What is a Music Impact Date and why is it so important?

Impact dates make the radio world go round. Here’s everything you need to know before promoting your next single.

by James Shotwell of Haulix

Have you ever wondered how songs reach radio stations? In certain circumstances, radio is the first place on Earth to hear new music, such as with the recent return of pop sensation Adele. Other times, the radio doesn’t play a popular song until months after it has trended online. Why? It all comes down to impact dates.

In the simplest terms, an impact date (also known as the “add date”) tells radio programmers when they can add a song into rotation at their station. The date has no connection to public release dates and may take place months before—or after—a song is available for sale to the general public.

Impact Dates

Does every song/single have an impact date?

No, only songs actively promoted to radio have impact dates.

What should an artist consider when choosing an impact date?

A few things:

  1. Which songs are you choosing, and why? Is it your best song or the one most likely to find commercial success?
  2. What is the competition like? There tend to be more singles promoted to radio in the spring and fall than during the summer or winter.
  3. When will I be ready to promote the song? You shouldn’t set a date before you have your material in place.
  4. How will you promote the song and your career in parallel with your radio promotion? For example, are you also on tour? Do you have a new album that the song appears on? What is the urgency behind the song?

How do I reach radio programmers?

Haulix is the music industry’s leading promotional distribution platform. Record labels, publicists, independent artists, and more use Haulix to share new and unreleased audio with members of the media and other music professionals. They also offer free, 30-day trials for all new accounts.

Haulix promos make it easy to share important release information with others, including release and impact dates, album descriptions, artist photos, photographer credits, music videos, and more.

Discover the difference for yourself and promote alongside the biggest name in music by starting a free trial today! Click here for more information.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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