7 - Getting Played On Radio
In the age of Spotify and other streaming services, some people say that radio is pointless. I say those people are idiots.
Done right, getting your songs played on the correct radio stations can catapult your career. If your band had a CV, getting played on a national station would probably be at the top. It would help you get your foot in the door for a lot of other opportunities too.
So my first bit of advice is… submit your tracks to radio. It’s nerve-racking but just do it. What’s the worst that can happen. You’ll miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. So what if your email gets ignored?! You’ll get over it!
The rest of this article is going to be about how to send your songs to radio correctly and increase your chances of being selected.
Naming Files Correctly
Seems obvious right? Then why do I see so many people doing it wrong?! Why is it always “Dan+Marks Lounge Demo v5” (or something similar)?! There are no real excuses for this. When you have your finished, mixed and mastered song, click on the file and name it;
'Artist name - Song name'
Don’t put f*cking links to Spotify
You can’t play links from Spotify on radio. Same goes for Soundcloud, Apple Music etc.. Send them a high-quality WAV file that they can download to play, should you be selected for a radio playlist.
Respect Download Limits
This leads me on to the only acceptable link you should be putting; a Google Drive one. This is great for 2 reasons;
You don’t have to upload your song an attachment to every email you send as an attachment. Doing this takes an awful lot of time and on most occasions, you’ll exceed a file limit.
Using Google Drive allows the person receiving your email to listen to the song online without having to download it first. If they had to download every song they were sent, this would eat up their computer storage and make admin a nightmare. If they click on your Google Drive link, like what they hear, then all they have to do is hit the download button. No sign-in required.
Radio Friendly Lyrics
The vast majority of stations, especially the ones with high listenership will only be able to play your song if the lyrics are radio friendly (no swearing). If you’re in doubt, have two versions in your Google Drive folder, one with clean lyrics and one with the original lyrics. Just remember to label them correctly with ‘(radio friendly)’ on the WAV file.
Attach an EPK and links to your socials
Whilst the radio playlist curator is listening to your tracks, give them some background about you to check out. If your song gets played, there’s a fair chance the presenter might want to say a few words about the artist or band, so a slick EPK (electronic press kit) is a must. If you don’t know how to make one of these, just Google it. There are plenty of resources online. Just make sure it’s concise and has more design to it than New Times Roman on a plain text document.
Also, add links to your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc. so they can tag you in posts and tell listeners where to find you if they want to find out more.
Finally, if you’ve sent your track and don’t hear back from them within a week, then send them a friendly reminder. Phrase it like you just wanted to check they got your email and ask if the links worked correctly.
This will either give them a kick up the backside to look at your song or it will be an opportunity for them to tell you about a potential error on how you sent across your song. The latter point is great feedback to correct potential future mistakes.
Your friendly neighborhood mix engineer,
What are your experiences with getting radio play? Let me know in the comments below!
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