The first step in getting radio play is sending your music to radio stations.
Distributing music to commercial radio stations used to involve sending CDs, printing cover letters, bubble envelopes, researching radio stations, finding the right contact information and paying shipping fees. Now over 95% of the music played on commercial radio is received digitally.
Each radio station has a Music Director and Program Director; together they decided what songs they’ll be playing on their radio station in a weekly music meeting.
So how do you get your song included in these music meetings?
It’s the Music Directors job to pre-listen to the music and decide which songs they will listen to in each music meeting. The first step is sending your music to the Music Director properly.
The Music Director gets bombarded with music on a daily basis and they don’t have time to listen to every song sent to them. To help decrease their workload they will generally only listen to music that has been submitted to them properly. They won’t open emails with attachments, or click download links or streaming links especially from someone they don’t know.
Commercial radio stations will not play music by artists that are not serious about their project. If music is not submitted to them properly they will typically assume it is not high quality enough for radio play. Music Directors need to know that you are educated enough about the music industry to send your music properly.
When you’re sending Music Directors your music, remember that they are also being contacted from major labels and promoters who are working for more established international artists. Give your song the best chance possible by delivering your music the same way the major labels are delivering the music of international artists. This will make your music project look more professional and Music Directors will be more likely to take your music into consideration.
So how do you properly distribute your music to radio stations?
There are a few digital services that offer this specific service. At AMP Records we use DMDS (Digital Music Delivery Service). Music Directors use DMDS almost exclusively to receive and review new music. They provide the stats on who’s streamed and downloaded the song you’ve delivered.
While no one can guarantee that proper digital distribution will result in radio play, it is a guarantee that you won’t get radio play unless you are distributing it properly. Commercial radio play is one of the most competitive areas in the music industry and it’s very difficult to get radio play. For the best result possible we recommend hiring a radio promoter once you’ve digitally delivered your music to radio stations.