As an independent artist, submitting your music to radio stations can be an excellent way to get your music heard and grow your fan-base. There are different ways to submit music to radio stations and some methods work better than others. Radio stations are curated to their audiences, so the most important thing to keep in mind is to find the ones that fit your musical genre. In this article, we will explain the steps you need to take to get your music radio ready and how to submit to the right radios depending on your project.
1. Get your music radio ready
Before submitting your music to radio stations, you need to make sure that your tracks are radio ready! In general, this means having high-quality songs that have been properly mixed and mastered. Radio stations want finished projects and new releases, not your demos. Even if you make indie music in your bedroom, you still need to make sure that the recordings are well done and that the production has been perfected. Make sure to always export lossless music files, preferably in WAV format, to get the best results.
2. Increase your chances of success by making your tracks radio friendly
In addition to having radio ready tracks that are high quality, there are certain ways you can increase your chances of radio play by making your tracks radio friendly. If you don’t want to compromise your artistic vision, you can skip this section. Otherwise, if you’re willing to write and produce music with certain creative restraints that favor mainstream radio, read on! Of course, these guidelines do not apply to ALL radio stations, but are helpful if you want to target some more mainstream stations that appeal to a broader audience.
- Length: Radio-friendly songs are usually around 3 to 4 minutes long. This can vary from station to station, but is based on an average. This time limit corresponds to listener attention spans and creating consistent programming that fits a greater number of tracks into a certain time limit.
- Clear structure: Songs with a clear structure tend to be more radio-friendly. This typically includes having a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus or similar arrangement. A clear structure helps listeners follow along and engage with the song.
- Content and Language: Radio stations have guidelines regarding content and language to comply with broadcasting regulations and appeal to a wide audience. Radio-friendly songs typically avoid explicit or offensive language and controversial themes.
- Catchy Hooks and Choruses: Radio-friendly songs often have memorable and catchy hooks or choruses that capture listeners’ attention. These parts of the song are designed to be instantly recognizable and easily memorable, keeping the listener from changing the channel!
Different radio stations will program different types of music, and if you don’t want to follow the above instructions, you can certainly find a more suitable radio for your project. That’s where genre comes in!
3. Identify relevant radio stations based on genre
When submitting your music to radio stations, one crucial thing to keep in mind is the genre of music that you make. Different radio stations have different genres of music that they play, and it’s essential to research which ones play your music. Research radio stations that play similar artists. Have some of them broadcasted independent artists in the past? See if you can find the contact details of the music directors, program managers, or DJs at the radio stations you want to submit to. Look for their email addresses or submission guidelines on the station’s website. You can also target internet radio stations that play independent music. Many internet radio stations have submission portals on their websites where you can easily submit your music. These types of stations can include small collectives like music blogs or college radio stations, which often have a solid base of listeners.
4. Make your music available on streaming platforms
One of the first things you can do to get your music played on radio stations is to make your music available on streaming platforms. Not only will this help you pitch your tracks to different stations, but it will also give you more legitimacy as an artist. You want to make it easy for the radio station to listen to your music catalogue, across several streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, Napster, Google play music and more. That way, if they broadcast one of your tracks, they’ll be aware when you release new music. Digital music distribution platforms like Tunecore and CD Baby make it simple for independent artists to distribute their music. Check out our article about how to release your music independently and which music distribution service is right for you.
In the music industry, branding and storytelling is essential. Maintain a consistent image across social media, from Instagram to TikTok. When you reach out to a radio station, they will most likely look you up to find out more about your career as an artist. A compelling story might catch the attention of a radio promoter! Don’t underestimate the power of social media- if a radio programmer sees that you have a strong following already, they may be more inclined to listen to your tracks. Indie artists have more power than ever before to make a name for themselves using social media. Use this to your advantage and prove to radio stations that you have potential for radio play.
6. Submit your music directly to radio stations on Groover
If you want to submit your music directly to radio stations and get a guaranteed response, the best way to do so is by using Groover. Groover is an innovative platform that connects artists with music industry professionals, radio programmers included. You’ll need to pitch your track and include a short bio as well as any relevant information such as notable press coverage or upcoming gigs. You’ll include a link to your track on a streaming music service, or you can upload it privately to SoundCloud if it hasn’t been released yet. After writing a personalized message to each music influencer, for 2 Grooviz, or 2 euros, your track is sent directly to them! Within 7 days, you’ll get a response. If you don’t, you’ll get your Grooviz back. For artists across all genres, Groover is definitely the easiest way to submit your music to radio stations!
7. Work with a PR agent, record label, or publisher
If you don’t feel like pitching your music yourself, you can grow your professional entourage to have other people do it for you. Keep in mind that working with other industry professionals comes at a cost, whether through an upfront fee or a percentage of your earnings. Working with a PR agent, record label, or publisher to promote your music and get radio play can make a huge difference. Some publicity agencies, record companies, and music publishers already have personal relationships with radio programmers, making it easier for them to pitch songs. Independent labels have also become prominent players in the industry, representing a growing number of unsigned artists and getting them radio play.
8. Follow up and stay active!
Don’t be afraid to follow up on your submissions and stay active. The more you release new music, play live shows, and get people talking about you, the more radio stations will start to notice. New artists have a lot to gain by landing their new single on the radio. Music lovers around the world still discover new music by listening to the radio, after all! Just getting one song on a well-known radio station can be an amazing opportunity to stand out from the millions of songs available nowadays on music streaming sites. By getting radio airplay, you can increase not only your potential new fans, but also your royalties. With persistence and hard work, you can get your music on the airwaves and bring your music career to the next level.