Author Topic: Articles On Promoting Music/Musicians  (Read 4861 times)


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Articles On Promoting Music/Musicians
« on: July 07, 2009, 02:56:53 am »
Here are some articles I have found that deal with promoting someone in the music business, for those who would like to learn more in our quest to help Melinda.  Feel free to add any other articles found that could be relevant.....thanks.

You may have heard the saying, “There's no such thing as bad publicity”. As much as I'd like to tell you that it's music that sells CDs, ultimately it's often the “buzz” surrounding upcoming artists, which drives listeners to be receptive to their music. How often have you thought that you band is way more talented than some new flavor-of-the-month being played every 20 minutes on MTV? Truth is, maybe you are, but if no one hears your bands name, odds are that when they hear your music it probably won't have the same impact as another band whose name is all over town. Marketing is big business, and can often be the single most important factor as to whether on not an artist will make it.

Now that I've impressed upon you the importance of marketing your band, we come to the question of how. For starters, there are many ways to get your name out there in the public consciousness.

Probably the first thing that you can do is tour, tour, and tour. You've heard about bands that hop in a Van and drive across the country playing anywhere they are allowed. Performing live is a great way to get your message out there, and engage an audience in a personal way. This is also a great way to develop contacts, sell CDs, and make new friends (get your mind out of the gutter). While on tour, I always recommend that you have some product to sell. Whether an EP or a full-length album, people often impulsively buy “mementoes” immediately after a strong performance. In addition, an audience often will develop a more personal connection with a band if they've had an opportunity to see them live.

Another great way to get your name out there is through street promotions. Amazingly, very few bands print up well-designed, high-quality flyers. In the club circuit, DJ events always employ this strategy. However, sloppy black-and-white Kinko's printouts are all bands seem to produce. The funny thing is, you can often get 5-10,000 professional flyers for under $200, and you can ever list numerous gigs on them. With well designed flyers, you and your drummer, and his girl friend can target other bands with a larger fanbase, and stand outside their show both before and after the performance, handing them to every single person that goes in or comes out. It's also important to come up with catchy, quick one-liners to convey the meaning of this unsolicited advertisement, like “hot indie rock, this Saturday night”. Rather than let them develop a judgment about your flyer, you are telling them what to think about your flyer! Most of the time, you will get ignored and it's important not to get discouraged. For every scoff, or flyer thrown on the floor, you may get another person who might turn into a potential fan. It is also important to leave flyers everywhere you can: Bars, Laundromats, cafes, clothing stores, bus stops…everywhere. Every time, someone sees your band logo, it becomes more and more familiar. Plan to go out often, and you will soon start hearing people say, “I see that flyer everywhere!”

Next, you should be focusing on getting your band interviews and album reviews in both local and national publications. While you can try to do this yourself, I highly recommend hiring a professional publicist to work on your behalf. In the music business, it's all who you know. And who better to have on your side someone who knows everyone? That's what a publicist does; network. They send out press kits to their friends and associates in the industry, and “sell” your band. You essentially pay them for indirect introductions to writers at newspapers and magazines who would otherwise never listen to your CD. Writers receive hundreds of submissions for reviews every week, and they rarely open most. The ones that do have a chance of being heard are sent by people they trust and have worked with in the past. Try to find a publicist who specializes in your genre of music, as a well-connected hip-hop publicist would have a difficult time getting a review for an alternative rock band.

While a publicist, usually specialize in printed publications, radio promoters use the same methods of networking to get your music played on the air. Because commercial radio stations are disproportionately owned by corporations, it is rare that artists not backed by a major label will be played. Due to this business structure, it is more likely that a radio promoter will push your music to independent and college stations. A good radio promoter will drop off your CD to DJs and generate an interest in your music. They also will work to set-up on air interviews, build hype about your upcoming release, and ultimately get your songs played. While touring, they can arrange for geo-specific, on-air appearances to support your tour schedule. Radio is still a very effective way to present your music to a mass-audience.

