The Importance of Radio in the Music Industry

Radio is a venue for discovery

Since the first viable transmission of the human voice in 1919 radio has been one of the most powerful global mediums of communication. When someone curates the listening experience audiences are inevitably exposed to new music. Radio is an incredibly diverse, personality led medium that literally allows you explore the world from the comfort of wherever you are, whenever you like. In much of the world Internet connectivity remains out of reach for people. In those places radio is, literally, the only game in town.

Radio is not dead

It’s just evolving.

Between traditional AM/FM and satellite radio, to digital outlets, radio now covers more ground, figuratively and literally, than ever before.

Radio remains a part of the vast majority of people’s daily lives. In fact, the number of listeners is increasing because of how the web and new technologies have prompted the reinvention of radio as a truly multi-platform business.

By adapting to technological and cultural shifts, radio has retained its importance and remains a significant factor to the development of an artist’s career. And, with terrestrial commercial and non-commercial stations, satellite, and digital radio in all its varied forms, there’s much more to tune into; a truly massive amount of content that will appeal to people with virtually any interest.

Radio is unavoidable

For many businesses radio is the default soundtrack for their customer’s experience. Even those that program their own music often choose a genre or specific song due to its popularity. Similarly, consumption by commuters across all forms of transit has increased consistently. Consequently, radio continues to drive awareness of new music and emerging artists.

Over 90-percent of Americans (approximately 243 million people per month) listen to AM/FM radio and the audience is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity, and age (the percentage of Millenials, Gen Xers and Boomers tuning in is actually in the high 90s – above the average). Talk gathers the most ears, but contemporary hit radio is a very close second.

Radio pays

All forms of radio, terrestrial, satellite, and digital radio compensate writers and publishers via composition performance royalties, and digital radio pays sound recording performance royalties to artists and labels.

Radio hits your target audience

So much music, so many platforms – the competition is staggering and artists need all the help they can get. By virtue of number of stations and formats out there, your music will fit somewhere.

Non-Commercial – college, community and public radio – are excellent starting points for emerging and niche artists. Public Radio is a dedicated supporter of independent and emerging acts and tends to have a dedicated audience that prides itself on the discovery of new music. Substantial play on popular public radio outlets – be they terrestrial, satellite, or digital – in and of itself, can help sustain comfortable careers for artists (and, by extension lead to more airtime on commercial radio). Non-commercial and commercial radio are important and influential local tastemakers. A relationship with radio in any market drives ticket and merch sale, as well as the overall ‘buzz’ around you and your music by helping put bums in the seats and feet on the dance floor at your shows.

Obviously if you can cross from ‘niche’ to mainstream you can cross formats in the mainstream, thereby reaching a more diverse audience and extending the shelf life of a given song and, frankly, your shelf life overall.

On radio music is played, and talked about, by real people

Personal connections with radio stations matter. You can establish a lasting relationship with a station’s staff; you can’t with an algorithm. The better your relationship, the more likely a station will delve deeper into your catalogue, which will help you develop a more diverse audience who’ll also dig deeper into your music than just your current single.

When a real, live human is talking about how great your music is, the real, live humans listening are more likely to pay attention because radio personalities have established a trust and cultivated a connection with their audience.

Radio benefits artists

By helping you reach new listeners, raising your profile, enhancing your credibility, growing your audience live and online, and by generating royalties for you.

Ready to start promoting your music to radio? Get in touch with our team!

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