Monday, June 18, 2018

How To Submit Music To Radio Made Simple | hypebot

1When submitting music for radio, musicians will, at some point in the process, hit a brick wall. Here we look at straight forward breakdown of how to submit your music in a way that increases your chances of it getting picked up.


Guest post by D. Grant Smith of the Symphonic Blog

Music submissions for radio can be simple or they can seem impossible. What’s your experience been?

Whether you’re trying to get your music featured on the radio (FM or online) or on a music blog, podcast, playlist or other media outlet, most musicians run into a big brick wall when it comes to getting your music featured.

Why is that?

What if the answer was something so simple, so basic, so “Duh!” that it made you a little upset for me to mention it?

That’s likely to happen.

But here’s the thing. As best-selling author and coach Jen Sincero says so eloquently in her book You Are A Badass, sometimes the best wisdom is stuff you already know but aren’t using.

That’s certainly true with music submissions.

What I’m going to show you here is actually pretty simple stuff. But most musicians aren’t doing it. AND … most music promotion companies and PR firms aren’t either.

Yeah, those big music marketers that charge several thousand dollars to do email and social media marketing campaigns for solo artists and bands make the same mistakes as musicians doing it on their own. Just because a music marketer has a huge contact list doesn’t mean they know what to do with it.

It’s likely they don’t.

So save your pretty pennies, nickels and dimes (or in real terms, save the $2-5k needed to hire this marketing work out) and learn from someone who sits on the other side of the microphone to know what we (as music curators, media personalities, radio hosts, bloggers and the like) are looking for with music submissions.

What I’m giving you here are the first steps to take when contacting media. The full process is explained in detail in The DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook. Even more insights, tips and tactics for audience growth through relationship building are available here.

You will know exactly what to do to get your music listened to, picked up and showcased after reading this blog piece.

First Things First

Do you know who your audience is?

Seriously, get down to the brass tacks here. Your music has a certain niche audience, a specific appeal that very particular music fans absolutely love. They go crazy-nuts over you because your style is exactly what they connect with.

Do you know who these people are?

Start here before you contact anyone in media, because this little detail is absolutely essential to you being able to do three key things in getting picked up:

  1. Knowing WHICH radio/media entities to contact
  2. Identifying WHO you want to get in front of (both the media influencer and their audience)
  3. Being able to showcase to the music curator what you bring to the table and why they should pick you

Look, I can tell you where to go find a massive list of email addresses for radio stations, radio shows, podcast makers, music bloggers and other people who work in the music curation sphere with an audience.

And I can tell you what to say and what not to say. But none of that matters if you don’t know who your music is the best fit for.

Let me be really clear here. YOUR MUSIC IS NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!!!

2Sheesh, it has to be said. Your music isn’t for everyone who likes music. Because guess what, you’re not talking about anyone there.

Do you like everything? Really?

Do you like Yanni? Or Ravel? Or The Spice Girls? Or Megadeth? Or Bon Jovi? Or Led Zeppelin? Or Dolly Parton? Or Etta James? Or Duran Duran? Or Donna Summers? Or Isaac Hayes? Or New Order?

If you’re thinking, “I’ve never heard of a lot of those people. Are they super old?” you’d be right. They are award-winning and platinum artists from the days of yore. And each one is most known in a particular genre. Which is the point.

The chances of someone with a huge, eclectic palette of musical tastes isn’t in love with all of these artists. Likely they have an appreciation for a handful of them.

Which means that “people who love music” have varying degrees of passion for different types of musicians, each who does something unique and different than the rest.

Uniqueness Is What Is Desirable For Music Fans & Radio Stations

Fast-forward to today’s hit makers. The same thing applies. Look at the trendsetters in any genre, especially in the indie music world and you’ll find all sorts of crossover artists who use different styles within their songwriting.

But we’re still talking about artists who know what their audiences love and what they don’t. When you hear them on an indie radio station, you’re going to hear them paired with music that their fans still love that fits in a few different boxes, but not all boxes.

