Why itâ€™s so hard to get your song played on FM Radio
In our experience gaining spins on mainstream radio is no easy task. We have sent music to major radio stations all over the country but after learning about payola and politics we started to come up with a plan to ensure our members get air time. See, there is this thing about radio djs wanting thousands of dollars to play your record one time on underground late night radio shows caused us to look for other options for being heard.
Exposed Vocals has developed personal relationships with the directors of a few FM Radio Stations in the U.S and the U.K.
However, when it comes to facilitating sponsored radio plays, we work through third party platforms that work directly with the FM Radio Stations as Indie-promoters. Many promotional platforms will claim to get your track on the air and many times cannot produce any actual evidence that your music was spun. Thatâ€™s why we ALWAYS offer proof-of-broadcast in the form of MP3 file (s) for your records. This mp3 file will contain a complete recording of your FM Radio Play!
How Exposed Vocals helps unsigned, signed and independent artists get radio play and other exposureÂ opportunities
We work hard to find you the right connections in the music industry. We connect directly with the people in power that can help facilitate your exposure. Weâ€™re connecting with owners of indie music platforms, radio stations, record labels and more. Weâ€™re bringing those features to you at a low cost because we understand how hard it can be for a struggling artists and too many promotional platforms take advantage that hunger. Most of our partner blog features are about $15 bucks each and monthly radio plays are less than $100. We believe that some of the best music in the world is the music we never hear, because sometimes the most talented artists don’t get the break they deserve. Let us help you get to where you want to be in y our career. Let us help you build that grass root buzz.
[Examples of Radio PlayÂ here]
About Payola and how this process effects unsigned and independent artists
Federal law and FCC rules require that employees of broadcast stations, program producers, program suppliers and others who, in exchange for airing material, have accepted or agreed to receive payments, services or other valuable consideration must disclose this fact. Disclosure of compensation provides broadcasters the information they need to let their audiences know if material was paid for, and by whom.
All Exposed Vocals sponsored material is explicitly identified at the time of broadcast as paid for and by whom, except when it is clear that the mention of a product or service constitutes sponsorship identification.
Under U.S. law, 47 U.S.C. 317, a radio station can play a specific song in exchange for money, but this must be disclosed on the air as being sponsored airtime, and that play of the song should not be counted as a regular airplay.
Thereâ€™s a bit of a monopoly in mainstream radio
When radio stations were starting to use hip hop as a means to engage a younger audience and stronger following, there were mixshows. For these mixshows, djs were allowed to play what they wanted. Many djs would reach out for freestyles or intros for their radio shows. As time passed, radio stations removed power from the djs and they now have to stick to strict playlists. Thatâ€™s the reason why you hear the same rotation of the same 10 songs on every radio station across the country.
Why itâ€™s hard for Indies.
As an Unsigned Artist that does not fit within the trend of Popular Music it is a constant up hill battle. Commercialized music is a big problem that has to be factored in because instead of focusing on the art & craft it has become about selling products & reinforcing cancerous lifestyles. If you pay close attention youâ€™re getting the same song over & over. Sex, Drugs & Materialistic. This pattern rarely deviates. Many corporations have teamed with Record Companies to enhance profits by endorsing these same artist to help sell products & strengthen this toxic marriage. The financial incentive is overwhelming. Unsigned Artists. become a direct contradiction to the structure and are often ignored & swept under the rug by mainstream outlets.
How promotion can help.
One of the main obstacles for independent artists is promotion. Who in the streets is talking about you? Why should someone without major promotion money behind them have a chance with stations who receive major money from record companies, big budget commercials, etc?
In order to even be considered for radio play you need to be requested (call in to the radio stations and have your song requested) no less than 3x more than the lowest tiered (signed big money) artist.
It can be intimidating!
Developing a legitimate profile with station managers, program directors, star djs and on-air personalities is a challenge. Indie artists without the backing of one of the above stake-holders at the stations struggle to get noticed and receive almost no air play. Artists who get themselves involved in the promotional events that radio stations mount, (talent searches, community outreach programs etc.) can use these opportunities to get to know the staff both administrative and talent at stations and can work their way into whatever programs these stations designate for breaking or exposing local talent. Signed artists benefit from the business/advertising relationships their labels have with radio stations and thus will always receive better treatment and more air time on radio stations. Most radio stations belong to much larger media conglomerates whose programming is done by regional directors. Those directors serve those record labels with the largest advertising expenditures at the stations.
Sad truths.. for now..
Local stations are not going to play what they donâ€™t think is popular-popping or profitable. They donâ€™t want to trend set or be progressive in a whole. They want to follow the blueprint and the people with the money are promoting acts like Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. The thinking is limited and they have no monetary incentive to do otherwise. The progressive or revolutionary artists donâ€™t necessarily have the money to present the image of success, therefore stations and personnel do not see anything Â worth buying into. Radio programmers play the songs specifically selected and bought from music companies by station owners. It is an intimate relationship, an incestuous one. Sony and Universal own 80-95% of all songs played on R&B, hip-hop and Top 40 radio stations each week. They pay roughly $1000 per song, per station to assure that we hear their songs and only their songs 30 and 40 and 50,000 times a month. This is why most commercial stations sounds exactly the same
What can we do to help Unsigned Artists get FM Air Play?
The best thing to do is support the artist you love. If there is an artist in your area that you like, reach out to the radio stations and speak on their behalf. Request their songs, attend their shows and purchase their music. It is easy for an indie artist to get frustrated and stop, especially when there is no profit received from their hard work and talent. Support local music.