This week I finally sprung for a Radio Direct membership. They were offering a 50% off special that I just couldn't pass up. The idea is that radio (conventional, satellite and Internet) DJs and programmers go to the Radio Direct site and listen to tracks that artists upload from their CDs. If they hear something they like then they put in a request for that CD. Radio Direct then lets you know about the request and gives you the mailing address.
When you send out your CD you know that it's going directly to someone who has already heard it and is want to broadcast it. Twenty days after you indicate that you have mailed the CD there is a page to request feedback. You hit a button and a feedback request is sent to the the DJ/programmer. You then can access your feedback on your artist page. If you like you can also send messages directly to the person that got your CD, you may want to ask if there are any festivals or clubs in the area that your CD was played.
I paid $400 for two categories, Jazz and Latin, for six months. The usual price for Latin is $300 and $500 for Jazz (which is the most expensive category for some reason). In the first week I have gotten 29 CD requests already. A good 20 to 25% of the requests have been from Australia. The other countries I have sent CDs to include Italy, the Netherlands, Germany Canada, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, Scotland, the Ukraine, France, England, and Belarus (which I bet you can't find on a map). So far all have been radio stations, except for one Jazz magazine.
Here's something from the Radio DirectX website:
RadioDirectx is THE service delivering new music - your music - to the world. With more than 5000 member radio stations, music reviewers and club DJs looking for the newest releases in our digital stacks, we offer a one-of-a-kind service for both independent artists and labels to promote their music to audiences in markets around the world.
From XM and DMX Satellite Radio USA, commercial radio (all formats), mix shows, 100s of college stations (the bleeding edge in shaping tastes in music), 1300+ club DJs, record pools, national radio networks and others in need of the newest best. – we deliver the quality that music movers want. We cover the full spectrum: pop, dance, Reggae, country, folk, hip-hop, metal, easy listening, punk, soundtracks, world and more... - we have the markets and the outlets for your releases.
RadioDirectx is undeniably effective in its simplicity. We list your music so our radio and media members can quickly and easily preview your music. If they like what they hear, they request to have a promotional CD mailed to them for airplay or review. When a CD request comes in, all you do is ship it out, the radio/media member plays or reviews it - and you've started generating airplay around the world.
WHAT WE DO
We promote your release to all Radio, Media & Club DJs (Club Djs for specific genres only) via our weekly release notices. WE tell them what's new and what's hot each week.
They login into Radiodirectx and preview any release they are interested in and if they like - they request a copy.
We create a CD listing on the Radiodirectx site, complete with biography, reviews/quotes, streaming audio samples and the ability for all registered Radio, Club DJs & Media to request and receive a promotional copy of your CD for airplay and/or review.
You only mail your CD when requested. This saves you time, money, CDs and greatly increases the opportunity for radio airplay as each Radio/Media Member has to actually request your CD. In 4-5 weeks we ask that all Radio/Media Members that requested your CD to provide some type of feedback - charts, playlists, comments, reviews, etc...
WHY RADIO & MEDIA COME TO US FOR YOUR MUSIC
The number one reason that Radio, Media & Club DJs around the world come to RadioDirectx for new music is that they can choose what they want, when they want. They love to login and browse our selection of quality releases at their leisure - from home or at the office. When they find a release they like and feel appropriate for their program or review, they can request to have a copy mailed to them. They also know that if it's listed on Radiodirectx - it will arrive.
I can see that at a certain point I'll need to unsubscribe to the service when I feel that I've given enough CDs away. At $4.20 a pop the international airmail adds up fast. My first trip to the post office cost me almost $75, ouch!
So far it seems like Radio DirectX has been a very good investment for me. As independent Jazz artists how else are we going to get international radio airplay? I've heard plenty of horror stories from Jazz musicians who hired PR agents for $1500 per week and only got a couple of CD revues in obscure Jazz rags.
We need to get our CDs out of the boxes stacked in our garages and out into the world for people to hear. We also need press quotes that rave about our masterpiece recordings, and it's nice if those quotes are from a radio stations in Australia, France or Poland (or even Belarus) rather than from a CD review in your local Jazz society newsletter.
Radio Direct X