Back to Bassics: The Power of Radio



As an artist in the business, it is very important to remember that radio still has power and influence on the success of your music and the advancement of your career.


If you look at all of the those incredibly “well” known artist, all of their memorable “hits” were played on the radio (and still are) and eventually landed a Top Slot on the HOT 100, hence worldwide success!


Believe it or not…. this theory still applies today!


Yes, another spin doctor in town has created competition for the ear. The DSPs, (Digital Streaming Platforms) expose us instantly, to thousands of artists and thousands of that we can choose to listen too. This is great for the listener, but not necessarily great for an artist when they are trying to break thru, get noticed and move to that next successful tier. Small fish- very big pond!


So, with this dense content layer, radio programmers now use the streaming platforms as a good testing ground to gage what a listener may gravitate towards and possibly support. However, this behavior is not a guarantee that the song- once selected and given that slot- will garner multiple spins or be a chart mover to a chart topper.


Radio taste makers have to sift through thousands of pre-exposed new releases and ultimately believe that your song has that chance to connect when it gets that first spin.


Baseline station programming percentages go somewhat like this:


Only 25% of NEW Music Releases (from established and new artists) gets a slot on rotation.


Of that 25% -ONLY  4% -of those slots are given to an unknown/breakthrough artist.


The remaining 75% of programmed slots fare or those Chart Toping Hits of the past.


Bottomline as a new artist – That’s a TOUGH SLOT TO CRACK!


Therefore, program directors have to take into consideration a lot more when they take a chance on a BRAND-NEW artist with a NEW single.


 As an artist in the business these days, you need to be FIRING on many more cylinders than just a “great song” to garner radio airplay. A programmer looks at your tour, social media, your hustle, your live performance, any music sync, and your image and brand. Does it move and have MASS APPEAL?


This consistent growth in your band story helps give radio the reason to take a chance on you and give you a slot and your shot! 


I may sit alone in this thought (actually I don’t) but I see it in Sport terms — DSPS are the minor leagues… and radio is the majors! 


You get called up when you’re special!



-Cheryl Bensonn-Guanci