It can be very tricky to get your music onto radio playlists. However, there are a few ways you can ensure your music does not fall at the first hurdle. Below we give some tips to help you tailor your music so it can be given the best chance possible when sending your release to radio stations.
Different radio stations wish to receive music in specific formats. Some prefer a CD, while others want a wav file or a link to it on platforms such as Spotify. You can usually find out the format from online radio station submission forms, calling the radio station or emailing someone that works at the station.
It is also key for the release to be clearly labelled with your artist name and track title. It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how often songs get overlooked because they can’t work out who the artist is. You want the listener to fall in love with your music straight away so leave details that are clear and concise for them to follow up.
2) Get some buzz going!
Really focus on getting some media coverage for yourself while leading up to your release. This can be anything from getting featured in a magazine, to having a blogger or reporter come down to watch one of your live gigs and asking them to write a piece on the show. There are so many new and innovative ways you can utilise social media and other outlets to get a really exciting atmosphere going around you. When someone searches your name online, they can see you’ve been working hard to get your name out there. It also adds to your professionalism as an artist which radio executives love!
3) Versions and Edits
If you are releasing an explicit single, make sure you also record or edit a clean version. Most radio stations do not accept explicit content. Do research into each of the stations or DJ’s to make sure you are sending them the correct version.
It is always important for your track to be a radio edit. This means that any extra audio that isn’t important to your target audience is cut out. This leaves all the juicy hook lines and catchy choruses for the radio listeners to enjoy. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should jeopardize the quality of your music for a shorter track, just keep in mind this is something radio heads may think about when accepting a track onto their playlist.
4) How Old is Your Release?
Some radio stations prefer songs to be fresh and new to the market, whereas others could not care less about how old the song is. Once again, it’s all about researching the radio station.
5) Target the Radio Stations for Your Sound
Don’t just send your music to as many radio stations as possible, this is called blanket marketing and has been proven very ineffective. This is like putting a flyer through everyone’s door in your neighbourhood without looking into the demographics of that neighbourhood. You really need to get to know the DJs at the station and actually listen to their shows. See how your genre and music could possibly fit in. Maybe they have a section of their show dedicated to your genre of music for example? If they are constantly playing well-known mainstream pop, it’s very unlikely you’ll make even a dent in their emails. Think realistically and try to put yourself into the DJ’s shoes and consider what they might be looking for, and whether it could be you.
Do you have any tips for songwriters increasing their chance of radio play? Leave them in the comments section below!