Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shots Fired Between DJs and Artists About Paying for Promos

I haven't written anything in a while, but I've been pondering what to focus on, in this, my latest blog. I thought it would be something having to do with helping artists promote themselves online for free, but my latest biz venture has guided me to a whole 'notha area.

Recently, I teamed up with DJ Ronnie Ron @ronnieron2k to offer a promotional package to primarily Holy Hip Hop artists via his show entitled, "Hip Hop Praise". DJ Ronnie Ron has been running his show on a shoestring budget for 7 years (via terrestrial radio) and 2 years (internet radio). Not once has he ever asked an artist for a single dime, and very rarely have artists approached him and told him they wanted to bless him with anything.

When DJ Ronnie Ron approached me about the idea of charging a tiny fee for interviews, I thought it was a great idea, and extremely affordable. Basically, yours truly would do the interviews (pre-recorded) and a write up here and DJ Ronnie Ron would play it back 9 times on his 9 shows, which would be at least 15 minutes long. For an introductory fee of just $20, I thought it was the BOMB! You don't have to be a Statistician to figure out, that it actually works out to be a little over $2.00 per show.'d think people would be knocking each other down to get their money in the quickest, so they can be one of the first to be aired. Unfortunately, not all of the conversations have gone very well.

Insults have been hurled and the word PAYOLA has been put out there. SERIOUSLY?! Question: When did $2.00 become PAYOLA. Here's the other one: I will see what I can do. I have a family to feed, you know? (Really, off of $20? Are you the family you speak of?) And another thing, the DJ doesn't have a family? I'm confused.

Here's my thinking - If you go into the studio and lay down your tracks, then get it mastered, then pay money to get it pressed up, what would make a person think it would end there. YOU NEED TO COME UP WITH SOME SORT OF BUDGET.

The interview I posted recently on the internet radio stations kept pushing this one thing home: RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS!!! Picture this: the station has100s of songs to choose from; aside from those which are requested regularly (a handful), it leaves the DJ with lots of songs to choose from. So where does that place your song? I'm just saying.

People have assumed, because they can't fathom the idea of paying to promote themselves that their music will be taken out of rotation. Well...I can't speak for Ron, but I will say this - if a person has 100s of songs to choose from and you have no relationship with them.; in other words, you are not promoting the station in any type of way, by posting any of their flyers on your FB page, or Tweeting to friends and family when your song is being played, what do you think will happen?

Without a DJ, getting a solid footing in the Indie Artist arena is Damn near impossible. Even major artists set aside a budget for radio promotions. It's not possible for you to build a relationship with every station at the same time, so I will reiterate from the previous Internet Blog, choose a handful at a time to run promos for you. 

That's all I have to say about it. In a future blog, if given permission to do so, I will run a list of extremely low rates some of the internet radio stations are advertising, and you can take it from there. Trust me, I know that feeling when you produce something and you say to yourself, nothing else compares, but I want you to be well informed about how it really goes out here.

Thank you for allowing me to step up on my Soapbox and share my thoughts with you. We want you to post comments on this particular blog. Share your thoughts. Radio station owners and artists, we are trying to hear back from all of y'all. We need to dialogue on this. If you feel as though one of the stations has treated you unfairly, please share so we can try to get it straightened out.

Blessings to you and yours!
Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1


DJRonnieRon is always Looking for new music (not because he is dumping them if you don't go with the promo pkg. lol) to keep the program hot. Hit him up on Twitter @ronnieron2k

The Texas Gospel Announcers Guild will be taking place Nov. 22-24. Yours truly will be speaking on Saturday as a part of the Indie Artists 101 workshop. For further details and to get registered, please click on the flyer below: