How to Get Your Music Played on Internet Radio

January 4, 2013{ 18 Comments }

iStock 000013494357XSmall How to Get Your Music Played on Internet RadioInternet radio play for indie artists

Let’s be honest; as a DIY musician you’re probably not going to get sudden and sustained airplay on the giant terrestrial radio stations. You simply don’t have the budget for the kind of radio campaign where every DJ in the country starts spinning your single in a short period of time.

So put aside your dreams of breaking into the top of the charts overnight and get used to the idea of building your career at a more measured pace! How?

Running your own radio promotion campaign

Non-traditional forms of radio (satellite, internet, and podcasts) are huge these days. Many of the popular music streaming sites like Pandora have even made the jump from the internet into people’s mobile devices and cars.

The good news is that getting significant play on these new types of radio formats is a far easier task than the commercial campaigns of yesteryear. The obvious trade-off is that you have to do a little more research, as each individual station/program/podcast will have their own submission guidelines.

But the best part is, they actually want artists to submit their music, so you have a real opportunity to form close and lasting relationships with DJs and program directors. Sounds like the beginnings of a sustainable music career to me!

How do I find internet radio stations that will play my music?

It’s important to point out that almost EVERY radio station is an internet radio station nowadays. Even terrestrial stations that broadcast via the old fashioned airwaves are streaming online. But what you want to find are the smaller, niche stations (either exclusively online or indie-focused/community terrestrial stations) that play YOUR kind of music.

Here’s a few places to start:

* Submit your music to Pandora.

* Listen to Live365 or SiriusXM show ( Sirius does both satellite and internet radio).

* Check out this Wikipedia list of popular internet radio stations worldwide.

* Browse through the hundreds of stations (categorized by genre) in your iTunes player’s radio section and make note of the ones that’d fit your music.

* Look through the music podcasts in the podcast section of the iTunes Store. (Podcasts aren’t technically the same thing as internet radio, but hey — we’re not splitting hairs here, are we?)

[Just so there is no confusion, iTunes does not produce the podcasts or internet radio stations that show up in their directory, but merely provide the directory to bring many stations and podcasts together in one place. Locate the shows that are right for your music and then hunt down their submission guidelines individually online.]

Now for the hard part: the personal touch

Here’s the part of the job that’s a little bit of work — but ultimately rewarding: you’re going to have to check out the submission guidelines for each of these stations/radio shows individually; do your research; Google!; follow the blogs and Twitter feeds of your favorite DJs; introduce yourself (but in a non-annoying and non-demanding way); then send them your music, of course.

Yes, it’s more work than blanketing hundreds of stations at once with a generic press package. Yes, it takes time. Yes, it’d be easier to just pay a professional radio promoter tens of thousands of dollars to do the work for you. But c’mon — do you have tens of thousands of dollars? If you approach 200 DJs and 20 of them end up playing your music on their shows, you may’ve won 20 new supporters not just for one song, or one album, but for life!

What have you done to get your music played on internet radio? Let us know in the comments section below.

Getting Radio Play the Easy Way

  • http://www.facebook.com/rada.jandrich2 Radmila Neal

    I have made some progress this way but I'm sure the fact that I made it to Pandora has to do with timing. The line might be quite a bit longer these days.

    rada http://www.pianopassions.com

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      I imagine you're right, since they listen to everything with their actual ears before accepting. And they're getting more and more popular. So the line's gotta be growing and growing.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Good advice. Relentlessness plus relentlessness! And then keep up those personal relationships with the DJs who DO play your music.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Awww. Poor Spoken Word! Thanks for the submission details.

  • alias2u2

    Unsigned Indie bands who are deserving are getting real rotation broadcast radio airplay with the help of the dedicated team at Artist Airplay Advisors http://www.beanbag1.com/AAA.html

  • http://www.roadsideattraction.com Phil Johnson

    For podcasts, it's good to have your stuff listed on MusicAlley.com. Not a lot of huge podcasts get stuff there, but a ton of little ones. Everything helps.

    For internet radio I basically followed the steps above and have found it pretty easy to get some play. I work in the comedy music niche so there's fewer stations, but they're pretty open to it.

    DeliRadio.com is another interesting site that mashes up a couple different kinds of models. But the coolest part is that they'll automatically add your stuff to city based stations for wherever you're touring.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Awesome. Thanks for the info.

  • SDPINC

    Does anyone know of a on line list of podcasts and their formats? Like in the DIY old days you could find lists of radio stations and their formats. I wonder if there is anything like that on the web and if not there totally should be. People could go on it and register their podcasts and artists could target podcasts who cater to a similar format to send their music to. win/win! If anyone knows of any please email me them at sdpinc@comcast.net thanks and good luck to all!

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      There's gotta be something like that. I'll dig around. If anyone else finds it, please post here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julianangelroxx Julian Angel

    There probably is no shortcut. I really benefit from relationships I have built over the years. So I encourage everybody to keep going even if it doesn't pay off right the other day. I have received best "airplay" through personal contacts, because they don't just put a song on rotation but really introduce it along with a web address etc.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Yes, exactly. And the more the DJ talks you up, the more the listener will pay attention.

  • Danny Grause

    Anyone interested in the funky side of country? http://www.dannygrause.com/

  • http://www.facebook.com/sabrina.child.7 Sabrina Child

    Love this post! Very informative! I would just like to add please look out for those who would want you to "pay to play." In my opinion that is so bogus and shady! They are just out to get money for themselves and not even care about the artist. In most cases, if you pay to play, it will be just one time your music might be played. How is that any exposure? There are a lot of great internet radio stations that will play your music with no hesitation and they won't ask you for money. I am an indie artist and I have been in rotation with this new internet radio station, Smack Tongue, and I can't believe the support I have been getting from them and their listeners! For anyone who would like more information about them, or you want to send your music to them, you can email radio@smacktongue.com. You can also check out the music nights on Fridays at 7pm CST/8pm EST/5pm PST or Saturdays at 10pm CST/ 11pm EST/ 8pm PST. I must say, they do have a high rotation of hip hop artists but they have had a good amount of rock and funk music!

  • Patton Fox
  • http://twitter.com/pastorrouseshow Pastor J. Rouse Show

    We are looking for christian and gospel singers, musicians and bands' music for online radio play, etc. Email sound wave/digital files to pastorjrouseshow@gmail.com along with a bio and upcoming events list….allow 2 to 3 weeks advance notice of your upcoming events. If you want to mail it in, email us for particulars and details. Mailed in discs will not be returned.

  • http://twitter.com/DevNullRadio DevNull Radio

    We are presently taking submissions from bands that would like to be played on our streaming radio station that is preparing to be launched: http://www.devnullradio.com/how-to-get-your-band-

  • nana avenue
  • http://www.anthonyrenzulli.com/ Anthony

    http://www.AnthonyRenzulli.com

    Any radio station like what they hear please email me for an Mp3 at Anthony@AnthonyRenzulli.com