Artist Area

Radio Airplay
If you are hiring a promoter to push your artist to radio, here are a few things you can consider which will help you have the greatest chance of success. (And when I say promoter, I mean an airplay promoter, not a club or booking promoter.) The big concern with this process is, if you choose the wrong person(s) to promote your artist… and end up with bad results… you can’t just go back and do it over again. That’s it for that CD (at those stations). That CD is now “an old project”, and you can’t go back to those stations until you have a new release.

SOMEONE FROM THE MAJORS: Staff promoters at major labels sometimes offer to “help you out on the side” for a fee. On their days off, or on the weekend, they say they will “make some calls for you”. What happens is that their company finds out and disallows it, or, the person gets tied up on their days off and can’t do it. You are then stuck. Either way, it is a conflict of interest for them.

PR PEOPLE: Public Relations (or “publicity”) people sometimes offer to work an artist to radio for airplay. But don’t confuse PR with airplay. A real radio campaign has nothing to do with publicity. They are two separate techniques, with different contacts, different lead times, different terminologies, call frequencies, and so on. A person who is good at one is usually terrible at the other. This is why they are always separate departments at labels.

STATION PEOPLE: Station employees are sometimes recruited to work an artist, and will tell you “they know what stations want.” This sounds convincing, but in reality, taking the calls (which they do/did at the station), and making the calls, are very different animals. Until station people are trained (at a label or indie), they usually make poor promoters. sign up and register your videos

TuneCore (
– Flat fee, 10$ for single, 30$ for album (first year, then $50 per year).
– Indefinite contract. Cancellation period unclear.
– Takes 0% of your royalties.
– 4 weeks delivery time.
– Payment and reporting with a two month delay, however daily trends for iTunes and Spotify are visible.
– Offers publishing for a 10% royalty rate on collections and 20% on income from sync licensing.
– Doesn’t distribute to Beatport.
– UPC codes are provided for free.
– Find their Terms & Conditions here:

CD Baby (
– Flat fee, $13 per single, $49 per album.
– Indefinite contract which can be cancelled with 24 hours notice.
– Takes 9% of your royalties.
– 4 weeks delivery time.
– Payment and reporting with an initial two month delay. Afterwards, payments are issued weekly.
– Offers publishing for a 20% 15% royalty rate.
– Doesn’t distribute to Beatport.
– UPC codes are paid, costing $5 for a single song and $20 for an album.
– Find their Terms & Conditions here:

SongFlow (
– Flat fee, €5,00 per single. Discount of 10% for a three year subscription, and 20% for a five your subscription.
– Annual contract, which can be cancelled anytime.
– Takes 0% of your royalties.
– Unknown delivery time.
– Payment and reporting with an initial three month delay.
– Distributes to Beatport under a private label namely ‘Songflow Beats’.
– EAN/ISRC codes are provided for free.
– Find their Terms & Conditions here:


Document your recording process – A big part of promoting yourself as an artist is being able to document your journey. Photos and videos of you in the recording studio are great content to promote your project via social media. You can sit in the studio with a song playing in the background and take a video for Instagram. Take video of people in the studio listening to your music and get their reaction. You can even record the whole process and create a mini documentary, release it in clips, and promote via social media.

Get feedback behind the scenes – A great way to add to the promotion of your next project is to let people hear some of your music before it’s released. You can invite people to your studio sessions (and not just your boys; as a matter of fact, keep them home) and record their reactions to your music. Maybe even get them to take a photo or video of you while they are in your session and post to their social media. Do this with 20 people and you have 20 people spreading the word about you already.

Utilize your mailing list – Send out an email announcing the release, and ask people to reply if they want to hear a sneak peak. Leak a single to those that want to hear it. Give special invites to your release event. Closer to your release date (a few weeks before), leak the cover to your list, and ask them to share on their social media channels. Keep your mailing list in the loop and get used to collecting email addresses and being in direct contact with people. This will allow you to measure how many fans you have, and market right to them.

Plan the release around a mini tour – Putting on a great show is a huge part of promotion and a great way to tell everyone about the release while also selling merch at the same time to put more money into your project. Set up shows in your area. Even if you have to book your own venue and throw your own shows, make sure you’re actively performing around your release date.

Update your contact list and start reaching out to fill them in on your upcoming release – Once your project is mixed and mastered, start reaching out to people that have blogs, radio shows, etc. See if they want to hear it, and maybe even write a review. Remember, most blogs want to have your music before it’s released, not after. You might even want to reach out to a few blogs to see if they would be willing to premiere your video or project on their website.

Offer an incentive to your fans – Whether you want people to share your cover art on their social channels, or buy your album in advance, give them an incentive to do so. This even works in other ways, too. For instance, if your fans request to listen to your new single before it’s released, have them share your cover art before you send them a download link (or set up a pay-with-a-tweet campaign).

Network with DJs – Do some research. Find out what type of gigs they play. See if their audience would benefit from your music. Let them know you have a few records for them. (Or, even ask about giving them an exclusive record, meaning they get it first.)

Craft a professional press release to get people excited – Once you have a release date, write a press release announcing it and explain some further details. Send this press release to your list of contacts and share it on social media. If you have a publicist, they would handle the writing of the release, as well as distributing it.

Set specific goals – Keep track of your stats. Make note of how many followers you have on all of your social networks. Use google analytics to see how much traffic is going to your website, how many downloads your last project received, how many average views you get on your videos, etc. Once you can see that information, you’ll be able to set realistic goals for yourself in order to measure the success of your campaign. You can also set goals for your pre-release campaign to make sure you’re not jumping the gun and releasing too early. For instance, I’ve seen artists tell their fans, “I’ll release the new video once 100 people share my album cover,” or something of that sort.

Create a timeline – Put a timeline together in written form so that you can really see the bigger picture. Include shows, when you’ll send email blasts and what they are about, and include special dates like when you’ll release the cover, etc.

Set up a pre-release – Set up a pre-release via iTunes or your website and encourage people to purchase in advance. Maybe even give them an incentive, such as whoever gets it in advance gets a sticker or a pin or a ticket to your private release party.

Use artwork to build anticipation – This is where having a great graphic designer comes into play. Some artists get their cover art and do a countdown 10-15 days before the release. Each day closer to the date, they’ll post the graphic to their Instagram and other social media accounts with something like “10 more days,” then “9 more days,” etc.