5 Sure Fire Ways to Get Radio Play for Your Independent Music!
By Ty Cohen
You have to find radio airplay time if you’re going to be heard and we’re not just talking the local college campus. The trick is called promotion.
Now that doesn’t mean you just put your press kit in an envelope with a demo and hope they take pity on you. Perhaps you call a station and they give you the standard pitch of, “Send it and if we like it we’ll put you in rotation.” After a few months of never hearing your music, you automatically think you’re not worthy.
First, don’t buy that. You’re one of hundreds, maybe even thousands depending on your city. Your disc will probably end up in the trash or, for more enterprising DJ’s, on Ebay in a one-cent CD sale. If you want to be heard and make potential sales, you have to stand out from the crowd.
#1 – Get your CD into the right hands.
The intern that’s too busy to getting coffee or typing up a report for the station manager isn’t going to be the one making the airplay decision. So find out who the head honcho is in that department and touch base with them.
If the club you’re playing at charges an admission or you have a show coming up offer to send the stations tickets to give away to listeners. Now keep in mind you can’t give the tickets to the staff, since that’s illegal and called payola, but you can offer free giveaway items to your potential audience.
#2 – If you’ve got one station in your pocket, then drop names.
Let them know that WABC is playing your music and it’s getting a great response.
#3 – Make genuine friends in the business.
If you’ve got a disc jockey that’s got you in rotation and really likes your sound, get to know them. Find out why they enjoy it and see if they’ve gotten any responses from listeners.
If they haven’t, ask if perhaps they might Q & A their callers about your music so you get a feel for your target audience. It’s not a bad idea to ask them for a testimonial or quote if they’re well known in your area if you know them personally. People help people. That’s a fact so if you treat your area disc jockeys like a living and breathing human and not dollar signs, that’s a foot in the door.
Another good source is club owners. If they play your music and the fans go nuts ask them to say a few words about your sound that you can pass along to prospective stations, but be sure to sit down for a drink with them. Ask them about the picture of him and the woman and two kids behind the Magic Kingdom. Don’t be fake, but be genuinely interested.
#4 – Network.
Find out if someone you know (or someone they know) has connections to the music stations. Remember six degrees of separation – you’re only six people away from knowing anyone on the planet and yes that includes station managers, concert promoters and record execs.
The trick is it takes a great deal of work and time, but if you’re serious, it’s well worth it.
#5 – Go local, state, national.
Don’t think you’re going to skip your local and state stations and be the next Matchbox Twenty. It doesn’t work that way. Start small and then get big.
Making contacts and getting names can be tough, that’s why you should start with a tested and proven music industry resource like The Industry Yellow Pages – Music Industry Contact Directory at http://www.TheIndustryYellowPages.com.
The TIYP is helpful and loaded with contacts you can start using immediately without doing all the legwork yourself.
This article was written by Ty Cohen, the music industry’s most recognizable voice! Ty is the C.E.O of Platinum Millennium Publishing, Platinum Millennium Records as well as owner of MusicContracts101.com and MusicIndustrySuccess.com.