4 Reasons You’re Not Getting Played on National Radio | Radio Plugging

Getting your music on the radio can do wonders for your career but where do you even start? It may seem impossible if you don’t have a music PR company plugging away but getting your track in front of the right people is possible to do independently, if you have the right pitch that you’re sending to the correct person. This simple guide will take you through the step by step process in getting your music on the radio, all the way from choosing which track to pitch, to getting played to BBC Radio 1.

1. You’re pitching the wrong track

The first thing you must consider when plugging to radio is whether your track is radio friendly. A song that is radio friendly is under 4 minutes, has no swearing or derogatory terms and doesn’t have a strong political or religious message. The reason for this is the censorship rules in the UK, as the BBC are very strict and you’ll find they deem many songs unfit for air due to breached rules on religious grounds, drug references and attacks on the monarch.

You may have a full EP or album and you don’t know which track to pitch to radio. The best thing to do in this situation is choose the most catchy, commercial sounding song from the collection. Once you think you’ve done that, ask around and get multiple opinions as you may be bias to your favourite. You’ll soon find there is a clear winner and that is the most radio friendly track.

2. You’re pitching too many tracks

If you’re pitching multiple tracks, ask yourself why you’re doing this. If you think all your songs from the EP/Album are worth pitching, you’re wrong, there’s always a more radio friendly track. You want to focus all your energy and time into one song and off the back of this, your full EP/Album will be gaining attention.

However, if you feel your EP/Album has multiple styles throughout, that’s when you can look at promoting more than one song. If one track is a commercial pop and the other is a dance remix, you can push the remix to dance stations, giving you more areas to connect with and therefore more radio plays.

3. You don’t know how to pitch a track

Radio plugging can be a lot harder than general online music promotion, as producers and presenters are bombarded with tracks daily, hence radio pluggers are so expensive, as they have taken years to build their contacts. However, if you’re pitching correctly, you can get the same results.

You must start by uploading your single to SoundCloud as a private link. This is the easiest way for producers and presenters to stream your music. DO NOT attach it as an MP3 or just sent a link to download as this will block their inbox and they don’t have time to download something they’re not sure they will like. Your email will go straight into the bin!

Now you have the SoundCloud link, you must also create a link for the song to be easily downloaded. The most popular and easy to use are WeTransfer and DropBox. The MP3 must be titled correctly also as ‘Artist Name – Song Title’.

You need to include both the SoundCloud and the download link within your pitch as this mean the producer/presenter can easily listen to the track to know if they want to download it, then download it to play.

To start writing your pitch, you must copy and paste your press release into the email. You can read more on how to write a press release here: http://www.burstimo.com/run-a-diy-pr-campaign-for-your-music/

Above your press release you will have your pitch. Your pitch can follow the format below:

“Hi (insert name),

Hope you’re well? I am (insert name) from (insert band name). I was hoping to get your thoughts on our upcoming single (insert song title) for a play on your radio show (insert radio show title). 

You can stream (insert song title) here: INSERT PRIVATE SOUNDCLOUD LINK

Or download it here: INSERT DOWNLOAD LINK”

From here you insert important facts from the press release e.g. who you’ve supported, who you’re influenced by, information on the song and any previous press.

Finish the email with what you’re asking for from them.

“I’d love to hear your thoughts on this for a play and if of interest, we’re available for interviews.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Thank you

(insert name)”

The most important part is the ‘important facts’ as this is what will make you stand out from the hundreds of other sending similar emails. Examples of ‘important facts’ that will make you stand out are…

  • Big names you’ve supported
  • Any large press/blogs that have covered you in the past
  • Producer for the single

Another way to stand out is to search a similar artist to yourself. For example, if you felt you sounded like Tom Misch, you can search to see where Tom Misch has been played and then approach the correct producer for that show saying…

“I noticed you played Tom Misch last week. I’ve got a very similar sound with my latest single (insert song title), so I’d love to hear your thoughts.”

By doing this, the producer/presenter will know what sound to expect but it’ll also prove that you know and listen to their show.

*Bonus Tip:When doing this, you can use the BBC to search. Simply search BBC Radio, then search the artist you’re looking for and click ‘Music’. You’ll then find their artist profile, with their tracks at the bottom. If you click each track, it’ll show you which show it was last played on, which you can use to know which shows could potentially play your song.

BBC Radio Tom Misch airplay

4. You’re pitching to the wrong people

So, you have your pitch but who do you send it to? Your first task is uploading to BBC Introducing and Amazing Tunes. These uploaders are the perfect gateway to national radio play, with Amazing Radio supporting emerging artists and BBC Introducing working as a springboard to BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and even 1. If your track is played by either Amazing Radio or BBC Introducing, you’ll be notified by email, so you can listen to it being played on air. If it is to be played, follow up with the correct producer thanking them and also letting them know you’re available for interview or sessions (that’s if you are!).

BBC Introducing Uploader

Now to the real pitching. You need to start small and build up and there’s no better place to start than with your local stations. If you’re from Cambridge, you can look at sending your song to Cam 105 and if you’re from Wandsworth, you could pitch to Wandsworth Radio…I think you get it. Simply search your location on Google, with the word ‘radio’ after and you’ll find tons of results. Don’t just stop there, you can look into student radio stations in your area and even online stations. This may take you some time but if you’re patient, you’ll soon enough have a portfolio of plays for your song.

Genre specific radio stations are the next path to go down. You can find these with a simple Google search or even looking through social media. Use the above tip we gave for standing out by searching for a similar artist, for finding correct radio stations too. If you think you sound like No Hot Ashes, search on Google and social media to see which radio stations have played them in the past. You can also find smaller radio stations that may have shown them support by looking at their Twitter followers.

If you’re getting stuck on where to approach next, here’s a fantastic site that may help: http://www.radiostations.co.uk

Getting Played onNational Radio

Getting played on national radio stations is extremely hard, as you’re not just battling with emerging bands but also internationally renowned artists that have people plugging their music constantly to contacts they work closely with. Don’t be disheartened, this doesn’t mean the producers will just ignore you, as you could be the next big thing that they want to have spotted first but you have to pitch to them as if you are.