While these services are not cheap, with a combination of constant touring, heavy street and radio promotion, and a feature story in a music magazine, you may be well on your way to developing a legitimate “buzz”. Making the music was the easy part, it's convincing people to listen that's difficult.

Copyright © 2003 CD BROKER

« Last Edit: July 07, 2009, 07:36:38 am by Elcondado »


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2009, 02:57:32 am »
Report Summary
April 29, 2009

In April 2007, the Federal Communications Commission and the nation’s four largest radio station group owners – Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Citadel and Entercom – signed a voluntary agreement as a response to collected evidence and widespread allegations about payola influencing what gets played on the radio. It has been two years since the FCC, radio station group owners and independent labels met around the table. The immediate questions for the music and policymaking community are: Did these agreements serve their purpose? Have payola-like practices been curtailed? Did the agreements have any effect on what gets played on the radio?

Using playlist data licensed from Mediaguide, Future of Music Coalition (FMC) examined four years of airplay – 2005-2008 – from national playlists, and from seven specific music formats: AC, Urban AC, Active Rock, Country, CHR Pop, Triple A Commercial and Triple A Noncommercial. FMC looked at each playlist and calculated the "airplay share" for five different categories of record labels to determine whether the ratio of major label to non-major label airplay has changed over the past four years.

The data in the report indicates almost no measurable change in station playlist composition over the past four years. While this may lead some to conclude that payola is alive and well, and that the Spitzer and FCC agreements were ineffective, the report instead views these results through a broader lens, using the data to describe the state of radio thirteen years after the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The playlist data analysis underscores how radio’s long-standing relationships with major labels, its status quo programming practices and the permissive regulatory structure all work together to create an environment in which songs from major label artists continue to dominate. The major labels’ built-in advantage, in large part the cumulative benefit of years payola-tainted engagement with commercial radio, combined with radio’s risk-averse programming practices, means there are very few spaces left on any playlist for new entrants. Independent labels, which comprise some 30 percent of the domestic music market, are left to vie for mere slivers of airtime, despite negotiated attempts to address this programming imbalance.

This report also confronts a practical challenge in measuring the effectiveness of the policies negotiated by the FCC, broadcasters and the independent music community in 2007. The ambiguous language of the Rules of Engagement and the voluntary agreements make it difficult to set specific policy goals and effectively measure outcomes. In this report’s conclusion, FMC puts forward three policy recommendations – improving data collection, refocusing on localism and expanding the number of voices on the public airwaves – designed to assist both broadcasters and the FCC in ensuring a bright future for local radio and for the music community.



  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2009, 03:02:03 am »
Pitching the Media - 10 Strategies to Get You Noticed
By Liz Dennery Sanders

If you're ready to get serious about press coverage for you or your business, these are ten time-tested tips to follow.

1. Offer Information of Value - Does your product or service offer something that's unique and of value to your target audience? If so, it might be of interest to the media. It's not about you or your business, it's about what you or your business can do for others. What can you offer the public? Four questions to ask yourself before you approach a media person are:

What makes my business special and unique?
Why am I different from my competitors?
Why are my clients purchasing my product or service?
How does my business tie into a current trend?
If you can answer these questions easily, in a clear, concise way, then you are well on your way to being able to pitch a journalist.

2. Do your research beforehand - Make sure that you are familiar with the media outlet and that you are pitching the correct person. Addressing the right person signals that you are familiar with the subject area that a particular journalist covers. Read their work before you contact them so that you know how you would best fit.

3. Be professional and establish credibility - Approach the journalist in a friendly way, but don't be overly casual or familiar. Let them know who you and why you are contacting them in a clear, concise manner. Be respectful of their time and know that they get hundreds of phone calls and emails each day. Introduce yourself, get to the point quickly and then ask if they would like you to follow-up with additional information.

