Radio Promotion
Start your promotional radio efforts by compiling a list of all the radio stations in your area where you would like your music to be played -- a working wishlist. It's probably smart to start with college stations over commercial radio. It's also worth mentioning that public radio stations are often amenable to new artists, though college radio still tends to be the most experimental with its playlists. College radio, compared with commercial radio, is generally more willing to take risks by supporting an alternative or unknown artist. Because college stations usually obtain much of their funding from their affiliated academic institution, they don't need to worry as much about advertising and sponsors, and can therefore take more chances with unique playlists and unusual styles. Moreover, the folks working at college stations are usually young students who are passionate about music, and so will be more likely to play a record simply because they like it (i.e. without commercial reasons in mind). But unfortunately, college radio isn't as powerful as it once was. In the past, many bands such as REM benefited from college radio as a springboard toward larger-scale, massive commercial/mainstream success. But it's been years since college radio has provided such a springboard. Why this is so is an academic argument; I'm of the opinion that since commercial radio embraced "Alternative" or "Modern Rock" as a viable format, college radio was no longer looked at or listened to as representing the expert voice in picking new music. But the reasons aside, it is an undeniable fact that obtaining college airplay has its own merits in exposing your music to new fans -- but there are no guarantees that it will act as a springboard to success in other areas of music marketing (as commercial radioplay usually does). You may find that you have no choice but to start with college radio. While college radio-station personnel will definitely speak to you and consider playing your record, many commercial stations simply don't play records by unsigned acts unless that act has some truly remarkable story surrounding it (being great musically is, unfortunately, not the deciding factor here). In fact, one of the major benefits of signing a record deal is obtaining access to national commercial radio promotion.
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