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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why won’t radio play my music? By Jerry W. Henry




I spent 7 ½ years making my living in radio. Therefore I feel qualified to answer a question musicians ask me often; why won’t radio play my music?

The process by which Commercial Radio gets paid is based on ratings. Ratings are a system for counting listeners, which is the factor that determines what radio can charge its advertisers. Most of radio’s revenues come from ad agencies. Ad agencies base their "buys" on a Cost Per Point ("CPP") basis. CPP is based on how many thousands of listeners a radio station can capture in a 15-minute period (cume).

Commercial Radio knows an “untested song” has the potential to cause listeners to tune out or leave the station. This would lower ratings thus they would have to charge their advertisers less. Commercial Radio hires consultants that tell the radio station’s program director what to play. The consultant makes their decisions based on the national charts provided by Radio and Records, Billboard and Broadcast Data Systems (BDS). Needless to say, big money or major labels by way of strategic alliances and promotions, control these charts.

Bottom line: Money is the reason radio won’t play your music.

There have been instances where music artists got so much attention from the Internet that radio was compelled to play their single. My advice, do what you can do. There are still some college radio stations that will play your music. Put your music on music submission sites and get a CDBaby.com account so you can get your music on iTunes and start promoting. Make as much noise as you can on the net.

I remember when we were fed a bunch of BS about Clear Channel and GarageBand.com partnering to aid new artists. There must not have been enough money in it for Clear Channel. In my opinion Commercial Radio is still operating in the analog world.

Success will come when you change your marketing model from analog to digital.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Jerry for your experience and wisdom. I and probably many others have no doubt asked the same questions over and again and sometimes even made us upset because we feel ignored and that the DJs don't want to play our music. Thank you for sharing.
    Carol Lockridge

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