4. Use their preferred method of communication - Always ask a journalist how they prefer to be contacted. If they ask you to email information, don't badger them with phone calls. Once you have taken the time to develop a relationship with a journalist, it will be easier to pick up the phone to them at a moment's notice and get a response.

5. Tie your news into a trend or community issue - If you have a product or service that ties into current news of a change taking place in our society or an evolving trend that is being covered, you will have a much better chance of getting a journalist's attention.

6. Be subtle - Media people are in the business of producing news, not producing sales for your business. Your communications with the media should not be an obvious bid for free advertising. Focus on how your product or service can help their readers/viewers, not it's features.

7. Don't be sloppy - Check your news releases for typos and grammatical errors. Make sure you spell the journalist's name and their outlet correctly.

8. Make it easy for reporters to cover you - Before approaching a journalist with a pitch, make sure you are ready to provide them with all of the information they need if they ask for it. A complete press kit (profile, bio, fact sheet, press releases, images etc.) and/or a robust online media room are a great place to start.

9. Follow-up, but don't be pushy - You want reporters to see you as the solution to their problems - not as a problem. If you have sent information, but haven't heard anything back, one follow- up call and email is fine, calling five times a day is not. You will have ample opportunity to pitch them again. Courtesy and respect go a long way here - you want to be in the relationship for the long haul, which leads me to our final tip.

10. View the relationship as long-term, not as a one hit wonder - Keep the information flowing between you. Don't just send an occasional press release - pick up the phone to call the reporter if they wrote a feature you particularly liked and let them know it. Keep sending in good ideas for stories every few weeks - not just about your business, but about your field or industry. Over time, make it your goal to become a valuable source of information and a trusted, well-liked and respected business person.

© Liz Dennery Sanders 2009

Liz Dennery Sanders is a branding visionary and successful entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations and celebrity outreach. She is the CEO of Dennery Marks Inc., a nationally acclaimed brand strategy and celebrity outreach firm, and SheBrand, a company dedicated to empowering other female entrepreneurs and small business owners to embrace success and create more money and freedom in their lives. Known as the Entrepreneur's Marketing & Mindset Coach, Liz gives her clients the marketing and mindset tools they need to be successful and teaches them how to build powerful personal brands that will resonate with their target market and garner tremendous visibility. For a FREE report, "101 Ways To Build A Powerful Personal Brand and Attract More Clients" visit

Article Source:


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 03:09:39 am »

Publicity Tips from the Pros
By Cathy Stucker
f you want to know the best way to approach the media, get advice directly from the source: the editors, producers and journalists who choose the stories that get publicity. Here are some of the best tips I’ve gotten from media representatives about getting your story in the news.

Be familiar with the show or publication. Your pitch should be about how your story will work for them. Don't do a general pitch ("A story about dog training.") but suggest the segment the story would be right for, or what makes it right for them.

Don't take "no" personally. It may be that they have just done a similar story, or they can't fit it in, or it just isn't right for them. If you speak with someone, ask if they can suggest another show or publication where the story might work.

If at first you don't succeed, pitch again. But wait at least a month or two, and come back with a different angle (not exactly the same idea that got turned down).

Many now prefer e-mail pitches to fax. E-mail can be reviewed quickly, and can be easily forwarded to several others in the newsroom. Faxes often pile up unread, but e-mail gets looked at.

Keep your e-mail short and to the point. DON'T send any attachments, as they will be deleted unopened (if they get through at all), but you can include a link to your web site or online media kit.

Online media kits are an effective way for the media to get more information about you. When you send a press release (by mail, fax or e-mail) include a link to your online media kit. The online media kit can include your bio, photos, articles written by or about you, the topics you can comment on, a list of suggested questions (with or without the answers), product fact sheets, and anything else that explains more about you, your products and services, and your topics.

When you e-mail, make your subject line enticing. Using "Hi!" or something else that looks like spam will get it deleted without being read. Start with QUERY: or PITCH: then give a short, punchy headline.

