What do radio promoters do?
Angela-Marie Lampton: Radio promoters call on the decision makers at radio stations (Music Directors and Program Directors) with the goal of getting their client’s music played on the air. In addition to seeking airplay, a radio promoter works to gain exposure for the artist through creative content, contesting, and concert promotion.
Dillon Steen: No simple answer to that…as there is so much more to it than most folks think…..but basically I relate it to being a salesman…we “sell” the song to radio…no not in a monetary sense….but the same idea.
Why is important to get a good one?
Angela-Marie Lampton: As an artist, you want to work with someone that truly believes in you and your music. Often times artists hire promoters who have taken them on based on one song and have never even met them A good promoter is going to work with artists they believe in and that passion will show through in their work. This person has to “sell” that artist to radio everyday and not be deterred when they are initially met with a “no.” Your radio promoter is your representative at radio, so it’s important to work with someone that not only believes in you, but has a good working relationship with radio programmers.
Dillon Steen: A good promoter will work hard to get your music played by the stations you want to be heard on…get your music out to your fans and potential new fans….you want to get your music heard all over….a good promoter works hard to ensure that they are doing all they can to get your music out there…no sense hiring a promoter that is not going to do just that….and I mean a promoter that will go to the mat for ya…constantly working that song.
What is your process for deciding who you are going to add to your roster?
Angela-Marie Lampton: It all starts with the music for me. I have to love an artist’s entire album – not just one or 2 tracks, before deciding to see a live show. The live show for me in pivotal – it tells me what kind of star power that artist has and if they are able to really connect with an audience. In addition to having to meet an artist and like their live show, I am also looking at their socials, how many shows they perform per month, and how well they’ve solidified their brand. I’m looking for music that speaks to me on a personal level, but also music that has a story to tell (whether that be something fun or something more serious). If all of these things match up then it’s a matter of getting that artist ready to launch at radio and making sure I have the time to dedicate to their development. Often times this is a 6 month to year plus process.
Dillon Steen: An artist will come to me with a song and the big thing for me is…is it a good radio song? There are TONS of good songs out there…but that does not mean those songs will work on radio. It’s really odd but some of the best fire up the crowd at live shows songs don’t work on radio….it’s like you just can’t transfer that magic from live to recorded. So is it a good radio song is the first thing I ask myself. Then again it comes down to the artist…are they professional…are they driven….will they dig in their heels and do everything I ask them to do and more? Will they do more than I ask them to do just because they have that fire in their belly? Truthfully also, attitude, trust and personality is big for me on both sides of the business. Some artists don’t understand that I have to believe in you and the song…I put my name on that product also stating that I believe in it….so I have to…. Trust is hard in this business and I know it takes a lot for them to trust me also….so that really needs to be a gut feel and one you believe.
Do you have any advice for new artists looking for promotion?
Angela-Marie Lampton: Don’t be in a rush to get out to radio. You only have one chance to do a first meeting at radio so you want it to be right – meaning you want to have the right promoter, the right team, and have your career firing on all cylinders (great content on your web and socials, shows, news).
Dillon Steen: Talk to tons of different promoters and artists they have worked with in the past and are currently working with before you make your decision. Just like anything else in life sometimes things are not what they seem. Keep the faith and always believe in yourself.