Sending CDs To Radio

click to enlarge click to enlarge

December 2019: since I first wrote this guide to getting radio airplay in 2008 the world of music has changed almost out of recognition. Since then we’ve seen the rise of Instagram, Bandcamp, Hype Machine, Amazing Tunes, Soundcloud and above all the global dominance of Spotify and YouTube. Conventional radio is no longer the only way new artists can get heard. See notes at the bottom of this page for some of the changes.  The main change to bear in mind is that nowadays professional pluggers ALSO send producers and DJs a private streaming link to whatever track they’re promoting.  In fact many radio stations, music teams and individual DJs do actually prefer digital submissions these days. “Release Dates” are much looser these days and now tend to be called “Focus Dates” instead, but the general principle of having one still applies. And airplay still (mostly) depends on having a genuinely outstanding track and managing to persuade people to listen to it. But if you only send streaming links – or only send physical discs – it will reduce your chances of getting heard and considered. So even as 2020 dawns, it’s still worth having promo CDs as part of your promotional mix.

Original blog post, December 2008:
An artist with enough time and determination can get by these days without a record label, manager, publisher or agent. But getting your tunes played on national radio without professional help is still pretty difficult – because 95% of the music we hear on the airwaves is allocated by computer from a centralised playlist. A playlist guarantees that anyone tuning to (say) Planet Rock or Classic FM will get exactly what it says on the tin. Very few DJs get to choose the tunes they play – and most shows on commercial radio get no free choices at all. The way playlists work requires a whole other article. But trust me: if your ambition is to dominate the airwaves you’ll definitely need the services of a radio promotion expert or “plugger”.

Pluggers can be hired at a price – but you’ll still need a gobsmacking record plus plenty of luck to make the playlist of any major station. It’s a massive gamble: you can easily shell out £2-5k on promotion and end up with nothing. So serious ambition is not for the fainthearted – but all is not lost. Let’s assume that even if you don’t have a spare couple of grand to throw around you do have a great sounding track that’s ideal for radio. (And if you don’t, none of this matters anyway…) In which case the good news is that some stations do allow a few “free plays” in among the playlist tracks. These tend to be few and far between on daytime programmes – but specialist evening shows may get to choose quite a high percentage of their music. The competition for “free play” slots is ferocious and these shows get sent hundreds of records a month from record company pluggers and aspiring artists.

Pile Of CDs

Even opening the post can take half an hour – while listening to absolutely everything is impossible. John Peel never managed it and neither does Steve Lamacq. Since programme teams are usually understaffed, CDs tend to build up on desks and shelves waiting for the producer or presenter to set aside half a day to start sifting through the pile.

click to enlargeclick to enlarge

And when they start sifting anything that looks like it comes from a record company tends to get priority over homemade discs and packaging because the music is more likely to be of a certain standard. Artists just want to be heard – but record companies need to make money. In summary:

  • There are very few shows with “free play” slots
  • Those shows get sent more CDs than they can possibly listen to
  • CDs from pluggers get heard first because the music’s often better
  • Homemade CDs get left to last because they’re often disappointing.
  • Your CD has a better chance of getting heard if looks as if it comes from a plugger

click to enlarge Click to enlarge

Record companies and pluggers send out advance copies of new releases 4-8 weeks ahead of the official release date. These so-called ‘white label’ discs are plain white or silver CD-Rs printed with with artist name, record title, catalogue number and some kind of logo. They’re usually sent in a clear plastic wallet – again with artist, tracklisting & record label info on a b&w paper insert – click examples to enlarge.

click to enlargeclick to enlarge

Notice how all of them have a STICKER on the outside of the sleeve with release date, artist info and a contact number. An A4 biog/info sheet is also usually included – but often gets lost. That’s why you MUST put a sticker on the sleeve.

click to enlargeclick to enlarge

The sticker should include a contact number and release date (more on this later) and in the case of an album point out the key songs (“Recommended tracks: 2, 5 and 7“) – most people won’t have time to listen to the whole thing. Don’t bother with vinyl, glossy pix, gimmicks or press cuttings. If your CD sounds right for the show it’ll get played. If if doesn’t, no amount of bumph will make any difference.

