More and more independent record labels and organizations are releasing their music products today, the importance of having a good radio promotion has become an often overlooked but important part of a successful project. This
More and more independent record labels and organizations are releasing their music products today, the importance of having a good radio promotion has become an often overlooked but important part of a successful project. This is unfortunate because so many artists are recording extraordinary projects just to sell them to some church members and friends and then he sits in storage somewhere. The landscape of the recording industry has experienced major changes in the last few decades. Digital equipment has consistently made it far easier and cheaper for artists to record and release their projects and the ability to have products available worldwide is something that only independent artists have dreamed of in recent years. Gone are the days when a multi-million dollar recording studio was the only way to let go of a professional project. One constant is the radio. So far it is still the best method for spreading the word about your music to the masses.
Getting a radio play is not an easy task. Your music must be great and even then, many program directors will not give your music a chance until several other stations do it. This is where having someone on your marketing team with a good relationship on the radio, gives you a big advantage in getting important radio rounds. A good radio promoter has the ability to make your music heard by people who make decisions about what is playing on a particular radio station. It will also provide a kind of tracking system to keep track of how your records are performing. This requires great communication skills, skills, patience, effective people skills, and perseverance.
Tracking is very important for you as an independent record label or artist because it gives you weekly insight into the frequency of radio playbacks that you receive. It gives you a visual of how your music is received in certain areas which can help you order live performances to promote the project.
Most people think that they can do all this themselves but believe me it’s not as easy or as simple as it sounds. Radio station program directors are very busy individuals and most of them are not open to unknown artists who contact them about their projects. Frankly, many of them will only receive calls from big label representatives or promoters that they know of and even then, getting them on the phone is very difficult. Yes, you might get to know your local radio personality and you might be able to get a few rounds locally, but we talk about creating buzz by capturing a region.
After you find the radio station you want to send, and you have entered that information into the database, you are ready to send the press kit out (assuming your CD is ready). At this time, be sure to contact the radio station again and verify that all the information you have collected is still the same. This industry is very volatile. Stations are bought and sold very quickly, and there is a very high employee turnover rate. You don’t want to send your Heavy Metal CD to the station that is now a Smooth Jazz station. And you don’t want to send something with “Material Requested” written on it, to someone who no longer works there.
You will need a cover letter for your press kit, be sure to suggest tracks that you think are preferred by radio personnel, and which you think are more commercial. Give them a chance to listen to a few songs, but don’t ask them to listen to the whole CD. That’s unprofessional. Radio promoters push one track at a time.
When I consult about music projects, I always tell a small record label, artist and choir director to get radio promotion. This will greatly increase your exposure and your product.
For indie artists who want a complete music promotion campaign that includes radio promotion I suggest you use iTunes Exposure. With their campaigns you get radio promotion along with a bunch of other promotion to help grow your fans worldwide.