It has been much too long since I took the time to write, and being so damn busy isn’t a good enough reason. With that said, a subject that has been bothering me for some time and I believe has been looked at previously is the entire process for new artists to submit music to Radio. I will not speak for anyone else in this process, but only say that this is in many ways the same as it has been for 30 years now, which is when I first got into the Radio Business. I would like to focus on some of the things you especially shouldn’t do.
let me begin by telling you that an artist or anyone for that matter starting out in a business needs to take care of things themselves. What does that mean exactly? It means stay away from the automatic services that respond to Direct Messages and such.
Are you really that busy that you can’t look through messages you have received? Please don’t waste my time or your own with excuses about how busy you are. I operate a 24 hour radio station and I answer ever DM, every email and every notification on social media, be it Twitter Facebook or where ever. It takes seconds, and is not some bogus automated answer that when ever I get I know every single person who follows you gets. let me clarify one thing though, I don’t answer the stupid ones, the marketing messages that I have received without asking for.
So lets expand on this premise a little bit further. When you are a new artist and you follow a Radio Station, don’t expect them to go to your site or links and look up your music on our own. We are already getting many requests to listen to music with legitimate emails. I will expand on that thought momentarily. Everyone’s concern is time it seems, and I am no different. If you follow a station it is greatly appreciated, and generally I am interested in hearing your music. But I don’t want to have to go to one link after another, try to find the music, which in some cases is incredibly difficult, than try and determine which is the music you want to promote. Here is a very simple process, for professionally run stations. Send an email. But as simple as that is, some people still screw this process up.
I am not trying to sound like an ass, but please give your head a shake if you think to yourself, I have the best song ever, and the world will come looking for me. I don’t need a long detailed email but some information is extremely helpful. Many bands have an info page about themselves that can be an easy attachment with the email. As much as I am not a fan of just getting emails with links to places like Soundcloud or Spotify, I will maybe follow those links to listen to a song. But think about this, if I listen to your tune, and like it, I than have to email you and ask for a copy that I can air. That is just adding wasted steps and time to the process.
Here is a near perfect email example. Include a bio attachment or a bit of information in the text of the email. Say hi and introduce yourself. It doesn’t have to be long, and even just a simple, hi my name is “whatever” with the band “whoever” and we would be interested in you listening to our music to see if it fits with your stations format.
Here is what NOT to do, and all of these have happened in my inbox:
Do not just send an email, with the subject “hello” or something like this, no text, no information, and the only thing is a song attachment. Worse than this, I have had some song attachments that don’t even have a name on them. My honest response is, “WTF”? I will never understand a person who believes that an email like that will even get looked at.
Do not send an email with links to music that are dead. Yes it has happened where links to sites with tunes are no longer valid, drop box links are dead, and I had one who had dead links, because they had changed the name of the band, but apparently didn’t think that was relevant enough to tell me or change the link addresses.
Do not send me links and expect me to buy the music. Trust me, I wish I could, but that just isn’t how its done. Radio stations, legitimate ones, podcasts, legitimate ones, all pay licensing fees for the rights to air music. I know, its only 99 cents you say, but 150 new songs a week times 52 weeks, that would add over $8000 minimum a year in expenses. It isn’t arrogance, it just isnt feasible for any station.
If the station or podcast tells you that you have to pay to get your music played, tell them to bugger off! Don’t waste your money. There are many stories of FM stations even that have started using this kind of system, but they need to be shut down. Payola is still illegal as far as I know, and let’s be honest. Unless they are guaranteeing you a huge number of listeners and airplay it will never be worth it to you.
Take a few minutes, listen to a station you want to send music too. I actually have other radio stations send me music to consider. That would be wonderful except even they don’t know how to do a tiny bit of research. If you listen to my station or read any of the links, it states, we do not play rap. If you listen you will hear a very distinctive sound and music format. Once again I cant help but wonder why you would want to waste your own time and mine if there is 0 chance of a station playing your music.
If you use your time wisely, and effectively in anything it is always more beneficial. if you are looking for a quick solution, than you are in the wrong business. The music industry is brutal and takes a lot of work and effort. If someone treats you poorly in this business, than forget about them. The internet has provided a lot of opportunities for anybody to start their own form of streaming radio or podcast. Don’t be fooled by people who make big claims.
If you have questions, feel free to ask. I don’t know everything, and have never claimed to, but I will share what I do know with those who are interested or have questions. I will treat you and in the same manner you treat me. Mutual respect is an amazing concept, and when used, the benefits can be outstanding.