By the way, full size jewel cases take four times the space of a card wallet. So if the producer or DJ takes home a load of CDs to listen to after work, they’ll probably pick out lightweight promo copies rather than taking anything in a jewel case. Recently there’s a shift towards sending promo copies in printed card sleeves. Personally I like these a lot. They’re as slim and light as a plastic wallet, but much nicer to handle – and often printed with attractive artwork to help the record get noticed.

click to enlarge click to enlarge

And how about this for a cheap, nifty compromise. Other pluggers are printing full colour artwork on the paper inserts they put inside regular plastic wallets. It looks as attractive as a card sleeve, at a fraction of the cost (see example below).

click to enlarge click to enlarge

But in the end, a simple white label promo (plastic wallet, b&w insert) is still a cheap, reliable failsafe. If it’s good enough for The Chemical Brothers and Ladytron it’s good enough for any of us. The main thing is that the info sticker has to state who the artist is, what they’re currently doing, a contact number and above all a release date. For suggestions on how to word these promo stickers, see earlier article.

Canon PIXMA iP4600

Whatever kind of sleeve you choose, to get heard your discs need to look as businesslike as possible. CD printers are a cheap & vital investment for any artist or manager. The Canon Pixma iP4600 for instance can print your label design directly onto white CD-Rs and currently costs £79 from Amazon (click image). Other brands of printer capable of printing onto discs are available.

Go to Go to

“It’s all very well talking blithely about release dates” I hear you cry… “but what if I don’t have a record label and can’t afford to set up one of my own?” Fear not. There’s a fundamental shift of power underway towards independent artists. As far as radio is concerned, a digital release ‘counts’ the same as a physical one that gets pressed and shipped into record stores. You can now digitally release an album, single or EP worldwide on iTunes, Napster etc without a record company thanks to services like AWAL and Tunecore.

Duels - The Barbarians Move In

It costs next to nothing – for instance in April 2008 Duels told me they had used Tunecore to release their latest album The Barbarians Move In for a grand total cost of £20. Click the iTunes link above to see the result.

A1 CDs /MJ Music

If you go this route then the only physical copies you’ll then need are the CD-R promos you send out to radio & press. Nonetheless you still might want to invest in a print run of card sleeves with nice artwork and print up CD-Rs to put inside them. These will look classy enough not only for promo purposes – but also to sell at gigs: a vital source of alternative income for a working artist or band. The card sleeve layout design above comes from A1CDs in Kings Lynn (click image) but many suppliers are available – ask around for the best quote.

click for Radio 1 websiteclick for Radio 2 websiteclick for 6 Music websiteRas Kwame's Homegrown on 1Xtraclick for Bobby Friction on Asian Network

When sending out promos to radio it’s vital to target only appropriate shows and stations – there’s no point sending jazz gospel to Kerrang Radio. Professional pluggers do have a head start. They know all the different stations – which shows are allowed free plays, what style of music they favour, plus the names, email addresses and personal tastes of everyone on the production team. After sending out a record they always follow up by phone and email to ask if it’s been listened to, then pass the response (good or bad) back to their client. They can’t make us like it but they do make sure we hear it.

click for BBC Introducing website John Kennedy's X-posure at Xfm Tom Ravenscroft's New Music Download

There’s no reason why you too can’t put in a bit of research and do this stuff for yourself – see earlier article. Go through the station playlists, check the individual tracklistings – listen through to shows that might play music like yours, work out their different tastes and quirks. For BBC stations there’s no need to listen live – you can skim through any show at any time using the iPlayer. Make contacts, follow up, ask advice. Use a spare SIM card as your business line and put the number on your promo material. Recruit a mouthy mate to be your ‘plugger’ or pretend to be your own fictional manager. Nobody wants to tell an artist to their face that their record sucks – and if it does, you need to be told so you can do something about it.