Make sure you’ve collected your portfolio of plays from the lower level radio stations first and have already confirmed a BBC Introducing play. Once you’ve done that, use the above pitch but really use those ‘important facts’ to make yourself stand out. You need to have that one thing that makes them listen, whether that be previous press, a major support slot or working with a big-name producer.

Be certain that you’re sending it to the correct producer and show. If you’re an electro pop band, don’t send your track to BBC Radio 1’s Daniel P Carter Rock show, you’ll piss off a lot of people and that’s not the right way to get your foot in the door. Each radio show has a description of what they play on their site, so you can see if it’s relevant to your music. If you’re not sure after reading the description, listen back to it for 10 mins to see if you can picture your track being played on it.

Once you’ve sent the email, wait a week to see if they get back to you. These people are very busy so may need at least one follow up, even 2/3 but don’t bombard them and be polite in your following up.

This whole process of plugging your track to radio will take a few weeks but if you have the patience and time, you’ll get the results

7 Simple Ways to Start Earning Real Money from Your Music

The dream for any artist is to make a living from their music but how do you actually start making money? Besides physically selling the music, what can you do to start bringing in a wage for yourself, whilst still creating music that you love?

The key for musicians in 2019 is to diversify their streams of income. No musician makes money strictly from Spotify or only from touring, so in this blog post we’re going to give you 7 simple tips, which will lead you to earning money from your music in no time.


Digital streaming is behind the biggest rise in UK sales for two decades. Spotify pays an average of 0.00437p per stream, meaning if you get 1 million streams you’ll receive just over £4,000. This may not sound like a huge amount of money, but Spotify is an easy way to gain exposure and springboard you into other opportunities to gain money, such as live events. Spotify generated $40million+ in tickets sales in 2017, showing that it is an effective gateway to many other income streams in music. Plus, that 1 million streams and £4,000 worth of revenue is easier to make than ever due to Spotify’s powerful algorithm.

To really start seeing the money come in from Spotify, pitch your music to user curated Spotify playlists, sharing your Spotify on socials and blogs and in in time the Spotify algorithm will pick up that your streams are increasing, that you’re getting added to playlists and what bands may be similar to you, meaning you appear on Discover Weekly, Top Recommendations and eventually Official Spotify playlists.

With the new Spotify submission tool allowing you to submit your upcoming material to Spotify officials, Spotify promotion is a lot easier to do yourself. You may find yourself on a major playlist, generating a large number of streams in no time, which eventually leads to receiving payment.

People sometimes complain about the royalties they receive from Spotify but besides paying a distributor to have it uploaded, the platform is free for your music to be on. You’re being offered an opportunity to make money on a free platform and that’s an opportunity you cannot complain about!

Spotify Computer


People love hearing live music and musicians love playing it, so it’s a perfect match for the creator and the consumer. Gigging is one of the most profitable parts of the music industry, with estimates that live music industry will be worth $31 billion worldwide in 2022.

Chances are you’ll be making money from the tickets sold online, bought at the door or an agreed percentage of sales from your promotor/venue owner. However, there’s also two other ways to start bringing money from live events.


Alongside gigs, there’s also festivals which pay well. Festivals bring in the chance to play alongside bigger bands, receive music promotion and also collect an audience which wouldn’t be possible at a gig. All of these lead to different income sources also.


You can easily start to collect copyright royalties for performing. If you’re signed up to PRS and perform a song that you’ve written that is PRS registered, they will pay you for this performance. Every venue has a PRS licence (well they should!) to cover the costs of paying out these royalties, so make sure you do your research and take advantage of this. Every little penny counts so don’t be afraid to ask your promotor, booking agent or the people at the venue itself.

Crowd photo


Tying in nicely to live shows is merchandise. f people are at your live shows, they’re going to be fans of your music and this means they’re proud to say they listen to your music, so surely, they’d be proud to wear your merch, right? Wrong! They won’t be proud to wear a poorly designed, cheaply made t-shirt with just your band name plastered across their chest.

Be creative with your merch designs. Create a design that not only represents you as an artist but is a design that people would wear even if they didn’t know your music. At the end of the day, merchandise is something that can be very profitable so don’t cheap out on it, perhaps hire a graphic designer to jump on board or buy more expensive t-shirts than you’ve done in the past. If you make something that is visually pleasing, good quality and overall a strong product, you can end up charging more and people will still happily invest.

Band Merchandise T-Shirts


Years ago, artists who wanted to get discovered would have to send off their demo tapes to the labels and then sit and hope they get signed. In today’s digital age, you can use so many more innovative ways to get your music out there, allowing you to make money from loyal fans and listeners globally. One platform that works perfectly for this is YouTube.

YouTube works with artists across the world to generate revenue and help the musician earn more. Artists that put their music through third-party distributors who can submit your music to YouTube and can collect money from ads and YouTube premium. Additionally, distributors who use YouTube’s Content ID system can collect revenue from other YouTube videos such as vloggers who may use your music.

Another way to make money via YouTube is to actually start creating content yourself, which will generate a source of income. You don’t actually make money based on the amount of views you get, you make the money based on people’s engagement with the ad before or during your video, which will obviously be higher if you have more people watching your videos. Therefore, creating high quality content which engages a large audience, will start to bring in money for you. Easy ways to start doing this as a musician is creating tour diaries, vlogging your day to day life as a band or even doing Q&As from questions submitted by your fans on Twitter. Be imaginative with your content and you will be rewarded with a loyal fan base and soon an income.


In the case of collecting Content ID revenue from YouTubers who use your track and have a large subscriber base, we always suggest not collecting the revenue as the promotion from a YouTuber with over 1 million subscribers is a lot more beneficially than the amount of money you’d receive. Getting your name out there as an emerging artist is a lot stronger and will reward you financially in the long term.

JoJo Siwa YouTube Header


Crowdfunding is basically generating a small amount of money from a large amount of people. In the situation of a musician, this means fans donating a small amount of money each, with the end goal to collect a large amount. Your fans want to support you and your musical career, so crowdfunding is a fantastic way to collect money, whilst connecting and giving back to your fans.

