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Getting Radio Play  pt2

How to Get Your Song on the Radio - Part 2

Ok, by now you've made sure that the radio station's DJs and/or the Music Director has a copy of your music, press kit, some positive reviews, and any impressive numbers you have with your YouTube & Facebook followers, fans, etc. Having an impressive amount of followers with your social media and web presence can be an advantage for you to help influence the radio people in charge when it comes to the station making a choice to possibly try your song - over another new song release.

Advice from Radio Consultant - Harry Lyles - Lyles Media Group

You must remember that radio has little to no interest in the success of any given song. Radio is a business dedicated to making money. Radio makes money through selling advertising. The rate that stations can charge for commercials is determined by ratings. History has proven over and over that the stations that play the Top 30 or 40 songs over and over again have the highest ratings. That's why Radio does this. It's not about the art of music; it's about making money. So, as mentioned earlier in radio section 1, hire someone who knows how to design and create a plan that will take you where you want to be. There are a lot of great artists that go unheard because they refuse to follow the path to success designed and implemented by the music industry.

It will be in your best interest to not send your music package generically addressed to the radio station. Do some homework and research. If you're trying to get to the music director, then find out who the director is and address your package to them. It's also a great idea to send a package to any of the DJs that have special mix-shows or specialty shows where they test new music. Make sure your music production and mix is good quality. If the radio station thinks the mix sounds bad, they probably will not play it. Also make sure you have a radio friendly version of your song available to the station. This means that if the original song has language that may be considered offensive to broadcast to the general public, you need to get the station a "clean" remix or edited version of your song - without the profanity or explicit content.


Consider working the smaller surrounding markets of the larger cities. Smaller market stations are usually a lot friendlier to the idea of playing a new song by an unknown artist if the song is good. In addition, smaller radio stations are usually a little more open to an artist coming by for an on-air interview to promote a new release. Eventually and hopefully, if people like your song, and start calling in to the smaller radio stations, it might extend to at least one or two bigger stations. Once a larger station starts to play a song, other stations across a region, or even across the country may give it a shot.

Timing can also play a major role in breaking a record to other markets. If you are able to time a mass media campaign - while other events are happening within the same market you are targeting, you stand a chance of getting people from other markets to not only hear and discover your song and see your promotions, but you also give yourself a great opportunity for those from out-of-town to take whatever you have distributed back to their own markets. Imagine if you have your song playing at one of the small or major sporting events or music festivals, and at the same time you're getting some of the clubs in that same area spinning your song while you have ads in print and online, all while radio promotions are going on. This means that the visitors from out of town now become potential fans of your music without you having to be in their town. So you, your manager and promo team should be keeping up with whatever is going on as far as other related and sometimes not-related events in the areas you are seeking to get attention in. Also make sure that your booking agent is working together with your Music PR person to maximize any publicity opportunities.


At some point you should be aware that payola does exist, and has been around a long time. There have been many changes in the industry with efforts to prevent payola, but like anything where big money and profits are involved, it's hard to stop. Encarta describes payola as a bribe for promoting a product - A payment given in exchange for promoting a commercial product, or the system of making such payments, especially to Disc Jockeys. Basically it's an illegal way to pay for radio spins. Since it's against the law for the radio station to be paid directly from the labels, the record companies use middlemen to pay for airplay.