I have written about this to some degree in the past but with last weeks blog I wanted to do a brief update on some items in regards to submitting music. I hate to say this but it is going to focus more on what not to do and suggestions to make all of our jobs and communications easier. But I do have a list of suggestions, you just need to get through the rest first. It really is relevant.
KB Radio will accept music of all kinds but it doesn’t mean it will all get played. We don’t play rap, thrash metal, music that is out there. I find it personally offensive when I put a song on and the first 10 words include fuck and n**ger. I won’t even write that one, I was raised in a time that everyone was told how ignorant that word was and what it meant and represented. Now apparently it is some sort of fashion statement to call each other that, though if I used the term I am sure I would be deemed a racist. LOL Double standards.
I get a couple shows a week that we air, and if you have listened or looked on Twitter to see what it is, you would have no idea. Now these shows are a bit different than getting music but it is the same problem I get with music. The shows come in without labels on the actual files. Now in the case of the shows, I download them, as they come in right into the file folder they need to be to go to air. But let me ask you a question, and it is something i actually debated with another person recently. A show, such as the Indie Music show which I air on Wednesday night and than replay that show at 2am the next morning. To do so I record the show and than run that recorded file. Now this show I make sure is labelled properly not only for my files, but so it displays correctly on twitter and that if for some reason that show were to go to another station, I could send it, and without any effort know what it is. I get show files labelled like this 06181293; which I am sure makes perfect sense in their file system, but doesn’t mean shit to me. Should I fix the name, simple enough or not. LOL I don’t really want an answer, because I don’t plan on fixing the file names, just how I am.
Now that scenario, imagine that times 10 or 50 or 100. Let me back up a little bit though before we go to far. When we sit down to listen to the new music for the week, we open the emails one at a time, read what is sent and than do two things, listen to the song(s) included and download the files. We go through each email one at a time, making a list, gathering information and than on to the next one. Now as i mentioned when discussing shows in the previous paragraph, when I go back to prep the music for airplay I am finding frequently that many songs have little or no information on them. I find it hilarious that I get music, that when I click on the file, their is no song name, no artist name, no information to make it recognizable as coming from any specific person, artist, or band. These I have corrected and continue to correct, but to do so, it becomes a process of elimination, going back through the emails to find where the song was attached.
Even worse some times is the email that comes in, the subject says something like “Greetings” or “Hello”. There is no message, no body, no names just the email address and a file. I have discussed this with other stations and promoters, and many of them tell me, that if they get an email like that, they just delete the email, never listening to the music. In the world of Independent music you have to be your own biggest promoter. How do you plan on getting your name out there, if you don’t even introduce yourself, or sign your emails.
I find it personally frustrating when I see emails like this, and music without proper labels etc. Let me give you an analogy that I learned personally as a teen. I used to work in gas stations, full serve and self serve, and when it was my shift I was responsible for what was pumped. In the self serve, someone would pump $10.02 or $20.01 and come in and drop a $10 or $20 bill. But what about the pennies? The answer I always got was, “it’s only a penny or two.” That is exactly right for them, but for me, watching some days a couple thousand cars go through the pumps on a shift, it added up to 2, 3, 5 and as much as $10 in total. That amount came out of my pocket at the end of the shift to cover the shortage. They were right, it was just a penny. LOL That equates to the music as well. Yes, it only takes a minute or two to fix the label on a file. It actually would take the sender a lot less because they know what the file is.
The process of going through music, listening, sorting, prepping, responding to emails, and everything else that goes into it takes even with help now, usually 10 to 12 hrs to complete. A typical Wednesday to prep for the Indie Show the day starts very early, and usually doesn’t end till 3 or 4 the next morning. Now that we have introduced KB Country Radio the amount of music coming in is going up even faster.
This feels like a bitch message with nothing but complaints, but trust me its not a complaint. LOL I put the extra effort in because i love the music. Would I like to see people do a better job with their own efforts getting music and information to us, absolutely. I fear that one day we will get to the point where we have to be more selective with these emails. It is very difficult as I described in the last blog to make room for new music, and move around other tunes. It actually concerns me that with the continuous growth in popularity and number of emails, it may come to the point where one of the simplest methods to sort music will be to do as others do, and delete messages with no info, with songs that aren’t labelled. That would be a shitty way to conduct business, however, time is a huge commodity.
If there is one thing that I think is incredibly important but rarely if ever done, and it is the number one factor when it comes to sales. Know who your client is that you are trying to sell to. What are their needs. Take the time to listen to a station before sending music. Look it up online, many have show schedules etc. You will save yourself time and frustration if you stop sending music to people that will never play it. A station that plays Indie music in specific shows only will for example not mind getting lots of fresh music for their shows. A station like mine that promotes through repetition doesn’t want to be introducing a new song every couple of weeks.
So lets make a list of what I would suggest you include in an email when submitting music:
- Start with your name, who you are and your relation to the song or artist. Are you part of the band, are you a promoter, a fan. I want to know who I am dealing with.
- How about the song(s) titles, are they new and off an album
- Any bio on yourself or if its a band. Ideally in an attached word or pdf.
- The next is the most important stuff, your links: Facebook, Twitter, Website, Instagram, make it easy for me. I can promote something if I have the information
- Where you are from. Its worldwide now, and i get music from every corner of the world, so please where are you from.
Are these things mandatory, of course not. Does it make mine or anyone else you are submitting music to easier? Yes to some degree. I have seen some radio submission requirements that are longer than university exams. Thats their business, but you want to get your music played. Work with the people that want to work with you, and everyone is happier.
I hope I made sense through all of this and if you have any suggestions, feel free to pass them along.
I had held off posting this post for reasons I don’t even remember, and than today as i am going through the new music for today, I have two emails, one has nothing written at all, just the email address and the song attached. The other email is one that has been forwarded twice, each time to a different group of stations or shows to play. Am I wrong, or is that just lazy? I also find it in some ways insulting. I think today to save time, when I reply to every artist that submitted music, I will send a message to everyone in the same email.
It will go something like this; “To all 50 artists, some of you will get played, some of you won’t, some of you need to send more information or music, and others well I am sorry, I just cant play that. I am doing it this way, because I am too f’ing lazy to take the time to communicate on a personal level.”
Maybe its just me?