Adding Other Artists
Commercial Airplay Myths
To DVD or Not
Indie Promo I
Indie Promo 2
Payola Part 2
Payola Part 3
Payola Part 4
Retail & Radio
Videos for Radio
Retail and Radio Work Together
By Bryan Farrish
How Retail and Radio Work Together
recommend that a new label get their radio and gigs going first (so they can sell their
CDs at the gigs), if the label gets to where it has at least four or five acts, and EACH
one is charting in their respective airplay chart, and is doing 100+ gigs per year, and is
getting 50+ articles/reviews per year, then it MIGHT be time to consider real retail
promotion and distribution. But not sooner, and not with less than four acts. And when we
say retail, we're not talking about consignment, either.
The first thing you'll want to do once your distro is set up (real distro, not web) is set
up a retail promotion, which will cost you $3,000 to $15,000 with particular chains; this
will probably include ads in the chain's or distro's house publication, and a buy-in of
500 to 3000 units from the chain. You'll also want to tag the fact that you are doing
radio. If the promotion is big enough ($35,000+) you'll get POP in addition to the
listening stations and ads, but you can go beyond this by trying to get talkers on your
bin or listening stations, on which you would print something like "As Heard On
WXWY"... provided of course you are spinning on that station.
Next up on the cost ladder are co-op ad (or underwriting) buys on the pertinent stations.
In the case of music, "co-op" is you, paying 100% of the bill. You run the spots
for your release(s), which include tagging of the local retailer. And if you can afford
it, a remote at the retailer would make everyone happy. Remotes start at about $300 in
small/unrated markets, $3,000 in medium markets, and $30,000 in major markets. Your
releases are not the focus of a remote, but then they don't need to be... everyone at the
station will know who paid the bill.
You'll also want to coordinate drop-bys (or "meet-and-greets" or full
performances) with the stores, while the artist is in-town visiting stations. While at the
stores, ask the GM if he/she would like to post the playlist of the station somewhere in
the store (hopefully you are on it) if it's not already there. While it's true that the
first thing a station does is try to get its playlist into stores, extra help from smiling
folks like you won't hurt.
Don't forget to ask the stations (or have your radio promoter ask the stations) for their
recommended stores that your product should be placed in, and further, what is the name of
the buyer is that you or your retail promoter should speak with there. When you do speak
to that buyer, you have a much greater chance of them caring what you have say if you
preface it with "Bob at WXYZ is playing our record and said you might be interested
in it... can I send you a copy?"
One last area of available exposure would be the community events announcements that
stations make. Many stations (even college stations) have someone who's job it is to
collect and announce what interesting things are occurring in their town that week. When
you have a confirmed appearance/performance at a store, make sure the station hears about
it. And if your announcement is aired, try to get a tape or transcription of it, and give
it to the store GM or buyer to impress them.
Lastly, there is the need to inform the distro's reps about your project. Even with real
distro, you (being a new indie) are just a single page in their book of 1000 other
releases that they take with them when they meet with buyers. In their twenty minute
meetings, maybe they get around to talking about ten releases; yours will not be one of
them, unless it has more "apparent activity" than all the other 990 releases
(most of which are major labels.) So you have to make it appear to the rep that you have a
lot of things going on, and you do this by informing them, once a week, of everything that
is happening with your project.
© Bryan Farrish June 10, 2003
Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an
independent radio airplay
promotion company. 818-905-8038 www.radio-media.com.
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