One national TV show producer said that you didn't need to send tape with your initial (mail) pitch, but another said if you mailed a pitch with no video you wouldn't be considered. In either case, you will need a video of other TV appearances before you get on a national show, so be on the safe side and send it.

Local media are always looking for local experts to interview on a variety of topics. Send them your bio and credentials and they will keep you on file for the next time they need an expert in your field. Even better, send one or more Rolodex(tm) cards with your topics and contact information.

If your story isn’t right for them at this time, they may save your press release and contact you in the future. Don’t be surprised if you get a phone call weeks or months after you sent your pitch.

Journalists are busy people, and they get hundreds or thousands of press releases and pitches every week. Make your story interesting and make it easy for them to work with you, and you will have an edge.

Copyright Cathy Stucker. Learn more about how you can attract customers and make yourself famous with free publicity at

Article Source:


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2009, 03:16:00 am »
The original question:

I hear so many people say that getting radio airplay is critical for any band to "make it", however you can't "make it" without radio airply. It's another music industry paradox. A lot of these radio promotion companies are less than reputable and expensive to boot! So how does one break into the radio handcuffs created by these large corporations?

(This article is in response to a request made by The Infamous Mr Dean on Nov 27th, 2007)

The answer is yes. It's easy to get played on the radio. Take a look at the list of radio stations that I put up in the EIYpedia under "radio". Almost all of them will play music that they get from unknown bands, as long as they like it.

The typical process at a well-run college station (and many of them are not well run, but I'm going to be optimistic) is that all submissions, from big labels, promo companies and unknown bands are put into a holding area. People who work at the station then take these CDs out and write a brief review, classifying the CD by genre, marking the songs that can't be played on air because of content and sometimes making an editorial comment. This process can take a few months.

In some stations, (KZSU at Stanford University is an example) most of these newly reviewed CDs go into a "new releases" area that individual DJs may or may not check out. Some new releases that the reviewer particularly liked for some reason go into what's called the 'A file.' At KZSU, the A file is limited to a few hundred CDs, and those CDs are easily accessible from the DJ booth and the DJ is required to play a few cuts from that list every hour.

At college radio stations, if your music grabs someone's attention, it will get played. It may not, but if it's good music and you send a copy to 200 radio stations, some of them will play it. Of course, there are some tricks to getting your CD noticed.

1: Tour and play shows near the radio station. If you do that, there's more chance that a DJ might have gone to your show or heard of you. You might even get a chance to hand your CD in person to a pimply-faced 18-year-old DJ.

2: call up the station and figure out what their process is. Find out what genres they play, and check out which DJs play what music. Then get in touch with the DJ directly and say, "hey, I sent your station our CD, I think you'd like it." Make friends with them.

3: Write up a onesheet that goes with your CD. Don't say the same thing that everyone else in the world says about their band. Never use the phrase "hailing from.." or any of the other crap that you can read on most myspace profiles. List some bands that people who like your band might like.

4: Send posters to stations, addressed to DJs who play your sort of music. Send them two, one for themselves and one to hopefully make it up on the walls. The cooler the poster, the more likely it will go up in the station and people will remember your band.

5: If a station is having a giveaway, send them a few copies of your CD to give away. This will remind both the listeners and the DJ that you exist.

Remember, at college stations, DJs will change as often as every semester. It is a lot of work to stay on top of it. It's most effective if you spend the energy on stations in areas in which you will play a show.

I run a label that is very small, and I still manage to get most of my CDs into someone's CMJ top thirty list. I send out a lot of CDs and I try to target them to people who might actually like them.

In general, I think most companies that claim to do radio promo don't really do anything. No-one knows your music better than you do, and no-one will have a better idea of who might like your music than you do. Be honest with yourself. A DJ that plays reggae is not going to play your grindcore 7". If you're in a band, you should have between 3 to 6 people who should be willing to spend some spare time getting in touch with stations. Use that resource!

One thing that will not happen is getting played on corporate radio. Don't bother. It's not worth the trouble and you're deluding yourself if you think it is.


