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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Marion Tips for getting airplay on folk radio? (52* d) Tips for getting airplay on folk radio? 13 Mar 08


Hi folks. In a couple of weeks I'm going to a studio to record one song, with my primary goal being to shop it around for airplay. I'm trying to formulate a promotion plan, and thought I should consult the collective wisdom here. I will ask some specific questions, but am also open to general suggestions - I'm sure there are plenty of factors that I haven't thought of.

First, a little background: it's a novelty song, a light-verse synopsis of Anne of Green Gables set to the well-known Canadian fiddle tune St. Anne's Reel. A little less than three minutes long, and I plan to do it with one voice, rhythm guitar, and lead guitar (both acoustic). In June 2008 the book is turning 100 years old, so I intend to promote the song as being especially appropriate to play around that anniversary.

Some specific questions:

1. My recording guy says that at the end of the session I will have both a master CD to duplicate and a "radio quality" MP3; he says also that emailing it around as an MP3 would be a cost-effective promotion plan and that radio programmers can just use the MP3. Is it true that an MP3 version will be just as high quality as a CD? Is sending a digital version generally acceptable in the folk radio world?

2. Assuming that I will be sending CDs to at least some of the radio shows that I find - is it appropriate to send query letters first (i.e., to ask if they're interested at all, and if so, whether CD or MP3 is preferred)? Another consideration I have is that people might not be happy getting an unsolicited email attachment because of its size or the fear of viruses.

3. I was thinking that maybe I should start a Myspace page and put the lyrics and MP3 there. Then, when sending query letters or making a newsgroup announcement, I could suggest people visit Myspace for a preview, then if they like it I'll send them the CD or MP3 on request. Does this sound like a good or bad idea?

4. Any suggestions on finding radio programs to offer the song to? I have already found the folkdj list and am starting to go through its archives looking for locations and descriptions of the programs. My general idea is that I'll market to Canadian programs most actively, then maybe some stations in the US or elsewhere if they respond to an announcement or indicate they're open to MP3s. (Anne of Green Gables is extremely well known in Canada, but I'm not sure if Americans, Brits, etc. would care about the anniversary). I was also considering looking for some English-language programs in Japan - folk-oriented or not - as Anne has a big cult following in Japan.

5. Not a promotion question, but another thing I'm wondering - once I've sent the song off to a particular station, how will I know if it gets played? I will, of course, skim through the playlists on the folkdj newsgroup. Do the hosts of other radio programs usually let the artists know if they're using their music or not?

Thanks a million, Marion


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