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Seth Keller

Clyde, I'm surprised you wrote about this. I would say it's the opposite of a great opportunity.

Clyde Smith

Could you say a little more about why?

FYI: I don't know a lot about radio or radio advertising. But when everybody is saying don't advertise, I think that may be a good time to check out advertising as a possibility.

Also, if I post about something, competitors start popping out of the woodwork and I get a sense of who's not readily visible but active.


so, you're basically buying 2 minutes of commercial ad time for your music. that's only going to make sense if you're using those two minutes to plug a gig that you're playing a gig in the station's broadcast area--that is about the only time it's worth spending money on commercial rock radio when you're unsigned. if you're looking to jack up the spins at stations in hopes of charting you can forget about it. there's no way a station is going to report 2 minutes of paid airplay to a chart. and if you can't get a guarantee from the station that your two minute music ads play at specific times they're likely going to be on in the middle of the night. btw, the stations will definitely have to announce that your two minutes of music are paid for to their audience--otherwise, it's payola. so, you're not going to fool anyone into thinking your song is in regular rotation and that the station is supporting it. use those two minutes to feature your music in an ad when you have a gig in their market--it's a good rate for that.


Hi Mason. This has nothing to do with reporting plays, getting the song on the charts or artist royalties. This is all about exposure. And we encourage artists to find a way to generate a positive ROI from this exposure. One great way to do that, as you suggested, is to promote an upcoming concert in that area. But I'm sure we'll see other creative approaches in the near future.


sure, they could also simply use those 2 minutes to feature a song and offer it for sale, direct people to social media, etc. i'd want to have some control over when the spot aired and would be fine with rates fluctuating as a result. my two cents.

Seth Keller

Hi Clyde:

The simple reason is that this program is directed at independent artists, which commercial radio doesn't play with any real frequency for the most part. It's selling artists a type of marketing that will not be effective, particularly when considering the costs.

If the artist is not played on the station on which it is advertising, those advertisements will fall on deaf ears. No one listening will care.

For argument's sake, let's say the song being played in the advertisement is so undeniable that it makes listeners seek out the song online instantaneously. In order to reach enough listeners to have an real impact, you'd have run at least 10 ads per day for 2-3 weeks minimum--probably longer. You'd also have run many of those spots in morning and afternoon drive slots. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think a highly rated station in LA is giving away 2 minutes of advertising time during drive time for $45. More likely, these spots will run late nights and overnights when few are listening. They'll also probably run on stations whose ratings aren't great.

There's no doubt commercial radio and some forms of non-com (NPR stations like KCRW and WXPN) move the needle significantly when it comes to awareness. But in order to maximize commercial radio you need to have a lot of money. If you are an independent artist with money to do promo, having a connected radio promo team is essential. Having a touring fan base before you go to radio doesn't hurt either.

Just because an artist using this program sounds like they could be played on the station on which they are buying ads doesn't mean it's worth making that purchase.

Clyde Smith

I see what you mean.

Also, I should have clarified that those rates were for specific times that weren't disclosed because I failed to ask.


Hi Clyde. The prices I provided you were starting rates. As you might imagine, premium times are more expensive but even the non-premium times can provide significant exposure as compared to other promotional methods.


Hi Seth. I genuinely appreciate your input. And you're right - there's no doubt exposure on commercial radio can move the needle significantly with regards to an artist's exposure. But the goal here is not simply exposure for the sheer sake of it but rather for the artist to build their fan base in a specific geographical area.

I encourage artists to consider return-on-investment when it comes to these campaigns. This implies that they should have a monetization strategy. Some examples of this include the ability for interested listeners, or potential fans, to sign up to a mailing list, purchase music digitally, or even attend a concert in their area.

A musician without a plan will not benefit from this kind of radio promotion. However, we're confident that up-and-coming artists that find a way to engage their new fans will find that this is truly a valuable service.

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