Get Those Tunes Online – In Full!

Guitar Stings by Mark Garcia

Dear Tom
After reading your ” how to send cds to radio stations” which I found a great help, I wanted to write and ask if you would listen to some of my music. I have just released an album of Urban Folk on iTunes and Amazon and am trying to promote it. Though it would be great to get it on the radio, I wanted to ask you what you think as a songwriter.  Sorry to be cheeky asking like this, but didn`t just want to send it in and you not get to hear it. If you would like me to send a cd to you please let me know the best address for me to send it to or you can hear some of it on Amazon Mp3 or iTunes (links supplied).
Thankyou and all the best
Dave Fry

Hello Dave

The best way for a new artist to promote their music these days is by “broadcasting” it online. Even back in the MySpace heyday of 2004/5, both Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys launched their careers by letting people hear great songs online for free.

You may not be aiming for the same audience, but the principle’s the same. Why would anybody bother listening to little 30 second clips on Amazon Mp3 and iTunes of somebody they’ve never heard of ? There’s a must-read article about this by the influential commentator Andrew Dubber here.

These days many artists and pluggers with forthcoming singles to promote try to get them embedded on music blogs – so that as many people as possible will hear them… Even at radio, whether producers take you seriously as an artist will depend on the amount of online buzz aroubnd your music. This means that in terms of influence the blog aggregator HypeMachine almost gives the Radio 1 Singles Chart a run for its money.

If your tracks are great, then people will start talking about them and reblogging them around the world. If they aren’t great, then it might be a better use of your time and efforts to go away and write some that are.

Bloggers and tastemakers WILL listen to your material – but probably only once. If you get their attention and make a big noise about substandard work, they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt a second time.

You didn’t mention your website address. Do you have one?
If not, my advice would be:

1) Register your own domain such as http://YOURNAMEmusic.com using http://123-reg.co.uk or http://mydomain.com
2) Start an account at  Bandcamp. Link it to your new domain name.
3) Put your album  on sale there as well as iTunes & Amazon MP3.
4) Start an account at Soundcloud and put your two  best tracks there.
5) Start an account on Facebook and embed your music from Bandcamp
6) Get a photographer friend to take a decent up to date photo
6) Write a simple factual biog: don’t tell people how great you are – let them know how interesting you are.
7) Upload the same photo and biog to all your different web pages, and cross-link them all to each other.
8) Create a disposable contact email address (ie yournamemanagement@hotmail.com) and put it on all the above.
9) Choose a ‘single’ (actually a focus track for the album). Include the link to it on Soundcloud in any emails you send to bloggers, radio, press etc
10) Also upload it to http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/introducing/uploader
11) Find your local BBC Introducing show here http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/introducing/shows/#regional_shows
12) Get to know the show via the BBC iPlayer/RadioPlayer and then make contact with them so they know to look out for your music.

Best of all, the above will cost next to nothing. A dotcom web address will cost you ten US dollars a year at MyDomain. A friendly photography student can probably shoot you a decent hi-res portrait for the price of a drink. The email address, Facebook, Soundcloud and Bandcamp are all free to set up – and Bandcamp charge just 15% on sales: a much smaller cut than iTunes.

And thanks for this kind offer but there’s no need to send me a CD. We receive far more of them every week than we can possibly listen to and there’s a stack of several hundred here all waiting to be heard. See: my in tray and: opening one week’s mail

Instead if you want me to hear your music, send us your lead track right here at Fresh On The Net any Monday to Thursday at http://freshonthenet.co.uk/submit where all of us at Team Freshnet will be able to take a listen. Also make sure you have carried out Step 10) above!!!

If even one of us likes it, we’ll put it on the blog. And if I personally like it, I’ll play it on the radio – simple as that.

NB The original email is real, but Dave Fry is a made-up name

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More…

2 Comments

  1. i would like to ask how many weeks between alerting radio station and release date of track. I am in a real quandary here and really need your advice.My single is a christmas single xx

  2. Tom

    Hi Tobiah

    6-8 weeks is standard.

    But with Christmas singles all bets are off – it’s a very specialised and overcrowded area…

    Tom x

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