How To

Music Jobs: The Radio Plugger

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock


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Although some may think this role has a self-explanatory title, there is more to a Radio Plugger than one may think. This article will outline and explain a number of responsibilities for a Radio Plugger to help point out the importance of them to a band/artist’s career. A good Radio Plugger can mean the difference between a single being a hit or a fail. As the main link between record labels and radio DJ’s, presenters & producers, a plugger can really boost the career and fan-base of a band/artist.

Who To Contact

Firstly, a radio plugger will compile a list of radio contacts to get in touch with that are relevant to your genre, and would be interested in you. These are the ones that are more likely to respond and play your music because of a specific radio target audience or genre. After all, there is no point in sending a contemporary Rock record to a Jazz radio station. It is likely that these contacts would have a previous work relationship with the radio plugger in question, so with their trusted name behind it, there is a higher chance of success. The ability to pick out radio presenters/DJ’s based on their music interest is really where a Radio Plugger’s experience and industry knowledge comes to life. The ‘Dark Art’ of radio plugging is all about the main ingredient – Contacts. As a paid service, Radio Pluggers earn their money and achieve their results through their long-collected list of contacts and the trust established between them. Other information will be collected by the Plugger to help the process, including how the DJ’s like to receive demos, and a lot more important information that help forge a positive relationship.

Pitching The Complete Product

Once the relevant targeted contacts are narrowed down, the Radio Plugger will get in touch with the specific DJ’s to pitch your song, and ultimately, get it played on the radio. The plugger will usually make sure the product is complete and 100% perfect before this process begins, to make sure that it has the best chance of being played on the radio. This will include the quality of the audio itself, single artwork, perhaps a video and any other promotional material to help back the product. It is likely the plugger is known around the industry and their name behind the record will give you a big advantage ahead of competitors. They will have belief in the product, won’t rush it, and will hope to gain you success and carry on heightening their reputation. Along with this, they will stick by you, nurture you, and watch you develop and grow as an artist. An understanding of you as an artist and your personality is hugely important; relationship is key with a radio plugger as they are the voice of you as an artist to the radio.

Other Radio Angles

As well as trying to get your song on to the radio (and sometimes working with the label), Pluggers will also try to set upinterviews and live sessions on these radio stations too. This can be a massive benefit to you as an artist, showcasing how good you are live as well as showing off your personality within an interview. This dramatically increases the likeability of you as an artist and helps fans feel more engaged with you. As well as this, the credibility and longevity of your act increases for the listener as well as perhaps yourself. Gaining radio airplay can also mean your addition to radio playlists. These can be hugely popular around the world and regularly listened to online by radio fans. This would be a huge step in terms of fan-base and pushing your music & act name further.

Often closely linked with PR & Press departments, gaining a Radio Plugger is a positive step in the right direction for those seeking airplay and to further develop a national/global fan-base. The chances are they will have a far more extensive contact list than you could imagine, so this is help worth taking. If scouted by a Radio Plugger, this could say something to you about you as an artist/band. You may be better than you think and if the industry is onto you without you contacting, then you may be on a few target lists. Think about your image, your story, and most importantly of all, your sound.

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