So how do you do it? Firstly, you need to establish the platform you want to use to crowdfund. There are many to choose from, but Kickstarter and Patreon are the most established and easiest to use. You set a goal of how much you’d like to achieve and a deadline. If you meet your goal in time, you’ll receive all the money you managed to collect (Kickstarter and Patreon take 5%). However, if you don’t meet your goal in time, every donation made by your fanbase is completely refunded. So, don’t be unrealistic and set a target of £1 million but also don’t be stingy and set a target of £100 so you can make money quick. Prove to your fans that you want to work together to do something and set a challenge that you can achieve together.

One thing to really think about is why should a fan give you money? If someone randomly came up to you on the street and asked for £5,000 to create their next EP, would you give it to them? The answer is most probably no, and your fans will react similarly unless you’re offering them something in return. Be imaginative and work with your fans to see what they want. Perhaps anyone that donates over £10 gets a recorded message sent to them saying thank you. Anyone that sends over £50 gets a song sung especially for them. Anyone that donates over £100 gets a live session performed at their house. It’s easy to set up a crowdfunding page but it’s not easy to get the donations, so prove you’re working for it and that you’re thankful for every penny coming through.

HANNIE Patreon


You have a large following, you’re selling out gigs and you’re starting to collect a solid amount of money from streams, but where do you look to next to start creating a better income? It’s time to approach sponsors and brands that you want to collaborate with.

Start with your local area. Identify local brands that fit with your style, image and lifestyle. If you’re a surf rock band from Australia, perhaps you introduce yourself to your local surf shop. If you’re a large indie rock band from the UK, maybe you approach a clothing line, such as P&Co who have recently collaborated with The Hunna to release exclusive merchandise.

Call people, email or DM on Instagram offering them something they cannot resist. Whether that is social media posts that will increase their following or wearing their clothing at gigs, which will grow their overall brand. Work with the brand to agree on a deal that works for both parties.


Before you approach a company, look into who they already work with. For example, Jägermeister and Dr Martens work exclusive with rock bands so if you’re a pop duo, don’t embarrass yourself by contacting them. Similarly, find a brand that is at an equivalent level to yourself. If you’re only just reaching the 5,000 stream mark and you have less than 3,000 Facebook likes, then the chances of Coca Cola giving you a $1 million brand partnership deal is very slim!

Writing a pitch to a potential sponsor is similar to pitching to blogs, radio stations and Spotify playlists, you need to sell yourself. Use parts of your current press release, bio, social media and Spotify statistics to persuade them you’re worth investing in.

Universal Brand Partnership page


Music sales isn’t the problem for independent artists, it’s obscurity. No one really knows or currently cares about who you are so won’t pay for your music. Instead, treat your music as a marketing tool, rather than a form of income. If your entire business model for your music is to sell albums, your model is old-fashioned and unsuccessful. Instead, make your music available to everyone and then you can focus on creating value.

Think about the long term. If you charge people for music that they’ve never heard, it won’t get bought but if you create a dedicated fan base, giving them as much music as you can, your product will soon be in demand, meaning you can start thinking about sales. If you make something valuable enough, people will pay for it and this works exactly the same with your music.


An example many can understand is YouTube and the business model of a YouTuber. YouTuber Alfie Deyes creates daily vlogs on his YouTube channel. His vlogs are completely free to the viewer; therefore, his product is given away at no cost to the consumer. However, Alfie has created such a large fan base of over 4 million subscribers, that he has started selling products to them that are now highly in demand. Because his fanbase are so loyal and dedicated to his free content, they buy his merch, they pay to come to meet and greets and even purchase his many books. This is proof that giving out free content creates a fanbase, which creates a strong income in the long term. This theory is relevant to the music industry and should definitely be put into practice.

The money is in the attention, so secure the attention and you can monetize and make money from whatever you wish.


Securing a solid income as an independent artist is easier than ever, with free platforms allowing you to grow your fan base, monetize and sell products in a way that was never before possible. In this digital era, the money is in the attention that you can secure, so take advantage of every one of these 7 things stated above and you will bring start bringing in money immediately.

Definitive Guide to Getting a Job in the Music Industry in 2019 | What Nobody is Telling you

Most of the career advice for the Music Industry is dated or is generic advice which doesn’t apply to the Music Industry. This guide well give you the best chance of landing a job in the Music Industry.

Recently Burstimo began advertising for new roles, where I had to assess every single CV which was submitted, and this allowed me to spot recurring mistakes which people were making, even from those with Music Business University degrees were not offering what the music industry is looking for.

Do you really want a job in the music industry?

The most frequent line I see in cover letters and interviews is applicants stating their desire to work in the “Music Industry” and this may come as a shock to you, but the Music Industry as you know it doesn’t exist. When you say the words “Music Industry” what comes in to your head?

Is it the life of hanging around famous people, attending parties, music industry events, backstage passes at festivals, prestigious award ceremonies?

In fact, working in the Music Industry involves mostly sitting at your computer sending emails to people just like you 12 hours per day and it doesn’t stop on weekends.

How the Music Industry fits together

The Music Industry is very much spread out, it’s not one big symbiotic industry, it is very compartmentalised with areas such as:

Major Labels (which mainly involves licensing catalogue music)

Copyright and Music Licensing

Syncronisation companies

Music Marketing and Promotion

Law firms

Live booking agents

Music Management

Music PR companies

Live gigs / Festivals

And the list goes on…

And all of these aspects never cross one another. You’ll very rarely find yourself conversing with a music industry lawyer if your expertise lies in Music PR for example.

I wanted to make this clear because we see so many applications from people who have “Music Industry” experience, however the skills don’t translate, you won’t land your dream job working in Music Sync if your experience is in promoting festivals. It is the required skillset you must focus on rather than your experience being from the same industry. If you want a job in Music Sync for example, you are more likely to land a job by having a strong sales background. The ability to sell music and license it out is far more valuable than understanding the industry and a knowledge of music from 1950s – present.

Why Working in Music is so Awesome

Now I’ve began to paint a picture of how the music industry really fits together (or doesn’t) lets cover the benefits of working in the music industry. Working with music is exciting, there is no other product like it, music has the power to change people’s mood, opinions or even help them through a difficult time in their life. Working with tracks which you just can’t stop listening to, and your day is dedicated to making the artist as successful as possible whichever your role is one of the most rewarding aspects you could ever hope for in a job.

