If you are a country act, and you target radio stations that play metal, there is no chance that your song will be played as it will seem disrespectful to these broadcasters.
Being a publicist to indie artists, I know how it feels to at least have a single song played on the radio, and then the agony of your song being rejected by a Disc Jockeys so delved a little deeper into this topic. So, how can I help you with this? You have to be strategic.
The process of contacting radio stations to have your song played can be somewhat opaque. If your song is played, it may not be much, but if you are lucky and listen to your music on the radio, you can make a good income. And not only that: the license fees for radio plays are much higher than for streaming. In short, starting with a high-quality recording and writing a song is the most important thing you can do to get your music on the air with a station.
Secondly, each radio station has its audience and its genre of music. Which radio station you want to present your song to is an important choice. It would be pointless, for example, to suggest a reggae track to a radio station that specializes in Gospel or highlife music. By selecting radio stations that play tracks in the same style as your music, and targeting those who do, you will address this in a relevant way and maximize your chances of playing.
Fewer and fewer people are listening to the radio, whether in the traditional over-the-air form or in the entirely new form of online radio, which is gaining momentum and offering emerging artists a new outlet. To get your song played, you need to know where the markets are, who is listening and what they want. If you are targeting a specific genre, for example, country, you need to know which stations are into country music. You can then craft your ad for radio for this specific market to create an optimized music campaign for your music.
Once that is in hand, the rest boils down to building a relationship with the radio station that you hope will play your music. Take the time to research the stations that cover your genre and the formats to which you want to submit songs. It doesn’t seem like a complicated task. All you have to do is introduce your song to the program director or music director of a radio station using a combination of press releases, one-sided phone calls, and faxes. Radio stations want to see how your entire music career progresses through your radio play.
Don’t send your music to as many radio stations as possible; it’s called “flat-rate marketing” and has proved ineffective. Make a complete demo that you can show at any time. You don’t just put a few songs on a cassette, check them out, and send them to a record label. Your demo should include your song, website, social media accounts, professional pictures of you and your brand, and a music video.
Brent Steffensen, music marketer, and operator at Moon Music stated “It is essential to develop a three-pronged approach. No matter what your budget is, it’s important to develop this three-pronged approach to help get your music on the air. First, music promotion, promotion, promotion! The idea is that the marketing idea will first resonate with radio buyers and DJs. Without this first step, the promotion will fall short of its objectives.”
You’re going to make the most progress if you’re willing to play the games. First, make sure your brand has a strong online presence. Ask yourself if you have a substantial fan base. Next, attend a few music industry conferences and meet some radio deejays. They’re out there, and you can help expand your network.
Finally, keep in mind that radio stations don’t mind donations of music. There are plenty of listeners who like the “type” of music that you’re playing. You’re looking for true diehard fans who take great pride in their musical preferences. Tell them you’re launching a new album, and see if they can get their hands on a free demo. Writing a catchy, radio-friendly tune takes a lot of work, but the rewards are worth it!
In conclusion, there are many other things to consider when making your music a bigger part of your marketing. That said, there’s one thing you can do right now to get your music onto the radio. Contact your local station. Ask to audition your song. Do your best to make the station executives and music directors feel good about hearing your music.