Radio Ready CDs
Promoting your new CD, physical or digital copy, to radio is serious business. The cover art may be well done, the lyrics well crafted, however, DJs are looking for certain criteria when they receive your new disc. Your music must be a fit for their show; a folk show is not going to include your electronic music in their playlist. The CD, whether a physical copy or digital, quality, the metadata, and more are all important to gaining airplay. Here’s a very brief look at some things that may put you on top of the stack when promoting to radio and radio promoters.
Your tracks are all mixed professionally and now you need the edge with quality. According to wikipedia “Mastering is a form of audio post production, is the process of preparing and transferring recorded audio from a source containing the final mix to a data storage device (the master) and is the source from which all copies will be produced via duplication or replication.” Without mastering, your recording may be dull, unbalanced and low quality. Your work is worth the dollars spent in this process.
Metadata is the data about the data. This data is added during the mastering process by your mastering company. Whether physical or digital CD release, metadata which should be included is the CD text. The data should include artist name, album title, song titles, and year of release, at a minimum. Additional to the above for digital release would be the album artwork. This is a must for DJs playing your music. Many DJs are volunteers and do not have the time to put this info into their databases for you and in reality that is part of your work as a DIY musician. Although not a requirement for DJs, these codes should be at the top of your list when preparing to promote and retail your CD. ISRC codes are the 12 character alphanumeric code which in short, identifies an album for royalty payments and you will need them to retail your CD on Itunes, CDbaby and more. USPC bar codes are also typically required and on the outside artwork for retail. With vinyl releases, the masters require a matrix number.
MP3 and WAV Files
MP3 is a digital music format where files are compressed into a smaller file for storage and transmission. While I’m not a tech person, I have learned over the years with radio promotion the importance of the quality of an MP3 when sending a file to radio. Most radio hosts want MP3 files in 320 kbps or kilobits per second. WAV files are accurate, lossless and simple format with excellent sound. The drawback is the files are huge. My suggestion for use of either file formats when promoting to radio DJs or with your radio promotion company, is to ask for these files from your mastering company, as it will include all of the metadata needed that we talked about above.
Most DJs require a one sheet. The one sheet should include cover art, genre, track listings, song length, album title, a short bio about you the artist, any reviews received prior to release, and contact info for yourself and your radio promotion company.It’s also a great idea to highlight a few tracks on the one sheet which you think the DJ may be interested in. Some DJs also like a tray card that they can insert into the CD case. Also creating a dropbox file with high res photos, music files, and documents including lyrics, liner notes and a tray card and then creating a viewable link to send to DJs will help you in the long run. You may also find Optimizing Radio Interviews helpful to you. Simply CLICK HERE to read on.