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AIRPLAY 101
Consultants
By Bryan Farrish


Airplay 10
Consultants

As your label progresses with it's marketing efforts, you eventually will need to get more outside help (in addition to more inside help.) As you move from non-commercial to commercial radio, or from commercial specialty/mixshow to regular rotation, or (especially) from small market regular rotation to medium market regular rotation, things will start getting more competitive and difficult. Hiring a consultant is going to become more and more necessary (all majors and major-indies use consultants.) The question is, at what point do you really them, what type do you hire, and how much do you pay them?

The idea of using consultants is that these people have come from a label promotion background, or from a radio background, and they have made a lot of the mistakes already that you are going to want to avoid. Plus, they have worked with many other projects like yours before, so they know what you will need in order to move ahead. True, there are also non-consultants that work in radio, music, and promotion (as staff employees), and they do have a lot of the knowledge you need, but they will not have time to deal with you since they have their own full-time jobs to handle. Consultants, however, get their income solely from answering questions from people like you. With this in mind, here are the types of consultants to consider...

BROADCAST CONSULTANTS: These people come from radio, and they now consult mostly radio stations. If their radio experience was in programming (as opposed to sales or engineering), and if they are now consulting PDs and station management, they may be able to consult with you. However, some people view this as a conflict of interest since you would be paying them to tell you how to get airplay, and stations would be paying them to tell the stations what to play. Still, broadcast consultants may be able to help. Fees are from a few thousand to fifty thousand dollars. They don't do any of the actual work for you, but they'll tell you what you need to do.

LABEL CONSULTANTS: These folks worked at labels or at promotion firms in the past, and you can hire them to help steer you in the right marketing direction. They are less costly (and less prominent) than broadcast consultants, but they can consult other areas of your marketing besides just radio. They cost a few hundred to a few thousand. Again, they don't do any of the work for you... they just tell you what to do.

MUSIC CONSULTANTS: These are not the right people to help with your marketing; they are only of help in getting songs written and produced.

QUARTERBACKS: A quarterback is someone you hire to consult AND run your marketing. This person is paid a weekly fee to answer your questions and also to hire and deal with the various people that will need to be placed on your project. A quarterback is usually only needed if you are hiring radio promoters, retail promoters, street teams, publicists, and booking agents. When a project is in full-swing at a medium-market regular-rotation level, dealing with all the necessary people on a daily basis is a full-time job, and if it is not done correctly your project will fail. Quarterbacks cost $500 to $2000 per week, on top of the cost of the hiring of others that the quarterback will have to do for you.

PROMOTERS AS QUARTERBACKS: If your total marketing for the year is mostly entry-level (under $100,000), then your radio promoter may be able to act as your quarterback. The promoter would still need enough radio people on the phones so that when your quarterbacking activities were being dealt with, your radio calls would still be getting made. Using promoters in this fashion is about $500 to $1000 per week, in addition to the regular promotion cost.

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Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio airplay
promotion company. 818-905-8038 www.radio-media.com. If you
live in Los Angeles and want to be informed of any events,
seminars or parties we do, email meet@radio-media.com and tell
us what town you are in.
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