FAQs- Radio Promotions and Billboard Charting


Q: What is a radio format?

A: A radio format, or programming format, or programming genre refers to the overall content broadcasting over a radio station. Some stations broadcast multiple genres on set schedule. Over the years, formats have evolved and new ones have been introduced. In today’s age of radio, many radio formats are designed to reach a specifically defined segment or niche of the listening population based on such demographic criteria as age, ethnicity, background, etc.


Q: Why is radio airplay important?

A: Radio airplay is important to build an airplay story that can be used for major label distribution and major label deal negotiations. Charting will increase national exposure and interest from stations, DJs and labels.


Q: What are BDS, Mediabase and Soundscan?

A: BDS (NIELSEN BROADCAST DATA SYSTEMS) is a service that tracks monitored radio, television and internet airplay of songs based on the number of spins and detections.

Mediabase is a music industry service that monitors radio station airplay in 180 US and Canadian markets. Mediabase publishes music charts and data based on the most played songs on terrestrial and satellite radio, and provides in-depth analytical tools for radio and record industry professionals.

SoundScan is a tracking system operated by the ACNielsen that tracks sales of music and music video products throughout the United States and Canada. Any music product that carries a UPC or EAN barcode and ISRC code is eligible to be tracked by SoundScan.


Q: Why do I need to service my record out to program directors and not solely DJs?

A: On commercial regular FM rotation radio, DJs have no say in what is going to be played (unless, it is smaller station where the DJ is also the PD or on non-commercial radio, and specialty/mix show radio.), thus only the program director can approve regular rotation.


Q: Can you guarantee that certain/specific stations will play me song?

A: No. We cannot guarantee specific stations, however we can guarantee spins based on available budget, the music, the genre and artist press and history.


Q: Will College Radio crossover to commercial airplay?

A: It is important to build an airplay story or “track record,” however a separate commercial campaign is needed to put the record in regular FM rotation.


Q: Can a small campaign blow my record up?

A: In order to break a record you’ll need to continuously fund the radio campaign so that additional stations can be added and the record can be cross promoted in different markets.


Q: Should I have distribution first?

A: No. You should have radio airplay first and use it for major label distribution and major label deal negotiations.


Q: Do I need to be a signed artist?

A: No. Radio airplay is available for everyone. Depending on budget, you can even exceed radio airplay of larger labels.


Q: Do I need gigs to get radio airplay?

A: Radio airplay will increase gig potential.