Posted by: xakk on Feb 12th, 2008
I can say from a couple different perspectives (I host a radio show, and I've been in bands that wanted radio play) that Ernst is right on track. If you send something to a station/DJ, make sure to wait a reasonable amount of time (we have a lot to go through, usually!), but then do some kind of follow-up! I like to hear from a band wondering if I've had a chance to even listen to their stuff - it lets me know that they're serious enough I might want to bump it to the top of the stack. Not to mention the fact that showing that kind of initiative makes me want to help them with other things like getting shows, etc. Keep track of those that get back to you, but don't bug any of them TOO much. Good luck!

Posted by: Madison Fadeout on Jan 31st, 2008
This is very good advice. I am a Program Diector for a Hot AC station in the southeast. I recommend this advice to anyone trying to get radio play.


  • Founding Backup #753
  • *****
  • Posts: 3481
  • Lively, compassionate, gracious, introspective.
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2009, 03:20:37 am »
Thank you Cathy- when I get a chance I will read this further! Love ya!


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2009, 03:43:48 am »
Getting Airplay  
KEXP programs an innovative, eclectic music mix you can’t find anywhere else. Rock, hip hop, electronic, country, blues, world and in-depth specialty programs.

There are so many thoughts on how an artist gets airplay both here at the KEXP and radio in general. While I can?t speak for those other radio stations I can tell you from my experience here at KEXP, at my indie label Loveless and other music related activities some advice that might help cut down on the confusion and help you get the music heard and hopefully played on radio.

Use these quick links to find what you're looking for....
what to send | who to send it to | what to do next | national promotion | closing

First you must prepare a package to submit to radio stations. Here is a list of what should be inside (I assume you know to put a return address on the outside).

The CD or Record
The finished product with full artwork is always best. However, if this isn't possible, clearly display the song list, album title and record label info. Please put it in a jewel case otherwise if might get lost in the shuffle.

MP3/Sending Music In Digital Form
This has made it SO much easier for bands to send music however it has made it SO much easier for someone getting hundreds of songs emailed to them deleted without even being heard. You have to think about the amount of music that is probably being sent to a DJ and if it?s realistic for you to think they?ll take the time to open your email and listen. You also have to consider they might not be able to play the MP3 directly in most cases so they have to physically burn the song onto CD to play. You don?t want them doing anything physical, trust me. I think its great to send music this way but don?t expect direct airplay to come from it.

Sending a DJ a link to your Myspace page to listen to your song seems like a great and easy way for them to hear your music and for you to get the word out and I agree it is! But right now in my Myspace Inbox I have at least 400 bands asking me to do that. Its much easier to ignore those messages even if I don?t want to. It?s just a question of time really. So again, use Myspace for that purpose but don?t have unrealistic ideas of the success of this practice. Oh and don?t post bulletin after bulletin on a DJ?s or station?s site. It really pissed them off. Going in with the ?How can I not piss off a station?? is half the battle.

The One Sheet
The "One Sheet" is designed to outline what you're sending and why it should be listened to. Limit it to one page; multiple pages create desk clutter and most likely won't be read. Avoid cramming the "One Sheet" with too much but do include the essential information below:

A song list

A list of any songs the FCC wouldn't like, such as those with obscene language.

"Go To" tracks (3-5 of your strongest)

A few press quotes if you have them. Don't try to be funny; assume that music directors don't have a sense of humor.

A comparison to other bands but make sure they apply (not everyone sounds like Radiohead). You could also include the "genre" of your music.

Avoid too much clutter; get to the point and let the music speak to that point.

Unwrap the CD and fold the one sheet inside the CD case. Don't ask music directors (MD) to contact you, assume that you must contact them. Most MDs don't have time to return calls. Call them during their office hours and continue to do so until you reach them. Email is great as well. Send one a week until you?ve heard from them and thank them for their time. If they are playing it, offer up CD?s for giveaway, tickets to show, whatever you can offer. They may not have a use for it but can?t hurt to try.

