Quick Tips For Sending Your Music To Radio

Posted by Jen Eisler on June 8, 2017

Advice for sending your music to Campus/Community radio and CBC. Featuring the words of good folks from across Canada talking about bios, onesheets, submitting your music, focus tracks, following up, and more! Enjoy!


Mark Rheaume – CBC Music Librarian, Toronto ON

“Where the CBC is concerned, context is everything. So is geography. That’s why it makes life so much easier for us when the information included with the music tells us where the performer is from. We’re always trying to make sure we represent all regions of the country in the music we select for airplay. One of the first things I do when I receive new music is to give the accompanying bio sheet a quick scan to see if the performer is Canadian and what part of the country – city, province, or general region – they call home.”

“Also important to us at the CBC is full songwriting and production information for the submitted music. We have to play at least 50% Cancon on our airwaves and that means that our cataloguing has to be accurate. The MAPL code is like gold to us, as are complete songwriting credits and production details. The more complete this information – whether in the album packaging itself or on the release sheet – the happier we are!”

Britt Meierhofer – CFUR, Prince George BC

(First printed in BC Musician Magazine, issue #121)

“Find out the station’s submission requirements, before submitting. You’ve already invested the time and money into your project to bring an album to life, don’t slack now. Usually submission requirements are found on a station’s website. One big roadblock that stops too many artists from airplay is track data. Ensure that your tracks are outfitted with descriptive metadata. If I throw in a CD and all that comes up is ‘Track 1, Track 2…etc.’ then I usually won’t listen to it. The sheer volume of submissions we (and assumedly most stations) receive just doesn’t allow time to input albums one track at a time. So! Make sure your tracks have the Track Title, Album Title, Composer Name and Year of Release embedded into them.”

“Keep in mind that in most cases, the Music Director is the (usually friendly, human-form) gatekeeper to the airwaves of a radio station, don’t be mean to them! If your album isn’t accepted for airplay, don’t turn around and lash out at them, or stick your nose in the air and flip them the bird. Nobody likes a whiner or a tantrum thrower. Think about your next release, that sentiment will stick with your name forever more. A little humility goes a long way, and can even open dialogue that will help you with your next release.”

Andy Resto – CITR, Vancouver BC

“Keep it simple. Onesheet should mean literally ONE sheet. Pieces of info I love to see on it are names of band members, ‘RiYL’ (recommended if you like) release date and a bio within 100 words. Make sure a track listing with song lengths is somewhere accessible.”

“When following up, include a link for somewhere to stream the music (Bandcamp is great!!), without having to download the files. Also, including a list of radio shows, or at least genres, that would be fitting for your band is always helpful. If you are able to include a specific list for the station you are in touch with, all the better. Calling on the phone is also a nice personal touch. It isn’t intrusive (well, three times a week is intrusive).”

Amber Goodwyn – CJTR, Regina SK

“Have a look at the station’s programming for shows that might be interested in your music. This way you can direct your physical or digital music to those shows and cut out an extra step for busy station staff. Better yet, have a look for the on-line presences of the targeted shows and send them a private message letting them know that you’re sending in music and to offer a free digital download. I know it’s involves a bit more work but it often results in a higher likelihood that your stuff will get played.”

“Don’t bother with expensive, full colour one sheets or heavy weight paper. A lot of that stuff gets thrown out anyway. Also, don’t worry about looking slick; if anyone is gonna understand the realities of independent musicians, it’s community radio staff and volunteers. I would even say it looks more practical and confident to include only one bit of photocopied paper with all the pertinent info with maybe a handwritten note on the back.”

Darryl Smith – CKDU, Halifax NS

“Keep your bio short and simple. Where are you from. What other bands do you sound like? Maybe one or two interesting quick anecdotes about how you got together. I will never ever read 5 or 6 paragraphs about a band I’ve never heard of. Sorry. I just don’t have the time.”

“Give me focus tracks. Tell me what song you think will win me over and I’ll listen to it. Otherwise I’m listening to the first and maybe the second song.”



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About Jen Eisler

Jen Eisler has spent the better part of a decade in artist development, promotions/publicity, and project management. Her music publicity boutique, Jen Eisler Publicity, offers PR campaigns for album releases, radio release, and touring. She also offers DIY publicity tips through one on one Consulting services and her monthly blog series.

2 comments on “Quick Tips For Sending Your Music To Radio”

  • Elescia says:

    Oh wow… I wish I had this article when I was young and playing music. This was a fantastic resource and all of your sources provided very valuable information. I hope many young or new musicians are able to read what you say here. Awesome info! Thanks!

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