The day to dayactivity of a job in the music industry is usually so varied and thrilling compared to any other industry. The industry has had to adapt to some major overhauls which means things are moving faster than ever and changed so dramatically that it has left a gaping hole filled with opportunities for people with new skills and ideas to jump in to.

Do I need Music Industry experience?

Not necessarily, needing music industry experience to land a job is one of the biggest misconceptions. Usually this is sold to you by Universities with the intentions to sell you their course or companies who insist you need to intern in order to progress your career, when in reality they are just looking for someone to do the tasks no one else wants to do.

In fact, you are more likely to land a job in the marketing department at Universal music by having a background with various digital marketing agencies or large companies than you would by specialising in music marketing.

My first realisation of this was when I met the Head of Marketing at BMG, who actually previously worked as a Marketing Executive as Unilever before taking the job at BMG. Once again, this person had transferrable skills which could be applied to the music industry, bringing new expertise in to the company.

Music Industry Logos

How much does the music industry pay?

It’s widely known that the music industry isn’t generating a huge amount of revenue like it used to, which has taken a hit on the smaller companies, so if you’re looking to earn huge amounts of money then the music industry really isn’t one for you. And entry-level job in the music industry is likely to pay £16k – £18k, and there’s a high likelihood you will have to live in an expensive city such as London, New York or Los Angeles.

Looking up Sony Music London on Glassdoor we can see the following salaries:

Entry Level:

Intern – £18,000 per year


Marketing Assistant- £24,000 per year


Marketing Manager – £40,000 per year

The highest paid recorded salary at Sony Music London was Legal Counsel at £64,000 which required a huge amount of expertise and education. To give you perspective, a Legal Counsel at Barclays bank will earn up to £132,000 per year.

This gives you an idea of the salaries available within the industry, and how similar skillsets will receive a higher salary in other industries, so you’re really doing this for the love of music!

Should you go to University for a career in the Music Industry?

It’s not just the music industry which is instigating this question, with University tuition fees dramatically increasing, potential undergraduates are now considering their options and wondering if gaining experience through work is the best option and this is especially the case in the Music Industry as we’ve seen the potential low salaries may never see you pay off your entire student loan.

There are several music business and music industry courses around, but we really wouldn’t recommend them because in your 3 years of studying you are merely going to get an introduction to every aspect of the industry, however very few job roles require you to have knowledge of the entire industry.

To succeed in the music industry you need to have a specialism, something that you are an expert at, have a willingness to learn and are able to instantly add-value to the company you are applying to join.

Trying to sell an employer on your Social Media skills because it was a module covered during the first half of your 2nd year at university just isn’t going to cut it, especially over applicants who have proven they know how to build a social media following, whether it is in music, travel or food, the skills will always be transferrable.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, such as going to University to study Law and Accountancy would still be beneficial as these topics require a full 3 years to learn.

First steps to getting in to the Music Industry

Instead of spending 3 years at University and leaving with eye-watering amounts of debt, the best way in to the music industry is to simply start working in the music industry. The barriers to entry are perceivably high, but that’s only because there’s so much competition for so few jobs at major labels, and smaller companies don’t employ many people, but the barriers to working in the music industry are incredibly low.

If you really want to follow your passion for music, find an artist or band who needs help with their music, whether it’s management, marketing, licensing or royalties, there will be so many things that an artist will need help with.

You can usually find a band’s email address on the ‘about’ section of their Facebook or Youtube channel.

Find an unknown artist who you really like and reach out to them saying how much of a fan of their music you are and if they’d need any help in certain areas. There aren’t many artists who’d turn down free assistance.

Here you can really begin to learn and execute as you go, slowly building your experience and reputation in the industry. After you’ve proven to get results, you now have a case-study to take with you in to job interviews proving that you have a skillset and track record. At this stage you may even decide not to apply for jobs and elect to go freelance which is a perfectly reasonable route too.

Vinyl Shop

How to apply for Music Industry jobs

Mistakes you probably don’t know you’re making

Expressing your desire to work in the music industry

There’s nothing more of a turn off for employers than stating in your cover letter your desire to work in the music industry. Your knowledge of music, the industry and love for the industry only makes up 5% of your job, the rest of your job is based on tasks which are not exclusive to the music industry, you could be working for any company, so employers are looking for people to have a passion for the work that needs to be done because the novelty of working in music will wear off in a matter of weeks.

Listing irrelevant jobs on your CV

This is probably the most frequent mistake we see in applications. On your CV employers are only interested in previous roles which are relevant to the job. If you are applying for a Digital Marketing role, then your previous customer service and retail roles only muddy your applications and take the emphasis away from the key points on your CV. If you don’t feel you have the relevant experience to fit the role, then list your hobbies and voluntary work which could be relevant.

Phoning them up to show you’re keen

I don’t know where this tip came from, but it appears to be something we get told to do by our parents and career advisors who say “call them up to have a talk about the position, and then it shows them that you’re a decent person and will be on your radar”. However, in 2019 we have so much more information available to help profile someone. Perhaps you have a blog or Linkedin profile, if one person is constantly sharing articles about the industry or even write their own content, that’s going to give you a far bigger advantage. There is nothing worse than receiving a call from someone who’d like more details about the job, but you haven’t seen their CV yet and judging by the other applications there’s only a 5% chance you’ll interview this person anyway.

What Should be on your CV

The key to writing the perfect CV is to keep it clear and easy to understand. In smaller companies the person whose job it is to review applications probably doesn’t want to be doing that task and has been asked to do it as a one-off. Not only this, because of the nature of job sites people can apply for jobs at a click of a button, which means there are floods of garbage CV’s filling up their inbox. This means the attention given to each CV is literally no longer than 5 seconds, so you don’t have time to tell your full story.

Your CV should only contain 2-3 key points which would be attractive to an employer. If you are applying for a creative role, then the employer will be more interested in your portfolio than your CV.

Be sure that the points are easy to read and are the first thing the employer will see. You can do this using bullet points in your cover letter, or have them as a summary at the top of your CV.

If you feel you don’t necessarily have the key points on your CV, you should take a step back, and spend a month learning the key requirements for the job. There are so many online resources where you can learn skills such as Youtube, Udemy and Cousera.

