Friday, December 8, 2017

Your Music on The Radio? It's a Two-Way Street!

This is a message for independent artists on how to get radio airplay (FM, satellite, AM, internet) and how to keep that airplay.

There aren't very many of us DJs on FM or satellite radio left who are given the carte blanche to play what we wish... Corporate radio has taken over.  

Being aired on a powerful metropolitan FM radio station has massive reach. My station in Japan, InterFM897 reaches over 42 million homes in the greater Tokyo and Nagoya areas... It is also streamed On-Demand nationwide.

So, whether it is an FM station or satellite radio or internet radio, when we DJs pick an independent artist for airplay it is a labor of love and a struggle against all odds. 

That being said, if you are that independent artist and we air you, us DJs expect some mutual support. This is a team effort. 

Good morning everybody!

I am writing this post today because I personally know several DJs; FM, satellite and internet radio DJs, who feel exactly the same way I do: (sorry to put it so bluntly, but) If you won't support us, we can't/won't play you... Please read on.

The details? Recently, I did play this indies artist on the FM radio in Japan. I played them two weeks in a row. But, I stopped. Why did I stop? Because I gave up on them. After I stopped playing that artist (it's been a few weeks back that I stopped), they wrote to me and asked me today if I had played them. They wrote: "Did you air any other songs of mine? Reason I ask is, I've received a large spike in Spotify and Apple Music streams all from Japan. Appreciate what you do."

Here's how I responded:

Dear Johnny (not his real name), 


Let's be frank, positive and discuss business and how we can help each other.... 

Yes, I did play you, twice. I sent you a friend request on Facebook but you didn’t accept so I couldn’t tag you on my posts. Since I couldn't tag you or get any reaction from you, I stopped playing you after the two weeks. 

I stopped playing you, not because I was mad about it or anything, but because I figured it must not be a priority for you, so I gave the airtime to someone else who has great tunes and might be more hungry. 

Some artists I play will do great SMS promotion and really blow my mind. Renato Telles Sbeghen with his song "Late For The Last Waltz" did an amazing job for us. Renato got on social media and got us so many Likes that I actually feel obligated to play him them on air for at least a month.  Doing this cross promotion helps him and it helps us. (And when I say, "us" I mean it. I have staff who have families and mouths to feed too.)

Johnny, it’s a two way- street, my friend. We take risks when we play new artists. We need to show that station management or sponsors or possible sponsors that we have promotional power. We do that through Social Media.

If I can’t coordinate with you on Social Media - that also means you don’t support our radio in return by Liking and Sharing with your friends and asking them to Like us too. 

Now, I am leaving Japan tomorrow and will not be back until end Dec. so the next few shows are recorded and your song is not on the playlist due to the reasons above. 

May I politely suggest that you check your Social Media (no point in having it if you don't check it at least once a day, maybe?) And when DJs air you, you are on the ball and show us real appreciation by promoting our show?

Like I said, I know many DJs personally who feel exactly the same way. In fact, one of the most famous DJs in the world feels exactly the same way.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable to ask (for all of us DJs) that, if we play your indies artist music, you'll reciprocate and make the effort to promote us back.... Like I said, this is a team effort and a two-way street. 

Anyway, I hope you will consider this carefully and that we can move forward in a positive fashion in the next year. 




Let me digress and allow me to brag. My show is extremely popular in Japan, and I have data to prove it. So if I play you, you have access to millions of people. 

There are 45 million monthly Twitter users in Japan, a nation of 130 million people; that means a lot of Japanese people use Twitter. 

My program has Trended Top 3 for all of Japan on Twitter four out of the last five weeks. We climbed to number one last Sunday for the first time. (See last week's Twitter chart for Japan here. My show is "Mike Rogers Show on InterFM 897 so my Twitter handle is: #mrs897.) It is unheard of for a radio show to trend like this. I am proud of my team and myself for achieving this. I thank the listeners the most. My listeners are the best in the entire world! 

I reckon being played on my show (or any show for that matter) is powerful promotion for any indies band. (If you are a major label famous act, like Guns & Roses or Coldplay, if we play you, we don't expect you'll Like our FB page or follow us on Twitter.) But if you are not, well, then...

My favorite DJ programs - Go check them out. Send them tunes. (But read this before you do send them tunes: Musicians! Do Not Send DJ's Spotify, Youtube or Soundcloud Links!  (If link doesn't work, try this:

Be smart, "Like" their FB pages, follow them on Twitter and listen in:

Alex Kish at Wassup Rocker Radio:

Candice Marshall @ Limehead Radio:

Gabbie and Chris at Biscuit Boys Radio:

Kayla Marie Williams @ Radio Alchemy:

Marc Platt @ Radio Candy:

The Mike Rogers Show InterFM 897:

World Famous Rodney Bingenheimer:

1 comment:

Jon Magnusson said...

Hi Mark! I found this article thanks to my friend Candice Anne Marshall. I totally agree with you. I'm first and foremost an artist my self but I also run a really successful networking community #MonsterThread which core is mutual work and cross promotion.

Also as an artist I make sure to promote the channels promoting me, be it a blog or a radio station. I always share on Facebook, Twitter and write a little about all media appearances in my blog and I can tell from my statistics that it drives quite a lot of traffic to the stations I write about.

Keep doing a great work and I'd love to stay in touch!