Our last post (click here if you haven’t read it) discussed some of the types of stations or radio shows that are likely to play your music. Today we’re going to have a look at how best to send it to them. Some of these details are from my own experiences and some are from Tom Robinson’s excellent guides for indie musicians which he has created and curated for several years. I’ll link to his legendary video to at the end of this post.
Until a few years ago, CDs sent through the post were the main way of sending music to stations.
CDs are still important however it may well be that you will end up sending your music via a dropbox link, a Soundcloud link (perhaps private) or in the case of BBC Introducing a website upload provided by the station.
In the first instance you will have to undertake research to find out which format is preferred by the station you are submitting to. I’m an artist myself and I still send the majority of my music to radio via CD but research for each station will need to be condcuted to see which format you will need to use.
If you’re in the UK I’d suggest signing up for a subscription to The Unsigned Guide which lists contact details for stations and their preferred method of music submission which takes some of the legwork out of the task.
If you are doing all this yourself, you will have to undertake the neccesary Googling to find the right show or the independent music/unsigned show at your targeted station. See if they have details on their website as to how they want their music sent to them. If you still can’t find anything, for something like a University radio station send it for the attention of the Head of Music.
Postal Submission Tips
- Send your music up to 8 weeks ahead of release.
- If you are sending on CD send using a silver CD-Rs (in plastic wallet).
- The CD should be printed with artist name, record title, cat no (if there is one) and either a label logo or your band logo.
- DON’T WRITE YOUR DETAILS WITH A CD-R PEN!
- If you don’t have a printer that prints CDs, get your CDs professionally duplicated and the duplicators can print in the onbody for you. Small runs of silver duplicated CDs with a printed on-body will be about £1 each.
- Use a 12cm x 12 cm template for the paper insert (or 24cm x 12 cm if you want info on the back as well). On the front of the CD insert put your name, the track titles, running times and again a CD if you have one.
- Place a sticker on the reverse of the sleeve with release date, your info and contact details (email/tel number).
- If there’s space you can also put a summary of the info from your press release on the sticker which will be a condensed version of your ‘plot’. If you don’t know what a plot is, read this.
- Include a one A4 page press release with the single. If you don’t know how to write a good press release, read this ultimate guide to pess releases we produced.
- If you have the contact details of the show/presenter you have sent your music to, follow it up several weeks later to see if/when they’re going to play.
Have a watch of this video from Tom Robinson, it will fill in all the gaps!
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?