In my personal opinion, I would rather hire someone who has shown the initiative to go out and learn something new on their own, with no guidance from a university. This shows that if I need them to go and learn another new skill they have the ability to do it. It also demonstrates a desire to work in that industry rather than feeling obliged to complete a course because they’ve already paid for it.

Best Places to find a job

There many music-specific job sites available, here are our top 5 places to find jobs in the music industry.

Music Match

Now named Media Match, Music Match is the leading job site for the music industry. They also pull a lot of jobs from Indeed which are specific to the music industry to save you some time.


Music Match doesn’t get every job, so be sure to check Indeed too and subscribe to their notifications to get notified of new jobs with the keyword “music”.

Music Week

Music Week don’t usually post many jobs, but the jobs that do go live tend to be from the best companies in the industry, where you’re likely to see a job posting from Sony, Universal, Warner and more.

Handle Recruitment

Are the recruitment company who appear to represent most of the major labels for their marketing roles and often some other. They do create a further barrier to getting your CV considered as you have to pass their filtering process too in order to be shortlisted.


Linkedin is becoming an incredible tool for job searching, posting exclusive jobs as a direct feed from the companies themselves. Applying via your Linkedin profile can give you a head start, especially if you have maintained your profile and consistently demonstrated your passion for the jobs you are applying for.


Glassdoor are the newcomers to the online jobs board scene, which can give you a new level of detail to the jobs available, including estimated salaries and reviews from past employees on what it’s like to work at the company.

How to reach out cold to a company

Companies often get calls from speculative applicants hoping that they happen to have a position available. The chances of you calling up and there happens to be a position is very rare, especially in smaller companies.

Most people make the mistake of taking the approach of speculatively contacting companies with the approach of “do you have something for me?” ie you’re asking for them to give you a job. You should really be taking the approach of “Can I do something for you?”. If you’ve defined your skillset and know you can add-value to a company, make them an offer to apply your skillset and help them for a couple of weeks, not only are they more likely to take your application seriously, you will now be on their radar to secure a full-time job. You could be given 2 weeks to prove that you are somebody worth taking on and land your first job in the music industry.

Choose your Specialism

In order to really succeed in the music industry, you need to have a specialism, having music industry experience just isn’t enough. Choose one specific area of the industry you’d like to focus on and create a route-map to get there, and it doesn’t necessarily have to include the music industry from the very beginning, you could learn your skills at a digital marketing agency and have the music industry as your final destination.

Choosing the Music Industry first and your role second is a recipe for disaster.

5 Must-Have Target Areas for your Indie Rock PR Campaign

With indie rock being one of the most competitive fields in the music industry for promoting your music, we know just how hard it can be to get your music out there. With industry tastemakers getting increasingly harder to get hold of, radio stations playing more and more signed artists and the new Spotify submission form giving you no luck, this blog post is going to outline the perfect areas to target in your indie rock PR campaign, which will lead to you securing your target press, radio and playlist coverage.


You need to have all the necessary assets to run a successful music PR campaign. These assets include high resolution images, a private streaming link, social media links, an artist biography and artwork for the release.

Some of these assets are a lot more important for alternative rock bands than other genres such as high-resolution images. With so many indie rock bands releasing music every day, your image can be what gets your band noticed over the hundreds of thousands of others. You need high resolution images that suit the genre, your band’s style and the image you want to get across. This is the same with your artwork, make sure it represents the music you’re releasing as it’s what’ll be used on all digital platforms, as well as any online coverage that runs.

Kings of Leon Press Shot

Next up you need to pick a release date. Make sure to stick with this date and do not change it last minute as it’ll confuse fans and any press that has run prior, will be incorrect. Release dates usually fall on a Friday, so choose a Friday which isn’t too far away but isn’t a rush for release also, so have you time in the run up to focus on the promotion of the release. Book the release date in with your distributor first thing and then you can tick it off your to do list.


Writing the press release is going to be one of the hardest parts of your indie PR campaign as this is where you really have to sell yourself and the music. We know how difficult it can be, just like writing a CV, but the easiest starting point is to bullet point some key factors such as who you are, what you’re releasing, your musical history, career highlights and what you’ll be doing next.

The first paragraph of your press release needs to be the most enticing, engaging the reader so they read on and actually listen to the music you’re trying to promote. The first line should be something catchy such as “After Supporting The Sherlocks, indie rock band… return with new single….”. Obviously not every band has the credentials to have that as their hook, but you can still make it interesting, using past press, support slots or statistics to engage the reader.

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the actual body of the email, showing the headline is the make or break. We suggest writing the full press release first and then finding the headline from there. Make it powerful and unique so that anyone that reads it will know that you’re not just another indie rock band. For example, ‘After securing over 3 million Spotify streams on debut single, [insert band name] return with [insert song title]’ carries more weight than simply ‘[insert band name] return with new single [insert song title’].

As an indie rock band, it’s essential that you focus on standing out amongst the others, so we suggest replacing your name with another band’s name throughout the press release and if it’s still relevant, you haven’t made it specific enough to your band enough.


Now that you’ve got your press release, you’re ready to start your indie rock PR campaign. The easiest place to start is with online blogs. You’re going to focus on places that cover indie rock, so an easy starting point is using the platform SubmitHub.

Upload your single and all the information necessary, then tick the ‘Indie Rock’ genre and you will be given a list of blogs that cover indie rock artists. This is the easiest starting point as it will guarantee feedback from blogs and you don’t need to have any relationships built with the journalists already, so can be done by anyone. Unfortunately, this service isn’t free, but each blog only costs a couple of dollars so is worth it for the publicity.

SubmitHub indie rock submission

Regional coverage is also something that can be approached. If you’re an indie rock band from Cambridge, then look approaching the Cambridge Independent for an interview. Building fans in your local area and then growing from there is an important pattern to follow. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool so if you’re the biggest band in your town, you’ll soon become the biggest in your city and then hopefully your country! You can also cover regional press if you’re going on tour, even if it’s a small tour. Try to set a goal of securing one piece of press per tour date, this will not only get your name out there within each location but will increase ticket sales, which is always essential for an indie rock band.

Another tip for finding the right blogs is searching similar indie rock bands on Google to see which coverage they’ve secured. For example, if you think you have a similar sound and image to No Hot Ashes, you simply type in No Hot Ashes into Google, select ‘Tools’, ‘Any Time’ and ‘Past Year’ so you have up to date coverage, and approach the places that have covered that band. This way, you’ll know the publication likes indie rock and will potentially cover you.