click to enlarge Click to enlarge

One final point is that release dates are traditionally on a Monday and really matter. Set yours for at least two months ahead, to allow lead time for your campaign. You may want to arrange reviews in print and online for the run-up to release. That needs a whole differnt article, but I do know the reviews editors of Mojo, Q, Uncut and The Word need white label copies at least 8 weeks ahead of their publication dates. NME has a shorter lead time – as do the likes of Pitchforkmedia and Drowned In Sound

You might arrange a launch gig or small tour around the week of release. Even if your venues are small pubs & church halls, a list of live dates will still make your release look more businesslike. Also stoke up interest and get a vibe going among your online ‘friends’ on Facebook, Bebo and MySpace. Shoot a controversial home video and cause a storm on YouTube. In short, get as much “stuff” happening as possible around the release date. Then send your promos out to radio 4-8 weeks beforehand – and follow up by email or phone a week or so later.

click to enlargeclick to enlarge

Your music may get airplay anytime up to and including the week of release. Once that’s passed, your campaign is effectively dead. You can always re-release the record in 6-12 months’ time but in the meantime let it go, move on and plan your next release. You can always reactivate an album a couple of months down the line by putting out another digital “single” from it. This can be the original version, a remix or both. Just make up promo white labels as usual and send them out 6-8 weeks in advance of your notional (but all-important) release date.

The good news is that it no longer really matters whether you’re signed or unsigned. Record companies may be good at getting people to listen to their “product” but if the track sucks nobody will want to play it. And if you’ve genuinely recorded a brilliant sounding track, the programme teams need you as much as you need them. Being the first to “free play” a great new artist makes any show sound good and puts it ahead of the competition.

So in the end, the only two things that matter are:
1) The track has to be genuinely outstanding
2) The right people on the right shows need to hear it
And if you’ve taken care of (1), the tips on this page will help make (2) more likely to happen.

 Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud, Hypem

Since I first wrote this piece about Sending CDs To Radio in 2008, social media have drastically changed the way new music gets heard. The original piece above still contains important information on how record releases work – while getting white label CDs into the hands of the right radio producers is still the dominant factor in breaking a hit record. But physical discs and traditional media are longer the whole story – and here are some of the changes since the above was written:

A release date is still key to promoting new music, but the music industry now openly acknowledges that this date is mostly for promotional purposes only. Pluggers now give it the more accurate name of a “focus date“. And the traditional choice of Mondays for these dates has now mostly shifted to Fridays.

Having a gobsmacking record in the first place is key and, if you do, then radio will be keen to play it. But everyone likes to back a winner. So if two equally outstanding artists are competing for the same Free Play slot, then their relative “traction” on social media will now be a decisive factor.  Let’s suppose Artist A has 167 “likes” on Facebook, a few hundred Soundcloud plays and no Twitter account. And that Artist B has a 4,000 Twitter followers,  similar amounts on Facebook and their Soundcloud is plastered with likes and comments from other users.  If you had just one slot and both records were equally good, which would YOU choose?

The music Industry is still conditioned to focus on radio airplay as the be-all and end-all of breaking an artist, but it’s no longer the case. For the unknown artist, building up a thousand genuine subscribers to your YouTube channel will be far more use to your longterm career than a week of plays on Radio 1.  Airplay comes, it goes, and the world moves on.

It’s also cheaper and easier to achieve – all you have to do is put in the work. In two years time the fact that you once got played on Radio 1 for a bit won’t mean a thing. But two years of interacting with – and building on – a thousand YouTube subscribers will give you a solid fanbase that nobody can take away. The key thing to remember is that YouTube is not TV: you have a one-to-one relationship with your followers, and it’s fine to post little and often.