If you make music that could fit into the folk rock world while also crossing into reggae, electronic rock, and singer-songwriter you’d be similar to Trevor Hall. Trevor has a passionate audience that spans multiple genres, but his media features for particular songs ping on specific styles that appeal to specific music fans.

In the indie/singer-songwriter realm there are folks like Iron & Wine, Rachael Yamagata, William Fitzsimmons and Miranda Dodson. Each bring their own uniqueness to the table by blending styles of varying genres, such as jazz, folk, and big band, into their creative songwriting.

These are just a few examples of indie musicians who have crossed over into different realms all while garnering the adulation and airplay of media and music fans alike.

Think about your music from the standpoint of a radio programmer. This is Lesson No. 1. Before you’re going to get picked out of the massive amount of music being submitted, how do you fit on a particular radio program, blog or podcast? Why is your music the best fit?

When you know who your audience is, you can answer this question.

Think about three artists or bands you are comparable to. That could mean you have a similar sound, or style, or songwriting capacity, or you blend the sound/style of a few different artists. If you want to know who you sound like, ask your existing fans. This little trick also helps you to go after fans of those artists to convert them over to your music.

Once you know who you sound like, and know who your fans are, you can do the essential piece of the music marketing puzzle: Go After The Right People For Your Music.

There are two very powerful ways to get your music on the radio. The first is knowing WHO to contact and being specific about those people and stations (or programs). You have to know your own musical identity first, and be solid on the uniqueness that you bring to the table.

The second big thing is how you contact these folks. Be specific with who you contact and present your “Why?” in a powerful way. This means that you give them the insights and intrigue necessary to not only reply to you, but to take the time to listen to your music.

You might not be aware of this, but music curators in radio or other media don’t spend all their time every day just listening to music and putting it on their platform. Station managers and music directors at radio stations (usually the people responsible for what goes over the airwaves) wear a multitude of different hats, and are responsible for different aspects of their stations or programs. Playing music is just one of those responsibilities.

To get the attention and interest of a radio station manager, think from their perspective. How do you do that?

Listen to their station or program. Get a grid for what is interesting to them based on the music you hear. Take a few notes. Then, you have something you can reference to them when you send that initial email to them to see about airplay.

If you’re thinking, “Wait, I have to send an individual email to each station I want to get heard on? That’s going to take forever and I don’t have that kind of time. Why don’t I just write a really long pitch that says everything about me and all the great stuff about my music, and also include all of my links and videos for my songs? That way I’ll knock everything out all at once,” you’re making the classic mistake I mentioned earlier.

One big, generic pitch email is a blanket message, aka it’s spam. Do you read spam when it comes into your inbox? Sent to you by someone you don’t know, have never met, never heard of, or have any reason to care about? Oh you don’t? Yeah, me neither.

Neither do music curators in media. Actually, blanket pitches often get trashed and never opened. All of my music curator friends in radio, blogging and podcasting complain often about the silly and bland blanket emails we get.

And before you get on the soapbox of not having enough time, I’d like to ask you how many Netflix shows you’ve watched in the past week. If it’s more than one, you have time.

Or how many times a day you jump on your personal Facebook profile to chat with friends, comment on cat pictures, or watch whatever random video pops into your feed?

If it’s a priority to you, you’ll have the time for it. And if getting your music heard on the radio, building relationships with music curators and influencers, and reaching new fans to grow your audience is a priority for you then you’ll make the time (and focus) on making that happen.

Give yourself 10-15 minutes a day if time is really tight. You’ll find that you have more time available than you think you do when you focus your time on what matters to your growth.

Your Email Submission Made Simple

The basic pieces of an initial email are simple. Address the recipient by name. Dale Carnegie said it best in How To Win Friends And Influence People:

“Names are the most important word in any language.”

If someone doesn’t address you by name, who are they talking to? The same is true in email. 

This is another reason why the blanket, spammy emails that are addressed to “Hello,” “Dear Sir/Madame,” or “Dear Music Manager” just fall flat on their face in the digital trash can.

Don’t make that mistake. Address who you want to talk with and call them by name. Be sure to spell it correctly and call them by how you’ve seen their name posted (especially if it’s the name used in their email address).

