A wise man once said in so many words, "At the end of the day, it's not about how many connections you make, but rather relationships you build." (Chip Mathews - @chipmathews, if you are reading this, I hope you don't mind me borrowing your Twitter post again.) With all the clicking and adding of Facebook friends and Twitter followers daily, throughout the day, how many of those clicks are we turning into relationships. At the rate many of you are going, slowing down to take the time to really get to know someone, seems totally inconceivable. However, if you wish to stay relevant in this industry, which it becoming more and more competitive from day to day, there are two types of relationships, you want to work on consistently - Relationships with your radio stations (terrestrial and internet) and Your FANS! We'll save the FANs for a different blog and roll into what you need to watch out for with the internet radio stations.
I was blessed to be able to interview 3 different movers and shakers in internet radio, and sort of serve as the mediator between you (the artist) and them. I spoke with Kevin James, Program Director for CJBRadio.com
Now let me tell you something, IT DONE GOT REAL with some of the more popular, gospel, internet radio stations when it comes to artists not checking in with the stations after pressing the send button to email their their mp3.The WELCOME word on the welcome mat, is starting to fade and less folks are getting a chance to step on it. Every now and then, if you're in some of the internet radio groups on Facebook, you'll see an outburst/announcement/rant about how UN-supportive, indie artists can be at times. Okay...the bottom line is this, unless you are Mary, Mary or Kirk Franklin, sending your song off to internet radio with NO FOLLOW UP, means NO AIRPLAY. Okay...maybe you got lucky and they snuck your song in there; well...keep in mind, it's just as easy to pull it. Believe that! It happens everyday.
I interviewed Kevin James, of CJBRadio.com first. Now I absolutely love talking to this man. He is so smart and loves sharing his knowledge with people he knows will take the information and run with it. (How am I doing so far Kevin? LOL!!!!!! Oh well...just call me the town crier! I can't keep all this insider info to myself, because I know it is going to benefit you.)
Well...with an estimated 25-30 submissions per day, you'll be surprised to know less than a handful of those get put in rotation. Why? Look...let me ask you a question first? Why would you send a song over to a station and instead of tagging the song with its proper name, you have it tagged as Track 1, 2,3, etc.? I don't know if you got the memo or not, but you ain't finna get paid for those through SoundExchange, or nobody else. Make sure your song is properly tagged! And another thing, if you produced the song in a newcomer's studio, expect it to sound like that. Keep in mind that it is not possible to go from an FM Station to AM and not expect the listener to know the difference. What will they say when the DJ goes from Tamela Mann to your song? Oh I know. They are going to switch to another station in a heartbeat.
Kevin reminded me of something very important when I was speaking with him. We all must remember, advertisers are happy when folks are tuning in. Content is what keeps the listeners locked in and the advertisers want to make sure their ad is heard. If you got a track (labeled I must add (LOL)), the listeners are asking for, or sitting by their computer waiting for it to be played, then you are on your way. According to Kevin, and he was just stating the facts, "Radio doesn't care about your song. It's just content for their advertisers." If you can get this in your head, then you are definitely on your way to WINNING big time!
Now once your song has been selected for that rotation, you need to keep in touch with the station by calling or emailing every two weeks. Ask how you can get more spins and exposure. Find out how much it costs to take out a banner ad/and or ad spot. When your song is not playing, folks will be able to hear a snippet of it in the commercial ad you prepare, and they'll be able to see you while your ad is playing. Remember, it's the song that is in heavy rotation that plays in our heads when it isn't playing anywhere else. (Also, when you call in, ask what region of the country, or other countries, where the station is receiving lots of requests to hear your song played. )
Brother Kevin James was working in Terrestrial Radio for about 12 years before he got into internet radio. He believes that in spite of how rapidly technological advances are being made for our online music listening pleasure, there are still a few offline terrestrial radio strategies you should keep in mind regarding radio success. There really is no need to constantly switch up your selection of songs even though you have a wider pool to choose from. Listeners still like repetition.
Another tip Kevin offers artists, is to make sure they submit songs anywhere from 3-4.5 minutes in length. Anything longer than that, more than likely, just won't be added to rotation.
Below are two sound clips taken from my conversations with Delroy Souden and Andre Carter. (They were recorded separately.) Of course I extracted the most important portions of our conversations.
As I mentioned to you earlier, Delroy Souden is the founder of Ensound Radio, which is really 3 stations; to access Ensound Radio and My ESRN, please go to MYESRN Please give a listen to the tips he provides us with about how to be successful as an artist in internet radio. Also, for those of you are still AFRAID of Twitter, listen to the logic behind how it works for you and the station. (I am going to put up a Twitter Screencast in a few days to show you how to build up your followers, and make Twitter work for you.)
Interview w/Delroy Souden - Founder of Ensound Radio and The Ensound Awards Show by UGTKONation
Now I usually prep the interviewees before I start the interviews, but let me tell you, Mr. Andre Carter, of Synergy1Radiowinner of the Stellar Awards 2012 Internet Radio Station of Year category must have had an agenda when he called in. I barely got a word in edge wise, which is indeed rare, because I am known for talking over people. (Not good, but I've gotten better. I wonder when my daughter's change will come about. (Sigh)). When you listen to how the conversation goes, how he won the Stellar Award will start to add up. This man is a definite go getter. I wouldn't be surprised if he went around town with an Ipad, knocking on folks doors and navigated to the online voting spot for his station after he had them log in under their own names. But honestly, all joking aside, this man has a direction and plan for his station, as well as the artists. He too would like to see you wining at this game.
Andre Carter of SynergyRadio.com and Synergy Magazine by UGTKONation
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Blesssings! Have an Awesome Thursday!
Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1