For a long time, radio has been known to be a decisive platform for music discovery. In recent years, there has been more focus on vying for playlist adds and creating masses of content in hopes of going viral on TikTok. But despite these shifts, radio shouldn’t be ignored — here’s why.
Play MPE is a long-term partner of Digital Music News — we’re proud to jointly share this massive announcement.
The industry has changed a lot over the last couple of decades. Topping the list is music streaming, which has grown into a digital tsunami. Radio may no longer seem to be the MVP in the game, but it’s still very relevant for any development strategy.
Generating Real Organic Growth Through Radio
Artist development strategies are constantly getting more and more inventive. Radio should definitely be part of it. Finding success at radio (or at least getting regular spins) is an excellent strategy for artists to be more visible to music industry professionals. Major labels have yet to discount the impact an artist can have at radio. Getting played on the radio is a tangible vector of validation that still has a consequential impact.
Perhaps there is still a sense that radio is less accessible to independent artists and smaller labels. Or that radio requires large budgets only big companies can unlock. Well, that is where companies like Play MPE come in. In this case, the platform acts as a space for music promotion and discovery by music professionals worldwide. Artists are welcome to use these means, too.
“Programmers are now used to getting their music digitally with a bio, album credits, tour dates, etc. It is also great to see the reporting from Play MPE and see who has opened, streamed and downloaded the songs is definitely helpful.” observed Joel Habbeshaw, VP of radio promotion at New West Records. “I have been utilizing Play MPE for a long time and I have found it to be super easy to upload and create a blast to radio and not have to keep updating my own database of contacts. Their worldwide collection of stations continues to grow and I am thankful for their ability to make the delivery to radio one less thing I have to worry about.”
Play MPE is a two-sided platform:
- Caster addresses artists, promoters, record labels, and managers. They can promote releases to verified tastemakers in radio, media, music supervision, curation, and more. Promotions include email blasts and hosting on the discovery side of the platform, Player. Users can add broadcast-ready music files, metadata, promotional information, assets, etc.
- Player enables radio programmers, music supervisors, curators, and even A&R professionals to discover the latest releases. From artists and labels around the globe, Player displays all tracks, in all music formats, with all the needed information. Music professionals can go from there to get a song on the air, do a sync placement, or plan a review by a music magazine.
As for indie artists, their releases can benefit from the same visibility as any other top artist. By existing in this context, this provides even more credibility to a name yet to be discovered.
A Strong Presence Starts With Radio
So why focus on radio when everything seems about getting on playlists or trending on TikTok?
If a music director or radio programmer chooses to add a song to rotation, it’s a deliberate choice. There’s no guaranteed way to get on the radio. Of course, hiring a radio promoter can bring an artist closer to the goal. But ultimately, the choice relies on the radio station alone. Working with promotion companies helps target the right people and networks, making it a great choice, but it still requires a budget. Many professional radio promoters are users of Play MPE. But indie artists are also welcome to take control and promote themselves, which allows them to target the same key industry decision-makers.
Another key factor is that radio plays last longer. Today, placement strategies are mainly focused on streaming playlists. However, they change every week or so. Radio stations might spin a song for 3 to 4 months or even longer if it becomes an instant classic.
It’ll come as no surprise that any artist should aim to diversify their revenue. Streaming can’t be the only stream of income. Other possibilities for getting your music not only heard, but played, have to be taken into account.
“Ditch sending 1000-plus cold emails to radio stations and instead use Play MPE,” said indie artist Sally Dige. “It will save you so much time, money, and effort and be WAY more effective. I cannot recommend this platform enough for independent artists like myself.”
So You Got on the Radio, Now What?
The next step is tracking radio plays and learning more about the artist’s audience. Data can inform a global strategy by showing which territories a track is more appreciated. For instance, an artist may want to book live shows in these target markets. Knowing which stations are playing music means new ways to contact fans, including ticket giveaways, contests to win merchandise, and more. There could also be opportunities to set up on-air interviews or live sessions. Beyond the touring aspect, this is great intel for music marketing.
Data is critical to building an artist development strategy. For example, marketing campaigns informed by radio data can help complete social media stats. Radio stations involve people working daily at curation. Streaming and social data need to be more reliable when it comes to filling venues. All in all, radio seems to have more staying power. And retention leads to longevity.
Beyond facilitating music promotion and discovery, Play MPE supports accessibility to radio tracking. Currently, you can track radio airplay in Canada with their new platform MTR. The company also has plans to expand tracking very soon.
On the one hand, Play MPE makes it easier for artists to reach radio stations by providing them with a promotion tool and massive distribution lists. On the other hand, they make discoverability easier for curators and industry professionals, creating a space for the latest releases with relevant information attached. Play MPE works across all music formats and genres in 6 continents. When promoting a release, considering radio can open many opportunities in the long term.