What is the music format at WIUX?
Our goal is to highlight lesser known bands and local bands that won’t get airplay at normal radio stations. We want to help represent the under represented. Most of our shows feature under-represented rock music, but some of our specialty shows span genres including jazz, hip-hop, funk, punk, ska, dance, R&B, techno/rpm, and a variety of other styles.
When you submit music to any radio station, not just WIUX, you should take care to include certain items that will help ensure that your band gets considered for airplay:
WIUX currently accepts both digital and physical submissions for an album, EP, or a single – although digital is often preferred. In either submission type we request that the band gives us an accompanying ‘one sheet’. For physical submissions, the finished album, EP, or single with full artwork is preferable, but if this isn’t possible, you MUST include a clearly marked CD with a track listing and a jewel case. Slipcases or paper sleeves tend to get lost in the shuffle. For digital submissions an attached MP3, a zip file or a link to a direct download works perfectly. We get hundreds of emails with links to a general artist website, this leaves us pages of the internet to wade through, and a music director often does not have time to complete the extra steps to get the files prepared to be reviewed. So, the best way to separate yourself is to make sure we have something that doesn’t get lost in our inbox.
One-sheets are designed to inform those who may be unfamiliar with your band as to what it is you’re sending and why it should be given consideration. One sheets should include:
- Track listing
- Artist Name/Album Name
- List of songs with language unsuitable for airplay (or use in front of your mother).
- “Go-To” tracks with 3-5 of your best songs.
- Press quotes
- A comparison to other bands you sound like or what “genre” your music might fit.
- Clarity. Don’t put too much information, let the music do the talking.
Fold the one sheet and include it in your package with the CD or record. Don’t ask the music or programming directors to contact you. Assume that you will have to call them. Call during the MD’s office hours or send them an email message. If they decide to pass on your album, thank them for their time and try another station or try again when you have more material. Persistence is key, and yelling at an MD for not playing your records will not help your chances in the future.
How do I get my band’s music into the studio?
For any station you should research not only where to send the record, but if the station is actually one that would consider playing it. If the station focuses on jazz and classical, sending your hip-hop record to them is probably not a good idea. Send the record to the station’s Music Director if they focus on the genre that you fall into. If you send it to a station in your area, make sure to send it to the local music show, or make a note that you are indeed a local musician.
The best way to get your music to WIUX, is to email our two music directors, send it via postal mail or drop it in the mailbox at the door of the station. For physical copies, please address it as follows:
*FOR ON-AIR PLAY*
Dalia Erkman and Ben Kessler
WIUX Music Directors
601 East Kirkwood Avenue, Room 235
Bloomington, IN 47405
For digital submissions address it to:
If you are a musician local to Bloomington or the Indiana region, include where you are from in your bio. Local music is also accepted for potential review on the WIUX Blog.
Don’t assume that just because you’ve sent your package your music is being played. Wait at least 2 weeks after you’ve sent it before you follow up with a phone call. Most music directors have call hours a couple of days each week. You can usually find these hours listed on a station’s website or you can call them to find out when they are.
Keep trying and once you get through remain polite and to the point. Ask the following questions. If any of the answers are “No,” stop asking and politely tell them to have a nice day.
- Did you receive so and so CD on so and so records?
- Were you able to review so and so?
- Are you going to add so and so to your rotation?
- Where are you going to add so and so to your rotation?
- Is there anything else you need?
Most stations have a “Heavy, Medium, and Light” rotation system. If you’re put into any of these its good news: you’re getting airplay. At this point thank the music director and let them know you’ll be calling back later to see how the record is being received and where it is charting. Continue to follow-up for 6-8 weeks, the life of a new release in rotation. Or, if you like, keep an eye on the station website’s play list.
Inform your supporters what station is playing your CD; however, make sure that they don’t overload the station with requests or turn bitter towards the station because your music is not being aired enough. DJ’s can tell when a band’s supporters are overloading them with requests and this will not win you friends or more airplay. Most stations will play music based on merit and not on requests.
There are several great radio promotion companies that specialize in helping musicians get radio airplay around the country. They generally service 300 to 750 stations for a fee of $500 to thousands of dollars. Promotional mailings to radio stations will cost you money for both postage and lost CD’s. Usually you handle the mailings while they track your release by calling the MD each week and find out where in rotation it is and how many plays it is getting a week.
Most companies service your CD for 6 to 8 weeks and can assist with setting up in-studio visits and giveaways. Most will recommend the type of stations to target. Here are a few of these companies:
Guidelines are inspired by and portions are used with the permission of KEXP.