One little piece of psychology that will help you make friends, contacts and connections with anyone is this little nugget: People love talking about themselves and hearing how great they are.

Think about the people you love spending time with the most. Do they spend all the time hanging out with you just talking about how awesome they are and never pay attention to anyone else? Likely not. We’re naturally drawn to people who are observant about others around them and who make a point to talk other people up.

When someone talks with you about what they appreciate and enjoy about you, it makes you feel good. You naturally want to connect with them.

The same is true when you reach out to media. Tell the person who puts great music on the radio how much you appreciate them and what they do. Be specific. Name an experience you had listening to their station that made you go, “This station/program is awesome! I wish I could get my music heard here!”

When you do that, you go from being this random person who’s trying to get hooked up with airplay to a real listener who values what the station/program does. And that’s how you get people to pay attention to you.

Which also means that you need to name the station or program. Don’t just say “I love what you do on your station.” What station are you talking about?

The more specific you are in naming things, the better results you’ll get.

Finally, you want to put your music in front of the radio gatekeeper to get them to listen and consider you for airplay and features. How do you do that part?

One easy way is to ask the person how they prefer music be submitted. You’d be very surprised how this endears you to the station manager, music director, or program host. Because very few artists actually ask that question.

Some music curators want you to send them a few mp3 files. Some want to hear your tracks on your website. Others have a submission page or service they use. When you ask how they prefer to get music submissions, you show them that you’re really interested in making their job easier and serving their audience.

Which leads to them being more apt to work with you. And respond to you. And get your music featured in some way.

Those are all the basic steps to take to get on the radio on indie, public and community radio stations. Most of these stations and the music programs that they carry also have blogs and other digital outlets where reviews, interviews, videos and other means of showcasing great artists are done. Which means that when you get your music accepted by a station, and if you get them to really pay attention to you (by doing what I’ve suggest here), you stand to get much more than just one song spun on a station.

This is why relationship building is the priority here. Not getting airplay. Or getting reviewed. Or getting your music picked up.

Build the relationship connection with the real person behind the microphone and watch your career get boosted. Because when an influencer loves you, they talk about you everywhere. And more and more influencers start paying attention too.

I’ve given you the basics here. But before you start this process of contacting radio for airplay, there are three BIG things you need to have in place that will ensure the experience works for the music curator/radio platform will give you their time and attention. Each one is detailed in this FREE eBook.


MGT112: Promote Your Band By Promoting A Brand – Nathan Hanks (Music Audience Exchange) | Dotted Music

Nathan Hanks is the Founder and CEO of Music Audience Exchange (MAX), a company whose mission is to connect brands and artists “to engage fans together”. MAX has built a platform for brands to reach their target audiences through “breakthrough” artists, who have growing and loyal fanbases yet who may not be signed to a major label, or selling out stadiums.

Nathan Hanks

Nathan Hanks

This new model helps brands reach potential customers in a more authentic and human way, while allowing artists to grow their careers through meaningful investment from brands (e.g. buying radio play for a song, or sponsoring a music video instead of a plain video advertisement).

On this Music Growth Talks episode, Nathan shared details on how their matching engine maps 1.8 million artists to the psychographic and behavioral attributes of their audiences, and gave examples of how MAX’ campaigns have been helping both the brands and the artists.

Listen to the episode in full to learn more about the power of brand partnerships, and to hear a few specific music marketing tips from Nathan Hanks.

You can listen to today’s episode below:

Show Notes:


Symphonic Distribution hires Jakub Alexander from Ghostly International | Music Business Worldwide

Symphonic Distribution has hired Jakub Alexander as Senior Client Manager to be based in the company’s New York office.

As a 16 year veteran of independent label Ghostly International, Alexander was responsible for signing and developing some of the label’s biggest acts.

Those included Grammy nominated Tycho, Com Truise, and Shigeto.

Jorge Brea, Symphonic CEO said: “We know how to add real value to independent artists and labels because our employees come from those backgrounds.

