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Airplay is one of the best ways to get your music heard. Why? because whilst radio broadcasting cannot show the visual vibrancy of your performance, it can promote your music to a wide audience who you would be unlikely to reach using normal avenues.

So you have to have a record deal to get airplay right?
Wrong!! So lets look at some examples.

The track 'I'd rather go blind' which was a hit for a complete unknown was sent in as an unsolited demo to a morning Television programme.   More recently a gifted singer from America had a huge hit - despite having died over 2 years ago - Eva Cassidy's rendition of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' was heard and subsequently searched out for airplay and television broadcast.

So how do you get the presenters to listen to your music and give you airtime?
First be aware that LUCK does play a large part in this but HARD WORK and DETERMINATION should bring you some significant results.

Second - be prepared for REJECTION, Unreturned Demos & Completely Disregarded letters!!! This business is tough and you must try not to let negative results get you down. Don't give up if your demo remains unheard by the resident radio guru, keep trying!!

1. Research your local radio stations - does your style of music fit their play list - if not you have little or no chance of it being heard.

2. How 'community friendly' is your station? - For small local RSL's (restricted service license) and community radio stations, it's worth noting that they are often granted their license on the basis that local people and community groups will be actively involved or events promoted. If you are unsure, contact the station manager or the Radio Authority for confirmation.   This doesn't guarantee that you'll get your masterpiece played, but it should keep radio stations aware of what their potential customers want.

3. Once you've found a station and presenter who is new/local artist friendly contact them for their submission requirements. Most usually require your demo on tape or cd with a breakdown of who is in the band, where you play & what type of music.

4. Before you send the demo make sure the quality is excellent!! Hiss, pops, feedback and muddy sounds will make you sound awful and your demo will be rejected!! Aim to Impress - not Depress your live music presenters, so keep your letter brief, friendly & informative. Relying on your fab music to wow the program editor is NOT ENOUGH - first you have to get them to LISTEN to it!!

5. Remember you have approximately 30 seconds (60 if your lucky). That is the average listening time most A&R, Presenters & Reviewers give a demo....... No REALLY..... so the tracks you send must be your very best effort.... lack of demo clarity is sometimes overlooked but inadequate quality of performance and talent is not!

6. So what makes an impact? Catchy tunes, memorable lyrics are often popular but subject to the taste of the listener, however, music played with passion, songs performed with heart and soul plus that intangible 'something' are difficult to ignore even when the style or genre of music is not to the listeners taste.

7. Packaging is important. Give your CD or Audio Cassette a nice eye-catching cover, mark the track listings clearly, make sure they are easy to read and include a Contact Name and Number on the sleeve and on the cassette/cd!!   If a letter gets mislaid or your masterpiece filed for future referance your details will always be available.

8. Keep a record of who you have contacted, when & rough notes on the conversation. If you receive a positive reply it's great to refer to a successful approach to re-use again! Feedback of any kind should always be filed for referance & follow up letters, phone calls or visits to interested presenters should be a 'must do' in your marketing strategy.

9. Pick your stations & presenters carefully. Take note of those who provide a new or community band/artist show. Check the type of music they are prepared to play & then make your initial request for airplay.

10. Some programs actively request your demo's, for instance, 104.9 XFM has a great indie & rock show highlighting unsigned bands (London & surrounding areas), whilst Jazz FM has provided Paul Jones with an opportunity to promote the occasional new Blues Band.

11. There has been an encouraging tendancy for many radio programmes and stations to broadcast live music, dj's and band gig or event dates. Most need these to be sent 7 - 14 days in advance but it's another great avenue for new acts to get free promotion.

12. For every 100 letters/tapes you send it is most likely that you will only recieve 1% - 5% of replies or acknowledgements, out of which most will be polite rejections from people who haven't even bothered to listen to your demo. So don't despair - keep sending 'em out - polite persistance and a love of making music may not make you a 'Super Pop Star' but it will go a long way in helping to get you noticed!!


Articles

A&R Insider -- Jon Pikus, Columbia Records A&R
He discusses how A&R people decide which songs should go on the radio.

A&R Insider -- Joe Quaranto, Owner, Producer ETNC Music
Having come up through the radio industry, he really knows what it takes to get your music on the air. Article from Taxi

Song & Album Promotion
Free online articles and advice on promoting your music to radio by Brian Farrish who writes for several magazines, including Music Biz, Rock City News, Radio Ink, Christian Musician, CCRB, San Diego Smooth Jazz News and Music Dish.

