Haulix Advice: Embracing Internet Radio

Hello and welcome to the very first ‘Advice’ column of 2014. We have been planning a number of these articles for the weeks ahead and are beyond excited to begin rolling them out this afternoon. If you have any questions regarding the content of this blog, or if you would like to learn more information about the services offered by Haulix, please email james@haulix.com and share your thoughts. We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

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If you read our feature with Vince Edwards from Metal Blade Records last week you may recall him mentioning how radio is still one of the best pathways to a career in music available today. This was directed towards aspiring professionals at the time, but the same applies to independent musicians as well. Radio has always been one of the best avenues to new listeners available to artists, and even though your time at terrestrial stations may still be far away, the age of the internet has created countless new stations/podcasts/outlets for reaching consumers. We cannot guarantee airplay for anyone, but if you follow the advice below you will position yourself as well as you possibly can for exposure on radio in 2014.

It’s worth noting that it is possible for artists to hire people and companies who specialize in radio promotion, but for the purposes of this column we are speaking to those who prefer to go the DIY route. It usually takes more effort on the part of the artist, but the costs are much lower (and people tend to appreciate the personal touch).

As I mentioned above, the digital age has brought a wealth of new radio opportunities for artists that were not possible even a decade ago. Whether you hope to be in the mix on Pandora, spotlighted with other newcomers on New Music Inferno, or if you want to sit across from comedians like Marc Maron and talk life, the boom of internet radio has created a variety of new and innovative avenues for your music to reach people who may have otherwise never knew your art existed. Before you can reach them however, you need to set some goals. Decide what type of audiences you hope to reach and in what ways you want to reach them. Do you want to have your song added to a bunch of shows, or do you want to promote the new record with an interview? Every radio show is different, especially online, and knowing what type of programming you want to be a part of before diving any further into your quest for digital exposure will aide your efforts later on.

Once you have a handle on the type of shows you want to contact, you will undoubtedly need to research the best programs that fit your criteria. To help get you started, we’ve included a few links below:

  • Want to be featured on Pandora? Make sure you meet the requirements outlined in this article and then head to the official submission site to apply for placement.
  • Need a list of popular radio shows? Wikipedia can help get you started. We also suggest combing through the top radio stations and music themed podcasts available on iTunes.
  • Looking for airplay and are open to exposure from anyone will to share your art? Signing up for Music Alley will help make your media available to broadcasters in search of new music.

After your list is compiled, you will need to research each outlet individually to understand the procedures that you must follow in order to submit your music. There will likely be similarities along the way, but every station is unique. Keep this in mind and do whatever you can to personalize the messaging that is sent alongside your media. Sending a blanket message to every email you find is tempting, but crafting original messaging can go a long way towards forging relationships with hosts, DJs, broadcasters, and beyond. You never know who will read your message or who will hear music as a result of your submission. Don’t take any opportunity for exposure for granted.

Need more help on this topic? Maybe this article can help:
Advice: 5 Tips For Crafting The Perfect Pitch Letter

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company's podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.