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The history moves in circles, and what may seem forgotten is leading the way. The best music promotion via radio airplay. Get the most profit from radio. Make your coverage wider, and audience - diverse. Radio is the ace in your sleeve, and it is the best time to unleash its power! Go get them!
During the last years, radio has lost some positions to the variety of music streaming services. These modern competitors take their place faster than we could even imagine a few years ago. And despite all the benefits of such services, like audio quality, selectivity, variety, there is one big flaw - they are heartless and cold. Radio feels different, it feels classy and reliable. And even with this variety of music streaming services, radio still can offer more than all these services combined, in terms of coverage, reliability, etc.
One of the areas where streaming services like Spotify won’t outplay radio is building of the regional popularity, and making your name recognizable there. That’s why radio is still a very competitive place in the modern music industry. How to beat your competitor on radio if not by getting radio airplay heavy rotation?
Sadly, there is no universal strategy for getting airplay on radio that fits everyone. However, there are some possibilities to shift the scale to your favor. Further, in the article we will dig into these actions, to find out, how to get radio airplay, and eventually increase your audience and fan base by a sufficient margin. Stay tuned!
Spins, radio plays - these are the names for radio airplay. But they all mean the same thing - pushing your song on the radio air. Spins are plays! In the 20th century there was no other music promotion channel than radio, it was the ultimate king. If the musician was lucky enough to get played in the prime time, he could become a star in just a few days.
With the flow of time, many things changed. Generations of people have changed, technologies are so advanced now, and, sadly, the whole radio got kicked out to the periphery, where no one ever sees it. But it is just the thought in the youngsters’ head. This new generation, or Gen-Z, knows no other promotion channels than social media, playlists, streaming services, ads. These new channels are media sensation, however there is no need to forget about radio. Some things come and go, but rotation on radio - it is here to stay. Radio airplay is the most powerful channel for music spread and promotion.
Radio has held up well, it still offers great opportunities to increase the flow of followers, make fan base bigger, and widen the coverage. Radio still holds the position of the most popular music source for billions of people worldwide. For example, in a such urbanized country as USA, the average weekly music consumption on all music streaming services is fourteen times smaller than radio consumption. Ask any marketer, anyone who knows something about music promotion - they will all tell, that radio is still a great option for every musician, far better and more reliable than streaming services, or social media, or ads on the internet or TV.
Sure, you can invest in social media promotion, buy followers, plays, and shares. But if you decide to try radio airplay and get spins on radio, you will have a huge advantage over every other musician who will choose to skip radio promotion. Radio support will give you more followers, more plays, and your audience will be more diverse. Radio is back, baby!
To an average person it may sound strange that there is more than one type of radio. Yes, there are two of them: commercial, and non-commercial. If you are trying t enlarge your audience, you should get acquainted with the following info:
This type of radio is the radio, that people think the radio is. it is very hard to get your song played on this beast. All traditional radio stations, that you could’ve heard while driving are commercial ones. On this radio, the songs are chosen long before the airplay, and there are ads between every song. As you remember, the amount of time of listening for commercial radio is 14 times bigger than on any music streaming service, so it is a true challenge for a young freshman to get some airplay time. Also, power rotation is the best possible way to gain regional audience.
This radio type is more of a dark horse, it is less known by people, and is often called non-profit radio (even when it includes ads, radio stations, and podcasts). Some of non-commercial radios are college radio stations, web-based radio stations, small independent radio stations, etc. You can say that airplay on such radio stations is not worth the fuss, that it is not very profitable and prestigious as commercial radio, but we will parry by saying that it is easier to get airplay there. And easy and affordable rotation of a radio station is great for starters, especially if you are targeting younger audience. Also, do you know, that many commercial radio stations use non-commercial radio as their hunting ground for new popular and potentially famous songs? Don’t ever look away from non-commercial radio!
For the majority of musicians, radio airplay is not an easy thing to get. It is usually years of work, dozens of songs, careful and meticulous building of the audience and character on other music streaming services or social media. Despite all that, there are some simpler actions you can take, to make your chances of getting into the air bigger. Check out this list of advices, both small and large, about how to get radio airplay.
