Join us for an open day in Brighton. Book your place here

With a DIY ethos you can really make things happen in the music industry. There are countless examples of bands who do not wait for things to happen for them, they take control of their own careers and future.

Hopefully, you see your band as a micro industry, and understand the consequent implications of this. Your job as a band is to create cool & current music, polish your live show and increase your audience size.

If you are confident about your musical output – the next step is the marketing of it.  Marketing is integral to the music industry. It accounts for a $1.7 Billion annual spend across the sector. Now, what does that mean for you?

Traditionally, this is where your label would kick in. To increase the reach of your music, a label uses a team of PR agents, digital marketing experts, social media gurus, pluggers and traditional marketing specialists. It’s a complicated business which doesn’t always have clear lines of cause and effect.

As a DIY artist, you will not have the same team as a major label – however you’ll have your band and you need to assign them marketing roles that play to their strengths. You also need to be realistic about your team’s available time, and what can be achieved.

An important aspect of a release campaign, that ultimately falls to the traditional and digital marketer, is securing attention from press, radio and blogs. This in turn increases your potential audience engagement. Looking specifically at blogs, each have their own preferred genres, which attracts their following and reach.  Remember, securing a blog is not the be all and end all, however, they are an important part of a campaign. Plus, a good review is always beneficial for band morale.

Submit your music here

Here is a curated list of blogs to get you started;

Stereo fox

Genre: Not specific

Indie Music Home

Genre: Indie /Alternative

Louder than war

Genre: Punk / Metal / Rock

The Line of Best fit

Genre: Alternative / Indie

Hear Ya

Genre: Indie / Rock / Folk / Pop

Indie88

Genre: Indie / Rock / Alternative

Tiny Mix Tapes

Genre: All

Gorilla Vs Bear

Genre: All

Velvet Independent

Genre: Electronic

Wolf in a Suit

Genre: Indie Pop & Rock

We All Really Want Some

Genre: All

Purple Melon Mu

Genre: Pop

I Heard A Whisper

Genre: Electronic

Drunken WereWolf

Genre: All

The Unsigned Guide

Genre: All

Pitchfork

Genre: All

A&R Factory

Genre: Various

All Music

Genre: Various

Aquarium Drunkard

Genre: Electronic

Amby

Genre: Indie / Commercial

Your EDM

Genre: Electronic

Acid Stag

Genre: Various

Upcoming Hip Hop

Genre: Hip Hop

GigList

Genre: Various

Alfitude

Genre: Various

If you're interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician, please join us at WaterBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus.

 

At WaterBear, the college of music, we have published several videos and tips on how to get your music on the radio. We're passionate about helping emerging artists and bands get heard. In this blog, we provide a practical route filled with submission links to popular music radio stations in the UK.

Before diving into each specific radio station, lets recap on the top three tips that will give your tracks the best chance for radio success:

Make the perfect radio edit

Read this blog (link above) for further information on:

Editing out the swearing

This should be self-explanatory but to get radio traction you’ll need to keep the cussing to a minimum. Have a clean and dirty edit of your track for this reason.

Consider the length of your track

There is a sweet spot of about three minutes in the perfect radio edit. There are exceptions, but you'll notice a successful song usually adheres to this rule. Creating a radio hit is an art – learn to enjoy the creative restriction around it.

The importance of the intro

Consider having an intro, this will allow the presenter some time to speak and introduce you before the singing starts. It can really help.

Write the perfect press release

Writing a press release is an art form in itself – here are some top takeaways (don't forget to check the link in the title).

Keep it short 

Your press release should be one-page maximum. If you have gone over, consider revising it. A producer will want to scan through it to find your act's highlights.

The layout

To keep it easy, here's the best way to order your press release:

  1. Your band or artist name

2. The name of the single/EP

3.  Have links embedded into the single or video (Professional Recording)

4.  Artwork (Hi-Res Main Image/Hi-Res Professional Shots)

5.  The blurb

6. Social media contact info

Note, this should all fit on one page!

The links

Hyperlink text to point to the relevant social media channels and streaming sites. It looks more professional and helps to condense your text. Also, get Soundcloud so you can distribute private links efficiently.

