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Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 8
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Dear JP Folks Community:

My band-TheWorkers-was recently approached online by Howard Rosen Promotion Inc., located in Van Nuys, CA.

They offered us a 6-week college radio promo package, costing $2,200. That would involve our pressing an additional 500 copies of our debut CD, pushing the grand total to around $3,000.

They will track airplay garnered for 350 mailed CD's to college radio music directors, and send us weekly stats. They claim to have promoted bands like Coldplay and Killer.

If they're for real, we'd be willing to fork over the cash.

Have any of you ever dealt with this agency?

If so, was your experience a positive or negative one?

We plan to contact various consumer watchdog agencies as well, to log any complaints filed against them.

Brian, please help us out on this one, as you've always done in the past.


Joined: Apr 2001
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Okay first the disclaimer: I've never heard of this company and know zero about them. This response is not about this particular company, it's simply a general rule thumb type of response.

That said, what possible gain are you hoping to get from paying someone 3000 dollars for airplay across the country if you aren't doing gigs there, don't have product in the stores where the airplay will take place and aren't already a household name that people will go out and look for? Double your money by folding it in half and putting it back into your pocket.

Let's say you succeed in getting a little airplay for that money. The song plays. Someone hears it on the radio. But you aren't playing in town that night. Your CD isn't on the shelf when they walk into the local Borders Bookstore or Wal Mart or Best Buy (which is where most people get their music today). You can't be sure the radio personality will really say much about you and your band so that folks have enough info to find you on the web. So even if they love the song, they'll likely forget it nearly as fast. And that's IF you're 100% successful and get airplay.

On the other hand, you may not get any airplay. No one can guarentee it. Labels spend millions chasing airplay. They also realize that without a lot of repeated airplay, it's wasted money. So they spend and spend in hopes it will be played enough to register in the conciousness of the buying public. It fails most of the time, but succeeds enough on mega stars to keep them doing it (though we all know most labels lose money).

On top of that, College is OUT for the summer. So doing College Radio promo in the summertime is even more risky. Fewer students. Fewer listeners.

When would this be something worth considering? If you were doing a tour of those specific colleges. If you had in store visits to their local CD stores and got in studio performances at the stations. If you could use the airplay directed to each specific market before and after your show and not wasted across the country on random stations that will never remember you after the song has finished.

The cool thing is that YOU can do all that yourself. Use the 3000 dollars to help pay gas and food for your tour and to make your own promo copies to give away to radio stations.

So keep in mind, my opinion above assumes that the company in question is 100% legit and able to do what they say. I suggest even THAT is a long shot of having value. If they are anything less than 100% legit and able.. then it's money pissed away.


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

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..." -Brian Austin Whitney

"Sometimes all you have to do to inspire humans to greatness is to give them a reason and opportunity to do something great." -Brian Austin Whitney
Joined: Jan 2001
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Asbolutely right Brian!

As you know, we foolishly used my sister's hard earned money to be "promoted", yeah right, to radio stations, and get charts faxed to us, having us in front of the likes of McCartney's Run Devil Run song. Yeah right again. The charts were bogus, (made up by the promoter), and we had no gigs anywhere, nevermind in the places where our song "was supposed" to be playing in. Dumb on our part. Some online stores had our CD, and one local Tower Records. We even had a distributor that was going to put our songs in stores, but he couldn't find any stores near the stations claimed to be playing our song by the promoter.

Radio promotion for artist not 100% ready for promotion is a complete waste of money and excitment. It only makes money for the promoter, no matter if not one play is achieved. They win, you lose.

Good topic to make people aware of. Radio play sounds dreamy and all that. Don't let the fantasy of "being on the radio" make you reach for your wallet. Most likely, there will be zero plays, or plays that mean anything, as Brian described.

John Daubert

Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 291
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I agree with Brian on this one,
I am a writer primarily, but do a bit of my own recording too. Almost every radio station that I have been able to get play on is one that I personally contacted and followed up on.
I did my research, narrowed down my market and submitted music only to those who I had already contacted or had returned my email or responded back to me in some positive way.
It takes a lot of time, and effort. But it's a lot better than just blindly sending out hundereds of your cd's to people who may just toss them in the trash.
I was a full time painter for many years. It took a long time to build a decent client list. Now I have collectors all over the country and in Europe. When I decided to pursue my music full time,. I just took all that I had learned fromthe art business and applied it to music.
Building good professional relationships is a key ingredient to success.
It also requires a genuine concern and respect for the people who support and help you out along the way.
There's always someone out therre willing to pocket your hard earned money.
If you have the time or someone you kow who is good at research, let them research your market. and play a mini tour, in your region, based on a a few key stations in that general area, willing to play your music. Be open to working with them.
As was already said:: College radio (in season) is good for this, as well as college play dates. Make it work to your advantage. Before you know it you will have key people in your corner, all over the country.
If you are lucky they will remain friends and helpers to you through out your musical career.
Peace L.

