Here's what you need to know about getting stations to play your tracks…
As an independent music maker, there’s a heap of stuff to keep organized when it comes to marketing your artist project — social media, networking, press outreach and playing live gigs are all important parts of promoting your music.
We’ve talked a lot about playlisting as a great way to reach new fans, but getting your tracks featured on indie radio is also a strong way to build your listener community and artist brand.
Here are our tips for contacting radio stations and getting your music heard.
Before you start submitting music, you need to make sure that your artist project has a good foundation in place with two key steps: getting your music critiqued and creating a press kit.
Get your tracks professionally critiqued (by another musician, DJ, music curator or radio professional) for feedback. Ask them to analyze things like songwriting, arrangement, composition, production and mastering. These are the key aspects of a track that radio curators will look at when considering a music submission.
Whether you’re sending your tracks to radio or hitting up playlist curators, having a good EPK (Electronic Press Kit) can help you build trust with the people you’re pitching to. An EPK should include links to your music, imagery, touring history, audience data and your social statistics. Read our full guide to creating a press kit here.
Next, it’s important to build a strategy around the stations you’re going to be pitching to. The first step to take is identifying your target audience and the indie stations they are consuming new music.
Start by searching for potential stations that are specialised in your music genre. While getting your track featured on commercial radio is a huge win, being featured on the smaller, more niche stations is a more strategic way of building your fanbase, because you’re getting your music in front of the right people.
The next step is finding the music curator from the station you want to submit music to. Research details on the station’s website or social media until you get a hold of their email contact.
Different curators like different ways of pitching, but it’s always safe to send a short, sharp and concise email with a good dose of personality. Introduce your artist project in a short paragraph, include links to any recent press coverage or live shows, attach your press kit and submit your music via private Dropbox link.
So, it’s been a week, your release date is looming and you haven’t heard back. Don’t sweat it, radio curators receive hundreds of submissions every week. Hit them up on email with a casual follow up, update them on any progress from your artist project (signings, live shows, press coverage etc) and let them know you’ll be in touch with new music again soon.
We’re not telling you to be spammy, but staying top-of-mind is important.
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