OK, millions of bedroom artists may pick up guitars and sing into their phones. But the ones with killer songs and good networking skills can find their play count snowballing into the tens – or hundreds – of thousands. Small updates every few day, and responding to people’s comments can work wonders. You don’t have to pay a plugger, or try to get the goodwill of some overburdened radio producer. All you have to be is good. It’s only one man’s opinion but it seems to me you could easily – via social media – put together a modest world tour off a genuinely outstanding song with a million YouTube plays.

In the last ten years music blogs became a major influence on how new music gets heard. Radio producers and DJs from Huw Stephens to Lauren Laverne regularly check out who’s hot and happening on Hype Machine. Most music bloggers work unpaid and are driven by passion, not fashion. If they adore your track they’ll review it/embed it/link to it or even interview you – without caring how many friends you have on Facebook. Online word of mouth can spread quickly and easily without reference to airplay. Again, all you have to be is good.

BBC Introducing is now an established part of the UK’s emerging music scene and represents a unique effort by the BBC to provide free resources and opportunities for all emerging artists. Some people accuse Introducing of fast-tracking inexperienced artists to major sessions, festivals and daytime radio exposure long before they’re ready. Nonetheless thanks to this amazing BBC initiative, musicians don’t have to jump through all the above hoops (and deal with all the promo discs/release date nonsense) to get their first radio play. The ins and outs of how it works are dealt with elsewhere on this blog, but the BBC Introducing Uploader provides an excellent alternative to sending CDs to radio.

Founded in 2009, a year after the above piece was written, the well-named station Amazing Radio with its stellar roster of presenters has been making huge waves in the emerging music scene. Not only do they play new artists, they play nothing but new artists. Upload your music to their sister website Amazing Tunes and your material becomes eligible for airplay on the station. Again, no CDs needed. The station currently broadcasts online and also on DAB radio in London and Dublin.

Although we’re only one small part of the picture, let me finish with a quick plug for Fresh On The Net. Our team of dedicated volunteers share my determination to help new talent get heard, and if you send us a track any Monday to Thursday, several of us will take a listen. If we like it, we’ll publish it on our Listening Post that weekend.  I’ll also consider it for my BBC Introducing Mixtape on 6 Music.

As the name suggests, all the music for this show comes from the BBC Introducing Uploader – so be sure to send it there before sharing it to Fresh On The Net. You’ll always find the Send Us A Track link at the top of this page any Monday to Thursday afternoon. We get about 200 tracks a week and I only have room for about 17 or 18 on the mixtape. But I will listen to your tune and if I love it, it’ll go on the mixtape.

Simple as that.


  1. Please check us out….


  2. Tom

    You didn’t really read any of the above, did you?

  3. reggie

    Thanks for your support on the Dub Save The Queen album project.
    Reggie at the Suburban Pirate

  4. Excellent advice. This site is indispensable for indie musicians, so glad I found.

  5. Once again really useful info, Tom and it’s particularly pertinent for me at the moment given I’m thinking about releasing a single in the autumn and wondering how best to go about it. I have already created for myself my fictional artist manager and will also be creating a plugger for myself too as I simply cannot afford to fork out for one but recognise that having a third party – even if they are fictional – is a useful intermediary. Thank you for this.

  6. Wow.
    Every time I come to this site I learn something new! Another great article! I’ve come to the realisation that if I go into a studio now and record a track that happens to be amazing, then by the time I do all the above, it would be February! I’ll just keep following the yellow brick road!

  7. A great update to the already stellar original post. It’s nice to see a mention for us music bloggers as well!

    There’s another point that you didn’t mention in your update that is worth pointing out. Although Monday has traditionally been the release date for singles, since the advent of downloads on the chart, this has now shifted to Sunday. The reason for this is pragmatic – the UK charts records its data from Sunday to Saturday, so releasing on Monday means that you’re losing a day of sales.

