googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Radio Self Promotion

Radio Self Promotion

In the past when I was shopping for an independent radio promoter to push one of our songs I found they all said the same thing, namely that all their competition were incompetent scam artists and that they were the only one that actually did what he said he would. They only thing he said he would do is mail our CD to the radio stations he had on a list of stations that played our style of music and that he would call the program director at each station once a week for six weeks to see if the station was playing our song.

I asked these promoters how they got the station's program director, the person in charge of choosing the songs to be played, to play the songs we wanted? He said he didn't. That wasn't his job. All he does is mail out the CDs and calls to see if they're getting played. He can't make anyone actually play anything. I asked couldn't the artists do that themselves? "Yes", he said, "but they don't, and won't". He's right.

How many musicians who claim they would love to get commercial radio airplay would take the first step to Google what the procedure is for doing just that? Relatively few I would assume knowing the musician types I've known in my life. That part of the Music Business is "beneath them".

What percentage of those who would do a little research would also find the names of radio stations throughout the country that play their style of music, compile a list of those stations' addresses and then find the name and telephone number of their program directors? A very small percentage would do all that.

Now, what percentage of those people would spend the time and money to purchase the shipping materials, the mailing labels and the postage (which these days probably costs more than the CDs themselves), and actually mail out hundreds of CDs across the country? Keep in mind these CDs are ones that are now not going to be able to be sold at live gigs or in local record shops or through online sales.

In the old days sending out CDs hoping to get radio airplay was tricky because even if you got heavy rotation on major stations it wouldn't do you any good unless you had major distribution to get your CDs in record stores while your song was hot on the radio. Distribution for an Indie release was very difficult unless you were getting major radio airplay so it was a Catch 22 situation. Even if you got distribution because of radio it took a while to get all those CDs in the stores and your window of opportunity with radio play was very short. Luckily these days that's not a problem once your CD is on iTunes and Amazon.com (easily done through CD Baby).

Okay, so back to those very few ambitious, goal oriented, world domination minded future mega-stars that have even bothered to send their music out to radio, how many of those that do are going to actually have the persistence and tenacity to call dozens of radio stations, nationwide, until they can talk with the Program Director? And here's the real catch; how many of those who talk to a program director can speak well enough and articulate enough to convince a program director that he or she is a mature, intelligent person with the type of personality it takes to succeed in the music business? Because at this point it's not just how good the music is but the impression the musician makes over the course of a phone call. Does he or she have "it", the charisma and personality to make other people believe in his or her potential and thus agree to become part of their team? Or will the Program Director, you know, think that maybe, ah, the person on the line is, uh, kinda, uh, not very, you know, interesting, or something...

And not only should a musician keep making phone calls for the four to six weeks a radio campaign usually lasts but should continue to make phone calls to keep the relationship that's begun continuing and to let the program directors know to expect your next single, even if they all passed on your last one, because you're in it for the long run. You are a professional, just like them.

So, now what percentage of musicians from the beginning of our survey do you think might actually succeed at getting their music radio airplay on their own? Extremely few I would think. However, that means that those that can do these things are in a very elite group with relatively little competition. They also are in a very different league than the independent promotion people who are passionless paid by the phone call employees completely indifferent to the music they're pushing. Whereas radio people love what they do, love music and appreciate those who make it and love it as much as they do.

If you're one of those you began reading this thinking you could do it but now are realizing that it is probably way too much work and way too much of a long shot anyway, congratulations, you've just saved yourselves a lot of wasted time and money.

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