What separates well-known artists from those stuck in obscurity is one question that often is answered with just a couple of words: radio play. Getting your songs spun on the radio is in the best interests of any up-and-coming artist because just about every music exec looks at the radio industry as a proven ground for what’s going to stick with consumers and what gets rejected. In fact, most successful labels require the acts they sign to have a certain level of radio success to even consider signing the acts to their companies.
One of the toughest challenges for independent musicians is landing contacts within the radio industry that will listen to their request and hopefully play their music. One of the main reasons radio promo is so challenging is because not all stations play music from unsigned and unknown artists.
So when approaching station programmers with request, independent artists often get overwhelmed with the amount of 'NOs' they hear and, as a result, get frustrated. Most just quit the process of reaching out all together.
A little known secret amongst those with the knowledge is that college radio stations accept, play and most of the time prefer independent music from very obscure bands. Another great aspect of college radio besides them playing independent music is the fact that there are literately thousands of college radio station across the US each with it’s own unique listener-ship and preferred style of music they like to play. So if you’re an independent act looking for radio promo, college radio is definitely one area that needs to be explored to the fullest.
The last thing that needs to be mentioned about radio promo is no matter what radio format you decide to explore as options for your promo strategy, it takes an enormous amount of time, energy, and patience to make any real head-way. If you’re getting lots of radio program directors to say no, don’t give up - keep going and going because patience and consistence pay off in the long run.