The blurb

This is your chance to show off a bit – put your key highlights in bold, so they are easily readable!

Make it easy for the radio producer to find you

Don’t tell people where to find you – give them links to your socials and streaming site. Always think about making the presenter's job as easy as possible!

Submit your music to these radio stations

If you have a professionally recorded radio edit and press release ready, you have all you need to start sending to the below links. Good luck!

Amazing Radio
Genre: Rock/Alternative/Indie
Submit Your Music

BBC Introducing
Genre:
All
Submit your music here 

BBC 6 Music – Giles Peterson Show
Genre:
Hip Hop/Rap, Dance/Electronic, Soul/R&B/Funk, Jazz
Email: [email protected]  

Folk Radio
Genre:
Folk/Country
Submit your music here

Hard Rock Hell Radio
Genre:
Hard Rock /Metal
Submit your music here

Radio Reverb 97.2FM (Brighton)
Genre:
All
Submit your music here 

Rinse FM 106.8FM (London)
Genre:
Garage/Grime/Dubstep/House and Jungle
Submit your music here

Fresh on the Net
Genre: Alternative/Alt-Pop/Pop
Submit Your Music

Fab Music
Genre: Alternative/Rock/Pop
Submit Your Music

KiSS Radio
Genre: Pop/Mainstream
Submit your Music

Under Dogs With Lucy Leeds
Genre: Alternative/Rock/Pop
Submit Your Music

Unity Radio
Genre: Hip Hop/RNB/Grime/Garage/Bass Music/Drum & Bass/House/Reggae & Afrobeats
Submit Your Music

Radio Hartlepool
Genre: Mainstream/Local
Submit Your Music

KISSTORY
Genre: Old Skool and Anthems
Submit Your Music

Kerrang!!
Genre: Rock/Metal/Hard Rock
Submit Your Music

Planet Rock
Genre: Rock/Alternative Metal
Submit Your Music

Resonance FM
Genre: Alternative/Experimental
Submit Your Music

BBC Radio 1Xtra
Genre: Urban/Hip Hop/Grime
Submit Your Music

1BTN
Genre: Electronic/House/Techno/DNB
Submit Your Music

This blog is all about press releases, which are super important. Now you may think of press releases in terms of print, for example magazines and newspapers. However, we are talking about audio here, we are talking about music. The press release is still very much necessary to get your band, or career as an artist, out there.

So, who will be reading these press releases? Well, when you send it to the radio, it could be the music co-ordinator, it could be a presenter or a producer. They need to be able to scan through your press release as quickly as possible, as they will be receiving loads of these. They want to find out if you are interesting and if it's worth listening to your single. 

I started out as a radio plugger, and so I was writing press release all the time for various acts. Due to that, I'm going to give you my secret recipe for writing a great press release.

Tip no.1 – keep it short 

Your press release should ideally be on one page. If you think you need to spill out over two pages, then you probably need to condense your writing a little bit as producers will want to scan through this as quickly as possible. If they see there are two pages of writing in there, it will automatically turn them off, and they simply won’t read it.

The reality is, the only time I'll get to read press releases is in-between songs. Perhaps on advert breaks, there are three minutes in which I can scan through my emails. It would help if you made this as easy as possible, a helpful simple page I can quickly read through and go back to the radio.

Tip no.2 – the layout

To keep it easy, here’s the best way to order your press release:

1.Your band or artist name.

2.The name of the single/EP

3.Have links embedded to the single or video (I’ll come back to this one).

4.Artwork (Main Image)

5.The blurb (I’ll also revisit that one in a second)

6.Social media contact info

So this should all fit on one page!

Tip no.3 – the links

There are different ways of doing it but trust me, if you do it this way, it’s going to work well. First of all, do not copy and paste the whole URL into your press release, write ‘listen here’ and hyperlink the word ‘here’. It will look a lot more pro, and the link will lead the presenter/producer straight to your SoundCloud track, and they can listen there. Please note, check your track permissions and make sure it is downloadable! Otherwise, this whole thing is pointless.

