Have I Got a Deal for You!

Can't help but notice there's a growing number of companies "helping" indie artists. That sounds slightly sarcastic for a reason; I'm growing increasingly skeptical on the ability of these companies to deliver what's promised.
Here are a few claims I've seen:

***** is looking for a Band / Solo Performer to feature on our homepage to the 100,000 + music industry pros who visit our community...

We provide a direct radio promotion service to make your music available to radio station DJs.

Your song will be submitted to over 7000 radio stations, including; Major FM ******** stations, Live 365, Shoutcast, XM Radio, Sirius Satellite, Music Choice, AOL, Yahoo Launchcast, Rhapsody, AccuRadio, and AudioRealm.

indie artist music
I could go on. My records show 69 companies offering these types of services. Each promises to help artists succeed - just send money. (One of my favorite claims is "Get your music discovered and start climbing the charts." Is it really that simple?)

With all the change in music distribution over the last 20 years the one unchanged element is the non-stop work required by a musician to stabilize and grow their career. There is no "easy" in anything today - especially music.

Here's a simple exercise. Google "find new music," "hear new songs," or "independent country artists" (substitute rock, pop, rap, etc. for the word country, too). Even try the simple term "new music." Go 3 pages deep on each search, as that's about the maximum a normal search reaches. With the exception of NPR's "First Listen" in the "hear new songs" results, you won't find a broadcast station link. (Use an "incognito" browser window to avoid having your past searches affect this test.)

Indie artists should put effort into getting airplay through online radio stations. Each audience cluster may be smaller but at least you get exposure for your work.

Online radio stations are looking for that hot new sound. There are 26 stations listed at Audio Graphics' RadioRow playing only indie artist music. Start there. Or try AG's RRadio Music. Just know that there's nothing easy or guaranteed when soliciting exposure for your music. (Disclaimer: RRadio Music does charge $10. It was free for its first four years until I began receiving hundreds of songs from amateur musicians who couldn't hold a tune. Now only serious musicians use our service.)

If you are interested in going deeper into this "getting airplay" topic, view "The Math of Music & Radio - Part 1 & Part 2": "There is no magic bullet in promotion. There is no easy way onto a radio station's playlist. And there is certainly no company that will get you widespread attention and response. The worlds of advertising and promotion just don't work that way."

As for a "deal"? If anyone offers you a sure thing on reaching thousands of radio stations, say thanks but decline. Spend time learning how to use technology. Then use that knowledge to help in the very difficult task of getting exposure.

If you're destined to make it, or even stabilize your music career for growth, it's going to come from effort not handing somebody $200+ to "...get your song in the hands of thousands of radio station programmers."

Friday, March 20, 2015      eMail to a Friend

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