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How to Get Your Music Played on The Radio? (Answered)

I often get asked how to get music played on the radio. In this post, I will answer this question and more about playing and recording music.

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Getting your music played on the radio can be a daunting task. The music industry is huge, and as a musician, you want your music to be heard. But how do you get your music played on the radio?

In this post, we’ll show you how to get your music played on the radio simply and efficiently. We’ll also share tips for ensuring your music stands out. So whether you are a veteran musician or just starting, this post is for you.

Image of a man sitting while holding a radio and listening to it. Source: budgeron bach, pexels
Image of a man sitting while holding a radio and listening to it. Source: Budgeron Bach, Pexels

Is it still important to get your song played on the radio?

Have you listened to a song nonstop recently? This is the result of constant exposure. The radio is fantastic because it allows people to repeatedly listen to the same music. Radios repeatedly play a narrower selection of songs rather than a random playlist. so your song is listed too many times.

Additionally, the radio is your best bet when it comes to finding new music. Radio stations now have more options for delivering their programming, most notably via streaming, thanks to the proliferation of new technology and gadgets that facilitate discovery in new ways. According to Nielsen Entertainment’s 2017 U.S. Music 360 Highlights, 37% of music listeners feel that one of the best things about conventional radio is the DJs.

Who decides what songs go on the radio?

This is not a simple question; however, it is common for each radio station’s music director and program director to get together weekly to discuss and decide on the playlist. They will choose the songs they like and believe will bring them the most repeat listeners.

If you want a career in music production, check out one of my favorite books about the music industry. It’s a great read. You won’t be disappointed.

How do you get your music played on a radio station?

Getting your songs played on the radio is an important part of releasing music the right way, and it can have a big effect on your career. Once upon a time, CDs were the standard for submitting music. New musicians, however, must keep up with the times and learn how to submit their work to radio in the digital age.

  1. Know who to approach

    one of the best ways to get your music played on the radio is to get in touch with radio stations. Knowing who to talk to at radio stations is essential.

    If you’re targeting larger radio stations, find the person responsible for song selection and pitch your song to them. In this case, “this” might refer to a particular on-air personality, the station’s producer, the head of programming, or the head of music. A simple “contact” (at) radiostation (dot) com should do the trick for a tiny radio station that may not have many employees.

    Try searching for the producer’s information on the station’s website or social media pages, or call the station and ask for the information (they may or may not provide it to you, but it’s worth a try!). Before sending anything to a radio station, check their submission guidelines to ensure you are doing things correctly.

  2. Know how to submit your music

    Sending an electronic press kit, a music press release, or a one-sheet with links to 1-3 of your best songs is a common way to get in touch with radio stations, news outlets, and blogs. Some artists and labels still mail or hand-deliver CDs to radio stations, even though this is becoming less and less common. However, most submissions and demonstrations to DJs and radio stations are now sent digitally.

  3. Target the right stations

    It will take time for your song to get heard on major national stations. Getting played on the radio is a very competitive field, with hundreds of other musicians potentially competing with you. So consider starting with smaller stations.

    Many communities, colleges, and online radio stations are looking for new music and encourage aspiring bands and musicians to send them what they have. Your chances of being played early in your career increase if you submit your music to smaller stations since they won’t get as many submissions.

    Getting in touch with stations that play music in your genre is also a great strategy. If you’re starting as a rap artist, your best bet is to submit your song to a hip-hop radio station. If you like thrash metal, you should get in touch with a station that consistently plays that genre.

  4. Consider your online presence

    Making your music well-known online and establishing a solid social media following might help you get radio play.

    And although it may seem harsh, many A&Rs will only listen to your music if you’re active on at least one major social networking site and have at least three followers. Also, promoting a music album these days means having a strong presence on social media. So display your dedication to the cause of having your music played on-air and online by DJs and radio personalities.

    The best (and hardest) strategy for getting radio play is to generate buzz about your music, build a dedicated fan following, and then approach radio stations directly to request play.

  5. Hire a radio plugger

    Radio pluggers have the extensive industry knowledge and can facilitate your communication with radio stations. Also, these professionals can change the minds of DJs, program directors, and other decision-makers because they already know the top people in radio.

