Is the radio still relevant?

Posted: 30 July 2019

How to get your music on the airwaves, or should you ignore the radio altogether?

Read time: 4 mins

Way back in 1979, The Buggles tried to warn us that video would kill the radio star. Fast forward four decades and it seems as though their prophecy has been fulfilled. With the rise of social media and music streaming platforms, there’s a perception that radio is no longer vital to a band’s career. But is that really true?

Broadly speaking, radio can be broken up into two categories: commercial and non-commercial. In the UK, most commercial stations, including many seemingly independent ones, are offshoots of three major corporations. This is a pattern seen across the world. Non-commercial stations on the other hand are often run by colleges, universities and community groups.

How To Get On The Radio

The process of getting on the radio isn’t something that you can rush. As tempting as it might be to send your demo to every station you can think of, careful planning is more likely to get you the results you want. So where do you start?

Radio Pluggers and Promoters

When it comes to running a radio campaign, you might prefer to employ the help of an expert. A good radio plugger will have spent years cultivating relationships with different stations and can help you break into the competitive market. However, it’s important to research a potential radio promoter as carefully as you would a booking agent or publicist. Find out about their previous successes and how they plan to help your band to achieve the same.


Disillusioned with the long process of getting on the radio, some artists decide to bypass it altogether. Streaming services like Spotify and Deezer seem relatively simple in comparison, you just sign up and upload your track. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s a completely passive process. Whether you’re trying to get on a major playlist or increase your streams, good marketing is the key to succeeding on these platforms.

You could also try reaching out to bloggers and influencers for exposure on their websites and social media channels. You could even offer your tracks to podcasters, DJs and club owners.

Whichever route you decide, don’t forget to register for royalties.