Since there are many options available to emerging independent artists to promote their music, it can be difficult to find the methods that work best for you. Historically, getting your music on the radio has been a luxury in the recording industry — a music service reserved for artists signed to major record labels or benefiting from a huge network of influence.
However, in recent years, things have been changing, and new alternatives are being put in place to encourage the discovery of new artists – including Groover, which provides access to the best radio stations, media and music-industry professionals with a 7-day response guarantee.
Want to get in touch with radio stations? ⬇️
Getting on radio stations, broadcasting your songs on FM and getting people to listen and download music remains an indispensable lever to propel your music career. But how can you get your song on the radio to begin with? Below, we explain in detail how to get on the radio.
Getting your Song on The Radio, why is it still so Important?
With the rise of social networks and new music distribution channels (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other music streaming services), promoting your own music has become easier in some ways, but more complex in others. The easy parts of it come from the fact that these options are accessible to everyone (it is more possible than ever before to distribute your music at a lower price on the main on-demand music streaming services). On the other hand, it’s complex because it’s difficult to set up an effective strategy that isn’t too risky and time-consuming.
Currently, over 100,000 new-music tracks are released on Spotify every day. Distribution platforms like TuneCore and CD Baby make it easy to distribute your music without needing a record deal or the ability to cut CDs, which is a great thing! However, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd without spending a lot of money or wasting a lot of time given that the competition is so fierce.
62% of new track discoveries are made via radio, compared to 20% via streaming.
Traditional media such as the press, music blogs, and television have lost their allure over the years, and it is no longer as necessary to go through them to make one’s music known. On the other hand, in the face of competition from free music streaming platforms, radio remains the main source of musical discovery in popular-music. 62% of new music discoveries are made on radio, compared to 20% on free music services, especially among non-subscribers. Not only is it a great promotional tool, but it’s a great music discovery tool for your potential new audience to expand their music library.
Radio listening can be either a passive or active activity — and both can benefit you! On the active side, music apps like Shazam allow your new fans to find you easy using an “audio fingerprint” of your track. They can they listen to your music over and over again on music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, Youtube Music, and others via the seamless integrations between Shazam and these streaming music services.
What is less-discussed is the effect of “passive listening”. You’ve probably experienced hearing a song and not falling in love instantly, but then over time gravitating towards it more and more. All of the sudden, it’s on your heavy rotation, or it makes you nostalgic for a certain time and place. This is the effect of repeated exposure. One of the great things about radio is that it gives listeners songs to listen to over and over again. Instead of hearing it once on playlist that could change tomorrow, radios offer pull from a smaller pool of tracks that get repeated continuously over time.
Groover presents you with 8 tips on how to get your music on the radio and share it to a whole new audience.
1. Have a solid musical project to get your music on the radio ?
Before approaching any music business professional, you must have at least some professionalism yourself in order to stand out and, above all, appear credible in your approach. Referring to the following criteria can help:
- Build a strong and singular visual identity to support your musical project.
- Have a press kit at your disposal or a solid biography presenting your project and your background.
- Be active and have good visibility on social networks (Facebook, Instagram etc.).
- Have recordings of impeccable quality (.wav, 16bits, 44100Hz).
- Fill in the metadata of your tracks (digital information about the music: title, performer, author, composer, producer, ISRC code…).
See as well: How to write a good biography?
2. Choose the right single to get your song on the radio
This is the most critical step in the whole process. You must absolutely submit a song to radio stations that’s high quality. This means that it must have gone through many stages of musical creation: composing, arranging, voice recording, , mastering, title selection, etc. The challenge here is to select a “single,” a track that is both representative of your musical style and that also has a strong potential for listening, and therefore, for the audience. More simply, it is your “big hit”.
3. Respect radio formats
Another essential element in maximizing your chances of getting your song on the radio is the length of your track. To do this, your track should last between 2 and a half minutes and 4 minutes (2:30-4:00). Beyond that, your chances of getting on the airwaves are often limited.
Of course, we do not advise you to restrict your artistic creation. On the contrary, you should extend and express your creative potential to the maximum according to your desires and according to your own rules. After all, taking risks and experimenting will help you to assert yourself as an artist. Still, we recommend that you produce a “radio edit” version of your single if necessary. This means that it is a version specially adapted for radio broadcasting, respecting the duration format and excluding any obscene or shocking aspects. This version is also very often used for music videos. One of the most famous examples is Daft Punk’s One More Time, whose radio edit version has a radically different structure than the album version.