No Hot Ashes Google search

5 Must-Have Blogs

Listed below are a few of our favourite blogs that are supportive of indie rock bands.


Next up you can pitch your track to radio. If you’re promoting an indie rock EP or album, then choose the strongest track. Make sure the track is not over 4mins and doesn’t have any swear words, otherwise a radio station won’t be able to play it.

Radio plugging can be a lot harder than online promotion, as producers and presenters are bombarded with tracks, hence radio pluggers can be so expensive as they have taken years to build relationships with these people. However, there are many stations that play indie rock and we’re going to explain how you can get played on those below.

Start with pitching to radio stations where you have regional links, similarly to online promotion. So again, if you’re from Cambridge, send your track to Cam 105 and if you’re from Manchester, send it to XS Manchester. As well as regional radio, you can look into student and online stations to build up your portfolio of plays, as there are many that cover indie rock.

Now you’ve secured a portfolio of plays, you need to upload to Amazing Tunes and BBC Introducing. These uploaders are the perfect gateway to national radio play, with Amazing Radio supporting emerging artists and BBC Introducing working as a springboard to BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and even 1. If your track is picked up by either Amazing Radio or BBC Introducing, you’ll be notified by email, so you can listen to it being played on air. Both platforms support indie rock bands, so this is the best possible way in to the nation radio stations.

BBC Introducing Uploader

5 Must-Have Radio Stations

Listed below are a few of our favourite radio stations that are supportive of indie rock bands.


With Spotify recently introducing their new submission process via Spotify for Artists, everyone has a chance of appearing on an Official Spotify playlist. In the past, getting your music in front of the correct Spotify editor was extremely difficult, especially if you’re an indie rock band with no contacts. With this new feature, you simply log into your Spotify for Artists account, select your unreleased song for playlist consideration and write a short pitch that will get submitted to Spotify’s team.

For it to appear on your Spotify for Artists, your distributor needs to have uploaded it before release date, so you may have to push them with this one slightly. Make sure you’re pitching around 4 weeks prior to release date, as this gives you the highest chances of success.

Spotify have noted that it’s also very important to submit as much information as you can, whilst keeping within the word limited. Use parts of your press release to explain your genre, influences and previous coverage you’ve received.

Not only will your track get listened to by Spotify’s editors for a potential playlist placement, but the song will automatically be added to all of your followers’ Release Radar playlists.


Doing your own indie rock music PR campaign isn’t impossible and can result in you dream press, radio plays and Spotify playlists but only if you invest the time and follow these steps. All of these tips are completely free and every suggested media outlet is 100% supportive of emerging artists, so make sure you’re pitching to those to secure coverage immediately.

7 Proven Steps to Reach 1m Views on your Music Video for 2019

Now that your track is mastered and release, you will be looking to get your music heard by as many people as possible. The level of reach you have will depend on your previous online presence and your current fan base. If you already have a fan base on your social media or followers on Spotify, then this is the perfect platform for you to grow exponentially. If you are just starting out, then this is still the best guide for you.

We’ve written this article to ensure you are in the right place before you go on to spend your hard-earned money on Music PR companies. This is every step we would take to get a band from 0 views or streams to their first 100,000.

In 2019, the way people consume music has changed dramatically, with over 45% of people listening to music via streaming services such as Spotify. So, using your mailing list and spamming to Facebook groups are outdated techniques.

Before you begin these steps, you need to identify your target audience to ensure the people who you are getting your music heard by have the potential to become lifelong fans of your music, rather than simply tricking someone to click your music video in order to increase your stream numbers.

These are our first steps to get your music heard and reach its full potential:

1. Reddit

Reddit is where most of the virals and stories you see on social media originate from, so this is the best platform to give your music the best chance of going viral.

Have you ever wondered where virals originate from?

Reddit Logo

Most things that go viral actually start on Reddit. Reddit is described as your “Front page of the internet”where people can submit links. Users then vote on these links as to how relevant and useful they are. This lends itself to be the best possible platform to launch your music to a new audience.

Reddit is a huge platform now and is broken down into subreddits, which are essentially topics and groups.

These are the best subreddits to post your music:







Each subreddit will have their own rules on posting, so be sure to follow them. Modesty also goes down well on Reddit, anything that says along the lines of “Best music video this year”will be downvoted in to oblivion. If you post your music and it doesn’t get any upvotes, try deleting the post and posting it again with a tweaked title 24 hours later, maybe you’ll catch people in a better mood.

2. Find people who have shared similar music videos

The best people to target are those who are fans of other artists, your fans aren’t going to come from nowhere, they are currently fans of other artists, so you need to identify which bands have a similar fan base to yourself and target their fans.

If you are an indie rock band and are looking to get more views on your music video, you can use lots of different search functions on social media to see people who have shared artists similar to you.

Catfish and The Bottlemen Sting tweet

For example, you could search Twitter for “Foster the People” or take their latest single and search the URL directly in to Twitter. Create a shortlist of all of the people who have shared that track, them DM them all saying something along the lines of…

“Hey, I noticed you shared the new Foster the People track, I absolutely LOVE that one.

Check out this track too, I hope you like it, and if you really love it feel free to share it! :)”

If you can get 10 people with 1,000 followers each to share your track, that’s a 10,000 person reach which has cost you absolutely nothing.

Bonus tip: If you have the budget, there is a fantastic online tool called Buzzsumo which allows you to search any link and it will show you who shared this link online and how many followers they have. Which makes finding people to share your music much easier.

3. Get your track added to another YouTube channel

I don’t think artists are utilising this one enough. Sometimes artists can be too precious about getting the views to their own YouTube channel, but our objective here is to get your music promoted to as many people as possible, if your music is good enough, they will find you and listen to your other songs.

Sam Fish Music YouTube channel

Almost every YouTube channel has a contact email address which allows you to submit your music, simply go to the channel and then the about section and click “view email address”.

4. Social Media

We know you’ve already done this, it’s the first thing most artists do when they release a new music video and want to promote it to the world, your own following is where it starts. But have you nurtured your followers enough for them to even see your posts?