Other Promotional Items
Send other promotional items that will help your chances?but use judgment. Don't toss in things that spoil or appear unprofessional. I once received a package with a hotdog in it. I happened to be on vacation at the time and when I returned the package smelled so bad I threw it out?CD and all. Plus, what does a hotdog have to do with getting airplay? Don?t spend time or money or energy on a sweet picture of yourself. Why on earth would you do that? Stations like this one are interested in the music not your looks. I?ve seen more bands get caught up on this?..

what to send | who to send it to | what to do next | national promotion | closing

Research, research, research. Use the Internet to identify appropriate stations. If they play twang then sending your new rap release is a big waste of time. You can usually find a "play list" or "rotation" section on station websites. Does your music fit? Send your package to the station's music director. If the station has multiple MDs then send the CD to the main MD and to any other MDs that might play it. If there is just one MD then send him or her at least one copy of your CD. If you send your package to a station in your hometown, send it to the local show. This is your best chance at airplay as they are usually in need of new music.

what to send | who to send it to | what to do next | national promotion | closing


Follow UP
DO NOT assume that just because you've sent your package your CD is being played. Wait at least 2 weeks after you've sent it before you follow up with a phone call. Most music directors have call hours a couple of days each week. You can usually find these hours listed on a station's website or you can call them to find out when they are.

Patience and politeness
Keep trying and once you get through remain polite and to the point. Ask the following questions. If any of the answers are "No," stop asking and politely tell them to have a nice day.

Did you receive so and so CD on so and so records?.

Were you able to review so and so?

Are you going to add so and so to your rotation?

Where are you going to add so and so to your rotation?

Is there anything else you need?

Most stations have a "Heavy, Medium, and Light" rotation system. If you're put into any of these its good news: you're getting airplay. At this point thank the music director and let them know you'll be calling back later to see how the record is being received and where it is charting. Continue to follow-up for 6-8 weeks, the life of a new release in rotation. Or, if you like, keep an eye on the station website's play list.

Inform your supporters what station is playing your CD; however, make sure that they don't overload the station with requests or turn bitter towards the station because your music is not being aired enough. DJ's can tell when a band's supporters are overloading them with requests and this will not win you friends or more airplay. Most stations will play music based on merit and not on requests.

what to send | who to send it to | what to do next | national promotion | closing


There are several top-notch radio promotion companies that specialize in helping musicians get radio airplay around the country. They generally service 300 to 750 stations for a fee of $500 to thousands of dollars. Promotional mailings to radio stations will cost you money for both postage and lost CD's. Usually you handle the mailings while they track your release by calling the MD each week and find out where in rotation it is and how many plays it is getting a week.

Most companies service your CD for 6 to 8 weeks and can assist with setting up in-studio visits and giveaways. Most will recommend the type of stations to target. Here are a few of these companies:

Planetary Group,
Team Clermont,
Nice Promotions,
Pirate! Promotion and Management,

what to send | who to send it to | what to do next | national promotion | closing


It's not easy to do it yourself: write the music, book gigs, manage the tour, release the CD, and get radio airplay. But once you connect with the right listeners for your music, there are definitely rewards. I hope you now have a better idea of how to approach a radio station and get airplay for your new CD. Good luck!

John Richards
The Morning Show KEXP 90.3 FM 6-10am Mon-Fri
Audioasis (all local) KEXP 90.3 FM 6-9pm Saturdays
KEXP is licensed to the University of Washington Copyright 2009 KEXP All rights reserved  


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2009, 03:50:05 am »
10 tips to get your music played on college radio
I’ve been getting some e-mails on asking for feedback of Nerdcore tracks, and also as an attempt to get more exposure. This is good, but one of the best ways to gain exposure is through college radio. Not only do you get airplay but also build connections which can lead to gigs.