  8. A great update to an already excellent article.

  9. Such an amazing article, chock full of super useful info! It can be so daunting for independent artists to try and get major airplay, and this article breaks it down perfectly! Thanks so much Tom, it’s clear you’ve been on the other side and in the trenches yourself!

  10. Tom

    Thankyou Phil. I love the work you’re doing and have posted a comment with positive suggestions on the latest track you sent to us this week. Am really glad you found this piece helpful…

  11. sugaspott

    i was really bitter for a long time about what i deemed non-compliance from the industry because if there was ever any route to try, believe it or not i tried it, only to just never get a response and one day i was fortunate enough to peek inside the office of an A&R over lunch, i could not believe the ammount of CD’s in there, probably more than i had actually ever bought and thats a lot, and that was apparently only that months job-lot. I had to change my thinking and eventually i have come to the notion that nothing can stop genuinely good music from getting its just rewards.

    one question for anyone more knowledgable than myself, is there a resource which lists the producers of radio shows and their contact details ? i have been told of “The book Of Contacts”, is this just a myth ?

  12. This is an amazing article from a very generous person. Thank you Tom I have good idea how to work my music to radio and help avoid just jumping in the deep end by hiring a radio plugger. Rock On Moss (The Neos)

  13. Thanks Tom for putting the time in to help us artists looking for a way to get heard!

    Sometimes it seems almost impossible… reading your article helped me a lot to find new ways!

  14. In final stages of mixing our first album & this whole site has been a cracking read for all stages of our band’s development from open mic pub singers to slightly larger pub singers! This article in particular is stunning in it’s usefulness & clarity.

    Great work Tom & FOTN.


    You obviously didn’t actually read ANY of the above, did you?
    Tom Robinson

  16. Great article, Tom! I was directed here by a client who is following your advice here very closely – some really good tips and information here. Thanks for taking the time to share it so generously with us!

  17. Wow. I thought we’d got the hard part out of the way. Just finished recording. I can see we’ve alot of work to do.

    Great articles. Thank you very much!

    I used to be part of a little music fanzine that found itself getting a load of CD’s by mail and can wholeheartedly agree with the CD wallets with stickers. Sometimes even the CDs would get lost and that wallet would be all we had to go off!

  18. Jacker Napoleon

    Amazing tip Tom!I really leant something useful eventhough it’s 2years since you posted it,but also I would like to have your email.Go d bless you

  19. Hey Tom,

    Is there any worth in sending emails to blogs/mags/radios with download links to your songs, rather than sending a physical copy of the album?

    Do these kind of emails get ignored a bit like junk mail, or is it possible to get someone’s attention like that?

    Cheers, Duncan

  20. Tom

    Hi Duncan – in my opinion you’ll always get the best results if you approach each blog / mag /radio show on an individual one-to-one basis. Personally my favourite way to hear new music is to when artists share one killer track with our Fresh On The Net inbox: I always listen to every track that arrives there and if I like something I play it on my BBC Introducing Mixtape (so long as the audio’s already been sent to BBC Introducing, obviously).

    Other than that, when pluggers send music by established artists for my Saturday show, I prefer to be emailed a private Soundcloud link where I can hear the tracks, read all the release info and tour dates, and click on a download link. That way if the music appeals to me I can immediately grab the WAV for broadcast – and copy all the relevant info directly into my script.

    However everybody’s different: some major bloggers have told me they will only consider music sent into them on a properly finished CD – which shows them at a glance that somebody is serious enough about this release to plough a reasonable amount of money into it. At radio too, many producers and presenters also much prefer to be sent a CD. So your safest option I guess is to always do both… The obvious objection to this is that there are a huge number of music blogs, mags and radio shows around the world which could make doing this prohibitively expensive.