“Jakub has signed some of my favorite artists to Ghostly, has worked hard to see them grow, and we’re beyond excited to have him, his creativity, and energy in our quickly growing New York office.”

jorge brea, symphonic

“Jakub has signed some of my favorite artists to Ghostly, has worked hard to see them grow, and we’re beyond excited to have him, his creativity, and energy in our quickly growing New York office.”

Nick Gordon, Chief Client Officer at Symphonic and GM of the New York Office added: “Jakub personifies the ears, tried-and-true artist and label experience, and work ethic we want to bring to our electronic artist and label clients. Also, he has a great dog.”

Alexander said: “Symphonic has those attractive components that a distributor in today’s music world needs — it’s a potent & supportive ecosystem they’ve developed.

“I know the challenges that artists and labels face because I’ve lived those roles.

“I’m excited to contribute to the evolution of what these creatives need from a partner by their side and expose those bubbling talents around us.”Music Business Worldwide


Garden State Reeffer Madness: What Could Legalized Marijuana Do For NJ? | Evolvor Media

When it comes to political action, activism is essential. Science is helpful. But it’s often money that speaks the loudest, for better or for worse. While it’s easy to get cynical when you hear something like that, it some situations, it works to your benefit. Such is one case with the legalization movement for marijuana. Not everyone will necessarily need medicinal marijuana or want to use recreational marijuana, but the business benefits can be beneficial for everyone.

Enter New Jersey, a state with:

  • 820,303 small businesses
  • 21 Fortune 500 companies
  • A ranking of #2 in education nationwide
  • $575,331 million GDP

An educated and business-friendly populace sounds like a dream for any new market. This is why the election of Phil Murphy as governor, a candidate who made legalization a major part of his platform, was so exciting for marijuana advocates. With the stage set for legalization, we need to ask the question as to what legalization could mean for the Garden State.

nj marijuana legalization

Marijuana’s Political Status in New Jersey

This topic is pretty timely, considering that new legislation was introduced to legalize recreational marijuana and expand the medical cannabis program earlier this month. Murphy is also preparing for the idea economically, with his fiscal 2019 budget banking on $60 million in revenues. The legislation would also allow for people 21 and over to possess, buy, use, or transport an ounce or less of marijuana. Towns would retain the right to create their own ordinances regarding sales. In addition, any health-care practitioner permitted to prescribe controlled substances would be allowed to write prescriptions.

For the time being, there is already some pushback, even though the state legislature is dominated by Democrats at the moment. This includes concerns about public safety and some politicians favoring decriminalization before legalization. However, as we can see from other states, the economic benefits are difficult to ignore.

An East Coast Cannabis Boom?

Many people like to use Colorado as a “ground zero” example of the potential of marijuana, and it’s easy to see why, with $1.5 billion in sales last year. Your first instinct may be thinking of dispensaries, but the marijuana business is far larger than that, and some of the business potential may surprise you.

As many New Jersey natives will tell you, being so close to the Philadelphia and New York areas has its pros and cons, but economically, it is a huge benefit. Being the first of the three states to legalize marijuana would add another level onto this boon. Could “weed tourism” be a new industry for New Jersey? Possibly.

To continue the conversation, I want to add a recent anecdote, about a San Diego Girl Scout who managed to sell 300 boxes of cookies in 6 hours—by setting up outside a marijuana shop. Her ingenuity made over $1,500 in a day. Jokes aside, this illustrates a very real point about the economic potential in terms of legal marijuana, in that you don’t need to participate directly in order to see a benefit. The concept of “a rising tide raising all boats” truly applies here.

For example, many investors are making bank by creating new platforms to help connect users both to each other as well as various businesses in the industry. Many companies are opening up to help dispensaries make sure they are staying in compliance with state regulations. And one can’t forget other cannabis-adjacent businesses like the gardening industry and delivery services.

Marketing for a New Audience

So, let’s hypothetically say that the political barriers are surmountable, and legalization takes place soon. What can businesspeople, and those interested in starting businesses, do right now in order to take advantage of the circumstances at hand? One major thing is going to be knowing how to handle marketing. While cannabis no longer carries the negative connotations it did with a lot of different people, one needs to consider that a dispensary, for example, is a very new business for New Jersey customers. This means:

  1. Having a clear brand and vision.
  2. Making sure those don’t infringe on any existing trademarks.
  3. Being willing to educate as well as advertise on why your product is effective and safe.

