Independent Radio Promotion

Dan Pearson is the founder of Lakeside Entertainment Group, a company that specializes in talent management, radio campaigns, and artist development for independent and major artists across multiple formats nationwide.  His record career began nearly twenty years ago in the promotion department at Columbia Records where he worked on successful campaigns for Jessica Simpson, Beyoncé, John Mayer, and many others.  He then went on to hold executive positions at Universal Motown, Virgin Records, MTV Networks, TVT Records, Glassnote, and S-Curve Records.  He’s worked with and developed a wide range of artists including Pitbull, Duran Duran, Secondhand Serenade, We The Kings Andy Grammer, and countless others.

 

MC:

What exactly does your job entail?

 

DP:

As the owner and head of the company my job entails everything from scouting new artists, to working with labels, booking events, getting music played on the radio, and creating any opportunities for our clients that advance their brand, fan base, and careers.

 

MC:

Other than the quality of the music, what else is radio looking for when considering adding an artist?

 

DP:

There are many factors that contribute to getting a radio station to support your music.  First, the song has to sound competitive, have lyrics that grab you, and a hook that you can’t get out of your head.  Bottom line, the song has to have hit potential to be seriously considered.  The next thing radio looks for is if the song is already reacting on Spotify, YouTube, or any of the other digital platforms.  Does your song have ten streams or ten million?  If fans are already finding the music and reacting to it then that’s a good sign and will help your pitch.  A loyal fan base and touring history is also very important especially in the local market that you are focusing on.  Finally, the quality of the artist themselves and the team around them is important.  Having an artist that is willing to put in the work, will support the station, and be engaging and genuine with their listeners is key.  They also want to know that the team supporting the campaign is in it for the long haul and has a real plan for long-term success.

 

MC:

Are there differences between the strategies for promoting to different radio formats?

 

DP:

There are some differences to promoting music at the different formats, but the basic principles are the same.  We work all of the major formats including TOP 40, HOT AC, Alternative, AAA, and Country among others.  The goal is to get the taste makers and program directors excited about the artist and project by coming up with a creative way to get their attention, get them to listen and react, convince them to believe, and then find a way to get your shot!

 

MC:

What advice would you give an artist looking to approach their local radio station for support?

 

DP:

The advice I would give would be to be respectful but persistent.  Build your local fan base and give them a reason to root for their home town band.  Every local station takes pride in breaking local acts, but they have to believe you have the potential to break through!

 

MC:

What advice would you give someone looking to hire a consultant like yourself?

 

DP:

For someone looking to hire a consultant or company in the music business I’d advise them to do their homework.  Check out the website, resume, and credentials of the person you are looking to hire.  Set up a phone call or a meeting to discuss your vision and goals and get a feel for that person’s creditability and style. I credit a lot of my success through the years to the chemistry of the team I was on at that time.  A group of people working together with one common vision is the best path to success in my opinion.  I’d also remind them that this team is going to represent you, so you want to make sure it’s a person, or group of people that reflect your values, work ethic, and project overall.

 

MC:

What should artists reasonably expect from a radio campaign?

 

DP:

There are many different types of radio campaigns and we work each artist and client to meet their goals and manage their expectations.  For example, some artists want to focus on a regional campaign and get played on their local stations to create a buzz.  Others want to do a radio promo tour and visit and perform for stations throughout the country. And then there are others that want to launch a full-on national campaign and compete with the major labels and releases.  No matter that the approach though it’s important to realize that it all takes time.  A lot of the “overnight success stories” are years in the making.  Given our background we are able to do it all and it really comes down to putting together the right plan for reach artist.  Our goal is always to expose the artist, give our best advise based on our experience and relationships, and create opportunities for them to be heard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Us
Fill out the form below if you have questions and would like to hire a professional to help with your music career: