How To Estimate the Costs of Radio Promotion

The success of your music career does not solely depend on how good your music sounds. You still need to do promotion if you want it to spread to your market across cities and countries. Radio promotion is probably the quickest way to reach a large number of listeners. Once a buzz is created, your audience increases as the buzz is being spread. However, it is also the most expensive part in marketing your music. It requires money, time and dedication. If you have spent thousands of bucks in recording and duplicating CD’s, then you should be willing to invest even more in getting your music on the radio.

These are the things that concern you if you are to engage in this kind of project:

  1. Radio promotion is a very cumbersome project.  In marketing your music, radio promotion requires the most work, but you need it because it reaches a huge market. In the United States alone, there are approximately 12,500 radio stations. There are also websites such as Web Radio Central that provide a list and link to different radio station's live streaming on the web. For mobile phones, there is also an Internet radio player or virtual radio. If you want to do it yourself, especially if you’re new in the music industry and are still learning the work-around, it’s not going to be easy. Aside from this, it will require a lot of your time, and pursuing airplay has a lot of details to consider. You need to decide which song you should choose to be the focus track of your record, the format of your CD, the right market and other stuff. But if you hire an independent radio promotion company that has more experience and more connections than you do, you will have a bigger chance to get your song played on more radio stations. They could also give you advice regarding promotion strategy that has something to do with your sales.
  2. You may hire more than one radio promotion company if you want. There are companies whose competitive edge is in placing songs on non-commercial radio stations but not on commercial ones. There are also some that specialize and have more established connections to the latter. So you could hire one promoter each for non-commercial, commercial and for mixed shows if you want a very big promotion. The promotion company for commercial radio stations are usually the most costly to hire.
  3. Playing your music on air usually costs about $3,000 to $500,000. Variation is of course dependent on the type and level of promotion that you want as well as the genre of the radio stations. Depending on the level of campaign, the cost usually covers the promoter’s fee, radio ads, CD postage, mailers, promotional items, promotional item postage, on-air ads and consultants if desired. Some genres would cost ten times more than others. The postage will of course depend on the weight of your CD's. It would cost you more if you would prefer vinyl.
  4. Radio promotion companies usually have promotion packages with a specific number of radio stations where your music will be played. However, there are also some small companies that are open to negotiations if you want a lesser number of radio stations to air your record. For example, if it's a band promotion and you only want specific stations where your genre will fit, then it could cut your cost.

If you want your new record to obtain good exposure among new listeners, it should have significant airplay. This only happens when music directors of radio stations add your music on their play lists. Considering that your CD is not the only CD they receive in a week, the music director must be really convinced that your record is good and would give them high ratings. You must then invest a lot in radio promotion!


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