    The answer to this objection is to be extremely targeted and selective when deciding who you will and won’t send your music to. I get sent many hundreds of CDs every month containing music that isn’t remotely suitable for BBC 6 Music, let alone on my particular show. Some pluggers provide clients with a long and impressive list of media outlets where their music has been sent, in order to justify their fees. And some people obtain a music industry directory and work their way through the listings, blindly sending out CDs to every address they come across. Its a horrendous waste of their time and ours – not to mention money.

    My promo advice is firstly to be very sure you have an absolutely killer tune before attempting to get peoples attention. A “good” record isn’t the same thing as a “killer” one – which in turn isn’t the same thing as an “expensively recorded” one. National bloggers, DJs and journalists get deluged with new releases every week – at least half of which are usually pretty good, and many of which have expensively recorded. New artists have to compete not only with each other but with all the big names who are bound to take precedence each week. Which is why it’s only *genuinely exceptional* records by new artists that will ever elbow their way to the top of the pile and get heard by the wider public.

    Secondly, be targeted and realistic when figuring out which publications and radio shows have free slots that could be filled by you and your music. It sounds obvious but don’t send your brilliant dubstep masterpiece to the Radio 2 folk show, or heartfelt piano ballads to Planet Rock. And don’t send any music at all to the Radio One Chart Show or Sounds Of The Seventies on Radio 2 because they simply don’t have any free slots where they could play it.

    Thirdly, so long as you have got points one and two absolutely right, then make a one-to-one approach to each one of your target media outlets. And don’t just send the track and leave it at that. Persist, nag and hassle them until you get an outright “no”. And if/when you do get an outright “no”, as most of us do most of the time, then adjust your plans accordingly. Either the music isn’t (yet) as good as you thought it was, or the target you chose wasn’t quite as suitable for your music as you thought it was. Or both. Either way you’ve received information you need to learn from in order to get on course for the future.

    Nobody gets everything right first time around. The artists who tend to succeed are those who tend to persist – while learning from their mistakes along the way. Reading back the above, it’s strayed way off the actual question you asked – but hope it’s some help anyway 🙂


    As a music artist surfing the internet for info and connections, this is the most informative article I have come across. Thanks for your generosity. Rooster, Seven Springs – Las Vegas, NV.

  22. Hey Tom, great site, great info.

    Just in case your readers weren’t aware, Amazing Radio broadcasts in London and Dublin on DAB.


    Hi Mark
    thanks for your kind words and important new info: have updated the above article accordingly. Hope you’re well?
    Tom x

  23. This is like the movie version of a great book but the movie is even better-Fairplay Tom-will use this as my reference from now on!! Excellent info!

  24. Tom

    Incredibly impressed with the article and the subsequent comments and advice that you have published

    Worth a hundred xfactors

  25. Josh Newell-Brown

    Such an awesome inspiring article! This is the way! Thank you so much for your help.

  26. Tom, thanks very much for all your advice, great article, and information! It is a nightmare trying to get any airplay, as the market is super saturated too many bands around these days, and too much competition, so you really have to be on the ball, and be writing the best material and promoting it in the right way! to the right ears! thanks for giving this advice out! much respect from Rob Cohen & the Shatners Bassoon Band.

    ps. I laughed hard at the you didn’t read any of the above comment!

  27. just to prove that Tom is right. My band releases have always been played on radio 6. Every release we have had has had some airplay be it on BBC6/2/Tom Robinson show (thanks) etc…
    We send to Djs that play new music and have slots. We do the sending 6/8 weeks in advance of release. Always send a CD then an e-mail with link to soundcloud as well as uploading to BBC introducing. Chase up and most important if you get airplay, thank the guys behind the program as well as the DJs.

  28. Nidhi

    Hi Tom,

    Came across your tips and have learnt so much in just one sitting, so thank you for this insight!

    One question – you say that once CDs have been posted, it’s always important to follow up by phone and by email to ask if it’s been listened to, be persistent even if its just to get that definitive no – “They can’t make us like it but they do make sure we hear it.” Is this true even for stations like Radio 2 and other big commercial stations that must be inundated with CDs? Would a Head of Music appreciate these calls, or is there a risk of annoying an already busy individual, and therefore getting your CD discounted/discarded?

