How do artists get their songs on the radio?
Great question, and if you are a local, up-and-coming artist – we made this page to help you out! Congrats, you have chosen one of the hardest industries in the world. 🙂 It’s not easy to get your song on the radio. But we would love for someone to break out of Dayton, so we put together this list of things that might help you at achieving your dream.
Make an amazing song:
Not just a GOOD song- an AMAZING SONG. In order for your music to be on a commercial radio station, it has to be just as good (and better) than the huge artists we play. In most cases, it needs to be BETTER than everything we are playing on the radio. Those artists that we are playing typically have major labels and promotions company behind them, supporting all of their music. YOUR song needs to be SO GOOD that it stands out on it’s OWN without that support of a huge label – so ya, it has to be amazing.
What makes a song AMAZING?
You need all the “indicators” that the song is amazing. You have a Youtube video? It on soundcloud? Spotify? Apple Music? It being played by local club dj’s? Is your song being shared? Is it selling? Does it have a TON of views, listens? Is your audience sharing the song like crazy? This is “buzz”. Radio stations can now see everything. They know if you have a “buzz” by looking at your numbers online. They have ALL this data available at their fingertips. If there are several “indicators” that a song is poppin’ – radio stations, labels, promoters will take notice.
Many local artists think that radio is the place to get started:
This is not true. Radio stations are in the business of playing hit records. Sure, 30 years ago, this was the case because radio was one of the only places to discover new music. Nowadays, there are SEVERAL places for listeners to find the BEST music. Make sure your music is EVERYWHERE so that people can discover you. Youtube, Soundcloud, Spotify, Apple Music, etc. BE everywhere. Make sure you are aggressively working on your social media following. This is YOUR marketing.
Have a GREAT online presence:
When a radio station or record label starts checking you out- the first thing they are going to do is look you up online. You have a cool website? How many followers you have? Are you posting good content consistently? If you send your music to a radio station, and it only has 17 listens online – do you really think that radio station (or label) is going to take you seriously?
What else should you do with your music?
- Sign up with ASCAP, BMI, or another publishing company.
- Why? If you write a song, they will manage the $ you receive from publishing. Whenever someone streams your song online, buys your music, or if a radio station plays your music – you will get a % of that. This is called “publishing”- and they will manage your publishing. Also- you should be registered if you are ever credited on someone else’s song- you deserve some $ there for your work with writing their music.
Get Song Encoded with Broadcast Data System (BDS) and Mediabase:
If you get your song on the radio- you wanna get credit for it! These are monitoring services that will report that your song made it on the radio. Radio stations, and labels get these reports. It’s totally free to register your music. You only need to register the songs that you are getting on the radio.
BDS: Click here
Promote your music:
There are so many ways now to promote music. You need to grind it out, hit the streets, and hit online HARD.
- Get a following of supporters on all of your social media.
- Get your music into the hands of influencers and tastemakers
- Find people with a lot of followers online, and try and get them to check out your music.
- Get your music in the hands of local club DJS and tastemakers.
- Look for places to perform. It doesn’t matter how big or how small the show might be. Perform as much as possible. You will get better every time, and you never know who could be in the audience, big or small.
- Many other ways. This IS possible- but it’s hard work.
We get so many requests from local artists to get their songs on the radio. Check out the above. Put the work in, and get a real buzz happening with your music. IF there is a huge buzz surrounding you, chances are- we’ll come hunting YOU down to get YOU on the radio. Again- it’s our job to play what’s HOT.
So, go make a HOT song!