Just to assure you guys I’m not talking crazy, I have been involved with college radio when I was a student. My position was Chief Engineer (anyone surprised?), but we were small and were involved with each other’s departments. We get a lot of CDs and records sent to us. And we basically look for any reason to not play your track. If any of you guys have been involved with human resources know how badly resumes pile up for one job opening. It’s like that.

But the station was also in New York City, the number one radio market in the world. Here, you need to have all ten points worked out and have your CD polished to survive. Some other places might not have such standards. Still, all of these points are valid, and should be considered to increase your chances on getting noticed.

1. Use the old style, bulky CD jewel cases.
Sure it’s 90’s, but it has better presence than the thin cases. CDs which come in the ultra compact paper cases have the least chance. Use the bigger cases, or at least have your CD packaging the same size. It just feels like we got more.

2. Recommend a track to use.
We have no time to listen to every track. You are lucky to get five seconds of attention. So Recommend a track or two, tell us why it’s worthy of spins, and it will get more attention.

3. Clean the tracks, and let us know it’s cleaned.
There is no way time is going to be taken up cleaning songs, unless you are already a superstar and gave us a super exclusive track. Clean it up, and make sure it’s clean!

4. Go directly to the host of the show you want to be played on.
This can work better than sending a CD to the music director. Some radio stations have strict work flows, but most college radio stations don’t. You can send a CD package with the host’s name and it is likely to go directly to them, even if we know it’s a CD. It’s a good way to get attention from the right people.

If you do not know the name of the person, call the station and describe the show, and you will get the name.

5. Provide an MP3 version as well.
No, this does not mean link them to your ugly Myspace page so they can rip the track as it plays. Give them a link, to a high quality file. Yeah it’s going over radio, but it feels good to listen to better quality tracks.

6. Have nice artwork.
Seriously. This means don’t add Photoshop filters to your name in Impact typeface, with a back glow of you next to a stack of dollar bills. Almost every single hiphop mixtape cover is a perfect example of what not to do.

If you can, pay a student graphic designer. Or offer him a hand job for it if you can’t pay. Anything but that other garbage.

7. Include your contact info, bio, some history, and anything interesting to mention on air.
This doesn’t mean you will be talked about on air, but it shows you’re putting in effort. If you have photos of you performing, include a copy of that. Who knows, it might end up on one of our walls.

8. Ask for feedback.
This is a tough one, because music directors try to stay positive, hoping you will send more music to the station. If you get good feedback, that’s very good. If they keep giving you the run around, they either forgot about it or didn’t like it. But the point is to talk to them, and stay in contact.

9. Don’t have an ego.
Trust me when I say soooooooooooooo many people come up to us telling us how they are hot shit. The more you show your ego, the more we won’t listen. We just might make fun of you too.

10. Make good music.
This should go without saying. If you make mediocre music, you will be forgotten, quick. If your music is bad, we will remember it, and won’t even look at the next thing you send. If it’s really bad, we’re telling everyone in the station just how bad it is, even if we don’t say it on air. In fact, if you CD cover looks like crap, we’ll make fun of that too.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 20th, 2007 at 4:20 am and is filed under nerdcore, chip tune. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “10 tips to get your music played on college radio”
ChurchHatesTucker says on April 20th, 2007 at 10:13 am :
What do you mean by “clean the tracks” here?

Matt S says on April 20th, 2007 at 11:04 am :
Great post! I was in Philly last weekend visiting a friend and she scored a promo copy of the new Icicles album at a used shop. Since it was a promo copy, there was a huge sticker on the front of the case giving a little blurb on the band and recommending 3 songs to play.

I’ve gotta admit though, now that I think about it, most of the promo CDs I’ve seen in used bins tend to have zero art work, just a card with may be a little blurb and a track listing. Do the CDs come like that? Or does the station do that to make it easier to work with the CDs?

Church, i think he means clean up the language on the track so that it can be played on the radio

Glenn says on April 23rd, 2007 at 7:39 pm :
And yeah, cleaning the tracks means censoring the bad words. It’s an unfortunate part of it all.


