Funny old thing, radio…
Before I started presenting the Gospel Breakfast Show on Premier Gospel, my relationship with – and impression of – radio was probably similar to yours.
I understood its existence and how potentially pervasive it could be, but – if I’m going to be honest (due in no small part to the fact I’ve been a digital publisher for years) – I was almost snobbish and largely ignorant about just how powerful it really is.
Despite the phenomenal explosion of easy-to-access and entirely customisable music (via personal and shareable playlists, legal – and illegal – downloads, music streaming services and such), good radio still attracts fiercely loyal audiences, a fact strongly impressed on me every weekday morning between 7 and 9 as I present my show.
Playing Your Music
So what has that got to do with me playing your music..? Not a great deal in and of itself, to be honest. But it’s a good piece of background information for you to be armed with. Keep it in mind. It’ll be back in a minute.
First, a disclaimer: what I’m about to share is nothing to do with Premier Gospel. I’m trying to shed light on processes and practices that will help you progress your music career, event or book promotion, or whatever. As usual, I’m approaching it from a very specific (and narrow) ‘music promotion’ point of view.
In broad terms I’m guessing a lot of what I’m about to share will be fairly standard practice amongst radio station presenters, station managers, music controllers and the like.
Just as I was about to publish this, I had an idea: I know a few UK gospel radio presenters, so I thought I’d ask them if they’d also to like to share their ideas on the topic.
I don’t know what I expected by way of response, but getting replies back within minutes from respected personalities like journalist and broadcaster Mike Rimmer (UCB Radio, Cross Rhythms Radio), publisher and presenter Matt Brooks (MBrio Music and Bonnerfide Radio) and music producer and radio presenter Ibe Otah (Jamrock Radio) who between them broadcast locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, was a hugely encouraging sign.
That means the range of feedback, suggestions and ideas they have for this series should be very useful. And there are also other names I’m expecting to hear back from soon.
‘Why I Can’t/Why I Won’t…’
The series starts shortly, answering questions around ‘Why I can’t play your songs…’ (it’s not nearly as antagonistic as it sounds – at least mine isn’t).
Then of course there’s the ‘Why I won’t…’ bit. That’s more ‘tell it like it is’ than anything else.
Going back to the point I made earlier about arming you with background information: radio is excellent for breaking new and established music and artists, as well as getting listening audiences excited about new (and even old) songs.
In the past 2 years or so I’ve come to truly appreciate how powerful radio actually is: people take the music they hear on their favourite shows by their favourite personalities and stations seriously. Having a radio hit actually improves the chances of your song doing well.
So why don’t more people take advantage of radio? Why do you hear the same old songs on the radio? Why is it so difficult to get your song played?
Hopefully some or all of these questions will be answered over the course of these series. If you have any questions, ask them now!
Like they say on the radio:
- ‘Up next: we find out what the DJs and presenters have to say…’