Okay so you might be thinking that you have so many social media websites everywhere, but you don’t have a SoundCloud. My advice is to create a SoundCloud… it's free, it's easy, and it's the right way for the music co-ordinator to access your music.

Tip no.4 – the blurb

The all-important blurb is where you can talk about your story and inspirations. It's also a chance to show off a little bit.  You want to include in there how many plays you have had on Spotify and/or radio, cool people you have supported or big venues you have played at. All of these sorts of things, please put them in BOLD. If I’m reading this press release, I’ll be scanning through as quickly as possible and probably only reading the bits in bold, so it would make my life easier!

Tip no.5 – make it easy for the radio producer to help you

Please do yourself a favour, make it as easy as possible for me. If you imagine there is so much going on at a radio station, reading a press release is just a small snippet of the day. Keep it short and simple, you'll have a better chance of being played on the radio.

If you want me to find you on social media, don’t tell me where to find you – give me a link. If you want me to check out your Spotify, don’t tell me you are the third one down when searching your artist name, give me the link. Make it easy for me to help you!

Thanks for reading. If you’re interested in learning more and are serious about progressing in your career as a musician, please join us at WaterBear HQ for an Open Day or Order a Prospectus.

We’ll start by listing what you need to put in an electronic press kit. These days, electronic press kits (often called EPKs) are the way to go. Digital material can be easily modified, updated or tailored. EPKs are low-cost to create. There are no physical documents to be printed or other media to be recorded/burned. This means your package can be hosted and quickly distributed over the ‘Net, email and social media, at little or no cost, which makes it an extremely cost-effective and efficient. In order to assemble a killer EPK (which is not a robot from Terminator, before you get the wrong idea!) you’ll need some strategy, & then you’ll need to create and assemble the materials that deliver it.

(1) Strategy: the big secret

You need to create a unique selling point and persuasive, engaging appeal for you, your band and your brand. Something that stands out amidst the crowd, and appeals to your target audience and market. Give this some thought. Work out what you’re about and tell YOUR story.

Effective marketing creates emotional involvement and attachment. Heart, not logic, drives fandom and sales. Early advertisers, like coca-cola & soap powder manufacturers, believed that facts were the key: what’s the product, where can you get it, what does it cost, and suchlike. Wrong! What effective advertisers found out was that feelings are key. Making people like and care is more important than shunting info.

Remember this when putting together a press kit and sending it out! Two proverbs sum this up:
• The better you understand the lock, the easier it is to make a key.
• You may like strawberries, but when you go fishing, put worms on the hook

The importance of this can’t be understated!. Think of it from the point of view of the person or people you’re pitching to. What’s your message to them? What will be of interest to them? What’s in it for them? What will engage their interest? And what will make them care?. Linked to this, pay attention to the way you use branding, presentation & marketing to evoke emotion. Your logo and visual identity needs to be well-matched to the brand, for instance. How will your visuals, your look, your photo and artwork set you apart from the crowd? What will they say to your target audience?

(2) Where to host your EPK and how to invite access to it

The basic options are:
1. To store the EPK & its materials in online cloud storage
2. To store the EPK & its materials as part of your website
3. To send the EPK out via email

Option #1: Cloud Storage
EPKs are often best kept in online cloud storage, such as Dropbox and Haulix etc.
Dropbox Plus, for example, gives you 1TB of storage for £7.99 a month/£79 a year, and the Professional package offers additional services. www.dropbox.com. You can upload photos, documents (e.g. PDF files), photos, music tracks (e.g. high quality 320 kbps MP3s) and video clips into Dropbox etc. then share a private link via email to the material with whoever you want to access it. Other cloud storage providers are of course available. Haulix, for instance, offers a platform for storing and giving permitted contacts access to watermarked promos of tracks, albums and videos, in a variety of packages.

Option #2: Including Your EPK on Your Band’s Website
It’s good idea to include a version (typically a subset) of your EPK on your own website. There are several ways to do this, e.g. making the page public; making it public, but not linking to it directly from the website’s main pages (requiring a specific link). Alternatively, you can make it private and password protect it. Directing people to the version of the EPK on your website rather than the cloud-hosted version also increases traffic to your website. Video material is also very important, as mentioned below, and it’s a good idea to have a tab or section on your website which is easily accessible by someone looking at your EPK on the site

(3) Content: what to include in your EPK folder?