Because different states have different marketing regulations for cannabis, one needs to do their homework in order to figure out what is and isn’t off-limits. The digital world is a great way to start, but strategic direct mail and print advertising in industry publications can also be very helpful.

At the moment, nothing is guaranteed, and many marijuana advocates in the Garden State find themselves irritated at the current unexpected roadblocks in Trenton. However, to put things in perspective, the state has never had a pro-marijuana governor before, a major asset for the pro-marijuana movement. As others see the benefits it is having people in other states and the states themselves, the prospect of legalization may be seen as too much to resist.

About the Author: Ryan Velez is a Health Content Specialist with and freelance writer/editor from central New Jersey, with a background in B2B journalism and health writing.  Since picking up freelancing in 2015, he’s worked with clients from different fields and across the globe to create informative and appealing content. When not writing, he’s always trying to scope out a new restaurant to visit. Learn more about Ryan at his website,

The post Garden State Reeffer Madness: What Could Legalized Marijuana Do For NJ? appeared first on Digital Media News & Training.


Are Tech Companies The New Record Labels? | hypebot

1[PIAS] co-founder Michel Lambot looks at how the economic structure of media consumption has shifted over time to one of renting vs. owning; and how tech companies bypassing record labels to make direct deals with artists is the next logical step in this progression.


Guest post by Michel Lambot. This article originally appeared on the [PIAS] blog

The following blog is written by [PIAS] co-founder Michel Lambot (pictured, main). His comments come after Spotify was reported to be offering artists and managers significant advances to license their music directly.

One could fill pages and pages with thoughts on the disruptive transfer of value over time.

Academic research studies, single interest pressure groups and politicians have all at some time in the past loudly proclaimed the death of the creative arts.

Whether it was the opening of comedy venues in the 18th century taking the bread out of the mouths of authors, the movies destroying theatres or – ironically – television killing the movie industry there has always been doom-mongering.

It’s worth considering that these days the world has shifted from a culture of ‘owning’ to a culture of ‘renting.’

Cars are now leased rather than owned, houses are tenanted, clothes are bought on eBay and resold, and of course home entertainment products such as books, films and music are routinely downloaded or streamed.

2It is, therefore, somewhat inevitable that the new tech conglomerates have decided that paying content owners have eroded their margins too much and are moving to create their own catalogues.

They are also discovering that by having a direct relationship with the creators, they can divide and conquer by controlling both the financing and access to audiences.

We have even seen the likes of Amazon and Netflix embarking on a mission to win as many Oscars and Grand Prix du Festival de Cannes as possible.

It is tempting to see this success as a template for how to build a successful creative business.

But interestingly a lot of the projects that companies like this have become involved in will never see the light of day.

Why? Because working with creative people is very different to working with tech. Tech doesn’t have an opinion or answer back. Tech does what it is told.

Real people are complicated. Creative people especially can be very complicated.

Directors change their minds, or start fights with producers, or go over budget or overcomplicate their projects to point of disaster. Actors and comedians get embroiled in scandal, have debilitating drug habits or simply hate each other.

Working with creative people can be messy.

However, the solution to working with creators isn’t really a mystery.

It requires patience and involves working towards building confidence. Working with creative people means facilitating a good working environment, simplifying things, being conciliatory, encouraging artistic collaboration, investing when needed and above all giving those involved the trust and creative freedom to realise their vision.

The music industry does this well – record labels and music publishers are experts in working with creative people. It’s a process that has been learned and refined over a long period of time.

The new wannabe studios have discovered that success is great , but the flipside is epic failure that can quickly erode profits.

In other words – it’s not as easy as it looks.

Let’s just pause as this juncture to look at some context and examine the history of the so-called ‘internet revolution’ in home entertainment.

There is a general consensus that everything started with music and specifically with Napster, the now-defunct tech company co-founded by Sean Parker who later became President of Facebook and was an early investor in Spotify.

