Radio Airplay 101: Commercial Airplay Myths
When talking to people who are launching their first couple of projects, invariably the same misunderstood points come up concerning commercial regular-rotation airplay. Here they are:
DJs PLAY THE RECORDS: This only applies to non-commercial radio, and specialty/mixshow radio. The majority of people in the U.S., however, listen to commercial regular-rotation radio, and on these stations, the DJs have no say at all in what is going to be played (unless, in the case of a smaller station, the DJ is also the PD). So, the biggest pitfall to avoid is asking a DJ at a commercial station "Can I give you my CD for possible rotation?". The DJ is not allowed to say "No", and he/she is probably not going to explain that only the PD can approve regular rotation. The DJ is just going to say "OK".
GOOD SONGS SPREAD TO OTHER STATIONS: Good songs (or for that matter, good programs) do not mystically spread to other stations. Every single song you hear (or every syndicated program you hear) on commercial regular-rotation radio is on that station because of layers of promotion and marketing. The song you hear was the one that made it... it beat out the other 300 songs that were going for adds that week. What you don't hear are the endless phone calls, faxes, trade ads, personal meetings, consultant recommendations, call-out research, and other things which went into getting the station to add the record. All you heard was the record itself. And station owners make it a requirement that DJs make it sound like they picked the music themselves.
COLLEGE OR SPECIALTY/MIXSHOW WILL EXPAND TO COMMERCIAL: Just because you do well on non-commercial or specialty/mixshow radio, it does not mean anything will happen on commercial regular-rotation radio. Matter of fact, nothing at all will happen at commercial unless a separate, higher-level campaign is put into place to take the record into regular rotation. The pitfall here is that a listener will hear something on college, and then a month later hear it on commercial, and conclude that the college caused the commercial to happen. The listener did not know that both campaigns were in place simultaneously, and the college simply went for adds a month earlier.
YOU HAVE TO BE SIGNED: Untrue. Being singed is only a signal to the stations that the basic marketing practices are going to be done right. If you have the budget, you can duplicate the marketing practices of larger labels, provided you know how. The band Creed set a good example of putting their $5 million marketing dollars into the right place.
REQUEST CALLS WILL HELP: Not really. They won't hurt, but your time is better spent doing other things, like inviting people to your gigs. Stations know which calls are real, and which are bands and their friends. Stations have consultants and seminars which cover only this one topic.
I CAN'T GET AIRPLAY WITHOUT DISTRIBUTION: Depends on the size of radio that you are going after. Smaller commercial regular-rotation stations in smaller markets won't make this too much of a sticking point, especially if you have a powerful radio campaign going, or if you are doing great gigs in their city, or if you have great college or specialty/mixshow results. But the larger stations... which you can't work anyway until you do the smaller ones... won't touch a project that has no distribution.
I CAN'T GET AIRPLAY WITHOUT GIGS: Again, depends on the size of radio that you are going after. Not being able to gig is a serious handicap at any station, but you can overcome it in smaller markets with intense radio promo, press, sales, and non-comm results.
NON-MONITORED STATIONS ARE OF NO USE: Non-monitored stations are of no use only on the Billboard, R&R, and the seven Album Network mag charts. But FMQB, CMJ, and all specialty/mixshow charts are compiled manually; since you need to start off on these smaller charts first, this works out just fine.
» Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business
» Briony Turner And Alec Boateng Promoted To Co-Heads Of A&R, Atlantic Records UK
» The Nashville Musicians Sound Healthcare Plan Rolls Out
» Career Moves: Cinq Music, Songtrust, Def Jam, Warner Music, 117 Management & DPA
» The Production Music Association Now Accepting Entries For The 2017 Mark Awards
Career Tips Directory
» [2018-06-23] The 2018 MIDEM Silk Road International Music Alliance Signing; International Music Industries Signing Of A Mutual Resource Sharing Agreement With Shanghai Conservatory Of Music & The China Records Group
» [2018-06-06] Screen Music Connect To Explore The Music Of Film, Television And Interactive Media; Created By James Hannigan, Award-winning Composer And Game Music Connect Co-founder, Screen Music Connect Builds On The Success Of The Sold-out Game Music Conferences
» [2018-06-05] Fred Casimir To Develop BMG's Global Recordings Business; As Well As Building BMG's European Infrastructure, Casimir Was Instrumental In Developing BMG's Recordings Business
» [2018-06-03] 13 Music Label Sold To MTN; DSN Music Spins Off Record Label To Albuquerque Music Entrepreneur's New Group
» [2018-06-02] CISAC 2018 Annual Report; A Comprehensive Overview Of The Confederation's Work To Serve 4 Million Creators And 239 Authors Societies Across The World
» [2018-06-02] MusicDish Announces A Love Electric 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Crisscross Through China With 12 Shows In 8 Cities, Including Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jiaxin, Wuhan And Beijing
» [2018-06-02] Darcus Beese Named President Of Island Records; Renowned U.K. Music Executive To Join Universal Music Group's U.S. Label Leadership
» [2018-05-17] Avant-Garde Label Maybe Noise Launches In Beijing; The Official Launch Will Be On May 26 At Magnet Theater With A Performance Supporting Its First Vinyl Release: Píng Zè
» [2018-05-04] Award-Winning Lithuanian Rock Band Colours Of Bubbles "She Is The Darkness" 2018 China Tour; The Tour Will Kickoff In Shanghai Where The Band Will Represent Lithuania During The Country's Signing To The Silk Road Music Alliance
» [2018-05-01] Hollywood Heavyweights Launch New Christian Music Label; Their Debut Release, Firma Collective - Songs For Every Soul, Was Produced By Mgrdichian And Mixed By The Legendary Brian Reeves
» [2018-04-30] Pop Artist Ava King Releases New Single; Paris-born Ava King Decided To Move To Beijing Where She Wrote For One Of The Biggest Chinese Movie Production Companies, HuaYi Brothers
» [2018-04-27] NetEase Cloud Music Sign Distribution Partnership With B2 Music; Chinese Music Streaming Service To Release Billboard "Best Of Asia" Album Series
follow MusicDish on