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Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to get the BSB's - or any song - in front of radio programmers...


Sending Pics of SouljaBoy from some websites won't work. Trust me.

I generally try not to write about the 'off air side' of what I do on this blog... but you've been hitting me on twitter and you've been emailing and, since I know that fans of any artist can be fanatical, I figured I'd go ahead and give you some tips so that you can make your voice heard to people who make music decisions and who influence these decisions at radio stations around the country.

First and foremost, realize that your opinion DOES matter. We DO pay attention to things like requests and sales, in addition to things like what other stations are doing around the country. I know you get frustrated, but realize that every week at any time there are DOZENS of artists from all sorts of labels vying for a cherished few spots on a playlist at a radio station. And, stations like the one I am on generally have very tight playlists and when space does happen, it's, well, at a premium and the best of the best of the best get the nod. Not the 'best' according to ones passions, but the 'best' according to the needs of the station at that time.

That being said, here's what you can do to make some noise in your city for your favorite artists...

1) Buy the song. Every song you buy is 'recorded' somehow. Digital sales, physical sales. We can see this stuff and trust me - sales in a market = passion for artist.

2) Don't email and bug programmers who are not at your local station, unless you're listening to Hits One on Sirius/XM or Hits One on 20 on the XM platform.


3) DO email - but don't spam - the people, jocks, etc - that you like on radio stations in YOUR city. Don't be afraid to call request lines. You'll get phone ops and interns, but don't be afraid to request your favorite new song so that it pops 'up' on the radar when the Music Director goes and gets request sheets each week.

4) Get involved with websites like ratethemusic.com and join your favorite radio station's 'music advisor' or 'rate the music' or 'music meeting' panels. Remember, they can see where you're from, so make sure you stick to YOUR station in your city. And, be active about it. Take the surveys, listen to the songs and make your opinions known.

5) Tell friends to do the same. Buy songs. Rate music. Request locally.

6) Do not - I repeat - do NOT spam, or send big ass files with huge mp3's of the song assuming that radio people don't have it. Trust me, they do. And nothing will sabotage your efforts like pissing off a radio programmer. I gotta tell you, the JoBros fans killed themselves early on by spamming programmers.

7) Post on your favorite radio station blogs, jock websites, etc. Be vocal about your support.

8) Say thank you. If you hear a station playing your favorite artist, and you've busted your butt to get it played, it never hurts to say 'thanks' to the jock, music director or programmer... you like it when you get thanked, right?

That about does it. If I think of some more, I'll post it here. But realize that there's so much music out there and so few slots. Don't take it personally. Radio stations have to play the best of the best. Give them a reason - do the legwork and make noise for your artist and they'll get noticed when programmers go into the music meetings at their stations.

If you've got questions or comments, feel free to post 'em. You never know who might be listening and I'll try to answer as many as I can within the realm of what I can tell you.

Good luck guys. Your passion is contagious. Don't let anyone dim your flame...

-t.