It is no exaggeration to say that this early period was a disaster. Peer-to-peer file sharing nearly killed the business and for a long time the music industry was in survival mode as it tried to stop a pandemic of piracy.

Sometime later we saw the rapid emergence of music downloads via iTunes, which some would argue stabilised and saved the industry from oblivion, and now as this particular format recedes we are firmly in the age of streaming with Spotify, YouTube and Apple currently dominating the landscape.

To return to our earlier discussion then, we now see the big streaming companies evolving out of being simply content discovery platforms towards bypassing the existing record label and music publishing ‘gatekeepers’ to talk directly to artists about rights ownership.

Here’s some evidence of the change of direction:

  • Most of the senior people originally employed by Spotify came from the music industry. These have now left the company and have been replaced by people from other industry backgrounds.
  • The relationship with ‘content providers’ within Spotify is now under one roof: it’s now called ‘Artist and Label Relations’.
  • Artists now have direct access to more data about usage of their repertoire than their record companies, especially when their songs belong to two or more different labels.
  • Tracks produced by Spotify are increasingly included in their playlists to help diminish the cost of ‘repertoire acquisition’.
  • Apple’s marketing efforts are as much ruled by the Apple brand marketing vision as by the music they are promoting
  • On any credit for a song on Spotify, try and find out who the label or music publisher is. Only recently and after long-time pressure from artists, labels and publishers have Spotify started to add songwriter, musicians and producer credits. It is a step in the right direction but the credits are still not easy to find. Publishers are still not listed and labels come under the slightly belittling heading ‘source.’

It is fair to say that the ‘old model’ did favour certain gatekeepers. Artists had to be signed to a record label. They needed access to a recording studio, and more often than not they had to be played on terrestrial radio to achieve any significant success.

3Today, it can be far more cost effective and, in some cases, practical for artists to produce and release their own music. Labels, recording studios, and radio still matter, but in a cluttered landscape artists’ biggest challenge is now navigating this complexity, noise and disruption to get heard.

Again, despite what Daniel Ek and his compatriots might think, it’s simply not as easy as it may look to take an artist to market and to help them find an audience.

It seems clear that the mission statement of these tech conglomerates involved in music has evolved, inspired largely by the content creation strategies of Netflix and Amazon.

But as already mentioned, this is easier said than done. Creating and understanding the environments, philosophies and infrastructure that can get the best out of creative people isn’t as simple as it sounds.

The music industry is very good at this side of things and it’s no accident that we are. We have been doing it for a long time and we understand people. It could even be argued that we understand people better than we understand tech, and that’s the big difference between us and those who would supersede the role we currently play.

So good luck to the newcomers. If they do succeed, the next phase will be amusing.

I would love to be a fly on the wall, for example, in the subsequent negotiations between Spotify, Apple and YouTube.

Sitting back and watching Spotify trying to do a deal to upload its catalogue on Apple Music and vice versa, and to see YouTube paying Apple for the videos it has produced.

That would be worth getting the popcorn in for.


YouTube Music Launches In 17 Countries, Red Re-brands As YouTube Premium | hypebot

image from cdn.wccftech.comYouTube's newest subscription service, YouTube Music, is now available to all users in the U.S, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, in addition to 12 new countries: Austria, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Built on top of  YouTube and its massive music catalog, YouTube Music includes music videos, official albums, singles, remixes, live performances and covers.   There is a free ad-supported version and at $9.99 per month, YouTube Music Premium adds background listening, downloads and an ad-free experience.

Red Is Dead

YouTube Red has been rebranded as YouTube Premium, adding more ad free video at $11.99 per month.

image from



D.I.Y. Spotify Playlist Promotion with Crosshair Music | hypebot

image from bluejaymusic.comGarrison Snell CEO of Crosshair Music and Gyrosity Projects joins Michael Brandvold and Jay Gilbert on the Music Biz Weekly podcast to discuss the self-service platform, Crosshair Music, for submitting music to playlists. Their mission is to affordably connect musicians directly to the playlist curators and social influencers who can help grow their audiences. But does it work?



More @