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Using Videos for Radio
By Bryan Farrish
Many times, beginning bands that get a hold of some money
($50,000+) try to put out a video. There is nothing wrong with
the intent, it's just that the timing is off. What these bands do is
put all their money into the making of their CD and video, and
have nothing left for promotion. I've already heavily covered how
the promotion of a CD is more important than having the CD in
the first place; now I'll say the same thing about the video:
Having a video (or even 1000 copies of that video) is irrelevant if
it does not get promoted to TV music channels. Having the
video... but only having it on your hard drive or on the web... is of
no use at all, for radio.
Why? Because no one will see it. The few people that do see it
(less than a couple hundred people) is not enough to cause
anything to happen. Widespread awareness requires that
several hundred thousand viewers see it, and this can only be
accomplished by having a video on "local" cable music channels
around the country; the web just can't do it for you yet. The
video channels I'm referring to are the local cable music
channels/shows that most cities have, as opposed to MTV and
And this is where the "timing" issue arises. It costs a lot to
promote a video, and putting that promotion money into the video
BEFORE you put it into radio is the mistake that some bands
make. Remember, only commercial regular-rotation radio sells
large quantities of CDs... even major labels concede that videos
don't make any money in and of themselves... the videos just
help build awareness through the cable video channels. So if
you are going to make a video, only do it if you have enough
budget left over to promote to radio first, and video second.
Video promotion costs about the same as non-commercial radio
or specialty/mixshow radio.
If you are going to go the video route, there are some additional
things the video can be used for in addition to the cable video
channels. The first use is to send a DVD copy to each radio
station that you are promoting the CD to (yes, you MUST use a
DVD copy... CDrom copies on your album are not taken
seriously). A good time to do this is when your video is airing on
the local cable channel in the same city of that radio station.
This is because you not only interest the station more, but it gives
them more to talk about on the air since they know the video is
available for their listeners to view at that moment.
The second (more obvious) use of a video is to send it to the
press, to give them an idea of what your show is all about. A
third use is to send it to clubs when attempting to book. A fourth
use is to offer it for sale at your gigs.
So if you do have the budget, and if you handle your timing right
(by starting with radio and then pushing video,) you will have a
very strong case for good sales and gigs in the particular markets
that you are airing in.
Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion is an independent radio airplay
promotion company. 310-998-8305 or 818-905-8038 or
www.radio-media.com. If you live in Los Angeles and want to be
informed of any events, seminars or parties we do, email
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what town you are in, and put
"Request" in the subject.