How to Get People to Discover Your Music
Today we had an intro what we talked about networking and putting together a team. We talked about your music and how to prepare it for licensing so that when it gets played, it actually gets royalties. And then we talk about selling your music and all the different ways you could do it and licensing your music. If you remember, in the last segment, we had a little part in there that said and royalties and how do you generate royalties? This entire segment is about how to get I need people to discover your music. This is among the top questions that we get as authors of the indie band survival guide in all the talks we do, how do I get my music heard we have an entire chapter on this called get heard, but we've broken it down. This is actually multiple things it's a chapter it's also an article with elektronik transition magazine, which is included in the enrollment materials. If you'd like to read, it, talks about all these sixteen different ways to do it if you picked things up very ...
well in article format, but this allows us to really drill down into each one like usual feel free to ask questions as we go, we know we have a lot of questions on this one, and let's get started. Think about it this way remember I'm always saying get in the heads of the person you're trying to market to or sell too well you want to get in the heads of the people who discover new music how do you discover new music? And actually I'm really interested to hear how you guys discover your music yeah, spotify is a big one for me what's new I get all my music from spotify really local blocks local block great excellent. What about yourself? Um I just, uh pretty much I guess I like goto cd store cd store. Okay, excellent. So actually, for those online I'd love to hear your responses to the end. So go ahead and share how you discover new music because this is where you get the ideas on where to put your music so it can be discovered that's why I'm bringing it up so if you don't mind share that with the host will look back and talk to him a little later a lot actually, when I'm in coffee shops or stores where they're playing music, that might be a little different and so that's how I find out my new music that's it for me I'm always about reading the blog's I kind of like to get the back story of the artist not just hearing the song I need to know all about them axl goode so with all this, we're actually going to talk about sixteen categories of ways to get heard, but when you think about how you discover new music, I want just to remind you of something from what we talked about earlier don't forget to do all the prep steps that we talked about in the second session for today and then the third session for today, which is getting it for sale why now you're going to do all this work to get your music actually into the years of new fans and to get it actually played in places that pay royalties and you're not going to get anything out of it people do things out of sequence if you do things out of sequence in your music business, it's actually risked your business you're going to make less income, so go back session to such an three if you haven't gone through that yet or if you're just tuning in now it's it's in the course but now we're going to press ahead and just talk about all the different ways that you can get your music heard sixteen categories of it the first is the one that everybody always wants to get into commercial radio in particular commercial terrestrial radio because now we have to distinguish it from satellite radio, which we're going to be covering as yet another one of these categories now guess what you're not supposed to do pay for play supposed to be illegal, right? It's still pay for play sorry itjust isthe like if you have one hundred thousand dollars, you can get played on terrestrial actually if your songs kind of sucky he's still have a hard time, but for the most part if you've got a big bankroll you can pay for getting it on there and some of them used mostly legal means and some of him use mostly non legal means to get it up there. The actual nature of those laws and how they started up is a very interesting thing to study if you are interested in that I think it's less relevant today because commercial radio is not the only way you can get stuff heard that's the whole point of this talk but if you're interested there's a book called the hitman and I actually the name of the author escapes me but it's an entire book of just about that time period don't want to go into it now what we're going to do when we cover each of these for this session is we're going to talk about what it isthe but then how it generates money for you because this is making making is this all about making money that's this whole sessions take it doesn't pay through sound recording prose which we talked about earlier just kind of unique on this whole thing so that said, how do you get played on commercial radio, then? If it's very expensive, I'm going to assume you don't have the bankroll you d'oh you just pay for ah, radio promoter, very simple, there's. Plenty of them out there that you confined. So how can we do something with this? Well, there's three ways that are well within your reach, one of them is at local music shows in chicago. We have wx artie, they have a show called local anesthetic. They accept submissions from any local band that wants to send it, and if they like it, they'll play it. Now, keep in mind this is a single play, pretty much you're probably not going to make it in their rotation, but then it's some nice exposure. Nonetheless, a single play is unlikely to be picked up in surveys, so you might not get much royalties out of it to see, you know, talk shows they're surprisingly good ways to do it. They love music that's on point on a topic to what they're normally blathering on about whatever they're talking about, I think, didn't we do that a couple times with we got music played on jonathan brand maher's show, morning show, right, he's a talk, uh, radio and I think we got him to play a shamrock shamrock I think it was over seven filled with one of the songs