4. Take quotas into account
To get radio promotion, it’s worth looking into whether your country/region has language quotas, since they affect whether your track will be played on the radio.
If your album release includes tracks in a mix of languages, including one song in your country’s language, it often makes sense to promote that one. If you’re wondering how to get your song on the radio, this is one thing that can be overlooked. Even though music is more global than ever, in regards to language, you may still have a better chance of getting certain-language tracks onto national radios!
For example, in France there’s a quota imposed by the CSA that is designed to protect French-language music from the invasion of Anglo-Saxon pop songs flooding the airwaves:
The law of February 1, 1994 requires private radio stations to broadcast, since January 1, 1996, at significant listening hours, 40% of French songs, at least half of which must come from new talent or new productions […].
By French-language song, the CSA means any work with a text performed or recited primarily in French or in a regional French language. And by new talent, they mean any artist who has not yet obtained two separate gold record-certified albums.
5. Choose the right radio stations and opt for new networks of influence
Every radio station has its own audience and therefore has a musical genre of reference. The radio station you want to present your music to is therefore also an important choice since you’re looking to reach the right listener. For example, it can be a waste of time to propose a hip-hop track to a radio station specializing in indie rock music. Your music must appeal to the DJs on the radio station, so choose radio stations that play music in the same style as yours. If your track covers multiple genres, reach out to all of those different stations to optimize Radio airplay. Submit your music to the relevant stations in the appropriate way to maximize your chances of being played. Many musicians are hybrid musicians nowadays who don’t nicely fit into one genre, so ask around to find out how others perceive the style of your music if you’re not sure how to classify it,
Fewer and fewer people are listening to radio in its traditional (over-the-air) form and a whole new form of online or internet radio is gaining momentum and providing a new outlet for emerging artists. An online music player like Soundcloud is a perfect example of how one can listen to music online and discover new music. It allows for a whole new way for listeners to not only listen to your music it but save it and stream music offline (curated or user playlists, downloads, streams, etc). Thanks to an efficient and particularly affordable concept, Groover offers you the opportunity to contact the best radio stations, media and labels of your choice with the guarantee of being listened to and receiving feedback — and you can get great visibility to build your fan-base too!
In addition to this direct contact via the platform, Groover has had an official partnership with Radio France for several months now to simplify the discovery of the most promising talents on Groover and to act as a real springboard for your music career.
6. Radio contact
Social networks are the place for promo, for artists as well as for radio stations. It can be overwhelming for stations to handle the influx of messages they get from artists, fans, partners, and others. However, you can still try to send them a concise message asking for the contact of the person in charge of the radio’s programming.
6.2 By email
E-mail is the traditional way to send your music to radio stations. A clear message, pleasant to read, with the right greetings, a catchy pitch of your song and links to your music, is what should be in your email. This is the sign of a professional approach.
6.3 On radio station websites
Some radio station’s websites allow you to contact them directly via a form. By doing so, your message will be sent directly to the radio station’s programming department. From there, a radio programmer can review your message and decide whether or not to respond.
6.4 On Groover
The one and only way to be sure that your music will be heard and that you’ll receive feedback is by a site that guarantees radio stations will listen to you and respond. The music promotion platform allows you to contact radio stations that are adapted to your music style, with simple ways to filter by genre, country, or other parameters.
| Also read: Why your music needs a radio plugger?
7. How to find the contact of a radio DJ
If you want to get your song on the radio, as an independent artist you’ll need to find the contact of a radio DJ, and for that you can visit the website of the station you want. Once you’re on the radio station’s website, look for a section that says “Contact us” or “Contact information”. That’s where you can reach out to the radio DJ.
Alternatively, on Groover you can filter by your style of music and check the “radios” box. You will then be able to contact dozens of radio programmers directly, with the guarantee of being listened to and getting an answer in less than 7 days – and that’s not a luxury when you’re an indie artist.
8. Follow your radio playback with a tracking tool
There are several paid tools that allow you to track your songs on the radio. Among them, we have chosen WARM, an innovative service created in Denmark, as our recommendation for tracking radio play. Thanks to audio fingerprinting technology, the platform tracks the songs played on more than 25,000 radio stations in the world, and for a reasonable price, allows you to discover unexpected radio passages. It’s great way to adapt your music promotion strategy by targeting specific stations when a new song is released, or specific markets.
– Article written by Amy Cimpaye in its original version, translated by Mackenzie Leighton –