    I assume as with all things it’s about getting the right balance and being polite, and that the call shouldn’t be a sales call, more just asking if it’s been heard or not – but I just wondered from your perspective how you and other radio staff perceive these follow up calls if you get dozens per week!

    Thanks again for all your great writeups, will definitely keep coming back to read more!

  29. Tom

    Hi Nidhi

    Ah – I DEFINITELY didn’t mean you should bother the Head Of Music at Radio 2 with phone calls asking if he’s heard your CD!!!

    My advice is to target individual shows on a one by one basis. Find out how they prefer to be sent music, and who it should be sent to. Then it’s fair enough to send a personalised followup email to ask (in a non-nagging way) if they had a chance to listen. And if you get no reponse after a couple of emails, it’s fair enough to make a phone call to the programme team… but as explained above, the record in question DOES have to be outstanding, and your very best shot. If you hassle the Lauren Laverne or Dermot O’Leary shows about a record they consider ordinary or secondrate, they won’t take your calls in future. People WILL listen, but only once!

    It’s like the article above says:
    “…if you’ve genuinely recorded a brilliant sounding track, the programme teams need you as much as you need them…. in the end, the only two things that matter for getting airplay are:
    1) The track has to be genuinely outstanding
    2) The right people on the right shows need to hear it
    And if you’ve taken care of (1), the tips on this page will help make (2) more likely to happen.

  30. Nidhi

    Thanks for your post and for the advice! I’m currently working with a US musician, previously on a label but now independent, so we are approaching radio as every other independent artist may try. I think the album is pretty damn good.. but hey, I would say that right? Thank you again!

  31. Hello Tom,

    Our track’s already been played on BBC Introducing on local radio before we uploaded to Fresh On The Net – is this still ok/are you still potentially up for playing our track?

    Fact that’s it’s previously been played makes no difference to us, guys: we’ll listen to it just the same as everything else that comes in this week.

  32. Thanks again for the airplay Tom. The support for my music from Fresh On The Net..BBC Radio 6 and my local BBC Introducing team has been outstanding…thank you all very much 🙂

  33. Hi Tom and Fresh On The Net – I have read this article before but very happy to have the new notes about how social media plays a big part and the strategy of it all. As I am sitting on a new album and single release, I want to get the timings right but also build up the buzz – I know it can be tricky if the numbers don’t imply a growing fan base but I think you’ve got to get it out there and get people streaming, liking, sharing and talking about you. Then when it hits the blogs (February/March/April) radio (March) magazines (May for June) and you’ve got some tour dates to back it up, your name suddenly seems to be everywhere. I think BBCIntroducing can be great – as long as the DJ is open minded and doesn’t just pander to his own personal taste. Thanks Tom, you’ll be hearing more from us! Kris, My Girl The River

  34. I’d like to share my music with you if ?t’s agreeable to your standards..Best Regards.Burak Pekün.

    Hello Burak, you didn’t actually read this article, did you?

  35. Great article, Tom. Thanks for putting in the time and effort to help musicians in this way.

    But did you know that almost all the picture links are broken? Most of the images are missing. Thought you might like to know if you haven’t checked it for a while.

    Thanks for the heads-up Zeeteah – have now fixed !
    T x

  36. Really helpful article! Thank you. Just had a question: Is it acceptable to hit radio show to promote single and album at the same time? I have a nicely packaged album out in three months time, and a single from it will be released in a month and a half. Rather than printing another set of CDs to promote single, is it ok to do the two in one, and follow up in between? any advice greatly received!

  37. Hi Tom,

    Very very useful tips here.. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge on the subject.
    And thank you Fresh On The Net for selecting us for Listening Post Batch 262! Excited to be included on a list of such outstanding new work – thankyou!

