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The Connect: Do You Really Need Radio Play?

Radio play is always going to be beneficial but it works best when all of your paperwork is in order & there’s a goal in place. What most artists have to remember to keep in mind is that just like any other company, the radio industry is a business. Their sole purpose is to sell advertisements, not break artists. Breaking artists will not get the bills paid.

An artist should look towards radio play once their work has been copyrighted, and registered through Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, better known as “BDS.” This can be an amazing tool for Record Executives when scouting for “what’s hot” within the market or “who’s competing” with their mainstream records & why. Once your spins have started to accumulate you’ll start hearing from or be able to submit your music to Networks such as BET, VH1, & MTV. It’s all about “Supply & Demand.”

BDS is in place to track all radio stations, televisions, Internet, & the latest will be, if not already, some of the nightclubs. Not all of these however are monitored. You can have your song playing every day on a well known popular station, but it still may not be accounted for if the source is not set up to recognize the music. At this point it just becomes “promotion,” in which it can still be a great asset for an unknown artists, as it is still an advantage to gain fans. If you can land an interview, it will give you an opportunity to let people buy into who you are. When you become an artist, you become a brand. I’ll touch on that more at a later date.

In closing, if you are looking to receive radio play here are some key factors to keep in mind.

• It’s a business, so treat it as such. Buy advertisements, partner up with them. Book them to host your parties and events.

• Provide a quality record. They aren’t interested in hearing an entire mixtape or album. One radio edit (if required) original single, not to exceed 3:15.

•Utilize it as a tool, not the sole resource to get ahead. You’ll still need to advertise elsewhere and find creative ways to build your fanbase. Ultimately connecting with the fans & the DJs, will land you radio play.

Remember, there’s no need to rush. No need to skip steps. Give a reason for people to want to have your exclusive record ”on deck.” The radio play will be there whether local or satellite. Take the time to establish yourself within your market & before you know it they will be looking for you.

-Onyx, Queen of Killeen, Singer•Songwriter | Music Professional | Executive Producer & Host of Jermaine Dupri’s Global 14 the Cut | 2014 SEA Internet Hustler of the Year

(C)Aug 2013
(P)Nov 2013

*written originally for The Connect via centexhiphop.com

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