How to get radio airplay in 2020

Getting played on radio isn’t easy, but here are some helpful tips on pitching your music to stations and building relationships with DJs.

While streaming continues to dominate the music industry, radio’s millions of listeners everyday tuning in to hear new catchy music still counts for a huge portion of listeners. Radio airplay is something managers and labels with good connections can offer, but as more and more artists are going independent, radio remains an import tool to reach a new audience and grow your music online. Unfortunately there’s no simple trick, but here are some tips that may come in useful.


The Music

Make sure your music is radio friendly. Regardless of genre, it needs to be somewhat commercial in order to fit in. Make sure you pick your best track that connected with fans. It should be under 4 minutes, with clean language and no political or religious message.

Get the track uploaded to SoundCloud. SoundCloud allow private uploads, so they don’t appear on the main feed and only those with the link can access it. Sharing a SoundCloud link means the recipient can quickly and easily stream the track without having to download any files or filling up their email inbox. Get the WAV or FLAC file uploaded to cloud services too. This means if they do want to use the music, they can download the uncompressed track.


Pitching

Don’t shoot straight for the daytime slots on top stations in your country. Start by reaching out to local stations that are looking for new music. Daytime DJs often don’t have much say in what gets played. They are most likely required to play a predetermined playlists of chart hits. Pitching to night-time DJs will be an easier first step as there’s less radio traffic at this time. Find stations in your area that typically plays your style/genre of music. Build up your airplay numbers, gain traction locally and reach bigger stations as you go.

When pitching you need to stand out. Be sure to talk up your music, why it’s important to you and your personal successes so far. These scouts are likely listening to hundreds of tracks a day. Keep your pitch short and sweet. Give them a reason to listen to your music.

In the UK, BBC Introducing helps thousands of emerging artists gain radio airplay. Once you’ve uploaded your track for free, you’ll be notified when the track is listened to and if it’s played. BBC Introducing also have stages at top festivals around the UK.


Building Relationships

If you can establish a relationship with DJs, this will help no end. Don’t spam DJs. They get plenty of requests for airplay and will know what sort of music works when they hear it. Engage with their content on social feeds. If you music gets played on any stations, be sure to thank the DJs that played your music. Build a connection with someone on the inside that can push your next big track forward.


Click here to find out how to track your radio and TV plays.

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