A little while back you may recall our stellar panel – How to Get the Attention of Playlist Curators and Radio Programmers
Well, we received a lot of great questions from our viewers!
However, due to time constraints our panelists didn’t have time to answer them all.
Brian Corona (Atlantic Records‘ National Director of Promotion) being the swell cat that he is, wanted to answer the remaining questions for our viewers.
We went through all the questions, compiled a handful of stand outs and put together a few based on recurring themes – so we hope you find this industry insider information illuminating.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with our music community Brian Corona!!
You are THE BEST!
Have at ‘em:
As a promotion director for a major label – say when an indie promoter or artist prepares to release a project via Play MPE, is there anything that radio programmers specifically look for in the email blast? How important or compelling is data and analytics when making a pitch to an Music Director (MD) / Programming Director (PD)? Be it Spotify streams, Shazam, sales, etc…are there certain numbers an artist should be hitting to be worth sharing? Essentially – what is considered “buzz”. What are programmers looking for that will get their attention?
“As with many of my answers – I feel it is a case-by-case situation. For example – different programmers look for different things. Universally, I believe it is good to share a bio and detailed info about the artist. That’s often helpful.
Regarding data – many times if you have significant data, that can be helpful and persuasive. Significant data can have different meanings for different programmers. Oftentimes when an artist is new to radio, the data may not be there yet. For this question – data is defined as streams, Shazams, and sales.
Buzz can be considered word of mouth. Many times, especially on the non-commercial side, the music meetings involve more station folks as opposed to a single MD or PD.
Essentially – it comes down to getting the music heard / listened to. The main goal is to get the decision makers and / or the radio folks who are involved with what gets played on air to actually listen to the music. The hope is that the music / song moves them enough to want to listen to again or program for their radio station – regardless of the metrics / data.”
Play MPE tells you to follow up with those that have shown interest, but most don’t respond. Is this a waste of time? I had one person respond, and tell me they played my song. If others had told me they played my song I could have promoted that on my social media.
“I agree that there should be follow up with those who show interest. The representative for the artist has to continually work on engaging the people listening to their music and responsible for playing on the air and programming. This can be a source of frustration unfortunately, as many folks on the programming side may have good intentions in responding yet may not have the time to get back to everyone.”
Brian, how are you presenting new artists to radio programmers right now – since there is not a luxury of backstage meet & greets, station visits or radio promo tours. Zoom meetings? Artist calls? What is working and what is not working for you, in the current climate? As radio stations currently have stripped down teams – can you still reach a programmer one-on-one for this kind of thing?
“Initially, the way that we are introducing new artists currently is first and foremost, asking the programmers to listen to the songs. Without the luxury of shows, in-person station visits and promo tours etc – we have tried some Zoom meetings and some artist calls. Since time is precious on the programming side – one thought is to get a few programmers together and get a Zoom call / meeting together as it can be beneficial if there are multiple folks on, especially if an artist is new. It can help keep the conversation / meeting flowing as often the radio folks know each other and they can feed off of each other.
It’s an evolving scenario and at this time it’s hard to say what has worked significantly. The one to one dynamic tends to be really challenging at this time. The programmers tend to be swamped with so much to do.”
How soon after seeing a station stream/download the song from Play MPE do you follow up? Is it safe to assume if they download the single, they’re interested in hearing from you as a promoter, manager or artist?
“I would suggest following up within a day or two. Oftentimes a station will download a song, and put it into a *playlist for a music meeting or for overall general listening to become familiar with a song. Some folks will download everything [from the **Player] so they can listen whenever they get the chance, whether or not they are logged into the platform.
Sometimes it may take multiple days or weeks in order for a station to get to tracks they have downloaded. Most often it depends on what the station feels is the importance / urgency of the artist.
Related to hearing from a promoter, manager or artist – my experience is that many stations are hesitant to hear from the artists directly unless there is some sort of built in connection ( previous airplay support, local / regional ties , strong interest in the track ). In terms of the promoter or manager – stations may be interested in hearing from them yet time constraints tend to make it challenging. If you are the promoter or manager – do your best to be consistent and patient and please try not to take things personally if you don’t hear back or get a connection. It can be very challenging.”
What is your best advice for a brand new artist that is unsigned/undiscovered, to work their way to the radio waves? What should I be doing as an artist manager to represent my artist when it comes to engaging radio stations?
“When a brand new artist is unsigned / undiscovered, the mountain to climb to the radio waves is steeper and higher. By sheer numbers it can tend to be a disadvantage as there are so many signed / discovered artists vying for airplay with limited slots. As you believe strongly in your unsigned / undiscovered artist – it is oftentimes up to you to carry the biggest, heaviest part of getting radio interested – even to give a listen.
Also, this answer can be applied to multiple categories including unsigned / undiscovered artists making their way to the radio waves – try to find out if the station has any specialty programming or if any of the radio dj’s / programmers have any flexibility / individuality / customization of their shows.“
*Note: Tastemakers can conveniently flag tracks and create playlists in the Player.
**Note: the Player mobile app is built for tastemakers on-the-go so they can access releases from wherever they are.