How to get your song played on the radio

The music industry is relentlessly competitive and if you’re just starting out, it can be hard to know how to get your songs heard. Radio promotion is the go-to for many aspiring bands and musicians, it’s the perfect opportunity to perform for an audience of listeners and get your song out there.


You never know, one radio appearance might lead to a whole load of fans – but how can you get your song played on the radio?


Where to start


There are two types of radio channels – commercial and non-commercial. If you’re new to radio promotion, you’re going to want to start with non-commercial radio appearances.


Non commercial radio stations are generally much more welcoming to new and upcoming artists, particularly if you’re local to the area of their station. They’re usually run by communities or college students, so they’re more likely to welcome you to their show than bigger radio channels. They’ll also help you build up your local popularity, after that you can then think bigger.


It can be really simple and easy to approach a non-commercial radio, they’ll have a website with contact details and you can simply give them a call.


Starting with this might not seem as glamourous as the radio appearance you had in mind, but this is how you can get your foot in the door.


Thinking bigger


Once you’ve appeared a few times on a non-commercial radio, you might feel ready for the next step, a commercial radio. It can be hard to persuade some of the bigger commercial radio channels to even take your call, so again you’re going to want to start at the bottom and work your way up.


When you think of commercial radio you probably think fame and fortune, and whilst an appearance on the most popular radio station might well lead to that, there are also the less popular stations, whose audiences aren’t quite as impressive, and unfortunately this might need to be where you start.


The point of starting small and working your way up is that you’re building the popularity behind your music, and showing that you’re constantly progressing. No huge radio channel will even consider any new artists that haven’t got proof of their rising talent and popularity.


Remember, as harsh as it sounds, however good your music, the bigger commercial radio stations only have their own ratings in mind. They’ll only feature your song once they can see proof that their audience will like you.


How to get in contact with radio stations


There are different ways of contacting radio stations depending on their size. For a non-commercial radio station run by the local community, a simple phone call might do the trick.


For bigger and busier stations though, the formal procedure is to send your CDs, along with your information to the directors of the stations. Keep them updated with your progress whilst you wait for their decision, as this will help sway them towards giving you a slot.


Rather than rushing in at the deep end, and contacting radio stations that you know won’t give you the time of day, start small and gradually build your popularity. The bigger radio stations will only agree to feature your song if they see that you’re on your way to the top.


You need to show radio directors that your music is thriving and that you’re gaining more fans everyday. Remember, they won’t risk playing songs that their audience might not like. Appearing on the radio is all about showing directors that you can bring something to their radio station.