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Insiders Tip On Promoting Your Band

  03/01/11 22:59, by , Categories: Music News, BFMN Exclusive, Ed Lapple, Take It From Me , Tags: arcade fire, edward lapple, hollywood reporter, lady ga ga, national public radio, npr
Edward Lapple

How does a band get a break these days? Where can you get the airplay that you need to get known? Sure, you’re Internet-hip, you can put it on YouTube. Of course, unless you have a secret plan for driving people to your video, it’s probably going to be like you are a tadpole that has been hurled into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I know, Lady Ga Ga has almost a billion hits, but if you only get 57 just how much promotional good has it done you?

Don’t despair. I’ve got a hot tip for you that just may help you out. This has worked for bands like Coldplay, Arcade Fire, Florence + the Machine, Vampire Weekend, Phoenix and Band of Horses. It’s NPR, National Public Radio. Over the past ten years, NPR has been an amazingly good place to get a new act showcased. Arbitron states that NPR has an audience of over 34 million radio listeners and a huge Internet following as well. Three of the acts listed above were nominated for Grammy awards this year and each of those acts went from NPR to the mainstream media.

NPR was founded on February 24, 1970, it had been created by the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. Its first broadcast was in April of 1971 covering the Senate hearings on the Vietnam War. Today NPR’s Network boasts over 800 stations carrying its programming.

Keith Berman of RAMP (Radio and Music Pros), an industry tipsheet said, “NPR is appointment listening. The devotion and engagement level is higher.” It is proven that getting played on NPR sells more of your music than being played on commercial stations. 59 percent of NPR listeners are active music fans, 68 percent are more likely to attend a concert and 83 percent are more likely to purchase “alternative” music. These people are serious about their radio station and they support the artists that are played there.

If you can secure a booking for your band to appear on one of NPR’s shows, the exposure can be incredible. The hosts talk to the group and play their music and the audience gets to know them; that equals sales of the band’s musical product. It is difficult to get this type of national exposure anywhere else. On most of the later-night shows, the host no longer even talks with the bands while they are on the air.

I do want to let you know that this is not the best-kept secret in the world. Sure, I’m just telling you and I’m not going to spread it around, but the word is out. I got most of my info from The Hollywood Reporter and we all know what blabbermouths they are. But we have been talking about National Public Radio. There is no reason that a small local band can’t do this in a local market that has an NPR station in it. The all have locally originated shows and if you approach those local DJs and talk to them nice, you should be able to get you some airplay. The more people who know about your band and are familiar with your music, the better chance you have of “Making It.” What are you waiting for? Get after it!

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