As Facebook have changed their algorithm, you need to have a strategy already in place which is going to let Facebook know you have the potential to have high engaging content so it pushes your music video to a higher percentage of people who have liked your page. This is the same for all social media platforms.

You need to create a social media strategy which allows you to create posts which receive constant engagement, whether you are creating polls, challenges, blog posts or funny videos, it needs to be something which people can relate to and share.

We understand that as musicians this isn’t what you’d like to be doing, and may not come naturally to you, but unfortunately, the social media algorithms have forced us to go down this route in order to reach a larger audience.

5. Facebook ads

Facebook logo and icons

Following on from Social Media, I wanted to include this tip because Facebook advertising can work incredibly well, but we see so many artists making mistakes with Facebook ads for their music video that they may not realise their money is being burnt into thin air.

You need to think about your audience’s current frame of mind, and attention you give to sponsored posts when you scroll through your Facebook feed, how often do you stop and watch a sponsored video?

Because that is exactly how others are going to react to your music video. So, although Facebook can give you data which looks like incredibly high numbers, getting 100,000 views for as little as $300, what these views actually represent may be soul-crushing to you.

Facebook considers a view to being someone who watched the first 3 seconds of your video. That’s enough for people to simply scroll past and not even listen to a single note of your track.

If you are going to upload your music video directly to Facebook, you need to give people a reason to stop scrolling, turn their volume up and listen. You could do this by putting reviews on the video which validates why the video is worth watching, or you could put up a title such as “For fans of: Catfish and the Bottlemen”then promote only to Catfish and the Bottlemen fans.

If you really wanted to be clever, you could run Facebook ads for 3 different videos, with different bands mentioned. For example:

Video ad 1
“For fans of The Hunna”as the title promoted to The Hunna fans

Video ad 2

“For fans of Blossoms”as the title and promote to Blossoms fans

Video ad 3

“For fans of The 1975”as the title and promote to The 1975 fans and so on…

You could direct each ad to your YouTube video (this is a lot more expensive than a direct upload to Facebook), and you can be absolutely sure each view will be a potential fan of your music

6. YouTube ads

YouTube ads are an under-priced resource in marketing right now, not just for the music industry. What is fantastic about YouTube ads is how well you can target your audience, you can run your ad before other music videos or any other channels which may relate to your genre of music.

Why we love them so much is that you don’t have to pay unless someone either clicks through to your music video or they watch the full 30 seconds of your ad, so you really only have to pay if you get results.

You can set up your YouTube ad campaign by setting up a Google AdWords account and choosing a video campaign.

To set up a Youtube ad, simply go to your channel and enter the “Youtube Studio”. Find the video you’d like to promote and there will be a promote option. By clicking this you’ll be taken to Google Adwords where you’ll need to make an account in order to promote your music video.

7. Collaborations

Our final tip is to collaborate with others. If you are struggling to get views on your videos, you can plan ahead and offer to collaborate on a track with an artist or band who may have a bigger fan base than you right now, this will help raise awareness for your band and you can attract new fans from each other and have a 2+2=5 situation.

Remember if you are getting 10,000 views on your videos, don’t reach out to someone who is getting 1m views, look for an artist at the same level as you or slightly bigger, but you have to be able to offer them something, whether it is access to your fan base too, or perhaps money, but they won’t do it as a favour.

The Winners and Losers of the Music Industry | What has changed?

In the past 10 years, the way we consume music has changed drastically, yet musicians are still trying to promote themselves using the exact same techniques. Whatever your role in the music industry, it’s key you adapt with the times with the aim to get music placed where people are actually listening. In order for you to gain the most success in your music career, it’s essential you’re following the consumer statistics, watching out for new platforms and testing every new promotional technique you can. This blog post is going to break down the recent changes and explain how you can use them to your advantage, rather than complaining and feeling stuck.

Having worked in the music industry for multiple years, we’ve seen the major changes that have impacted musician’s lives, income and success. The consumption of music is nothing like it used to be, so our promotional methods shouldn’t be either.

Spotify Killed the Radiostar

The main change in the music industry, which is having huge impact, is how people are consuming their music. A recent study showed that in 2018, 55% of people listen to new music via video stream, 23% with paid subscriptions and 22% using free audio streaming. With consumption of music so different to what it was, the aim should be to focus on these new platforms where your audience will be. The Mid-Year Music Report revealed that in the first half of 2018, Americans streamed 403 billion songs, via video and audio services. That’s nearly 100 billion songs more than what they streamed during the whole of 2015, when streaming accounted for as much as half of US music revenue. Statistics don’t lie, and you can’t get around them, so instead you should be using this to your advantage and see streaming as a greater chance of success rather than a step back.

Going Viral Without A Promotor

Alongside streaming is the growth in social media. Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media, that means your music is able to have a potential reach of half of the world with a click of a button, and the best part is, it’s free. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free platforms for musicians to promote their music to as big an audience as they can draw in. 15 years ago, Facebook wasn’t even launched, meaning artists had to push their music using traditional promotional techniques such as sending their CDs to radio stations or magazine editors. Now, there are multiple social media platforms, with many features that can help in promoting your music e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and IGTV, which we’ll go into more detail later. People complain about the amount of social media platforms there are, how often they change and how sometimes you have to have a budget to get in front of the right audience but be thankful we have these free platforms in the first place, as you can’t complain about something that’s being given to you for free.

Instagram stories music promotion

Making Money Unsigned

Everyone is now able to get their music out there due to low cost distribution and again social media. With distribution dirt cheap or even free, any artist can have their music uploaded to streaming services, which was never before possible. Artists that wanted their music recorded and listened to use to have to have money, which quite often meant a large label behind them. Now, anyone can have their music online, giving all artists a chance of success. With it being easier to distribute music and streaming becoming more popular, this means revenue for artists is a lot higher too, with 2017 seeing music sales rise by 8.1 percent to $17.3 billion. For example, American singer-songwriter Vérité has made a living off of Spotify streams, stating, “the ability to make a living somewhere between starving artist and international pop/rock/other star has never been more within reach.” We’re in an era where unsigned artists don’t need to be doing stadium tours, be signed to a major label or have money constantly pumped into advertising, but instead can upload a track to multiple platforms and the money can start coming in.

