|SANDRA WALTON ANSWERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RADIO PROMOTION|
|EMAIL SANDRA WALTON||CALL US AT (713) 863 - 8311|
|SANDRA WALTON ANSWERS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RADIO PROMOTION|
How Do I Get On The Radio?
Start by sending us your project. We will evaluate every song on your CD make our recommendations. Once your single is chosen, it may be placed on a radio compilation disc and sent out to the radio stations in our massive directory. Alternately, we also offer an email option whereby we send MP3 files to the stations. We currently list over 3,000 radio stations ranging from Southern Gospel, Christian Country, Inspirational, and Mixed Format. We also service over 200 mainstream Country stations across America.
Why Should I Never Just Send My CD To Radio Stations?
FIRST, it's not going to be listened to if you send it unsolicited. SECOND, many unsolicited CD's end up in a closet until some industrious person at a radio station loads up the entire stack and takes it down to the local music store and sells the lot for quick cash. (Yes, it happens every single day.) And THIRD, radio station personnel, especially Music Directors, know that this IS NOT the way professional artists conduct business. NOW, all of that said, there will most likely come a point when a radio station WILL ASK for copies of your project to give away as prizes for call in contests. (and we HIGHLY recommend you send them! We know of MAJOR artists whose careers have suffered for refusing to do so)
How Do You Get My Song Into Radio Stations?
As I said earlier, we offer radio compilation discs, email MP3 files, and even provide a download page on our site where DJ's and Music Directors can access your single. And yes, we screen every inquiry to make sure that it's actually a radio station requesting your single. We DO NOT give your music away otherwise.
What Can You Do For Me That I Can't Do For Myself?
Well, for starters we have a HUGE network of radio stations with whom we have existing relationships. Next, we act as your advocate. Who is a DJ or Music Director more likely to deal with, an artist or a fellow industry professional he or she already knows? Again and again, DJ's tell us stories of artists sending them a CD and then calling to find out if the station is going to play it. It's important to understand that while getting a song on the radio is an exciting step for an artist, it's business as usual for industry professionals. In other words, it's their job. It's what they do every day of the week and most of them are overworked and stretched thin. Working in this industry, we have grown to understand the economy of motion in radio; when to make what move. And last, we act as your buffer. DJ's and Music Directors can make or break an artist's or group's career. Because their jobs require it, they can sometimes be critical about an artist or a single. You need someone to whom a DJ or Music Director can speak openly and honestly. We act as your filter by letting them speak without fear of offending the artist. AS an artist, you would be surprised at how much your career can improve when you listen to and follow constructive criticism from industry professionals.
What Charts Do You Track?
Currently, for Southern Gospel and Christian Country, we track Singing News Top 80 and Power Source.
How Important Are The Charts?
How important are they to YOU? That's the question. If getting in the charts is the only thing that matters to you, then they can be very important. However, ask yourself this question: who has the number one single RIGHT NOW? If you knew the answer and didn't have to look it up, charting is most likely at the top of your priorities. However, consider this:
Our good friends Dottie Rambo and her manager Larry Ferguson put things into proper perspective as far as charting and what it does for an artist. Having released a national single to radio a few years back, they watched the charts to see what would happen. Time went by and there was no trace of Dottie on any of the charts. However, an interesting phenomenon was taking place. Dottie sold over five (5) times the number of CD's in the first month of her single's release than the group at #1 on the charts sold ALL YEAR LONG.
So, to answer this question, we have to know what your goals are. It is our experience that solid, long term careers are built over time. Artists land on and fall off the charts all the time. Where are they now? Realisitically, you may not chart your first time out. But that's okay if you are committed to working at your career for years to come.
How Will I Know What's Happening With My Song?
We will report to you and provide tracking sheets whenever possible. Sometimes a tracking report might simply state how much airplay you are receiving. Other times, DJ's and Music Directors will request product or ask for interviews from artists. We gladly relay all of that information to you, the artist.
Do I Have To Release A Single Nationally To Get Airplay?
No. In fact, we sometimes recommend releasing a single to just a few markets or even a single region. If getting bookings is your primary concern, this might be your best approach. It is sometimes better to aggressively and effectively pursue a smaller area to build a profile than to scatter yourself everywhere and diminish your efforts. We will cover this with you when we talk about your radio campaign and what you need it to do for you.
Will I Hear My Song On The Radio?
That's our goal. The short answer is, most likely. In our experience, an artist's or group's hometown station gets excited to be part of an actual radio campaign. It lets the station personnel know that the artist or group has gotten serious enough about the business. There are some great people in the radio business who want to see someone they know succeed.
How Do I Earn Airplay Royalties?
Your song must be registered with a performance rights organization. In this country, there are three of them: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. A quick visit to each of their websites and you'll be told why each of them is better than the others. In the end, you will have to decide.
If you have a music publisher you are working with, he or she should take care of the details. You may also start your own publishing company if you like and request a Publisher Member Kit from each of these organizations. To find out more about what a Music Publisher does, CLICK HERE.
Radio stations report to the performance rights organizations, or PRO's. They submit a sample song list which is reviewed by the PRO's who, in turn, charge the station a blanket license fee. The PRO then uses their own formula and calculates how much airplay each song would be getting based on the sample lists. They then divide up the money earned from the radio stations and distribute it to the publishers and writers of the songs. Payment distributions are usually around two fiscal quarters behind. Overseas royalties can take up to two years or more to collect.
