Radio play – every artist wants it! Whether you just sent out a hot new single, EP, full-length album, or career-spanning anthology to tastemakers everywhere – there is always more work to be done! Beyond getting your music into the ears of key decision-makers – what you do after – can really mean the difference between potential radio play and being ignored.
FOLLOW THROUGH & FOLLOW UP
First off, good job!! You sent your release out with Play MPE to hundreds or even thousands of verified music industry tastemakers on your home turf and/or abroad. With that first step, you are already giving your music the best chance for success.
But now what?
How do you know if people are even checking out your release, let alone doing anything with it?
And what can you do to improve your chances of success?
Well, luckily for you, Play MPE’s team is brimming with music industry professionals who know a thing or two, and we are happy to share some HOT TIPS!
We understand not every artist or indie label has it in the budget to hire a professional radio promoter AND publicist AND find a sync agent. Many artists and indies handle their own music promotion.
With this in mind, let’s talk about promotion and follow-up.
DETERMINE WHO IS ENGAGING WITH YOUR RELEASE
Running a music promotion campaign isn’t just about pushing out your release and then waiting to see what happens. The potential success of your campaign also hinges upon the follow up. One area where many artists fall short is using their resends effectively.
No one has the time to reach out to thousands of contacts, and we know that cold-calls can be uncomfortable and inefficient. So to optimize your strategy and save time – prioritize your outreach. Follow up with your leads, starting with the hottest prospects.
You may ask yourself, what is a lead anyway? Simply put, it is someone that has shown some level of interest. The greater their interest, the hotter the lead.
Are there recipients of your release who have downloaded your assets? Those embers are burning! That’s a hot lead!
You will want to focus on these first. You can find this information in Caster Reporting. Select your latest Release and then click the top of the Downloads column to filter all contacts. This will put recipients who have downloaded your release to the top. These will be in the order of quantity. So, someone who downloaded your whole album will be at the top, followed by those who downloaded part of the album or a single track. You can make a note of the name, role and company to start building your personalized list of people to follow up with.
Then do the same process with your warm leads. Click on the Streams column to sort who has streamed your release in order of quantity again. Then you can do this with your email Clicks and Opens. Some may have opened your email but not clicked or checked out your music yet. So these contacts are still worth reaching out to. And finally IF you have time you can follow up with anyone else who is of particular interest to you. But always start from Hot to Cold.
I HAVE MY LIST OF LEADS – WHAT NEXT????
Once you have determined your priority targets from top to bottom – it is time to follow up.
How do you contact them? Well, we can’t provide direct contact information, however many radio stations do list their programmers’ information right there on the website. Others may not, but with a little research you will be able to locate a sizable chunk of contacts. You already know these people are at least curious about your music, and many will welcome the opportunity to follow up one-on-one.
FOLLOWING UP WITH SPECIFIC TASTEMAKERS
Once you have determined your leads and looked up their contact info, it is also good to have a strategy when following up.
Beyond sorting Hot to Cold leads, another way to narrow down who you reach out to first is to consider your promo rollout plans. For example, if you have plans to tour Australia, go through your Hot leads and highlight any from the Australian radio lists and start with those!
What is your main focus? If it’s radio, focus on following up with the radio contacts first. If it’s landing a sync placement, narrow it down to the music supervisors first. If you sent your release out months in advance in hopes of securing press, you will want to start there!
We will lay out some examples based on the recipient type to help you navigate this, because paying attention to the finer details is what will set you up for better results.
There are also lead times to consider as well as the particular content or assets each will be more interested in, so we will break each down into timing (where applicable) and needs.
Radio programmers choose the songs that get radio airplay. Most are program directors but some may also be on-air personalities, depending on the size and structure of a station. These are THE decision-makers when it comes to getting your song on the airwaves.
Timing: if it’s a brand new single, radio wants it when it’s FRESH, so try to follow up within a week of your first blast. For subsequent blasts, same thing. Follow up with radio quickly, but not too quickly. You want to be enthusiastic but also respectful and professional. Some stations won’t care as much about a song being new, it all depends on your genre and format. But it’s good to follow up in a timely manner regardless.
Needs: Radio programmers have very specific needs. So show that you are aware of this. Let them know you are happy to send any additional information should they need anything. Reiterate the song title and ISRC with your key track / current single along with the link to your release in Player. Reassure them that WAV files and all essential metadata are there. And finish by saying how you are excited about the prospect of getting played, thanking them for their time… Friendliness and respect go a long way.
Music media and press write about music! They review albums and premier fresh singles and music videos. Do you want potential new fans to read all about it?! Well this is how!
Timing: If you only released a single then a long lead time is less important as many media outlets are digital-only these days, and a single can be reviewed pretty quickly. However, if you just sent your full-length record around the world in hopes of getting previews and press before your album drops – ideally you will send your release out 6 weeks in advance of your live release date. It is important to do follow-ups weeks in advance of your album going live for the public. Music editors need time to find writers, and writers need to juggle other assignments. Essentially, the more lead time the better! This is especially the case if you are hoping to secure an interview or feature. If you are short on time – follow up with your media contacts first!
Media professionals will care most about the STORY. So you will want to follow up along with adding in your press release and bio, plus the link to your release in Player. Reiterate that the songs can all be streamed there, and they can access the album art, promo photos, drop date, tour dates, and all important promotional information.
Music supervisors are basically the coolest, most sought-after playlisters ever. They pitch songs for placement in film, tv, and commercials adding the sonic atmosphere and soundtrack to magic moving moments. Not to mention sync is one of the main areas for an artist to make money these days. If you don’t have a professional sync rep, following up properly is key!
Timing: Music supervisors can be working on any manner of projects at any given time throughout the year. They could be syncing Christmas/Holiday-themed shows and movies in the middle of summer. So getting music to them as early as possible is great! Whether it be the moment you get your masters back – even if your release won’t come out for 3 more months. Totally fine. Post-production is a lengthy process. That said if you are hoping to get a Christmas song in the mix, send it EARLY. And yes, we have a list for that.
Music Supervisors care the most about clean versions of songs, instrumentals, songwriting, and publishing information. Let them know whether or not your music is ONE-STOP EASY-CLEAR – i.e. do you own the master recordings and are you self-published? If so – good news you are a “one-stop shop” as they like to call it in the business. If you don’t – no worries – just make sure to be very clear about who administrates the master (record label) and the sync (publisher) – with contact information included if possible. That way you make it easy for a Music Supervisor to get the clearances they need. And make sure to include the lyrics. Send links to stream and download both MP3 and WAV files. A music supervisor can pitch your song using an MP3 but when it comes to placing that song in a scene and actual post-production they will need a high-quality file. Music supervisors will also want to know the moods, emotions, and/or actions your songs evoke or emote. Lyrics are helpful too! They may select a song based on a certain line. When you follow up, make sure to reiterate all of this. Include this information in your e-blast, release overview, and attachments.
WHY FOLLOW UP WHEN PLAY MPE ALREADY EMAILS TASTEMAKERS?
There is always something to be said for adding that personal touch! Relationships are everything., Show you are driven and invested by taking the time to reach out to tastemakers individually. This is especially important for a new artist venturing into the ring with the pros for the first time. It can help you stand out, and if done correctly, these may well become new industry relationships you can build upon with every new release. A station that plays your first single may very well play your second – and so forth.
Stay tuned for part 2 where we cover how to best use your Resends and how to know if recipients played your music, and/or your landed press and/or a sync placement…