Curious about how to get your music played on college radio? You came to the right place. In the constantly changing world of music promotion, college radio remains an underrated constant--an excellent place for independent artists to reach fans that has changed very little in the last 30 years.
What has changed is that with the addition of social media, it's easier than ever to build relationships with college radio DJs and fans alike. Any college radio promoter who doesn't include a social marketing element in their work is leaving valuable opportunities on the table for their clients.
But how does my song get played in the first place?
Step One: Music Submissions
Here at Little Red Radio Promotion, the process begins with us sending your materials out to radio stations. Many college radio stations accept digital submissions, but some still only accept physical. Part of our job is staying on top of what music formats different stations accept.
We mail physical CDs to physical-only stations and send out emails, which include EPKs and a link to download your music, to stations that accept digital submissions.
Step Two: Outreach & Follow-Ups
The next part of our job is to stay in close contact with music directors at each college radio station to make sure they've received the record, gotten a chance to check it out, ask what they thought about it, and ask them to give it some spins!
Many college radio promotion companies have switched to email-only as their means of follow-ups, but we've one of a handful of promoters that still call hundreds of radio stations each week.
It's more work, but college radio stations have such a high turnover rate. Phone calls to radio stations really still is the best way to make sure our submissions are reaching the right people and getting airplay. Also, we spend all week chatting on the phone with some of the most knowledgable and dedicated young music fans in the world. What could be better than that?
We conduct follow-ups for ten weeks following initial music submissions.
Step Three: Tracking & Reporting
There are a few way to stay on top of radio play. One great way is by staying in contact with college radio music directors. They tell us if a record has been added, if it's gotten plays, and if they have any feedback.
We also use a paid service called Spinitron that tracks individual spins from most college radio stations. Spinitron is neat because we can see how many times a song got played on a given station and even see what time in was played, so we can track down that DJ and thank them personally.
Finally, we also include info from NACC charts when reporting. NACC is an organization that tracks top performing albums and songs on college radio in the US and Canada.
We report consistently to our clients every two weeks throughout the course of our ten-week campaign.
Once an artist has gotten radio airplay, we put them to work lining up social media merch giveaways with stations, creating content to thank stations and let their fans know about traction their music is getting on the radio. This ensures that they're making the most of all the new exposure they've gotten!
Can I Do It Myself?
Yes! Nothing we do here is magic, it's just time and consistency. Building and maintaining a contact list is a lot of work and you need the hours to follow up during the week, but it's all very doable if you have the time!
That's Basically It!
Do you have more questions about how to get your music played on the radio? Drop them in the comments or reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org