This is something that I wanted to write for a while now. I believe there isn't too much education on this topic. My goal is to make sure the music you send has the best chance of getting the music programmers attention. These are just MY suggestions, other people might disagree, agree but this is what I like to see.
You might not know who I am so here are my credentials so far.
I am the host and creator of The Come Up Show on 94.9FM CHRW.
I just graduated in Radio Broadcasting from Fanshawe College, one of my areas of focus was the music programming team on 106.9 CIXX FM in London, Ontario. A few of my responsibilities were adding and scheduling music for rotation.
As more music is shared electronically, our inboxes- DJ's, Radio DJ's, music programmers etc, is flooded with music submissions. Some DJ's are stressed, some delete your email and some might not even check their emails.
I receive music daily, from publicists, radio promoters, email blasts, major and independent record labels, producers and obviously the artists themselves.
So you can understand that we might feel overwhelmed sometimes, which is why I have written this article, this is what gets me to listen, download and eventually play records.
Here we go.
When sending a submission via email, have this in mind, how can I make it as EASY as possible to make sure the programmer reads this email.
Answer- Less is more.
The less things you have in the email, the more likely I will pay attention to everything.
This is what I recommend.
Make me listen RIGHT NOW
Unless it is an artist that has built a really good rapport, I don't download music without hearing it first. Artists and Managers have sent me music to download and I reply back to send me a link where I can stream it first.
Why? I don't have to download the single, wait, and if the song is horrible, I have wasted my bandwidth and time.
Upload the music to a link where I can stream it first and I can make that decision right away if the music is good or not. Time is valuable so make it as quick as possible to listen which is why this step is important. I recommend youtube because it won't expire, and it easier for other people to find it, kill two birds with one stone.
Provide a Download Link
If you have made it to this step congrats, that means I like your music enough that I want to download it and either post it on my blog or play it on The Come Up Show. Now this is where I recommend you provide a download link to your music.
When it comes to playing music on my show, I need clean music, or I won't play it but I might post it on my blog. If you want placement on both, provide a DJ pack. An artist that provides a DJ pack, tells me that they are on point. A DJ pack usually includes the clean, dirty, acapella and instrumental version of your single.
This in my opinion is one of the most important things you can do, you have all bases covered, and you give your single a better chance to get air play. Even if someone is playing your instrumental, I consider that promotion because it usually makes me inquire about the song.
It doesn't matter if you send it personally or in a blast. If you are sending it in a blast, I really recommend Fan Bridge, this is what I use when I'm sending blasts and they give you 400 free messages a month.
Same principle less is more. I would include a professional picture of you or a promo picture of the single you are promoting. The link to stream your music, the link to download the DJ pack, and a few links to your social networking sites.
Don't use CAPS LOCK, make sure your English is grammatically correct and that's it.
You don't need to include your whole life story in the email, I won't read all of it, include a link to your bio and that should take me to your myspace, blog, or facebook fan page.
Format of your music.
This depends on where you are sending it to, if you just want blog placements mp3's are good enough.
If you are sending it to programmers I recommend WAV format, I actually recommend if you can include both DJ packs. A WAV format DJ pack and a separate MP3 format DJ pack. The more options you provide, the easier you make it for everyone.
Which brings me to my next point.
What to use for file sharing?
There are tons out there, but I recommend getting your own server, there is nothing better than clicking on a link and automatically a zip file or mp3 is being downloaded to my folder.
When I have to download from free file sharing programs, I have to go through pop-ups, 10 advertisements that are on the page, I really have to search to see where the download link. This says a few things to me, you are either broke, you don't want to invest in your music or you aren't smart.
Don't you want to look professional?
Is music you career? Do you see yourself making music 5 years from today? If so get your own server.
Do you know how much it costs to have your own server? 4.95 dollars a month, and this isn't only good to download and upload files, you can host your own website. I use hostpapa and they give me unlimited webhosting, unlimited diskspace, unlimited bandwidth and, one free domain for LIFE!!! For 4.95 buck month?? Yes.
Another reason why I say this is because, if you have your own server, your files will NEVER expire. They are always there and this is extremely important if someone wants to download your single a month or two months later. I remember going back to my emails to send a song to a fellow DJ or because I lost the song and the download link is dead. That is what happens with all the time with free file sharing sites.
If you still have a hard head about this then I recommend Mediafire, I was using it for 2 years before I got my own server. This is the best file sharing site because I have almost 15 gigs uploaded and I have served over 200 gigs of bandwidth. This is The Come Up Show traffic a few years ago, imagine what I'm at now!!
That's basically it, if you follow these steps, I will have a good impression of you even BEFORE I listen to your song. I will think, this is a person that knows what they are doing, this email looks professional, and I will act favorably towards you. At the end of the day, the music speaks for itself but these tips I believe will help you.
Let me know what you think, if other music programmers are reading this and you want to add a few things please let me know.
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