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Radio & Promotion - "Music, CD and Case Requirements". By Bryan Farrish.
Radio has the most stringent requirements for the CDs that you send them,
the discs you put them on, and the cases
you put them in. Let's go over
MUSIC SPECIFICS: Do you make albums or singles? The easy answer is
simple: If you are sending to college radio, send an album or EP.
If you are sending to commercial radio specialty shows,
you can send an
album, EP or single. If you are sending hip hop or rap to either one, send a
if you are sending to commercial radio and you are
attempting to get regular rotation (which is what most of you think
you think of radio airplay,) you should send what the format of the station
requires. If the format is AAA or
Americana, send an album. For any other
format, send a single.
As for the number of tracks on an album, try to keep
it below twelve. And
make the first track begin with some energy... don't begin with a song that
has a long, slow, building-start
(you can do that later on when you are
promoting an accepted talent.) For a station that got 20 or 30 releases for
THAT DAY, an album (from an unknown artist) that starts slow is going to have a tough time being reviewed.
generally you should have four versions on the CD: The radio
edit (clean lyrics), a full length (i.e., "album version"),
an a capella
version, and an instrumental version. The radio edit should be no longer
than 3.5 minutes long. The a cappella
and instrumental versions are
sometimes used in station commercials, liners, and ID's. Others versions
which may be
useful are mix/dance versions and vinyl (genre permitting).
SPECIFICS ABOUT THE CD: First off,
I should make a point that you NEVER send more than one release to a station. It's difficult enough getting one release from
a new artist reviewed. You are only insulting the station by
sending more than one release (i.e., sending a current release
previous release too.)
CD recordable (or "burned" CDs) are the type that are blue-ish
in color. They are printed on computers, and they are the type you get when
you order small quantities like
10 or 100, or if you order from MP3.com.
CDRs can be sent to college stations only. CDRs are too unreliable (and are
insult) to commercial stations.
Manufactured CDs are the mandatory type for commercial stations.
These are the types of CDs that have a minimum run of 300 or 500, and are silver in
color. They are reliable, and show
that you have a serious project that you
are not going to skimp on.
On the CD graphics, be sure
to state artist, title, label, song lengths, the
versions, contact info, and (if it is a single) that the song is "from
album", with a small picture of the album if available.
For commercial radio, do not use
any CD oddities like mini's, special
shapes, odd colors, built-in videos or anything else that is wildly
Commercial stations only view these as "tricks" by new artists
who want attention. Leave that stuff for established artists.
radio, however, anything goes for any artist.
CASE TYPES: There is a simple
answer to this... use standard (not slim line)
plastic jewel boxes ONLY. Period! It is the worst peeve of stations when
cardboard or vinyl cases are used... they don't fit the CD racks
properly, and will just get thrown away. Cardboard and
literally "slip through the cracks."
As for the wording on the case, make sure the artist, title(s), label,
lengths, and version descriptions are all on the OUTSIDE of the case (they
can be inside, too). And very important
is to have a bar code (or a space
for one) on the back of the case, in the corner, so that you can poke a hole
the plastic/barcode without harming the CD (you do this by using a
soldering iron or drill). Note: If the CD is being sent
ONLY to radio (and
will not to be sold at retail,) then a barcode is not needed.
when mailing the CDs, use first-class postage. Third-class postage
will cause great delays, and can jeopardize the project's
© Copyright 2003 Bryan Farrish
Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion: http://www.radio-media.com.