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Artist’s Guide to Putting a Song on the Radio

For many musicians, getting a song on the radio is one of the final mysteries in the music industry. While many independent artists are learning the ins and outs of promoting their music online, generating momentum on Spotify and Apple Music, and scheduling their performances, radio appears to be out of touch for many.

Even though it is a sector of the music industry more heavily regulated by gatekeepers like major record labels and radio station music directors, it can still be a valuable tool for specific independent musicians to market their music.

Put Your Songs Into a Certain Format

Before we get into the special of marketing your song on the radio, it’s vital to understand the various musical styles and the performers that they include. How you target your marketing will be determined by understanding where your music falls in terms of formats.

Pop, Rock, Country, and non-commercial radio are the four radio formats. Non-commercial radio tends to be more eclectic in the genre, playing a mix of indie rock, hip-hop, electronic, and experimental music.

Pick the Most Appropriate Song

It’s critical to have the correct song to approach radio with once you’ve determined if your music sute into one of the major radio formats. To compete in today’s market, radio is selective about what it plays, and production and songwriting must be catchy and musically up to date (especially in the commercial formats).

If you believe you have music that could be played on one of the major radio stations, the next step is to consider employing a radio tracker. Small labels and indi artists will need to engage a radio promotion professional because most big companies have their departments that promote their songs to radio.

Make Your Music Grow in Popularity

It’s crucial to remember that musicians who want to hire a radio tracker to get their song played on the radio must first gain traction in other music industry sectors. To radio station music directors, having a robust and increasing online fanbase (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc.), good streaming numbers on past releases, and an emerging live fanbase are crucial variables.

Take a Look at a Radio Tracker

It might be appropriate to approach a radio tracker if you’ve started to create an active fanbase, gained traction on social media, and began streaming. Various independent radio promoters will service your song to radio stations and get it added to playlists.

It’s common to have two or three tracks ready to play for a radio tracker if they want to hear a couple of different possibilities for a potential single. They have numerous tactics to try to get one of your songs on the radio if they decide to work one of your tracks to the radio.

Emerging Programs for Artists

A radio tracker could submit your song to numerous emerging artist programs. Bell Media radio stations, for example, feature a monthly show called “Future Star,” where they consider music from up-and-coming singers.

The stations poll on their favorite song, and the winner is played in medium rotation on all Bell Media stations for a month across the country. For example, all Virgin Radio stations would include your song to their Future Star Program playlists in the pop format.

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