Keep the content of your press kit up to date too, especially updating it with new releases, press quotes, accolades and award etc. Also keep info on the band’s line-up up to date. It’s embarrassing for you and the journalist to find out that they’re written up a piece on your band, mentioning members who’ve left, moved on or been fired, for instance!

A. Documents (in PDF format)
A.1 Biog of the Band (PDF)
Write up a current biog (and keep it up to date). Magazines, onlines, newspapers and radio will all want a full biog from you. If they are directed to your socials/website and there’s not much info about you, this can be off-putting for someone wanting to write about you. Help them help you!
Be clear and provide the important info upfront. “If you don’t name the band members and I have to go on a fact finding mission etc. (especially where studio or touring line ups differ), then I lose interest and move on!” warns Adrian Hextall (My Global Mind). Sometimes a good idea, especially if you’re struggling to write your own story is to go direct to a music journalist who will do this for you. They often understand better than anyone else what press are looking for and can help create something engaging and on point.

A.2 Press releases (PDF)
Press releases are particularly important for new track and album releases, tour announcements, getting the band’s achievements, accolades and awards out there, and there’s an art to writing effective pressers (which we’ll cover in a later blog). Always have the press release available in word too. This makes it easier for press to cut and paste when featuring your news on their site.

A.3 Press quote sheet (PDF)
A single page, containing choice pull quotes. Short and sweet. 1 or 2 sentences only. Include source info and links to the reviews, articles or onlines. Go for attention-grabbing wording, high praise, and also the weight and authority of the reviewer or publication. N.B. Help the journalists etc. by providing useful information, interesting content, and make it clear why your band, release etc. is newsworthy. Adrian Hextall of My Global Mind looks for “2-3 paras from the band about what a release means to them” and “2-3 paras from the PR about why we should care about the band.”

B. Visuals: High-Res Band Photos and Artwork
Provide good quality, useful photos and visuals. Adrian Hextall looks for band to provide “4-5 promo photos in hi-res that we can use/chop down as needed to fit an article on the page.” Make photos and artwork available digitally and make sure all production credits and contact details are available. Make sure you include photographer credits if needed. We can’t stress enough how important good quality images are! Sometimes this can make the difference as to whether a magazine will feature you or not! Print magazines will insist on hi-res, so make sure you have these ready to go. When sending the photo’ to press you MUST provide high-res images, preferably 300dpi no less than 600px (though this may vary from site to site). Make sure the file names are clear, intuitive and self-explanatory. Journalists don’t want to plough through files named ‘photo 1674’ etc. Use hi-res, uncompressed file formats, e.g. JPG and send the band logo as an extra file in PNG format.

It’s good practice to avoid sending photos and artwork as attachments. Some press get funny about you clogging up their inbox with attachments. Look around for alternative ways of sending or providing access to press assets: there are many around, such as Dropbox and Haulix. Also (& this is important!) Be creative! Time and time again bands submit overdone, cliché shots, like the band standing in front of a wall, the band standing in a line, etc. Stand out!
Also, look through a photographer’s portfolio before you spend money on a photo session. Photographers can’t work miracles: they can only work with what they are given, so think carefully about the band’s image. Is it coherent? You might want to think about a stylist before a photoshoot, and make sure you’re all in sync before the shoot.

Key Graphics & Visuals checklist
• Band photos
• Live performance phots
• Album cover art
• Your band logo

C. Media Materials
N.B. Check that the track names, artist and other metadata are complete and correct for the tracks and clips you host, share and distribute.

C1. A promo video (more advice on shooting, editing and pitching this in a later blog).
C2. A separate folder containing high-quality downloadable MP3s
C3. 20 kbps MP3s are good quality. Use these rather than 128 kbps, which are lower quality and equivalent to radio play.

