To continue our series on FAQ’s by clients, today we tackle the unfortunate occasion when a single is not released to radio on the date touted by the original announcement. This can be frustrating when you confirm an act based on the forecasted release date with the hopes that the success of the single will boost ticket sales. We’ve all heard reasons clouded in mystery for pushbacks and delays. Thus, we seized the opportunity to speak with a real live radio promotions representative (“promo rep”), Amara Hall of Reviver Records, who dished on life in the trenches. First, a quick lesson on promo reps. Record labels hire promo reps to maintain relations with radio programmers, earn their trust and their ear to get the latest and greatest single from their label’s artists played on radio. Each record label has “a promotion team who is responsible for knowing these people, these gate keepers of radio, like the backs of their hands,” says Hall.
“Moving a release date back can be strategic. Add day is a big day in promotion world. It’s why we bust our [bleep]…to make a good impression on radio, on our label, and on the artist. We want it to be impactful. Moving the date can be as simple as …. ‘oh we picked February 22nd until we figured out that Blake Shelton was going for adds the same week – then we moved the date.’ Do you want to go up against Blake? I sure don’t,” Hall explains. Choosing an alternative date may not always be simple. Other well established artists may be releasing within that time frame and circumstances can change from the time the original release date was selected to the time it became apparent a change would be necessary.
“There are many variables to consider when asking, why the release didn’t come out on time. Timing is everything … Timing is the difference between being heard and seen and just being another guy or girl who didn’t make an impression. Record labels analyze a number of variables. For new artists, if there is a new comparable artist that launched around the same time, they will likely hold the launch and postpone the release date,” says Hall.
While we have barely scratched the surface of the world of radio promotion, perhaps this glimpse can explain a thing or two you may have not considered.