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2009, 06:59:13 am »
How to Get a Song Played on the Radio
By John Ford, eHow Editor
In today's modern radio world it can be really tough to get your song played on the radio. Radio consolidation, with a few large companies owning a large majority of all commercial radio stations, has made it even harder for new artists to get airplay. Still, it's not impossible. What's the best way to get your song added to a radio station play-list or at the very list taken for a spin?

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You'll Need:
List of non-commercial and commercial radio stations
Produced and mastered release of your song
Press kit for your band
Mailers and mailing labels
Step 1
Have your produced album or single ready to mail. Most radio stations will only accept songs for airplay consideration if you send it to them via regular mail. Besides, this is a great way to introduce your music to the Music or Program Director of the radio station. You don't have to spend a lot of money on packaging, but remember, the more professional your press kit and packaged demo looks, the better your chance of having the decision maker actually give your music a listen. And getting them to listen to your music is the first step to having the DJ air your song.

Step 2
Higher education is the quickest road to hearing your music on the air. Getting airplay at commercial radio stations can be extremely difficult. Most commercial radio stations don't even make local decisions on their music play-lists. Those decisions are often made on the corporate level. The one tried and true method to actually break through and get your music on the air is working your songs on college radio. At most college radio the DJs and Music Directors actually pick the music that they play on their shows. Targeting them with your music is the fastest way to gain radio airplay. College radio takes chances on new music that commercial radio never would. Why? The biggest reason is due to the fact that college radio doesn't rely on commercials to pay the bills. Almost all college radio is non-commercial, so they are in a much better position to take a chances on new and unproven artists. In fact, it's what they do.

Step 3
Start out locally with your quest for airtime. It's always better to try and gain access to the airwaves where you live. Even commercial radio will often take a chance at an unknown or unproven talent if it is a local artist. Send your material first to the local college radio Music Directors and DJs and follow up with a phone call or two. Don't be a pest, but try to build a rapport and friendship with the personalities and decision-makers. Invite the DJs and Music Directors to your locals shows, add them to the band's email list and send them mailers to your show. Make sure you put your radio contacts on your guest list and treat them like VIPs. They'll love it! Some commercial radio stations often have weekend shows where they play local music for an hour or two. Do a little research and make sure the DJs that run these shows have your music and are updated on when and where you're playing. Also be sure to check out the local public radio stations; in many cities they set aside time for local artists.

Step 4
"Think small and work your way up" should be your motto. Once you have one or two college radio stations playing your music, you'll find it a lot easier to gain more airplay. Why? It's simple. Once someone has taken a chance on your music other DJs and Music Directors will fell less apprehensive about trying out your songs. Always keep your your press kit updated with information on what radio stations and shows are playing your music and keep your radio station contacts updated with the latest airplay information. Music is like fire. DJs and Music Directors keep track of what's becoming popular and what music is getting airplay at similar radio stations. The more it gets played, the more other stations are likely to add it. Even college radio keeps track of airplay--CMJ is the monthly publication for college radio that many commercial radio programmers watch for what's new and hot.

Step 5
Now it's time to expand your horizons. Once you’re starting to get a little airplay on some of the local college stations, it’s time to start branching out. Start sending your music to other college radio stations within your region and expand from there throughout your state. Once you’ve made inroads outside of your local community and state, target similar college radio regionally and nationally. The most important thing to remember is that it’s not always about how great your music is, often it will have more to do with who you know. This is why it’s so important to build relationships with with the individuals at college and commercial radio alike. The old adage of “catching more flies with honey than with vinegar” should always be your radio airplay mantra.


  • Founding Backup #603, Cathy
  • Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2744
Re: Articles On Promoting Music/Muscians
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2009, 07:38:09 am »
Thank you Cathy- when I get a chance I will read this further! Love ya!

Thanks Meggie... Thumbs Up  Love ya back!