When it comes to music promo, there are 2 channels that comes in mind immediately; and these are Radio Promo and Online/Blog/Website Promo…
When we talk about radio promo, this covers all LIVE audio streaming platforms. Both on the FM and the INTERNET. But with this post, we are talking about Radio as in the traditional FM (Frequency Modulation)…
From time to time, artists approach us for guidance on how to promote their singles, albums, mixtapes, etc… The biggest question that comes with these periodic approach is; “How Can I Promote My Song To Reach More People and to Make Great Impacts in the Music Scene?”
We don’t have to be bias when answering questions like this one because, we believe in results and we need to tell them the truth… Loud Sound Ghana has no reason to be one-sided on issues like this since we have pledged never to make artists pay for promo.
Without taking much of your time, lets jump straight to the advantages and disadvantages of both Radio and Online promo and our conclusion on which platform makes the biggest impact…
Advantages Of Radio Promo
Most radio stations can only cover a defined geographical area and listened by a defined group of people depending on the programme lined up. This is to say; if you have a HipHop/RnB/Afrobeats/Dancehall song and you get hooked up with the right presenter who is known for his involvement in the above mentioned genres, you are sure of reaching people who will like your kind of song and will appreciate it to the fullest. You can be confident your HipHop song will reach the right people when a presenter like Joel Orleans of YFM gets it played on his “Dryve Of Your Lyfe” radio show. So with Radio, your target is defined and in rare cases, 100% of the right people are reached.
Language Barrier Broken:
Believe it or not, people are more comfortable listening than reading themselves. This is a big advantage when it comes to Radio promo. The presenter keeps talking about the artist in a language that is mostly understood by that geographical area the Radio service is covering… With this, English with tormenting vocabularies are not a must for all listeners since they get things explained in the local or commonly spoken language… When humor is attached, I think you know the impact this can make already… I don’t need to explain further.
Repeated Play To Win Listeners:
When your song is on Promo, it gets multiple plays per show and this eventually gets to more people; both the late comers who just tuned in to the show and those who were listening from the start. There is one unusual thing about listening to the same music over and over again. Somehow, you begin to like it because, each time you listen to the same song, you discover something interesting about the song. Before you know it, you are in love with the song… There are exceptions though. When its a poorly composed song, none of the above works.
With Radio, your listeners do not need INTERNET bundles to tune in. (Unless the online streaming) With the traditional FM transmission, all you need is your radio receiver and your charged battery. This is very convenient to most listeners since they don’t really have anything to loose listening to your song from beginning to end even if the beginning sounds discouraging. After all, they are probably stuck in traffic, relaxing at home, taking a walk at the beach and need something to listen to.
Disadvantages Of Radio Promo
Interrupted Speeches and Jingles During Play (In Most Cases):
With a radio station the presenter may play the full song once with no voice or speech interruptions, but the subsequent plays most times comes with voice interruptions; which comprises of info about the artist, about the sponsors of the show, about the programmes lined up for the day, traffic situations and other emergency information. Even though the song might still be playing in the background, people’s attention are drawn to what the presenter is saying.
Choice Of Radio Station:
Everyone has that favorite radio station they listen to. In a situation whereby your song is not submitted to the most listened radio station or the most listened show, you may be displaying your talent to “Ghosts”… Its very difficult to know which radio station is listened by the people you want to reach. In this case, you can only hope the right people listen to your song.
Prime Time Expenses:
To get very good results when doing promo via radio, your song need to played during the “Prime Times“. The prime time is the period when most people are tuned in to the radio station. Pricing for the Prime Time period is pretty much expensive but sure to get your more listeners at a wide range. However, you can’t be sure if these people are lovers of the genre you do. You can only keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Limited Access By Listeners:
Its obvious there is no way to have access to songs played on radio. Back in the days we used to “dub” songs from radio shows but these are mostly songs we already know and wanted so bad. In this scenario, promotion ends when the show is over and starts when the show is on. If it’s a weekly show, you get around 10 to 15 minutes promo in a week; which I think is not healthy for a new song and a new artist. People can only listen when a particular presenter in on air.
Advantages Of Online/Website/Blog Promo:
The WWW also known as the World Wide Web can be accessed by anyone on this globe no matter the computer or INTERNET service one may use. As soon as your song is exposed to the Internet and crawled by search engines, everybody can have access to it at anytime. This means you are likely to be seen by the whole world if your song is well presented on the web.
Ability To Share With Potential Listeners:
The Internet may be very broad but sometimes its easy to get to those who may probably love the kind of music you do. If an Afrobeat Lover listens to your song based on the recommendations made by a blog or website in an article attached, and that person likes the song, it will be shared via social media among their friends who are likely to be lovers of the same music genre as well. When this happens, you know you are on your way to promo success.
Unlimited Access To Song:
When something gets on the web and indexed by search engines, it stays there forever unless the website has been closed or the files are damaged due to hacker attacks or hosted files are infected. Aside these issues, your song will always be online for people to listen at their own free time. If the song is for free download, people can do that and listen to the song on the regular (If its well composed, and properly presented). Even if it’s only to stream, people will sure come back anytime to listen whenever they feel like. Unlike FM Radio which you will have to wait for a particular show at a specific time to listen to a song.
Song Review And Artist Profile is Static:
I wrote earlier on about the radio breaking the language barrier to introduce the artist properly to the listeners; but that happens once and maybe a couple more times… But with the Internet, those reviews and artist profiles will always be available for people to read. Even after 6 months or 1 year and over, someone may discover the song and know all about the artist. Those information can be accessed by anyone for future references.
Disadvantages Of Online Promo:
Internet in some parts of the world is not expensive as compared to others. Wifi connections are even free at places like coffee shops, libraries and other social places. If you have access to those places, this point may make no sense to you. Those who use their mobile or GSM Internet data will agree with me that downloading or streaming a song may cost some few Cedis. This is the more reason why some people are reluctant to take the “Risk” to download or stream a song they never heard before or know nothing about. They may take that “Risk” if they see lots of endorsements by other people or are convinced by the article attached the download link.
Discouragement from other users:
Your song promo may push away potential fans if the early listeners/downloaders/streamers write appalling comments before others gets to see the post. Some web-masters get rid of all negative comments or hide them. Most websites does not review comments before they go public and that could hurt your online promo.
I was able find only two (2) disadvantages of Online promo. There are other minor disadvantages that does not affect the listener directly; so I decided not to include those.
I think both promo tools can’t be separated since they all play special and different roles in the promo process. To get the right engagement, I think both tools are needed and must be used in the right way. Therefore, both radio and online promo are options you should consider when you want an effective promo.
The blog will always be there for future references but you can’t trace an old radio show unless the recorded version is hosted on a blog or streaming services like Soundcloud, Hulkshare, etc.
Radio plays have become one of the main key to measure an artist’s success. Award schemes, endorsements and other things are based on how popular you are on radio. You can be very popular online but those does not really count in regards to “Artist Popularity”…
You can add your opinions on this in the comment box below. And if you find this article useful, don’t hesitate to share. Can’t wait to read your comments!
Written By Mr. Alfred Aborga (Loud Sound Ghana)