You have successfully recorded your song, had a listening party with your friends and now you are confident that it is ready to be included in the radio playlist. At first, it seems to be a tough task, but on the flip side of it, it is not that difficult. To get music on the radio, you first need to contact specific music directors of respective radio stations. However, if you feel like you are not good at communicating, then you can leave it to your selected radio promotion company. It is because the process involves various modes of communication, for example; you may have to use press releases, faxes, one-sheets, or phone calls to get their attention. This whole process will get you noticed by the radios and the ones who take interest in your song will eventually play your music on their radio. At first glance, it all looks easy, however, it is hard and takes a lot of effort.
Promoting your music on the radio
As described before, radio promotion is far away from being easy. It involves many factors, including the quality of your music, getting approval of the music director, and above all, there is incredible competition in this field. So, to get music on the radio you need to be prepared, well informed, and have plans made ahead of promotion to be successful.
When you are looking for an instant big hit then you need to understand that most of the big names in commercial radio stations are already occupied. Hence, there are very rare chances of your music being selected to be included in their playlist. These radio stations are mostly held by major labels. Likewise, if you have enough budget and have some connections, then you can get your song played on the radio with less difficulty. So, it all comes down to your level of understanding of how commercial market works.
Promotion on non-commercial radio
Radio stations can be generally divided into commercial radio and non-commercial radio. Non-commercial radios, as the name implies, are the radios that do not get commercials during their broadcast. These are the radio stations that will play your music. These radio stations mostly include community radio stations and college radio. All you have to do is to submit your music to radio stations that are not commercial. Whereas, the commercial radio stations will have various commercials about brands and products during their broadcast.
It is better to take start from non-commercial radio as it seems to be a better approach for the artists that just started recently and they are working independently. Most of the college radio are very supportive of these upcoming artists and play their songs, and the same is the case with community radio stations.
To be successful, you need to disregard the things such as that the non-commercial radio is not as good as commercial radio, or it will not be rewarding, or you will not gain anything from your song being played on this type of radio station. Additionally, you can ensure your place in commercial radio station after being popular and getting attention from being played on non-commercial radio.
Promotion on commercial radio
Have you ever wondered about how do radio stations get their music? When upcoming artists have gained enough popularity from non-commercial radio stations, then they decide to move up a bit by going to commercial radio stations which are relatively small as compared to big names in the industry. By doing this, they are building up a wall, but brick by brick. It is like, they are building a strong foundation by using non-commercial and small commercial radio stations. Eventfully, they become able to move up the ladder a bit, by getting some airtime at relatively more popular commercial radio stations.
At this point, the upcoming artists face another problem that is related to their music career. Building up popularity, and getting airtime is not good enough at this stage, the most successful commercial radio stations also consider how you are progressing in your music career. The progress of an artist includes many things, like touring, getting media attention, and an increase in music sales.
For example. If you are getting airtime on small radio stations, but you are lacking in tours, failing to communicate with a newly built fan base, there is no increase in your music sales, then the popular radio stations are not going to play your songs. You need to understand that no matter how good your music is, the large radio stations have different standards to judge your music and that standards include elements of your music career. They want the music that will ensure an increase in the ratings of their radio station, the quality of the song is not their only parameter.
You should view the radio stations as a business because they are only keen to make money. So, if they do not see the potential revenue coming from playing your songs, then they will not be playing your song on their radio.
So, you can get music on the radio which is not commercial. However, if you want to make it big and capitalize on it then not only your song should be amazing, but your songs must have the ability to generate enough revenue. It can be achieved by getting good ticket sales for your shows, being active on social media, and putting all of your efforts into promoting yourself.
Planning and executing radio campaigns
For your radio campaign to be successful, you need to start ahead of add date, which is a date on which your music is added into the playlist of the radio station. Start the campaign a month before the add date, only then you will be able to carry out a decent campaign, and if you are a beginner then give yourself some more weeks to be more effective.
The campaign includes promoting your songs at your selected radio stations, for this purpose you either send a promo CD or upload music to radio stations. You should be careful when you are selecting the program directors, make sure to choose the right category for your music. After sending your music, you will have to spend almost a week to confirm whether they have received your music or not, if they have not then you will have to send it again.
After that, you will have to solstice feedback about the music you have sent, and in the meantime, you will be trying to get their commitment to getting airtime. Furthermore, in this process, you will also be updating the director of the program about the recent news regarding musicians that are linked to that market, all the shows they are doing and their sales, etc.
At this stage of the process, you can opt for placing ads in targeted radio to announce your song and that it is going to be added to the playlist. It is most useful when you are trying to get into bigger markets. In the last stage of the campaign, you will go for a final push for adding your song into the playlist and then wait for what happens next.
This is a short guide about how to get music on the radio, it explains how you can move up from taking a start at non-commercial radio and then make it into top radio stations.
You have got your answer about how to get music on the radio. The most effective approach is to identify the stage you are at and then approaching the right radio stations. At first, you should focus on non-commercial radio stations, then build your fan base, do shows and engage with fans. After all of that, start a radio campaign and give it your all to make it into big radio stations.