from family I think around st patrick's states it was around st patrick's day way figured out where the producer was we contacted the producers said we have this music he's just send it in and they dug it and they ended up using it just plain when he started talking about it actually, um I think he made fun of our name a same time because that's what he does which is fine because that together name out yes exactly is always what it's about we sent it to her producer how much time to that really take? Not much just I had to do the research to find out who he was. Uh check the radio site in the program site uh then said well he's the producer on then there was a contact thing and that was it and then I had to tie it and write the email in such a way that it's like look at st patrick's day we came up with a irish album we have a song called tell me, ma uh, I think at that time it was even played on npr you know, and then it's like a piggy back on that success and then it's like there you go would you be interested in this and then they wrote back and said he had just send it on we'll see no promises but then they got plate which is great so it doesn't take much time to do this kind of stuff and hopefully that makes sense and talk shows its best somebody who normally listens to the talk show and really understands how they think and what they like to make fun of that it actually helps a lot in order to try and get your music and on the third type is syndicated specialty shows that appear in a lot of different stations like little steven's underground garage which covers independent music and dr demento which is very longstanding novelty music show which we've also gotten played yeah that that that that show fits our music and another where we get some of our holiday music right from sanders like you so it was it was the title track I think and he said that's a nice letter which we framed it did under very or studio which is very nice of the doctor it was very nice of the good doctor but this kind of thing actually syndicated all across the country and that actually got a lot of people to check out the music we got sales out of it it's it's a really good targeted type of thing to d'oh and worth checking out that's commercial radio now, let's talk about the radio that people think that it's how commercial radio actually runs college radio. These people, I think there's some people that still aren't around with the idea that I'll send in my music and the love it, and they'll play it just it doesn't. It's there's there's a quid pro quo here on commercial radio like if you're not spending a million dollars on a commercial campaign promoting the music, they're not going to play the music very much, you know, that's the kind of thing the big labels d'oh when we're talking about this it's terrestrial radio operated by colleges, it generates money through song composition prose that we talked about before but here's something even though it doesn't directly pay for this there's a lot of college stations that are in fact, streamed as well and if they are than it does also generate sound exchange royalty income so it's nice to have that considering that here's how you work with them, they're college students that's the first thing to remember is they're college students, right? So like don't call him early in the morning, they're probably hung over and in bed column later in the day and they're going to classes during the day, but they may have time in between they're trying to run a radio station, they're not necessarily going to go for the music right now that everybody else is listening to you because they want to be different they want to pull this kind of stuff are it's much easier to reach them and it's well within reach but it can be time consuming here's the thing it doesn't necessarily drive sales so we're going to talk about this and what you get out of each of these and you have to make the determination and it was you I think you said it earlier about the time you spend this is pretty critical the time that you spend doing this kind of thing you're time is your most valuable resource besides the money you have you could spend an awful lot of time trying to get played in commercial in college radio rather you're going to be basically competing against radio promoters for major labels because they kind of treated is the minor leagues to try and get some songs charted there so they can get it on major stations sometimes you have a lot of promotion going on and so you have to stand out you might have to spend a lot of time and effort but then the question is after all of that did they play your music the right you know did they say your artist's name in a way that people could search on it and find you afterwards? This is what I mean but it doesn't necessarily drive sales right, so here's three ways to get played getting added to stations, rotation is one of the more time consuming ones can be worth it. We've done that before we did it with shamrock, I think we got it added to a few different places, we became part of their regular playlist to my knowledge, it didn't really well, we wouldn't have gotten any royalties off of it because that was entirely public domain songs, yeah, right, but considering that it was definitely something that got us a lot of place, a lot of talk, a lot of people talking about us the second one is one that I particularly like even more than trying to get in the regular rotation, this has like a sequence that they go through. This is a music director who decides what album stephen looked looked at and they have a committee and then they listen to it like, yeah, this one's going to go this one's we're going just recycle if they're sending in cds, which some of them required to make it harder some of them want the mp three's however they do it it's a little bit tougher the shows are done by students that really love something it could be a particular genre of music, it could be that they have a show about a particular topic and your song could really fit it there's a lot of options with this, and those ones that run shows really care about the content on it. Your regular line djs and