Using Radio As A Springboard For Your Career

Written by Michael Eastwood Founder & CEO of Mastermind Promotion

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Using Radio As A Springboard

Getting your music onto the radio is an obvious and fundamental step towards becoming a successful artist. This article will focus on how this can be achieved, and will also touch on why it is important to get your tracks onto the radio given the rise of online streaming, often falsely considered an alternative rather than simply an additional avenue to pursue.

Radio is still considered the key to breaking new commercial talent due to the complexities of major label involvement as well as general public exposure. Whilst you might get a large number of listens to your music on sites like YouTube, radio airtime serves as social proof for wide public audiences, encouraging purchase - the “if it’s good enough for radio, it must be good enough for me” mentality.

How To Get On The Radio


First things first, in order to get your tracks onto the radio in the first place, they must be of a great standard. If they are well produced and of a high quality then they will at least be considered for play; if they stand out for their ingenuity or exceptionally apparent talent, even better.

Research and Relevance:

It’s important when looking to get your music on the radio that you do some market research. Find out the average age-groups of listeners and make a note of what genres are most frequently played on each radio station. If the station’s demographic and musical preferences are in line with your music you are exponentially more likely to have your music played. If the music you send to a particular station is nothing like what they usually play, it won’t go on air.

Evidence of Progression:

Radio stations want to see your music career progressing along with your radio plays. If you aren’t touring, picking up more significant press and selling an increasing amount of music, then larger stations will be reluctant to play your tracks. They judge your songs on their ability to increase their ratings by playing your music, not on the song quality itself. Evidence that your whole career is growing is indicative of a good risk rating, since you are more likely to be on the radar of their audiences.


When submitting your music that you would like to be played it is important that it is presented neatly and that the music is in an appropriate format. CD’s are still an appropriate format to submit a demo, but it is crucial that the CD itself is clearly labelled denoting artists and tracks as they are frequently separated from press packs amidst the busy clutter of radio offices. You should submit a brief write-up detailing who you are as artists, your type of music and contact information. It may also be wise to send them an email containing download links or streams to your music. That way, stations have dual access to your music as well as your email address.

Understand your Options:

Getting onto large commercial radio stations in major markets is very difficult without help. Major labels are involved though they would deny the extent of their involvement - the stations and labels act in each others interests and therefore opt to play music that to the best of their knowledge will be well received. They don’t like taking risks on relatively unknown artists.

That said, there are other options available to build up your profile - you can begin by submitting your music to non-commercial radio, including student radio. Non-commercial radio is the most viable starting place for up-and-coming independent artists. Success in this area could well lead to you being noticed by commercial radio stations, making them more likely to play your tracks when you submit them in the future. Once this has been achieved, small commercial stations may be willing to play your music. I’m sure you can see what I’m getting at - the point is that it is a process; a solid foundation is necessary to succeed as the big commercial stations are interested in long-term return. There is a reason why the artists behind “one hit wonders” fade into obscurity.

Following up:

Feedback is always important to artists, and you should remember to follow up your submission to the radio station so that you learn of its fate. If you’re not played on the station it’s important to find out why - but it’s also important to ensure that you are measured in your approach so as not to strike as a nuisance.

The advice given above will help you get your music onto the radio, using it as a springboard for the rest of your career. You may also be interested more broadly as to why the radio is so important to launch your career when today there are other more straightforward methods of distributing your music.

Why is Radio so Important to Your Career?

Whilst the rise of streaming services and online radio have loosened the iron grip of major terrestrial radio stations over the music industry, they still remain influential. Their close relationship with the major labels make them an attractive objective; should you receive airtime you will be in a much better position to achieve greater success, as being played will drive sales and also help you become recognised by those who will take your career to the highest level.

At Mastermind we can use our industry connections to get your music ready for national radio and also secure you the airtime you need to get your music heard by these wide audiences.

Mastermind Your Promotion.