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Radio Play - Why Does It Still Matter? - Music Gateway

Photograph of the blog post author, Mary Woodcock

Mary Woodcock

7.11.2017

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Here at Music Gateway we collaborated with Radio Airplay to provide you with the opportunity to gain 25,000 plays of your music across internet radio. The Radio Airplay platform lets you organize your music by category, provides you with the ability to upload an unlimited amount of tracks to the service, view statistics and allows you to engage with your fans.

Here’s why radio plays remain such an integral part of the ensuing success of the modern day artist….

Exposure

In an age of heavyweight streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, you’d expect them to dominate when it comes to the way that an average person discovers new music. However, a 2015 study by Nielsen found 61% of respondents answered that radio was the fundamental way they happened upon fresh music. Radio also offers a convenience and ease of use for the listener that other formats (like streaming) don’t necessarily provide. The study also found that 243 million consumers in the USA tune in to radio each week – which equates to around 91% of the population. That is an absolutely huge market which might potentially hear your music and in turn possibly bring you new fans.

Gaining multiple plays on radio can also allow you to breakthrough to a large mainstream audience relatively quickly. This in part is because radio in a modern sense now covers internet/digital and satellite/terrestrial. The overlapping of so many spheres means that there are now more ways than ever before to get heard via some form of radio play. For example, according to tunecore the Foo Fighter’s ‘Everlong’ has received “almost 2 billion gross impressions (audience reach) to date”. This makes radio the most effective way of building awareness for an artist and creating a buzz around their music – which could possibly lead to a song becoming a hit.   

Sync Opportunities

Radio plays are not just useful for gaining more fan exposure and increasing sales of your records, but can also be an essential factor that could lead to commercial opportunities in the media – for instance, sync. In an interview of leading music supervisors by Pigeons and Planes discussing how they sourced and selected new music to pitch to clients, Jackie Shuman stated that….

“I’ve found some great things on non-commercial radio”.

Aaron Mercer supported this by saying…

“Good local press and radio helps”.

This proves radio is a key resource for music supervisors and that many use it to look out for emerging talent which may be suitable for placement on the projects they are currently working on as well as future ones. Sync is quickly becoming an integral revenue stream for the music industry, and many artists – from established acts to previously unheard of bands – are now embracing it. Radio play has the potential to lead down this avenue.  

Exclusivity and Relationships

Put simply, getting your music played on some type of radio helps to separate yourself from the multitude of other artists out there who are fighting for fans and attention. In a way radio stations operate as a filtersieving out the poor music while playing the good stuff. To even get airplay a number of people must sign off on an artist being played, something which is difficult to achieve given how subjective music taste really is. Getting through this filter proves to both professionals and the public that your music is at least worth listening to.   

Radio DJ’s and curators also still have an essential role to play as they have relationships and contacts throughout the industry – potentially furthering the exposure of your music and getting it into the hands of professionals throughout the business.

Final Thought’s

It is clear to see then that radio play is still an important factor when you boil it down to the raw data. With the current audience reach per week of around 72 million people for songs in the top 40 (and even more niche genres such as alternative rock still garnering around 10 million listeners a week) it is evident that radio as a medium is alive and kicking – making it well worth an artist’s time getting their music played there. 

Thanks for reading, 

Will @ MG



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