Visit the Electric Blues Club Radio sections which has advice for budding DJ Presenters or anyone who would like to broadcast their own music, links to online radio stations, live music webcast programme listings and radio stations broadcasting in the UK plus the Tv & Radio Guide.   We are also building a list of 'live music', 'local talent' friendly radio stations. If you know of a radio station that has new artist/band shows or provides a local 'whats on', gig-guide etc., please let us know!!



USEFUL LINKS

Radio Connection :
Radio Connection
:
an entertainment industry school with 5,000 students worldwide who train on-site at major film studios, video production companies, radio and TV stations, recording studios and record labels.




Film Connection :
Film & TV Connection
:
an entertainment industry school with 5,000 students worldwide who train on-site at major film studios, video production companies, radio and TV stations, recording studios and record labels.


The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
(AFTRA) is a national labor union affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Its headquarters are in New York City and there are 36 local offices throughout the country.

AFTRA represents its members in four major areas: 1) news and broadcasting; 2) entertainment programming; 3) the recording business; and, 4) commercials and non-broadcast, industrial, educational media. AFTRA's 80,000 members are seen or heard on television, radio and sound recordings and include actors, announcers, news broadcasters, singers (including royalty artists and background singers), dancers, sportscasters, disc jockeys, talk show hosts and others. Talent payments under AFTRA contracts are over $1 billion a year.

Get A Mentor
The Apprentice Mentor Association provides aspiring radio-TV broadcasters, film/production people and recording/audio engineers with on the job, one on one mentor training in the US and Canada with international options available in the future.

Pandia Radio Search
In co-operation with the TVRadio Network Pandia offers you a special radio and TV directory. You can find thousands of online radio and TV stations from all over the world. Browse by category or country/state or explore using the query form.

Radio-Locator
Search & Browse AM, FM & Online Radio Stations Worldwide.

UK Radio Authority
RSL page - see who is due to go live in your area!

Radio Now
has a comprehensive list of UK & Internet Radio stations.


Major &/or New Artist Friendly Radio Stations:-

A Cappella Radio
is a web based streaming audio station devoted to the unaccompanied singing voice.

BBC Introducing Uploader
If you are an unsigned act, band, musician or singer/songwriter you can upload songs that you have recorded for BBC Radio airplay consideration. If your music is strong it will be sent to your local BBC Introducing show and you may be offered the opportunity to record a live session at the BBC Introducing stage at a major UK festival!

BBC Radio 6
Suggest or upload your track for consideration to Fresh on the Net with Tom Robinson.

BBC Radio 3
90.2FM 92.4MHz Classical music radio service.

BBC Radio 1
97.6FM 99.8MHz Music, Charts & Celebs Gossip.

The Female Musician
listen, learn and groove

Folk Radio
FOLKDJ-L is an electronic discussion group for DJs and other people interested in all folk-based music (bluegrass, old-time, traditional balladry, traditional international music, singer-songwriters, etc.) on the radio. They have a great article on 'Getting airplay on Folk Radio Stations'

Jazz FM
Jazz, Blues & Soul Music n Chat, Paul Jones Show often highlights unsigned blues & jazz artists/bands.

Media Positive Radio
runs a monthly vocal competition for US citizens over the age of 18. Prizes include a MPR Honorable Certificate of Vocal Achievement and have their tracks played on the radio. Website also contains tips and articles for singers and visitors can listen to music from the online radio station.

Pure FM
Gained a 28 day RSL on 87.9FM in June as well as broadcasting all year PureFM

X FM
Indie, Rock & Alternative plus 'Unsigned Artists & Band' Show

Women of Mp3.com
dedicated to promoting the advancement and achievements of women in the music industry


Sites of Interest:-

Opera On The Web
provides Opera & Classical webcast broadcast listings.

Metmaniac
Metropolitan Opera Broadcast Database is a US site providing past & future details of Tv & Radio broadcasts from the Met.

88.7 WLUW
catch Gospel Memories with host Bob Marovich on the 1st Sunday of every month. Bobs show always has an excellent selection of gospel music and singers with gems like 1920s-vintage shape-note singing by Pace Jubilee Singers and early recordings of well known singers. Click Here to see live webcast times for your country.