N.B. Various means of hosting, sharing, streaming and distributing tracks, albums and video are available, with various forms of access control and tracking to deter and prevent piracy, such as passwords and watermarking. These platforms and approaches can be used as part of your EPK. Some bands are happy to host HQ copies of their material on Dropbox, Haulix etc; others restrict access to snippet on platforms like Amazon or iTunes; streaming on Soundcloud etc; links to YouTube videos. Alternatively, you can stream and host on your own website. In the words of Terri Chapman of Rock People Management: “So many EPKs pass through my inbox on a weekly basis, If you are going to take the time to put one together then make sure it stands out from the rest. High resolution photos must be used. Make it as easy as possible for the viewer to find your links, videos and music. Include the band’s highlights of the year too, and press quotes really help, as do album reviews. What are your plans for the next 12months? We would also love to see that you have ambition and a plan. Those, for me, are some key ingredients for a great EPK.”

Huge thanks to Terri Chapman from Rock People Management and Adrian Hextall (My Global Mind) for contributing to this Blog.

The majority of exciting artists shaking up the music industry are DIY – self releasing on their own labels or working with small independent labels. This means they are in full control of their music and are not relying on the out-dated major label / corporate models to get their music heard.

If you are undertaking any release it is important to have a marketing plan in place. Submitting your music to respected music blogs should be one element of that plan. If your skill set does not include business and marketing then you need to either learn or collaborate with people who have the knowledge that you need.

At WaterBear, the college of music, developing business, marketing, release planning and collaboration skills are a key part of our BA (Hons) degree and Masters programmes. We always recommend that if you’re missing a skill that is a key requirement for you to succeed then you need to invest the time to learn, up-skill and join the dots. This extends to perhaps the less stimulating elements such as your marketing and business planning skills. So many new artists and bands fail as they put 95% of their time and energy into the creative process and give no time to their business/marketing plan.

In the coming weeks we will have more marketing and business/release planning tips so make sure to follow us on FB and subscribe to our YouTube Channel. Also, check out our previous blogs and YouTube videos for advice and tips which will help you to develop your plan.

As with our previous blog about festival applications, we recommend that you do not submit your music to the blogs listed below until you are happy that your music is ready, you are clear on your audience, you have developed your image, have a professional EPK (electronic press kit) ready to go and a plan in place for other activity (e.g live shows, social media plan etc). Note: In next weeks blog we will be looking at how to make a pro EPK.

The music blogs below want to hear your newest tracks, so avoid sending a SoundCloud link that was up-loaded in 2018 or earlier.

I hope this advice helps you with your release plan. As per our last blog, remember - "There is no such thing as overnight success". Be resilient, collaborate, experiment, learn, work hard and always remember - enjoy the journey!

Music blogs that want to hear your music:

www.stereofox.com/contact/
Genre: Not specific

www.indiemusichome.com/contact/
Genre: Indie/alternative

www.louderthanwar.com/contact/
Genre: Punk/ Metal / Rock

www.thelineofbestfit.com/contact
Genre: Alternative / Indie

www.hearya.com/contact-us/
Genre: Indie / Rock / Folk /Pop

www.indie88.com/submit-your-music/
Genre: Indie / Rock / Alternative

www.tinymixtapes.com/
Genre: All

www.gorillavsbear.net
Genre: All

www.velvetindependent.com/about/
Genre: Electronic

www.wolfinasuit.com/submit-music/
Genre: Indie Pop & Rock

www.weallwantsomeone.org/contact-me/

Genre: All

www.purplemelonmu.com/contact/

Genre: Pop

www.iheardawhisper.com

Genre: Electronic

www.drunkenwerewolf.com

Genre: All

www.theunsignedguide.com/spotlight

Genre: All

www.pitchfork.com/contact/ 

Genre: All

www.weraveyou.com/promotion

Genre: Mainly dance & electronic

https://giglist.com/contact

Genre: All

Back To Top

Tel: +44 (0) 1273 726230
Email: [email protected]

WaterBear Education Ltd, Hanover House,
118 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG, UK  Map

Why We're WaterBear...

- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.

© 2022 WaterBear, The College of Music. All rights reserved.
Site by: 
Bozboz
crossmenu