    Sonya&James (The Greeners)

  38. Great Article! Vert helpful. Just released our album in July and going to do another release in February. We were gonna start submitting to radio stations now but after reading your article it looks like its better to wait 4-8 weeks out.

  39. Peter Ryde

    Getting to old for all this TOM. All I want to do is promote my Grandsons Band ‘Silence and Company’ . They had just released two Cd’s with two tracks on each and they won the (NMG awards) new track of the year with their first track. Then Covid arrived and screwed it all up. Of course the band all work full time so get liitle time to promote.I would be very happy to send you a CD but cannot afford Pluggers. Just hope you still get emails from ordinary people.

    PS: You can hear all their tracks on Spotify and see the video of one track ‘Hit Back’ on Utube.

  40. Tom Robinson

    I was born in 1950, so there’s no such thing as “getting too old for all this” PETER. Your grandson’s band Silence and Company uploaded “Pint of That” and “Hit Back” to BBC Introducing In August 2019 – and actually Ellen Ellard played both tracks on her BBC Introducing In Cambridge show.

    As you say they also uploaded those two tracks to Spotify last year, where they’ve currently had about a thousand plays each. (Readers can hear them at

    The next time Silence and Company have a new tune to promote, they’re welcome to send it themselves – just give your grandson this URL: which explains how to do it. My best tip is that our inbox opens on Monday mornings around 10am and it’s best to get in early as we close after 200 tracks have arrived – usually by the end of Monday.

  41. Thanks for this advice. I can see I have been doing it completely wrong for ten years. Will modify my approach, Cheers

  42. Hey, so back in July of 2014 I had a track on a MIXTAPE. The track was ‘Granddad Joe’. This was part of an album called ‘Against the Wall’. Well just to let you know the album has just been released, yeah I know, nothing like dragging my feet.

    So on the off chance this may have spiked some interest, which if I’m really lucky progresses to some airtime, then here’s the link to spotify.
    If you need anything else, you know where I am.

    You will indeed need to be really lucky, Kirby – see for how to submit music for the mixtape…Tom Robinson

    Merry christmas.
    Kirby x

Trackbacks for this post

  1. December Good Reads - The Hub
  2. Self-Releasing Tips for Indie Musicians | The Indie Stream
  3. BBC Mixtape: 11 Jul 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  4. BBC Mixtape: 18 Jul 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  5. BBC Mixtape: 01 Aug 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  6. BBC Mixtape: 08 Aug 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  7. BBC Mixtape: 15th Aug 16 | Fresh On The Net
  8. BBC Mixtape: 22 Aug 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  9. BBC Mixtape: 29 Aug 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  10. BBC Mixtape: 05 Sep 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  11. BBC Mixtape: 12 Sep 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  12. BBC Mixtape: 19 Sep 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  13. BBC Mixtape: 26 Sep 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  14. BBC Mixtape: 03 Oct 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  15. BBC Mixtape: 10 Oct 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  16. BBC Mixtape: 17 Oct 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  17. BBC Mixtape: 24 Oct 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  18. BBC Mixtape: 31 Oct 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  19. BBC Mixtape: 07 Nov 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  20. BBC Mixtape: 14 Nov 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  21. BBC Mixtape: 21 Nov 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  22. BBC Mixtape: 28 Nov 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  23. BBC Mixtape: 05 Dec 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  24. BBC Mixtape: 19 Dec 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  25. BBC Mixtape: 26 Dec 2016 | Fresh On The Net
  26. BBC Mixtape: 02 Jan 2017 | Fresh On The Net
  27. BBC Mixtape: 09 Jan 2017 | Fresh On The Net
  28. BBC Mixtape: 16 Jan 2017 | Fresh On The Net
  29. Taking A Holiday Break | Fresh On The Net

Write a Comment

*By clicking Submit Comment you agree to allow Fresh On The Net to store your dataPrivacy Policy

site by