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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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The Allure: A Promise of Radio Airplay

There's really no way to parse this out other than to say that if you're an indie artist, don't hold your breath for any meaningful airplay on broadcast radio.

Truth be told, there's little meaningful airplay going on within the online radio business either.
"Artists wishing to generate revenue need to depend on a variety of promotional vehicles, each needing time to be digested so you know how to best use them effectively."

First, the broadcast part: Every now and then we hear about local radio stations claiming to play local artists - and I'm not doubting that they do. What you won't hear is how these local artists are getting aired at times which mean little, let's say when the station would be parting with commercials for a dollar a holler (or less). Another miscue is in believing the airing of a local artist's song one, two, or three times holds much value.

In 2009, Clear Channel introduced "" and positioned it as a means of bringing high quality talent to all CC markets. It vaporized sometime over the past few years. Go to that link now and you end up at "iHeartRadio."

To my knowledge, no radio group has slotted time for introducing indie artists. (Standard caveat, please correct me if I'm wrong.)

Move over to online radio stations (or pureplays as they are known) and you'll find lots of them playing indie artists; but few are coordinating that play with other stations so those artists can get deeper expsosure. In another "truth be told," the online radio world is so chaotic that few radio programmers wish to follow trends.

Where indie artists need to be particularly careful is in spending money with any service that promises to put your music in front of radio broadcasters. In my tracking of companies, I come across these claims multiple times. From my decades in the radio industry, I know them to be false. Examples of these claims include:

"We provide a direct radio promotion service to make your music available to radio station DJs..."

"(Company) offers multiple campaigns providing FM Radio Airplay, PR and World Wide Marketing services to all genres of music..."

"Your song will be submitted to over 7000 radio stations..."

"(Company) PR Team runs professional campaigns submitting you to magazines, radio, labels and more..."

"With more than 5600 member radio stations, music reviewers and club DJs looking for the newest releases in our digital stacks…"

"(Company) is a powerful interface that allows artists and record companies to deliver crucial artist information to a variety of media outlets, including AM / FM radio, TV, print and digital destinations..."

To be played on radio is only one of many options available to the indie artist today. If you can get on multiple stations it will do good, but expecting that from broadcast is foolish, and finding it with online radio is rare.

Artists wishing to generate revenue need to depend on a variety of promotional vehicles, each needing time to be digested so you know how to best use them effectively.

Where I'd place the most importance is in learning which service or industry not to waste time on.

For starters, unless you have the backing of a major label, broadcast radio airplay is so elusive you may equate it with grabbing a handful of air. And paying any company that claims success at getting your music on broadcast stations is not just foolish, it's a waste of your hard-earned cash.

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Spiritual music artist Skylar Kaylyn.
sample song
Happy Ever After

Download Song


We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Skylar Kaylyn's "Happy Ever After" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free! Such is the new world of music distribution.

It's time for internet radio programmers to take a chance and reach into a huge pile of new talent. Online is where new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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