I used to be one, they're just playing whatever is marked a time when I was doing it just so you know, there were actual records as well, a cds that were marked with these little stickers s actually is mostly record, so they still were doing a lot of records stuff because it was just easier to do the spinning and everything, and you would do heavy rotation. Then you do like a couple medium and then one light, and they just move it in iraq, direct iraq and then off into their music library, the way where it works with those student run shows as they choose whatever they want, it's their show, and so they tend to take a little more care into what's going on with it, they're interested in doing it, and the third one is great. We've done all three, we've done all three of these things, and they've all worked out really well the third one, especially the in studio one. So let me talk briefly about how to do it in case you're interested in doing this, you get on rotation, compile a list of stations find the contacts there it's always difficult to do that you know with a little bit of research you can do it I'd say start with your local area start with your local town you'll know where to go followed with phone calls after sending it even in an email to make sure that they got it that they've received it they're used to getting three calls one about can I send it one? Did you receive it one did you add it because that's the next part and then why did they do the three contact thing there's radio promoters out there trying to get it picked up and when there's that kind of thing going on there's a lot of competition they want a lot of touches they want that kind of stuff because they could do more sales jobs on the music right? So track your progress he's a spreadsheet it's pretty complicated when it comes to specialty shows it's very simple just research the station find this shows that you're interested in the almost always have a contact because whoever is running the show is doing it because they want to put themselves out there not the opposite. Some of them which are more structured will tell you here here's how I want new music, others you just sent him an email saying, hey, I got some music you'll like how do you want it that nice and simple the in studio performances work very well, though, and there's a big advantage to this. If you're playing live in their town, you're only there for a limited time, they're actually more interested in getting back to you, they can schedule you and they're a little schedule and say which bans are in town and you need to contact them, though with enough lead time so they can get you on their schedule, right? I mean, that should make sense, but once you do that, the cool thing is you're live on the air and you're promoting your life show usually afterwards doesn't always have to be a show that usually it helps quite a bit. I think we did one in chicago and it was right before a show, yeah worked out really well took took some time out during the day and just went out there and we just did a live in studio performance, and they interviewed him and interviewed I saw the recording of it it's cool, it's, just a nice little memento. It's actually a couple extra demos that you can give to pans and show them as well when it's done because it's, a new performance public radio, public radio's nonprofit terrestrial radio generally it generates money through song composition does not do sound recording sound recording pros but again, if they stream it does and a lot of them stream so you actually could get both types of revenue from it now there's two ways to get played on public radio and by the way, I don't know if you're looking at this and saying, well, why would I do public radio what's the point one of the publicist that we interviewed actually said that it was the primary way she exposed her fans to new audiences because npr listeners air very dedicated they're prone to buying music and I'm one of them I've bought a number of songs just because I heard the band being interviewed on npr and doing things like that and they've got a large dedicated audience all the time so it's actually a very good venue and well worth your time toe look into at least now there's two ways to do it one is through all songs considered in another is through basically your local affiliate show so you need to find out whoever your local is. Let me talk about all songs considered first it's a syndicated show goes across all well they say national public radio but now there's pierre I which is public radio international so it goes even beyond national borders they actually cover they first of all, they accept submissions and if they like it, they'll actually could get your music on all stations uh, least countrywide, and perhaps across even some country borders so it's worth it to submit here. Now, keep in mind we interviewed the guy who runs this, and that was a very, uh, eye opening interview. Bob boiling, bob boiling and we interviewed him for electronic musician. Yeah, so there's there's one in the archives. If you want to read it, they get between and that was at that time, or even know what it is now between two to three hundred submissions a week a week. So you have a lot of competition for this, he said, you got to choose your best track if you're going to send it to them because he said back when they were doing it cd wise, they would listen to the first track on the cd, and if they didn't like it, they just recycle it. First track, it's all you get, I have heard of other submission places which will listen to fifteen seconds of the first track. You better catch people real quick on your first, your best song lead with your best that's that's, really our advice for this kind of stuff? Very important hundreds of submissions a week, but let's talk about getting played locally, actually in opposition to that find your local affiliate. And then it's not just low it's not limited to just music shows that's the key to a lot of people focus on music shows what you probably want to focus on is your local cities show whatever your city is wherever you live wherever it is that you basically are there