“we can’t play and/or promote what we don’t have.”

I just got off the phone with a friend at one of the regional community/public radio stations in the Rocky Mountain Music Network.   We had a brief discussion about the amount of Colorado music they have in their airplay libraries and their membership/fund drive promotional collections.  Every month I track the number of current titles (going back 18 months) receiving airplay at these stations, as well as station news and notes.  Every month I get a sense of the same thing – “we can’t play and/or promote what we don’t have.”

There are somewhere around 350 titles (give or take) that I keep track of on a regular basis.  Of those, about 120 or so receive some level of airplay in a given month.  I gather data monthly from between 10 and 15 stations around the state, as well as specialty shows.    I can tell you with firsthand knowledge that we’re not getting enough titles to enough independent show producers and radio stations in the state.

In every case I see a willingness and desire among the network stations to be more fully engaged with the great music here in Colorado.  What they don’t have is the product and information they need in order to become more fully engaged.  That’s a problem …

Musicians here in Colorado want more of their music (recorded and live) represented and promoted on radio.  Radio appears to want to be more fully engaged with Colorado music (live and recorded) that’s increasingly becoming more popular in and out of the state.  The bigger labels do a pretty good job of making sure the network is seeded.  The DIY folk?  Not so much.

When I talk to both stations and musicians I most often hear that neither knows exactly how to find one another… there’s a disconnect in how radio and music gets introduced to each other.  Many musicians I’ve spoken with say they don’t know who to send things to … and many radio people ask me how to find out more about what’s going on in Colorado.

In the very near future there will be two new stations coming online that are talking the talk on representing Colorado music … That’s going to raise the total amount of airtime allocated to Colorado music.  That’s a very good thing for all of us.

Stations also need promo product to give a way at fund drive time, and at station events, on air contests, etc … some stations regionally are coming up on fall/winter … and then winter/spring drives …

The only way we’re going to get this deal done is by way of a revolution … we need to get the message out to everyone we know – radio (all formats) and music (all genres) – more product in more people’s hands = more airplay … spread the word, okay?  Sure would help everyone if we all began sending stuff out en masse … tell your friends, tell your family … repost this blog post … whatever it takes for radio to get more of what we all want them to have more of – music from Colorado. 😉

Author: goat

I've been on the air in Northern Colorado since 1978. The Colorado Playlist is broadcast on 30 FM frequencies in the state. I am also a musician, talent buyer and business consultant. Email me at coloradoplaylist@gmail.com

3 thoughts on ““we can’t play and/or promote what we don’t have.””

  1. I have been booking bands in the Denver and Boulder area for a good 12 years now and there is such great talent here. This is a shame they are not played on the radio for other locals to here their inspirational music and words and the musical media is flooded with commercial bands that all sound the same. Let’s help local music to strive people!

  2. Excellent article and very timely for me as we have just completed the Signel-Z Io Rise CD and are in the process of promoting. Airplay is a key element of the promotion goal. So, thanks for the article!

    I do need to identify who is most likely to play our music and to make sure they get the CD and the information that they need.


    1. Nearly every single public/community radio station in Colorado has at least one jazz show and then some … and there are at least 15 – 20 community/public stations in the state.

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