What About Internet Radio?
Internet Radio: The Final Frontier. Actually, it's quite a bit less dramatic than that. Internet radio is what people make it. Many broadcast stations do a simulcast on the internet. Many of their requests and correspondence comes from online listeners. Many of our clients have done phone interviews with radio stations around the country and have friends and family listen in on the internet. Now THAT'S cool. In that respect, internet radio is extremely important.
Now, on the other hand, there are "internet only" radio stations. Some "Broadcasters" are serious people who broadcast 24/7 and have interactive websites. Then, there are others who broadcast only on weekends or after work. We do not discount even the smallest internet broadcaster! Some of these people go on to work at actual broadcast radio stations. We see every radio station, large or small, as a potential opportunity for our clients. Some artists sell CD's online and get bookings simply by having their songs heard on internet radio.
What All Should My Radio Promotion Company Do For Me?
What SHOULDN'T your promotion company do for you? While we can't speak for every radio promoter, we get actively involved with each and every client. Our phones seem to NEVER stop ringing. Because we develop personal as well as business relationships, Destiny Now tends to offer more. Our first goal is to get your single into the radio stations and get it into regular rotation. Next, we try to get DJ's and Music Directors interested and involved with our clients. We set up both in-studio and phone interviews for our artists and groups. We arrange contests and promotional events involving our clients. And, because of our ever expanding capabilities, we are now creating promotional items. We write press releases, we edit video footage, we build websites, we can and do so much more for our clients because we know them.
What Should Radio Airplay Do For Me?
Radio airplay should first raise your profile. Your first goal is to be taken as a serious artist or group. This has a "snowball" effect. Here's how it works: you bring Destiny Now onboard as your radio promotion team. We develop your target station list according to your specific needs. Whenever possible, we advise you of live performance venues and retail outlets in areas where you are receiving airplay. Using this information, you are now in a position to pursue bookings and distribution as opportunites avail themselves.
Will Radio Stations Really Play My Song?
The short answer is "Yes". Not every station will play your single. We've had MAJOR artists get rejected by even small stations for a whole host of reasons. We've also had MAJOR radio stations play completely unknown artists, no questions asked. Things that make you go, "Hmmmmmm...."
Do You Guarantee Radio Airplay?
No, we do not. However, every artist or group who has ever been promoted by us has received radio airplay. We must be doing something right!
Do You Ever Turn Anyone Down?
Yes. Unfortunately, not every song is appropriate for radio. Sometimes it comes down to a song not fitting the criteria for the genres we represent. We have turned potential clients down when they have sent "rough demo's" of a song. While we do full audio and recording project production, our radio promotion department is strictly for radio promotion. Your single should be finished and polished before sending it out to stations.
How Do I Know If My Song Is Good Enough For Radio?
We will tell you our honest opinion, you can decide for yourself. However, remember that you may be more critical of yourself than other people are. If we say your song is good enough, it's probably good enough.
Can I Release A Single Before My CD Is Released?
Absolutely! It happens all the time, especially with major artists. In fact, let's just move on to the next question!
What Is Test Marketing?
I thought you'd never ask! Test marketing is just that: testing a potential market to see what kind of response is attained before sinking huge amounts into a project or a promotional campaign. Here's a good example: a few years back, a legendary female Country artist, who you would recognize immediately, decided to try her hand at Southern Gospel and Christian Country. Now, given the fact she had sold MILLIONS of units in her lifetime, she was presented with a dilema. Would her loyal Country fans follow her into a new genre? Furthermore, would this new genre embrace an outsider?
Before spending a fortune on a recording project, this legendary artist recorded a single and released it to radio. While she received nominal airplay, the numbers simply did not justify spening any more money in this new pursuit. It was a smart business decision made by a smart business woman!
What About Hiring Multiple Promoters?
Not a good idea. Why? No one wants to work hard so someone else can take credit. Hiring twice the people usually only gets you about half the work done.
How Long Do You Promote My Song?
That's up to you. However, we will evaluate a single's progress and give you our recommendations. Usually, after two months if you're not getting played, we will suggest ending the campaign. In some circumstances, there may be a slow start and we will suggest continuing.
Will I Be Required To Do Anything?
Yes. At some point, we may ask you to call some stations just to get DJ's and Music Directors familiar with you. We may ask you to do radio interviews or send product for give away contests. We HIGHLY recommend doing what we ask. There are some one time major artists who cannot score a much needed hit because they just couldn't part with a few units of product or didn't think they should have to call a handful of DJ's. If we ask you to do something, it's for a very good reason.
Where Does Radio Airplay Fit Into My Overall Strategy?
It's part of a much bigger picture. What good is being on the radio if you don't get out and meet your fans or perform and sell CD's? That's why we discuss strategy with each client and custom build a radio campaign specific to their needs.
What Are Your Integrated Solutions?
We combine broadcast radio, a website, internet radio, and email to achieve a synergistic effect. We hit it from all angles.
Do You Have A Plan That Fits My Needs?
Yes, we certainly do.
How Do We Get Started?
By calling us and discussing your career goals. We would love to speak to you and learn more about what you are doing. Call us at (713) 863 - 8311