covering local events and local artists and local of stuff doings those air great because not only are they interested in music they're actually kind of interested in you is an artist and the war you can kind of pull it into the cultural fabric of your local city the more they're going to be interested in you and I have to do is contact the producer this is another thing we tried almost every single one of these under seventeen years so I mean we're just sharing the types of things that we've generally done there's only a couple of these that we didn't dio and we just want to share him because we want to do it for completeness in this case we got on a forty eight actually our first album got on the forty eight in fact I think didn't we find out afterwards speaking teo the point where is like how do you know your played what is it that happened? You had the story right so we got played on eight forty eight we contacted the producer uh they were interested in us because it was a local chicago uh talk show debut of cultural things we say we have a new album out in two thousand one yeah so they said yes send it our way and we'll give it a listen on then we sent their way then we felt followed up and said jeez thanks so much and this is great and then that was it was it because they have very busy lives and they have to get this shows on every day and uh and then I think what we got was it was one of your buddies who called you and said I heard you on the radio you hear on the radio and I said no you didn't and now that's impossible that you could divert us of anything you know I don't know I really I heard you on the radio like I don't know what you're talking about yeah but then it turned out yes and of course we go to the website and sure enough it actually talked about being a turtle our cairo's or something like that was the place where she was and uh and that's how you can do it you can do that and uh it really worked because we were chicago musician a band I should say and this was a very focused chicago uh uh talk show that worked I think one of my favorite stories of somebody hearing their music was eric elmer who is during christmas time and like like I think it was it was doctored the medal and see if he was just he turned on his car and like our music was playing is like ok is the cd a left in there is like wait a minute that's on the radio so is actually our song and like he wouldn't have made any sense of that you don't know if you're going to get play you don't know and they don't tell you they're under no obligation teo I mean especially you know in the contract with so you need this is I'm going to go back to something I said earlier and I want you to make your point which is I was just going to say there's something magical about radio that's still built into us like if I'm on the radio somehow that's a big deal as opposed to maybe mp three bloods or something like that but I think that's what we were that story relates to you but you have to get off of that is there some of so many other ways good todo because they don't take it if you do it right they don't take long but don't expect to get a ton of sales out of it I mean that's what we want to focus on and that's what we're on number three of the sixteen we're going to get to some of the ones that actually drive sales a lot better than these satellite radio was one of the few we haven't done for whatever reason it's just like one that we didn't want to tackle you actually get money from both types approach so it's pretty cool it's a little more of a black box it's really hard to tell how to get stuff in there there are two options that we can give you right now though like actual let web site links that you can use to get on satellite radio they accept submissions in the general sense and sirius x m as you know you might know there is a merger of the two main satellite based radio providers and they accept submissions there you don't know what they're doing with it or anything about it it's not very clear but you know if they're interested they could do it you actually could go to each station which has their own web page now I don't expect that you'll get paid on a plate on the eighties station and have unless you happen to be have made music back in the eighties but there is a station sirius x m u which has independent music now little point that we like to make about independent stations you don't want to get paid played on independent stations and I don't mean by that I don't mean that it's a bad play it's fine but you don't want a work to get onto an independent station and the reason is, when you look for music, you don't look for independent music, you don't care what kind of contract was signed in order to get the music made if you like country music, I don't know why, but if you like country music, you just want to hear more country music, you and if you make country music, you would want to get your son played in a station that has your genre. And so this is a key point we want to make for this segment, you can aim it it independent stuff, but generally the stuff that does that, a lot of them are scams just trying to take your money just to get you played. And the ones that do are not very interesting or political, the most listeners, not the ones you're trying to reach, you want to reach the listeners that air your audience, and that is partly genre, and that is partly demographics that you're aiming at like we talked earlier about how we do like the game crowd likes us because we use an artist and we did game stuff that is that's a very, very, very large audience, but it's hard niche, and we know where we can reach them, and we do that that's one of harnesses, shamrock had a slightly different one. Which we actually did very well with, because there is that magazine. That said, it was like one of the best album of the year. And then, like we did all these things with it and targeted that audience, people who, like irish celtic, means the celtic celtic music. So see how that works. Does that make sense? I mean, if you walk away with nothing else, it should be a mature audience and use these things as a conduit to get to them.