Why Is Your Song Not Getting Radio Airplay?

Submitted by Peter Åstedt

Okay, I have been writing about why certain songs are not picked for Cashbox Radio 9and beyond).What is kind of annoying is when you get a song and can’t play it, yes it happens, more often than you realize.

I was just doing my featured radio show “Yesterday and Tomorrow” for our weekly Sunday feature where we play the new singles alongside the hits. We have pre-approved five songs and told these artists that we will play the song in our Sunday show and they will be added to the database so their fans can also go to our request line on Request a Song on Cashbox Radio! – Cashbox Radio for additional airplay for the track. This was done late last week or early this week. So now on Saturday, I’m there to create and record the show and see if they had sent the song.

You know what five out give haven’t provided sufficient material to get it on air. You think that if you send out a song that you want to get airplay coverage so you send the right stuff. Kind of essential. But no, the first one hasn’t uploaded the song at all. Here you might wonder how we did listen to it if it’s not uploaded. There are several ways; it could be a not downloadable SoundCloud link or a secret link to a page where you just can listen. If you are in SubmitHub that is the case, you get a link to listen to and the artist can choose to upload directly when they send or do it when it’s approved. Or it can be a video sent to us, where you have the song but also a bunch of video sounds that should not be there for radio airplay.  So yes, there is a good possibility that we have heard the song but do not have a copy suitable for airplay.

So, the first one hasn’t uploaded the song at all. We got a link that we could listen to and then asked for the song as an mp3 320. Why Mp3? Most radio systems actually use Mp3 since when you broadcast it’s going to be lower quality than that anyway, so most systems just use that. With our system you can just use that nothing else. But this artist hasn’t done anything. No upload whatsoever. Here I can just skip this artist. Obviously, they are not professional in any way, if you get someone to play your song, you should be on your toes and send it in. Even better send the song at the same time you are sending out a good link to download, don’t wait for answers. I know many stations are not even considered a track if the right file is not there. So, in this case, I’m nice and just went to YouTube and found the song as most distributors have a service where they put the song automatically on YouTube, and there I can download it as an MP3 128, yes in lower quality than I can use, but I guess that is the artist loss, the song is at least played when we promised to play it.

The next one has uploaded the song but as a full wav file. Sorry, it takes too much time to convert that format to an mp3 so back again on YouTube and just grab the song. It’s important to send the songs in several formats. Yes, you should send the wav file if there are people using it. Second: two mp3 versions one 320 and one 128. Just provide everything n so the programmer can choose which suits their platform and format.

The third person had done the same mistake as the second, but the fourth hadn’t uploaded and I went for the fourth time to YouTube but ran into some trouble. This artist didn’t use a professional distributor so there was no clean song. The artist had released a video. Luckily that video didn’t contain any extra sounds or empty silence in the beginning, which is very common, so luckily, I could download that sound in mp3 128. The strange part here is that the video is very professionally made. But the artist has forgotten such a simple thing to just upload the song with the front cover and also a lyric video. You can film as much professionally as you like, if you don’t get all formats, you still look like an amateur.

The fifth one was the worst. The artist hasn’t uploaded the song, uses a distributor that won’t upload to YouTube and the artist hasn’t uploaded anything to YouTube at all. Too much hassle for me to get this song so therefore it was skipped. Doesn’t matter how good the song is, if you can’t provide the song in the right format and at the right time you are out for me, and so is your career since you handle it so unprofessionally. Also, you annoy the people behind the scenes. I will never pick this artist again for getting on the station, not worth the time.

Oh, and by the last program the track so we get the right info in the metadata. All these I must write in the metadata. But don’t trust that I will do it right. One spelling error or mistake and you can lose that money this radio spin would have given you.

Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the legendary Record World International and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian-based charity, The Drive Foundation.