As we said before, radio airplay is a dangerous place, where there are predators and prey. You need to have some audience on such music streaming services as Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal, etc. Getting your attention on major digital consumption services is the best way to make radio producers see perspective in you, and potential for future airplay. Try to build your audience on music streaming services first, and then start radio promotion, only then radio producers will take you seriously, as a creator, as a musician, as a business opportunity. There is no need to be the most popular artist on Spotify, but getting in popular playlists or top-charts will be essential for success on commercial radio spins.
This approach is kinda old and outdated, but sometimes sending vinyl or CD with your song will give some benefits over digital only approach. In the late 90s and early 2000th it was the only imaginable approach, but now it is more of a way to make yourself more visible and pushy. This will definitely set you apart from other musicians, who made submissions via e-mail, and make you closer to the music history. Especially, if your music is somewhat old-style, you definitely must make some vinyl records and send some of them to the most popular radio stations in the region or in the country.
Non-commercial radio airplay is easier to get, and the audience of such radio stations is less demanding than for commercial radio, so it really is a great way to start building your offline audience. Also, being popular on non-commercial radio can lead to featuring on big radio stations, and even on the commercial radio. All music industry is about borrowing, and big radio stations often listen to their smaller fellas, and gladly borrow some good songs. So if your track hits top on non-commercial radio, it may as well get some airplay on the commercial radio.
If you already completed all previous steps and already have some audience online, and a name, you can propose exclusive singles to the radio stations. It is a great practice even today, since radio stations benefit from ads, and if many people will turn their radio to hear your song, the radio station will get more profit. Yes, it may require some coordination during its creation from radio station, but… And even exclusives are sometimes hard to push, it is the risk, worth taking.
As well-written CV, EPK can show your professionalism and prove, that you are serious about your desire to become popular. Electronic Press Kit is the first impression on radio producers, so you better make it good. Send over some cleverly compressed MP3s or WAVs, of your track/album, and wait for response. This press kit should have links to your social media, profiles on music streaming services, and general information on how to contact you.
Music promotion on radio is an expensive action, especially if you use a dedicated radio promotion service. For example, in US, radio promotion campaign that will get you at least somewhere is worth around 10 thousand USD. Cheap radio spins USA will give you not more than non-commercial radio, so if you are looking at radio promotion as at your primary music promotion possibility, get ready for huge checks. However, having a label behind you, can significantly shorten your expenses.
Not every radio airplay is prepaid for, some of it happen organically and naturally, without promotion campaign behind it. If you have heard your song on radio once, you must understand, that radio heads are checking, how your music will wit in their repertoire, and how people will react to it. And this is the right moment to make a call or write an e-mail to the producer of the radio station. Don’t lose the moment!
You are in the 21st century, and there are no borders for music, so never limit yourself to one radio station, one region, one country. Start expanding! The whole world is waiting to hear your song, don’t make it struggle. There are billions of people who have never heard your song, so you must change it! Expand your influence, make people know you. You need to get into every radio possible, everywhere. You can have an audience, you have ever dreamt of, with radio airplay promotion through buying radio spins package.
When your song gets featured on radio airplay, it is already a huge win, but it is only the beginning. Don’t lose the chance and the moment to grow. How can you be satisfied with only one airplay on only one radio station? You need to make your audience grow, and always have data about it on hand, because even if you hit radio top charts, it can be lost in a matter of seconds without comprehensive information. With the data of radio airplay you can:
Consider radio airplay as another possibility to promote your works, to gain audience and get recognition. As any other promotion method, radio airplay has its own weaknesses and strengths. It can be very handy for one musician, but a waste of time for another, and you never know how it will end. However, knowing how huge the radio audience is, it should not be forgotten in any way. So, think about how much money and time you can spend on radio promotion, and you will have slight image of the final result.
In case you decide to do radio airplay promotion after all, don’t forget about gathering statistics and data. With this data you will be able to see, how your promotion campaign performs, and build strategy for future growth and prosperity of your career and audience. Your main goal is getting on commercial radio, so don’t slow down, until you will be there permanently. If your career just started, and you don’t have big enough audience for commercial radio, concentrate your efforts on non-commercial radio, and you will definitely get some benefit from it too.
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