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#602976 - 04/02/08 02:37 AM Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign?  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
KenTheriot Offline
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KenTheriot  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
San Antonio, TX
How much should one expect to pay to have a publicist run a 1-song radio release and publicity campaign? I've never done this before, and I'm considering it right now. I just thought I should get the opinions of some others who may have done it.

We have always been kind of small potatoes when it comes to volume. We have a reliable niche market in the medieval group we're in (SCA), and we gross a few thousand a year and sell a couple hundred CDs a year from our catalog of about a dozen (my wife, me and 3 other artists make up Raven Boy Music). Anyway, with the release of this new CD I was contacted by someone from a company (I'm usually VERY wary of this kind of thing) that does publicity world wide. After several e-mails back and forth with the owner, who is a VERY nice and professional lady, we started talking about potential packages. The 1-song campaign I talked about earlier would be pushed at 1,000 radio stations for a period of 4-6 weeks. This would cost me $900.

I have no frame of reference for this. Is it reasonable? I mean the major labels spend lots and lots of money on promotion. I've heard that about 90 percent of the cost of a CD at a major is promotion.

So what do y'all think?

Thanks!

Ken


Ken's new album - Outlaws and Bystanders


Ken's Music Raven Boy Music

#603028 - 04/02/08 09:46 AM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: KenTheriot]  
Joined: Oct 2006
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Kevin Edward Rose Offline
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Kevin Edward Rose  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
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Richmond, IN U.S.A.
Greetings from a former SCAdian!

The first thing I would do is conduct an internet search regarding this promotion company. I would also check with the Better Business Bureau.

After that, I would contact the company and ask for a list of current and former clients. Then, contact the artists and ask for their opinions as to whether or not it was worth the costs.


Kevin Edward Rose
Celtic, Americana, whatever the folk.
Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber".
More music sold than Elvis and the Beatles combined!*
http://www.KevinEdwardRose.com
http://www.youtube.com/KevinEdwardRose
#603035 - 04/02/08 09:57 AM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 486
Stu Offline
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Joined: May 2004
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Buffalo, New York USA
You might also try seeing if they will do it on spec. If the promoter is so convinced that they can get you the kind of promotion that will increase your sales, perhaps they will share the risk and agree to take only a small up-front payment (to cover their costs) and then a percentage of the sales when they are proven successful.

#603078 - 04/02/08 12:12 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Stu]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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Johnny Daubert Online content
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Johnny Daubert  Online Content
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Radio is a dying monster, that is/was used for advertising a touring and backed band, to have people come to your shows, or go to stores, (now sites) to buy the song.

But even today, unless you are backed by a label for radio promotion, that lady will be competing against labels with a non label act as yours. Having gone through all this, (with a naive mind), I thought if only heard n radio,,,things would happen.

Here's what happens when not with a decent label, and hiring a radio promoter that knows this, (which if ethical, should have asked you if your band is touring your new CD at the time, and where, and what are the crowds at your concerts,,,at least that:

1. Radio will not care about you, nor receive enough incentives to care. Neither does that "nice" lady. I was fooled by such emails also, and by a name that should have been on the up and up. It's BS. No need to be on radio unless "everything" else band wise and label wise in already lined up and on the go. Do your own radio and sell online. That is world wide, and is NOW where people listen to music.

2. Like some demo services that claim a road to success, the lady will have no loss of anything, and will make money for her company. You MIGHT get on VERY small market stations, but that have no pull in anything. (Go to your car and find the stations that come in real bad,,,,,that's them,,,and others you can't even get in , for they are in the burbs more than not). And they will probably not be PRO licensed, will not provide you with enough sales, if any) to your project to cover costs.

BUT,,,,wi th all that, being contacted by THEM should tell you and everyone exactly what this is. If you don't know, then you're either going to throw the 900 away and find out, or save the 900, and know you didn[t fall for something that is NOT in the music business.

"Radio" might still sound enticing. This is why that business is set up. It is not there for you in this case.

If a label,,,,a real music pro label contacted you, and you had your lawyers work with theirs for a contract, and then radio was a part of that campaign, that is what radio is for, and when it "could" be helpful. Even then,,,,,a crap shoot. Without a real label and without a pro recognized radio promoter? Give the 900 to charity, (JPF, for example)! where it is used for good things, and you'll later feel good about that. For as I know, you will not feel good down the road about this scam of small potatoes radio promoters "contacting you". NO real music business entity except for real labels that see huge sales by an indie artist will contact you.

Nice lady?

Either she knows all of the above, or she is not knowledgeable of how and why radio is set up to be there, (which is selling air time by having known acts on their play list, to get listeners to listen!). Most likely, you're the one being played, not your song. Either way, she should not be the one to be involved with.

I had Loggins Promotions. Kenny Loggin's cousin. (as I was told by that NICE guy). We thought he loved our songs, and that is all that is needed. Nothing more was said. I even said we are not a touring band,,,,nor even a band at all, (at that time). Just songwriters. THAT matters,,,,,but it didn't to that company. It SHOULD!!! I wish I didn't have stars in my eyes, to be able to see that.

I called a known music attorney in NY who I met at an ASCAP meeting. He told me to call a certain top radio promoter for his advice.

That radio promoter in NY who I called ask some questions, and in 15 seconds told me he would not take me on for any radio promotion, and that it would be foolish of me to start radio promotion. Imagine how I felt then.
He was "nice" enough to tell me briefly how it all works,,,what I actually need to be doing to "even consider" radio. Now THAT's nice!

That was "without" hearing my songs! There are business markers and green flags to go by first, and possibly only.