[This message has been edited by lizzorn (edited 06-19-2005).]

[This message has been edited by lizzorn (edited 06-19-2005).]

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I have heard of them. They're legit. But before you decide to use their service, make sure you have a real need to do so.

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Their website is:


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I've been talking to them recently too. I know they've been around for a while.

Like Brian said, if you're not doing gigs on the road, it makes no sense to do a college radio campaign. I know cause I did that with my first solo CD. While I actually made it onto the CMJ charts nothing ever came of it. Very few if any sales, and because I didn't have the money to do any follow up for touring to all those areas or other promotion, it ended up making me happy I charted on CMJ, but disappointed that I didn't think about raising money to tour.

Currently I'm in talks with a couple of Booking Agents. They also say, if you don't have big money, don't do radio. This coming from people that will book my tour. The good and bad of it is, I'm not going to do radio like I thought I would. Instead I will apply that money elsewhere to help make more sales.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
Joined: Sep 2003
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Everyone I've talked to has advised me against spending money radio promotion, for the same reasons others have stated above. Don't do it unless you're frequently touring in and have CD product available in those markets.

The only thing I would add is don't overlook internet radio and podcasting as a means to get "airplay" for your music. You may have to waive performance royalties (most podcasters are hobbyists) but it's literally pennies compared to what you'd spend on a radio campaign.

Scott Andrew
Lo-fi acoustic pop superhero!

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 8
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Posts: 8
Dear Brian and other JP Folks:

Thanks for all the quick and informative responses!!

I think I'll go with your collective advice, and use our money in another music-related fashion.

I remember reading an article somewhere by an industry type who also mentioned that radio airplay with no wipespread venues ready to sell product, and lack of regular live play, was pretty worthless.

Sometimes it's easy to get seduced by the holy grail of fame.

We're in the middle of recording our 2nd CD, which is taking forever, but coming out well.

Our plan is to shop it around a bit once it's completed, and see if we can get some independent representation. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Ultimately, I'd like to get a small budget together to hire a quality bassist and drummer: there's only two of us at this point in the band.

We still get inquiries about our 1st release from '00, and have sent it off recently- by request-to an internet DJ based in Scotland.

We have good recorded material.

However, my dream has always been to get on stage with a full band line-up of solid players, who are well-rehearsed vis a vis our originals.

Easier said than done unless you're making definite money on the gig, or, paying some of those musicians out of your pocket, regardless of what you pull in monetarily.

That said, you guys saved me from making a costly mistake which might have fed my ego a little, but accomplished little else.

I'm in it for the music, so if that's all I ever get out of this whole process, that's enough for me.

I ain't quitting my day job, that's for sure.

Thanks again for your help and good luck on your respective projects!


Joined: Jun 2005
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Casual Observer
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Even if done right, that kind of promotion only works if you are touring and preferably have merchandise in shops in the area as well. Plus, there is probably along list of thins you could spend your money on that would really help your band

Band wanted for FREE MUSIC VIDEO Click Here!

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What Brian said.

Also, there's nothing stopping you from sending out your CD to a few college stations yourself, e.g., the college stations within a 50 mile radius of where you live.

Maybe even call and then pay a visit to some of the stations. Many college stations are open to doing some ad hoc interviewing and giving publicity to local bands, if the music is up to snuff.

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 8
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Dear RobertK:

That's not a bad idea.

I've done something like that in the past with a few local colleges, but never mounted any systematic effort.

It wouldn't hurt to try and I do have the summer off.

I guess I've been more focused on our current recording project; however, I can't deny that a degree of public interest still exists surrounding our first self-released CD, East Bronx Epiphany.

For me that CD is ancient history, as it took 6 years on and off to finish the project, and was finally released back in 2000.

To people that haven't heard it, I guess it's still new.

Who knows maybe some local college might get interested in us enough to ask us to do a show. It's been about a year since we played live, and I really need a good reason to get back on stage.

Sounds you like you've planted the kernel of an idea....

Thanks for the support and I'll mull your suggestion over.


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