The digital era has opened numerous doors for us, indie artists. Besides having more control about where and we sell our product, a bigger field of promotion, etc. we can reach a wide audience easier than artists used to 10 or 15 years ago.

Lots of artists start with big dreams of being played in terrestrial radio & this is where they will start trying to get their music played. Well, let me tell you this is one of the most difficult parts of promotion, almost impossible… that’s why I say… start small. Podcasts & Internet radios are the best & faster way to go… With luck & a good product terrestrial radio will come in the future.

Online radios are simply that, radios that work online & in a streaming base. Some of them (the bast majority of them) work only online & some others also broadcast terrestrially.

On the other hand we have podcasts. The podcast term was born from the contraction of  Public On Demand & Broadcast. A podcast is something similar to a radio show, but in an mp3 form. Listeners are normally subscribed to them and they receive the mp3 of the new shows in their iTunes or iPod. There are different kind of podcasts, not all musical.

Of course, we are interested in the musical ones, since they’re the ones that could potentially play your music & get your more followers or fans.

– Where can I find a list of podcasts?
There are several way to find podcasts, one of them is iTunes, however, the best thing to do is to visit specialized websites with podcast lists, a lot easier to browse. Here are some of the ones I visit:

– What’s the best way to introduce yourself to the radio hosts/podcasters?
The best thing is to contact them directly, introducing yourself and explaining your story. Online radio hosts & podcasters are normally people just like you, who like music, so they usually  love to receive personal messages. However, before you send an email out to them, here’s a few things you should have in mind:

– Make sure your music fits in the podcast/radio you’re going to contact: As I said before, there are different kinds of podcasts, not only music podcasts, so make sure it is before you contact then, also make sure that your music genre fits with theirs. Podcasters/Hosts receive hundreds of emails everyday, so they don’t need their time wasted having to listen to music that doesn’t fit their show. I recommend for you to go to their website and listen to their last podcast to make sure your music fits in their mold.

– Don’t send your mp3 directly to the host, without introducing yourself: Don’t spam & saturate the hosts’ emails. DON’T SEND MP3s TO THE PODCASTER UNLESS THEY ASKED YOU TO. I advice for you to send them an email with your introduction, inviting them to listen to your music in a website where you have it streaming, such as  Reverbnation, MySpace, Soundcloud, etc. This will give them the chance to listen to your music and decide if they want to play it on their show. Only then, if they ask you to, you can send them the mp3.

– Add your most important information in the email body: Introduce yourself in about 2 paragraphs, hosts don’t have much time to read long emails and, if they are interested in your story, they can always visit your official website or social networks. Once they’ve asked you to send your mp3, you can add more information about it: title, release date, where you can buy it, etc.

– Don’t send your mp3 without encoded information: When they was you for music, don’t send it like this: “Track 1.mp3″.  Make sure the mp3 is properly encoded, for example “IreneB-Forgive_Me_Now.mp3″ (I recommend not to include spaces in the title, because it might get truncated), that way the host will be able to find your mp3 easily. Also, make sure it includes all the encoding (you can add the metadata via iTunes or other similar programs). Your ISRC code should also be encoded in the mp3.

– How is it possible to crossover from online to terrestrial radio?
DJs or hosts in terrestrial radios don’t usually have freedom to play whatever they like, they are under the demands of music directors (who are, at the same time, playing whatever advertising or payola money “tell” them). However, a lot of these DJs have their own online radio or podcast where they have total freedom on what they play. If they like your music, they might be more prawned to try to convince the terrestrial radio music director to give your music a shot. If you’re lucky and are added in the playlist of these stations, you can always have your fans calling and petition your music to be played.