Also, play lists will be faxed to you,,,,,(Oh BOY!).
Unless they are the industry standards though, they're meaningless.
I was on charts with names like McCartney right under mine! I thought, this is great,,,,,we're moving on up pass Paul! Yeah,,,right! ON THOSE 10 watt stations that were "maybe" playing our song. But even with that,,,,,I found out by calling the stations that most never heard of our song,,,never mind play it!

One did say that they did get the CD, (VERY small station with NO pull for anything),,but still had no idea where the CD was,,,,You know where it was,,,,in the trash.

How does 900 bucks look in your trash can?

I would focus on learning the music business ways of radio if thinking about trying to be on it. But these days? Many are selling singles on their pay for download sites.

That way, you know where your song is being played!

In other words, and a lot less of them: RUN!
It will have that nice lady run a little slower to the bank too.
Cons are VERY nice. That's their craft.

John
(Ranting there???) Yes,,,for you and others! For that is what NICE really is.

Hoe you can tell that!


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=322686





#603081 - 04/02/08 12:21 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,264
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,264
Indianapolis, IN USA
I don't have time right now to go into detail, but in general, you can't afford to "buy" success. For it to make sense to do radio promotion, you need a hot touring band who is going to be gigging in the specific markets where the promotion is taking place at the same time it's happening. If you aren't touring to those stations, even IF you get airplay, it will be for nothing. They can't go see you, they can't buy your CD since it's highly unusual to hear something once on the radio and go search out the CD, so most CD's happen in person at a show. You won't likely get picked up on a PRO survey unless you have steady play across many channels in mid to major markets. In the end, you'll have spent 900 dollars with nothing to show for it. There's a lot of better ways to invest that in your career. Major labels spend about 1 Million dollars to promote a single to pop/rock radio and even those efforts usually fail. Do you really think you're going to compete at $900 dollars?

Save your money.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#603083 - 04/02/08 12:26 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 46
Randy Justason Offline
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Randy Justason  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 46
New Brunswick, Canada
Wow, thanks John, this is the stuff that I come to this board for, great info!

Randy

#603140 - 04/02/08 02:21 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Kevin Edward Rose]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
KenTheriot Offline
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KenTheriot  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
San Antonio, TX
Thanks Kevin!

I did a search on Google and got a lot of hits, but they were all things about artists who had this company (actually a person's name) as their publicist! There weren't any hits slagging them off in any forums or anything. I like your idea of contacting some of their artists though. I'll do that.

<Hailed by Performing Songwriter magazine as a "valued subscriber"> ROTFLMAO!!!

Ken

Last edited by KenTheriot; 04/02/08 02:31 PM.

Ken's new album - Outlaws and Bystanders


Ken's Music Raven Boy Music

#603143 - 04/02/08 02:35 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
KenTheriot Offline
Serious Contributor
KenTheriot  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted by John Daubert


In other words, and a lot less of them: RUN!
It will have that nice lady run a little slower to the bank too.
Cons are VERY nice. That's their craft.

John
(Ranting there???) Yes,,,for you and others! For that is what NICE really is.

Hope you can tell that!


Thanks John,

This is why I posted here. Your advice sounds on the money (no pun intended. I sent her a long e-mail last night asking many questions about return-on-investment. I went to business school, and understand the basic idea of good versus bad investment. I was just a little confused this time because I'd never tried it before (no experience), and I'd heard that radio promotion DOES cost money. But what you say makes sense. It'll be interesting to see how she responds to my questions. Maybe I should post them here?

Anyway, THANKS!

Ken


Ken's new album - Outlaws and Bystanders


Ken's Music Raven Boy Music

#603144 - 04/02/08 02:42 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
KenTheriot Offline
Serious Contributor
KenTheriot  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 86
San Antonio, TX
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Major labels spend about 1 Million dollars to promote a single to pop/rock radio and even those efforts usually fail. Do you really think you're going to compete at $900 dollars?

Save your money.

Brian


Thanks Brian! Sounds like the experienced folk are in agreement on this one:) I'm actually doing my own radio promotion....for free (minus the cost of mailing promo copy of the CD) with the FOLKDJ-L community. These are not-for-profit stations, sure, but your team can deal directly with them on the list, and they post their playlists regularly. Still small potatoes, but more exposure than just siting passively on iTunes.

But yeah, I'll hang on to that $900 for now;).

Ken


Ken's new album - Outlaws and Bystanders


Ken's Music Raven Boy Music

#603217 - 04/02/08 06:12 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: KenTheriot]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 7,925
Johnny Daubert Online content
Top 25 Poster
Johnny Daubert  Online Content
Top 25 Poster

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 7,925
New Jersey, USA
Yes Ken, post not just her comments, but her name.

Names aren't curse words, and all should be known.

Here's an idea: Get a list of non effective stations, send emails to people who registered a copyright, or is online somewhere, sending them your spiel. (Start your own business of mass mailing), and charge $800. Make sure the mailing costs are not over 400, at least. You're a business guy,,,,,make up your own profit margin!

You could actually do that. Would that benefit anyone but you?

Many out there doing that. Then there are real pros doing it the old fashioned way, "being contacted", and then making sure the touring artist earns the privilege to be on radio,,,and who can really get those few artists on the stations that will benefit ALL.

Big difference! Just like demo houses playing publishers.

John



Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
Songnado I and II:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_music.cfm?bandID=322686





#603553 - 04/03/08 06:31 PM Re: Cost of Radio Release/Publicity Campaign? [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,233
Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
Top 40 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 6,233
Texas
Ken:

Thanks for bringing this topic to our attention. I especially appreciate John's reply. Most informative! By the way, Ken... your music is enjoyable and interesting. Do you have an idea regarding the size of the market in your stated genre?

Best,

Dave


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