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Original Bands - How do you get airplay and radio support?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Tendollarcat, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. Guys,

    My band is doing reasonably well here in Australia and has picked up some reasonable radio support. We are interested in branching out to the US and Canada. I was hoping to get some tips, experiences and sources for good radio stations to contact. We started working through databases of stations per area and the list is huge!

    My bands genre is alternative/indie rock I guess. This is us -


    We are very much a self managed band. Our drummer is heading over to the US and Canada in a few weeks so we'll send out a bunch of physical copies of our release then but also look to frequently distribute stuff digitally. Any suggestions on stations you recommend or even good distribution services would be much appreciated.


  2. ma4rk


    Jun 28, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mate, send a CD to every single radio station you can find - my band did that and found it's way on air in some suprising places!
    Do what we wished we could do & move over there, tour, tour, tour, tour & repeat. Also, get in touch with a producer for the next recording - if you stay in Brisbane seek out someone like Jeff Lovejoy & get that HUGE sound. The songs & recording are great but you need to push it to that next step if you know what i mean?
  3. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    It's supposed to be illegal, but the easiest way is you pay for it.

    There's a loophole that you can buy advertising time and use that time to play your song. Sometimes they put a "This song brought to you by _______" before the tune. If the song gets a decent response they may add it to their playlist.

    Obviously this can get pretty expensive in major markets, so it's good to start with a few smaller markets. Or you could go for broke and put the whole budget into one or two huge stations that are influential to other markets. There was a time that if you could get played on KROQ every station in the country would add you.

    Good luck.
  4. grooveypie


    May 23, 2012
    Michigan, USA
    Try the college radio stations first, but ma4rk is right. You just gotta send CDs to every station and pray.
  5. Thanks for responding and I completely understand what you mean. I've recorded with Jeff before and know how good he is. He was beyond our budget this time around but we're hoping to work up to a studio of his standard.

    I think we'll test our response to this release by trying everyone we can and then try to improve on it with the next one if that makes sense.
  6. This doesn't sound at all different to Australia :)

    Our budget doesn't really give us a great range of options so I think your point on smaller markets is a great way for us to start.
  7. Thanks mate. Our international approach will therefore be identical to what we did here in Australia. Makes sense!
  8. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    And hey, it's not the only way, but it's the one that'll most likely guarantee results. You can spend money, or you can spend time. Just depends on which you have more of.
  9. JohnMCA72


    Feb 4, 2009
    Don't just send CDs. Find out who the Program Directors & Music Directors are. Contact them directly, & not just once, either. Let them know whenever you're doing something interesting. Call them. Meet them. Get to know them. Take them out for coffee. Become their friends.
  10. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Shmoozing an American program director when you're based in Australia MIGHT get more expensive than simply buying airtime on the station in the first place... just sayin'.
  11. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    Here's a link on this very subject from one of the independent stations here in Seattle:

    Submitting Music

  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Thus far this entire thread is a discussion of terrestrial radio. But what of Internet radio? It's much, much less expensive to execute a proper Internet radio campaign (i.e. email MP3s or links, as opposed to snail-mailing copies of your CD(s), etc.) - at least for the initial pitch phase. And while the Internet radio audience is not as established as with terrestrial radio, it is growing all the time - and rapidly - whereas terrestrial radio is way past its prime, and is slowly stagnating.

    You want international reach? There's nothing more international than the Internet... :meh:

  13. Thanks for the info and ideas guys. I really appreciate it.

    Funnily enough, whenever our band plays a new town or scene, we try to get a feel for the place by talking to other musicians. It's the handful of useful contacts or ideas that have worked for other bands that can really help at times. We try to do the same thing for people we play with in Brisbane. It's definitely not an easy time to be an original band but it's pretty cool that people can help out on forums like TB.
  14. Definitely start with the college radio stations first;from there it tends to spread by word of mouth(and other free ways-file sharing,etc.)
  15. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Start with college radio stations. When we were doing it, we sent them our CD, in a little "kit." That kit included a little toy guitar with our band logo on it, that when you pushed buttons on it, it played little riffs. That kit included some good photos, good and ridiculous press, and some candy, and weird stuff like that.

    That's how you legally "bribe" college stations to push your music.

    At least, that's how you did it in the nineties.

    In the eighties, you just went in and did coke with them.
  16. Why not send us the MP3 and we can all go pimp it at our local station? Use the power of the internet for good, your own good!
  17. pmchenry


    May 6, 2012
    SE PA
    Swap out "coke" for "bath salts" and not a whole lot has changed...
  18. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    My band has used this and its pretty cool. I agree go to the indie market or college market. The national radio market will throw anything you send them away or use your Cd's as coasters. Without a national label, tour and marketing backings nobody will touch you on the national radio level. Even then its not who you know it's who you..:eyebrow: well it is everywhere in this biz :rollno:
  19. Mac Pherson

    Mac Pherson

    Jul 5, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    You guys could also hire a radio tracking company to work the single in strategic markets.
  20. Thanks guys. College and Internet based stations is sounding like the best option for this release. Like any first release, the intention is to establish our name with some stations and generally gather some initial support. We are currently working on our next single and hope to take promo up a notch for that one.

    On the basis of feedback from some of you guys and some links and lists, I think we now have a few great places to start. Much appreciated!

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