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. Wow...you'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!
Sincerely,
Arielle a.k.a. Determinator1
@UGTKONation

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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:

16 comments:

  1. As a Radio Station owner and artist I must concur with the sentiments published. Everybody deserves to be compensated for their time and efforts. If we continue to live the "free" lifestyle, we will all be broke, busted and disgusted. In that case, no ministry can move forward. Ministry cannot function without money and ministers cannot minister without being properly taken care of. Furthermore, a radio station cannot remain on the air if someone refuses to pay the bills. -Serious

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    1. I thank you for your comment Sis. Serious. You have the unique position of understanding both sides of the situation, because you have a station and rap. (Side note- Y'all be sure to check out http://www.theyeshour.com). It's true, no one gets ahead in their ministry without investing something. And like you say...there's also overhead to consider.

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  2. As an artist I have made supporting the outlets that air my music a priority. I have purchased advertising, sent gifts and tried to let my radio partners know that I appreciate the spins. A promotional budget is just as essential as a production budget if you're releasing a music project.

    That said, if an artist has a following and comes on your program and is promoting that appearance to their fan base, that's a win-win. Paying for interviews is a little problematic, but encouraging artists to buy advertising seems like a better way to go.

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    1. Thank you Brother Todd! It's always good to hear from someone who understands how this works. I wonder how it feels to have someone going out of their way for you, and you do nothing to show your gratitude.

      As far as the interviews go, many of the other internet radio stations are already doing it, and it seems to work. Running ads with the station is something else we are trying to get the artists to look into, but I think they will cost more. I know of a station now charging $20-30 for 30 second spots.

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  3. I think this is a great thing dj Ron and you are doing for indie artist like myself and I am going to get on board very soon also we as artist should be honored to have someone to help and support our different styles and ways of sharing all our orignal talent so to all indie artists I would say let's make it happen be blessed

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    1. Mr.JG1, I thank you so much for taking a moment to comment on the blog for us. We appreciate you just as much as you appreciate us. Yes...the world is made up of people with a variety of talents, and it takes us all to put it together. I believe so much more can be done when we unite to build up the Kingdom.

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  4. As an independent artist myself, I can see the importance of promotion, and recognize that you have to be willing to invest something in yourself. "No matter how many times you multiply $0, it's still gonna be $0

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Qstorm. Isn't it interesting how, $0 + $0 or even $0 x $0 is still zero? It's like constantly goin to the bank and making withdrawals, and never any deposits. Even if your withdrawals outweigh your deposits, you can still go back and make withdrawals. This is how we need to start looking at our relationships. We'll continue to pray on improving our relationships with artists so no one feels like they are being strong armed into doing anything.

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  5. Not networking with the proper people will stunt your growth and lead to career suicide. So many times I see people get caught up in the music side of things but don't take time to focus on the business side of things. It seems like in this information age of ours we've grown more lazy and less intelligent in some areas. The industry is 5% music and 95% business. People don't study they industry they're in enough to learn the Ins Outs Do's and Dont's. Gospel music( in my opinion) is the most needed but worst promoted music out there. What happened to studying to show thyself approved, doing things in excellence, and handling business as men(and women). Not using a good/professional DJ to promote and gain exposure/promotion is one of the worst things an artist can do. I'm not going to go into detail on it but I've seen what happens when a DJ is used properly to promote music and what happens when a DJ isn't used to promote properly

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