2005, I released my first episode of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. It quickly became my flagship.
For a while, I was boasting 40–60,000 downloads of an episode in a given month. I was one of the top music podcasts on iTunes. And I was only releasing a show once a month, but last year, I turned it into a weekly podcast.
What’s your show about?
If you couldn’t guess by the show’s title, The Irish And Celtic Music Podcast, the podcast features an hour of Celtic music by independent Irish and Celtic music bands.
My goal is to bring indie Celtic bands together with Celtic music fans. So I spend a lot of time telling my listeners to buy the music they love.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
I record on my ASUS laptop with Adobe Audition.
I use an Edirol UA–25EX USB AudioCapture preamp with an AKG C3000 microphone, which I also use to record my vocals for my music.
And I add a touch of compression on my voice to give it a little boom.
To create the show, I start with a permission form on my website. This gives me permission from the bands to play their music. I try to feature every band who submits and just about every style of Celtic music you can imagine.
I then create a playlist on iTunes. I usually pick the newest songs and tunes that were recently submitted to the podcast. Then I fill in the rest of the show with an assortment of new and some random tracks. I then drag all of those MP3s into a folder.
After that, I start looking for any news or voicemail that fans have submitted to the podcast that I want to share.
Next, I record my raw vocals and start editing them while dragging songs into their respective place.
Once it is mixed, I upload the show to Libsyn where I’ve hosted my podcast for ALMOST all ten years.
I’m ashamed to say I left you guys for about six months with tragic consequences to the show’s popularity. Let that be a lesson to all the Feed listeners. Stick with Libsyn!
How have you promoted your podcast?
For the majority of my podcasting career, I focused on keywords to promote the podcast.
Strong keywords are still essential for promotion on iTunes.
However, over the past few years, they’ve become less effective on Google search.
Now I mostly use Facebook to promote the show, share band news, and occasionally chat with fans. I also post episodes on YouTube with a simple image of the week graphic.
I’ve attracted a lot of new fans this way. The strong keyword shows are the ones that do best on YouTube as well.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish Patreon was around when I started.
In 2006, I started a fan club called Song Henge. It’s been awesome. It allowed me to earn a little bit of revenue each month, but it was never nearly as effective as Patreon, plus, I had to manage all of the customer support. That’s still a HUGE hassle.
Now with Patreon, I earn money with each episode released and it’s all digital, so it’s easy to manage.
Obviously, it’s not for everyone. But for my show it’s been instrumental for allowing me to stay at home, podcast, and also continue my music career combining Celtic music with Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, and even cats. Yes, cats.
Finally, I have to share a small, unrelated pet peeve. It’s called CELTIC MUSIC with a hard K sound, not Seltic. The Celtics is a basketball team. Celtic is the music and culture of the Celtic people. Celtic music.
Oh! And in addition to the podcast, I also have a mailing list called Celtic Music Magazine. You can subscribe and download 34 Celtic MP3s for free. And come on by to wish me a happy 10 year anniversary!
Thanks so much Elsie and Rob for an awesome podcast. I just started listening a couple months back, and now I wish I started listening sooner.
Now you know if you get that overwhelming sensation to listen to Celtic music, there is a perfect podcast that fits your needs! Why not subscribe?
If you have a love for music or a specific genre of almost anything why not start a podcast about it? We’d love to host your media!