Mix and Master From your Bedroom

Not only is the distribution low cost, but so is the digital production. Digital audio software such as Logic Pro, offers artists a complete professional recording studio from the comfort of their home. With time and effort, an artist can record and produce their own music, rather than needing a large budget to secure recording time, a producer, mixer etc. YouTube offers tutorials for everything an artist needs, allowing anyone to produce as much music as they can on a budget. There’s a massive rise in artists showing the world that a tune created on GarageBand can be just as popular as a studio produced, high budget track so why not be the next bedroom big name?

Say Goodbye to Ticket Touts

Streaming services have not only helped with revenue, but also live music sales, with Spotify generating $40+m in ticket sales in 2017. Global concert sales have hit a record high in the first half of 2018, with so many platforms offering the opportunity for artist to list their gig dates, popular platforms such as Spotify, Facebook and Google work in favour of the artist, leading to live music sales growth. Google recently released a new list of changing rules for websites that resell tickets, transforming the way tickets are sold, improving the experience for both the musicians and the fans, and YouTube partnered with Ticketmaster to sell concert tickets on artist’s video pages so all these platforms are working to your advantage.

NME Didn’t Stop Printing for No Reason

The transformation from paper to digital isn’t just a change we’ve seen in music but seems to be one of the most drastic within the music industry. With NME closing their print edition after 66 years, it was clear that the music industry no longer loved print like it did. The transformation to digital was huge, for years blogs dominated the music space on the internet. This took years for business models to change, with outlets such as Complex succeeding in the digital space because they created a model that made money off the web, unlike other areas that stuck to their old model, not diverting away from print. This is a similar issue again as this digital age is forever changing but not everyone can keep up. There are endless amounts of music blogs, just search the term ‘music news’ or ‘music reviews’ on Google and you’ll be there for days, but no one really knows what the next wave will be, that’s why it’s key you keep yourself up to date with this complicated evolution. With streaming services rocketing up, blogs have had to start creating playlists. With video streaming becoming so popular, blogs have begun to produce YouTube content to reach a larger audience. NME stated that as they are now only digital, they have to change their strategy to be profitable, with editor Charlotte Gunn saying, “As part of its strategy, NME will also look to incorporate sponsored and native content, start live events and expand their ticket offering”. But not everyone is adjusting with the times and those who don’t, will be left behind.


An individual that has started to hack this complicated, ever changing industry is Carl Hitchborn, CEO of High Time Records. Many of you won’t know who he is, maybe because he spent his early life as a baker, but now Hitchborn is the CEO of artist management house, record company, music publisher, merchandise, branding hub and independent concert promoter, High Time, best known for their success with The Hunna.

Hitchborn’s story is pretty crazy, but very representative of how the music industry now works, by being creative in this digital age. In an interview with Music Business Worldwide, Carl explained how he went about promoting The Hunna: “I went to Virgin, Lloyds and Barclays, got three new credit cards – £5,000 on each one. We made a 45-second sizzle video for no money, then in September/October 2014, we literally spent the entire £15,000 in seven days on social media marketing. And then it went boom.”

Basically, Hitchborn put a large budget behind Facebook advertising until you couldn’t ignore The Hunna anymore. Carl took everything he learnt from the bread making business and applied it to the music industry using 3 simple rules:

  1. Make sure the product is better than anyone else’s
  2. Don’t scrimp on the deal you cut your supplies, or it will impact their loyalty and motivation
  3. Target your marketing to your key captive clientele

The Hunna are currently sat at over 80 million Spotify streams, 307k Facebook likes and 77.4k Instagram followers. You can’t argue with that.

Carl Hitchborn is just one example of someone changing with the times in the music industry and proof that it’s necessary for success.

Start Dominating the Industry Today

You must use these changes to your advantage. I wouldn’t even call them changes, but more improvements to the music industry, offering all artists a fairer chance of success. Below is breaking down the main changes to the industry we discussed prior and looking into what you can do to take on these changes head first, pushing your music to the top.

Social Media

Let’s start with social media. As we’ve mentioned, social media is constantly changing, and although complicated, its complexity works to your advantage if you stay up to date. With Facebook’s new algorithm introduced in early 2018, which prioritises posts which create a meaningful conversation and display it to those who interact with you most, most people see Facebook as a lost cause for promoting their music – wrong. By creating a content strategy, pumping money into Facebook advertising like Carl Hitchborn and following an ongoing theme, Facebook is the perfect platform to get your music in front of the right people. The constant changes also mean that if you are on top of things, you can steam ahead of the other artists stuck in the past.

Alongside Facebook promotion is Instagram, who have recently introduced many features specifically beneficial for musicians. Firstly, we have IGTV, the new Instagram feature and app, which allows long-form videos. Tech experts are estimating IGTV to be a dominant player in the social media industry, meaning if you as an artist jump on this before others, you’ll be ahead of the game. You can create content for your existing followers, have your music video uploaded directly onto the platform and also look at influencer marketing, which we will discuss further below. Another feature recently introduced that’ll benefit musicians is allowing soundtracks on Instagram stories. You simply pick a song to play before you record a video and you can drag and drop the track onto your story like the sticker feature. This will allow fans to sing along to their favourite bands, have it in the background or simply promote the track as a sticker, giving artists immediate promotion.

You can read more on how to promote your music using social media here – http://www.burstimo.com/single-post/Promote-Your-Music-Using-Social-Media

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was unheard of just 10 years ago, now results of a national survey show 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by recommendations they see on socials. Influencer marketing is a phenomenon of modern marketing and should be a major focus point for the music industry, like it is for every other industry currently. 74% of people trust social networks to guide them to purchase decisions, so if you’re not working with influencers, you could be losing out to your competition.

Instagram currently leads as a global platform for influencer marketing, soon followed by YouTube, so these are the current focus platforms. With influencer marketing for musicians, you need to focus on what your product is, the music, and how influencers can promote it in a casual but effective manner. YouTubers are constantly on the lookout for non-copyright music, similar to Instagram stars with the new copyright rules, so simply message these influencers offering your music and whitelisting their channel. They’ll be getting something out of it, as much as you are. However, many influencers will be looking for payment, so set aside a budget, as it’s definitely worth it to get your music in front of a wider audience.