One of the best ways to distribute your music is to have it played on the radio, whether you are a solo musician or in a band. You can achieve national exposure even if you start at a small university radio station. Submitting your songs can seem like a daunting task, but don't worry! Read this article to find out in detail how to send your music to a radio station.
Method 1 of 3: Part 1: Prepare Your Shipment
Step 1. Prepare your music for distribution
You will have to be able to send your music on a physical compact disc or electronically through a digital format, such as mp3, although it will depend on where you send it.
- You usually don't need fancy packaging or press kits for a compact disc distribution. In reality, many radio stations will request that you not send such materials. Some musicians insist that all you need is a simple silver compact disc with your name and the title of the song, accompanied by a list of the music tracks in a transparent plastic case.
- Make sure your information is clear, complete, concise and correct no matter what packaging you decide to use. You don't want a music director to fall in love with your song and can't figure out who it belongs to!
Step 2. Make your music easy to share online
Some radio stations can accept email attachments, but they won't want a link to an online source in order to listen to your music. You have many options for a digital distribution.
- You can use some services like iTunes, Amazon Music or Bandcamp if you want your music to be more publicly available. iTunes lets you sign up to sell your music for free; Amazon Music requires you to use a reseller to sell your music through their digital music store. You can sign up for free in Bandcamp, which becomes very popular because of the artists it contains. Browse through many options and choose the best one for your situation.
- You can put your music online by using some websites like YouTube and Vimeo. Read carefully the terms and conditions of the website; You need to make sure you retain the copyright and permission to sell your music!
- Websites like Soundcloud, Mediafire, and Sendspace operate legal file-sharing services, which allow music directors to download your music without having to worry about viruses and other security concerns.
Step 3. Make a press kit
You may be asked to submit a press kit with your music. However, it is not a bad thing to have a list to present. Most press kits include many basic elements that will help people get to know you quickly.
- Write a cover letter. This should be sent to the person you are sending your music to. Include your contact information, the web pages (YouTube, Facebook, web page, etc.) that you have and all the basic information about your music (genre, themes, etc.).
- Write a short biography. Write a short description about yourself (or your band if you have one) and your accomplishments so far. You can talk about your influences and interests, but keep this part focused on a story. Consider this your introduction to a new friend.
- Create a fact sheet. This should include essential information about yourself: your name, your style of music, other artists or other bands that are similar to you, the instruments you play, etc.
Method 2 of 3: Part 2: Investigate the Environment
Step 1. Determine radio station options
The genre of music you play will help you determine which radio stations might play your song. For example, public radio stations (such as local National Public Radio affiliates) often focus on indie and jazz genres and singer-songwriters. Your local college radio station may be a good choice for music that appeals to a younger audience, such as rap, hip hop, and rock. Make sure you submit your song to a station that shows it plays that kind of music.
Step 2. Research local radio stations
You may need to start small, especially if you haven't signed with a record company yet. College radio stations are great to start with as they are often receptive to new and less mainstream music. Similarly, they tend to be less driven by advertising and business concerns compared to a commercial radio station, so they may be more willing to take a chance on your music. However, commercial radio stations may be interested in your music, especially if you are local, so check the web pages of the radio stations where you live.
- You can find radio station locators on the Internet. These will allow you to search by state, city, or county.
- Look for titles like "music director," "station manager," "production manager," or "disc jockey." Typically, these are the people who are in charge of receiving, choosing, and playing the new music.
- Try calling the station's general information line and asking to be contacted by the person in charge of scheduling the music.
- Similarly, you can call the station during a show as DJs answer the phone during their shows and you can ask them about broadcasting your song. This works well if you call a show that focuses on the genre of music you play.
Step 3. Consider an alternative station
Internet radio stations are still the youngest cousins of regular radio stations, but they are another medium for artists to emerge. Many Internet radio stations allow and even receive submissions from musicians who are new to the scene.
Pandora allows direct shipments. AmazingRadio.com is another online station that accepts emerging and independent artists. Live365.com will organize your music in its music library, allowing access to it to its online stations
Step 4. Make connections
Today, many DJs and many radio stations have social media accounts. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook and check out their blogs and playlists. You'll have a better chance of personalizing your submission if you know who you are submitting your song to.
You can communicate with radio stations and DJs through social media. A tweet to them about your music will get your name out there without sounding too energetic
Step 5. Read the guidelines carefully
Shipping guidelines vary widely, although it will depend on where you are shipping your music. In general, music on compact disc seems to be the preferred method of delivery. Very few places will accept a digital file that is sent as an email attachment.
- Follow the specific guidelines on the radio station's website if they have them! Nothing will disenchant staff more than the fact that you don't follow their directions. Many broadcasters discard music without listening to it if it is not delivered properly.
- Please contact the radio station directly with your inquiry if you cannot find information about your music submission online. Send a short, friendly email explaining who you are, your musical experiences, and what your song is about. Include a link to your YouTube, Facebook, or some other media page if you have them. Do not send attachments in an email as many places will not open them due to security and a possible virus.
Method 3 of 3: Part 3: Submit Your Song
Step 1. Customize your shipment
A personalized mailing is much more likely to catch the attention of a music director or a disc jockey than an email that has clearly been sent to five hundred radio stations.
This also applies to shipments of a physical compact disc. Where possible, personalize your submission by using people's names (if you can find it) and a brief statement of why you fit into the environment of the radio station
Step 2. Submit your music
Submit it when you've established the guidelines for submitting it! It is essential to provide complete information: your contact information and the list of music tracks on the compact disc. However, do not send anything that is not requested.
Step 3. Wait
It can take days, weeks, or even months for your song to find its way into the hands of a music director, especially if you've sent it to a large radio station. Don't harass people with calls or emails. Remember they get a lot of submissions from upbeat artists like you, and it takes time to listen to all of them.
The radio station may give you a specific time to reply to you. It's appropriate to send a friendly email with an inquiry if that specific time has passed, but try not to sound accusing or annoying. A simple email asking if the music director has had the time to listen to the music you sent will suffice
Step 4. Prepare for rejection
It's great when an artist is successful. However, there are many artists and many bands, and only a limited space on radio stations. You may be rejected by the first radio stations you have contacted, but there is no problem with that. Be persistent and patient. Just because you get rejected doesn't mean your music is bad!
- Be polite. You want to be remembered for the quality of your music, not for the irritation you expressed in the fifth email you sent to the music director.
- Follow the instructions. Do not send an email with a song in mp3 format if a radio station indicates that it only accepts music on CDs! Make their job as easy as possible. This way, there will be more chances that they want to work with you.