Image of a man and a woman wearing a headphone while lkistening music on a radio. Source: nicholas githiri, pexels
Image of a man and a woman wearing headphones while listening to music on a radio. Source: Nicholas Githiri, Pexels

Tips for submitting your songs to a radio station

To hear one’s songs played on the radio is a defining moment in the careers of many musicians, marking the completion of their creative vision. The radio makes it possible to reach a much wider audience. But is there a certain format for submitting to radio stations?

1. Check the sound quality

This is the single most important part of the procedure. Submitting high-quality audio to radio stations is mandatory. This means that the song has gone through the whole creative process, from choosing the title to composing and arranging the music, recording the vocals, mixing, and mastering.

2. Submit only your best work

This is the single most important part of the procedure. Quality matters, so make sure you hand in something impressive. Because of this, its musical development must have taken a long time, including writing, arranging, recording, mixing, mastering, titling, etc. Here, the difficulty is picking a single song that represents your musical style and has a good chance of being heard by a wide audience.

3. Respect the radio format

For airplay, you should avoid using profanity. Prepare a clean and unclean mix of your song for this purpose.

4. Watch our cutoff time

These days, the ideal radio cut clocks in at around three minutes. There are always exceptions to any rule, but a popular song often has these characteristics.

5. Make a digital press kit

When advertising on the radio, it’s helpful to have a digital press kit or one-sheet on your website that potential listeners can look through. This background provides a sneak peek into your narrative, allowing you to say less in your message.

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “How To Get Your Song On The Radio (Record Label Owner Explains)” from the Full Circle Music YouTube channel.

A video called “How To Get Your Song On The Radio (Record Label Owner Explains)” from the Full Circle Music YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about getting music played on the radio.

How much does it cost to get your music played on the radio?

According to two more seasoned radio professionals, the full price tag for promoting a song to “urban” radio and turning it into a hit was between $100,000 and $125,000.

Can you ask a radio station to play your song?

Look for the DJ’s email address on the radio station’s website to increase your chances of getting your song played. Find the “Contact Us” or “Contact Information” area after you’ve arrived at the radio station’s website.

Do I get paid if my song is on the radio?

Composers and performers usually get royalties when their songs are broadcast on the radio.

How much does a songwriter make when a song is played on the radio?

Payouts for mechanical royalties per song are presently 9.1 cents. It’s common practice for co-authors and publishers to divide this up. There is no industry standard regarding performance royalties. Rates are established by discussions between songwriters and their respective performance rights organizations.

What is the DMDS?

Commercial radio stations use the DMDS (Digital Music Delivery Service) to get new songs. They give performance metrics to the radio station, ensuring that the “facts” you give about listenership are true.

Do you need to pay to get your song on the radio?

Your strategy for reaching an audience will determine whether or not you should pay to have your music played on the radio. Many radio stations feature online submission forms where you can upload your music for free in the hopes that it will be heard.

Not all musicians will succeed if they depend on submissions alone in the hopes that their music will be aired. It’s smart to use more than one method. If you can afford it, paid advertising may be a good investment. The pricing will change based on whether you submit a single or a longer piece.

Conclusion

There you have it! We’ve discussed all the important aspects of getting your music played on the radio. If you follow our suggestions and apply some practices, the key is to leverage the strengths of each channel in a way that makes them complement each other instead of fighting for attention. Then there is no doubt that your career as a musician will flourish.

This article covered what music is, what radio is, and how you get your music played on a radio station. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • Radio is a form of wireless acoustic communication in which a single broadcast station sends audio signals to many listeners with radio receivers.
  • The radio is your best bet for finding new music due to receptive listeners.
  • Getting your songs played on the radio is an important part of releasing music the right way, and it can have a big effect on your career.
  • Extra tips:
    • They’ll usually receive the money if you’re signed to a record label.
    • Your radio outlet is the perfect way to showcase your music, pair it with your influences’ music in a playlist, and easily share it with the world.
    • Music supervisors need to know that you are knowledgeable enough about the music industry to transmit your music properly.
    • Streaming platforms like Spotify changed the music industry, and social media has helped artists promote themselves and make a living.
    • Promote your music on your custom website, which you can set up with social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook in minutes.
    • Radio play may help you get exposure and reach new audiences.

So, do you like to get your music played on the radio? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on music production. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.

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Audio Apartment Author
Written By Andrew Ash
Hey there! My name is Andrew, and I've been making music since I was a kid. I now run this blog all about home studios and music production. If you want to improve your home studio setup, this is the place for you!

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