guest post by: Nuwri Ghostleaf
Grammy night Sunday, I’ve had to put quite a bit of thought into “How much Time is enough Time | To Love a Song” well I guess the best place to start would be the beginning of which seems like an eternity, when you think back to the days of 78’s 45’s casstte tapes,8 tracks, lp’s cd’s and now digital downloads and mixtapes.
Let’s talk major labels and radio, Wow! this could be an article all by it’s self, but let’s do this. Back in the days when there were at least 10 major labels with as many artists sign to a deal with A&R departments to nurture those artists to be good if not great. Whose careers would be there to last, but times have changed dramatically. We live in a world that expects Free, Now and More, but what does that have to do with songs and radio? everything.
It’s release time and all things promo are in place, from the tour to magazines, you are ready to make your mark on the world, but then the reality of the industry start to surface, sleepless nights, early wake up calls, plane flight after plane flight, you’re literally being pulled in every direction, your time is not your own any more, your life is not your own, but what does that have to do with songs and the radio?
Everything! if you don’t get radio airplay, no one knows you exists. Yes magazine and maybe a little television publicity, but if you aren’t getting Radio airplay, your music and career is almost sure to fail before it really even takes off. Why is that I hope you are asking yourself right about now, well let me go in depth for a short moment. Putting it simply, It cost MON$Y. ok there someone said it, it’s called Payola. Now there are different types of payola, everything from hard cash to educational scholarships, to new cars and trips.
But don’t be surprised when you hear that, it’s not immune to just the record industry, but since we are talking music, let’s stay on that subject. For as long as there has been a record industry, there has been payola. We hear music on the radios all over the world from in the car to elevators, and now the true world wide reach with the internet, it’s an entirely different animal. Getting your music heard by the masses is not as simple as a Tweet, there is so much more to it.
But what about How much Time is enough Time to Love a Song? let’s attack that right now. when you hear a song over and over for months at a time, this is good for the artist and the song writer(s) but what about the patience of the music listeners? yes there some great songs that come along that you love right from the beginning, and then there are those that will take time for most music lovers to get used to and learn to like or love it, but and this is were Payola comes in, if you have big bucks, you can make the magic happen a whole lot faster and get into what is called heavy rotation, that’s where you will hear a song played every hour on the hour for as long as the mon$y lasts.
Now there are going to be those that might beg to differ, but having very close friends in the industry from artists to label executives, I know from first hand knowledge that there is much truth to all that you’ve read. So what is an independent artist to do to get there music heard or noticed? well that is where social media comes in, it’s called VIRAL support, word of mouth to basically help create a demand for your new found Indie Artists music, by calling, emailing, texting your favorite radio station and asking them to play your music, I know that might seem like it may not work, but let me assure you it will prove to be a massive help by way of listener support.
Radio is based on arbitration ratings which are fuel by advertisement dollars, which happens to be fueled by the size of the listening audience, which in turn causes the stations arbitration numbers to fall if listener ship tumbles, which causes the fall of advertisement dollars demand, thus causing a ripple negative effect that the radio station must figure out quick and a hurry before they lose their audience to a competing station. (did you catch all that?)
So you can see You play a very important role in all of this. From how long a song will be played on the radio, to if it will be played at all. The more you hear a song, the more you start to like or love it. The time frame back in the days of lp’s was 3 to 6 months of air time before a second single was dropped or released for radio to start playing or what they called pushing it,which too by the way was sometimes fueled more often than not, by the requests of listeners wanting to hear another favorite off of the lp, pushing sales up even further. Now mind you, there are so many other factors that come into play here like, availability of the lp or cd, there’s nothing worst than having a popular song that people want, where the demand has been created by what I’ve just covered, and they the listener can’t purchase it.
Bad business for the artist and the radio station that help create that demand, you follow me so far, it’s all intertwined. So the more you hear a song the more the demand becomes for those interested. Now fast forward to today’s internet record industry, Digital, with Spotify, Last.fm, itunes, and so many others, the time frames have changed drastically on How much time is enough Time to Love a Song. Maybe the real question here is how much time are you the buyer willing to give a song today? Repetition is good obviously for today’s new Indie Artist with internet radio, but just like off line radio, we must create the demand through all of the social media channels available.
In our time starved nature of living, we will have to give the music it’s just due, for the Indie Artists who doesn’t have a deep budget or a budget at all, the repetition of seeing or hearing their music over and over on or in a video, is the new form of airplay that’s affordable. You simply make a video with your music matched to the concept of the song and upload it to the many various video sites at no cost. Tell all your friends i.e. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, to let one know to let one and the whole viral vibe kicks into gear like a Rebecca Black virus. So whether it’s 3 months or 6 months, my suggestion would be to spend the .99cents or whatever the price, and listen to it over and over until you like or love it.
Let’s talk briefly about Social Media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, and multitude of others that you can utilized as forms of airplay, bottom line in this new digital record industry is to get the word out there fast and often. Just like you hear that song I spoke of earlier over and over again, the above mentioned channels are your new airwaves of the industry, speaking to all you Indie Artists right now. It’s called driving traffic to your offer, in this case your music via itunes, Reverbnation, Tunecore, JMD, and of course the many others that preach c’mon over to our side.
The point to all this, is that you have to engage yourself socially, or have a team do it for you. Why? because the buying public your fans now and in the future are more wiser and connected to you more so now than ever before, and from the looks of things, that isn’t going to change, with mobile being the communications of choice instrument, we are all one, connected like never before. The more they see and hear your music, the more they come to know who you are and start to connect as a fan and friend, that is the new digital record industry
Get your music heard by all means available.
The “Silver Conductor” prime example of who’s doing it right. songs on itunes, videos on Youtube and other various video channels. Follow him on Twitter, Like him on Facebook, connect with him on Linkedin. Check out his music and social media channels Now!