Do Artists Get Paid When Their Songs Are Played on the Radio?

One of the most effective and popular channels for music promotion is the radio. Over the years, the radio has been one of the most important promotional tools for all kinds of artists. However, many artists – especially those beginning their career – may wonder how much money can they get for playing their music on the radio. The Los Angeles music promotion team at Planetary Group invites you to keep reading as we discuss this critical question.

How Much Money Do Artists Get for Their Songs?

Many times, when people hear a smash hit on the radio, they tend to think, “Wow, this artist must be making a ton of money!” The fact that an artist’s music is played many times a day for several weeks doesn’t mean that they are getting a ton of money because of it. As a matter of fact, the reality is often the opposite. As it stands today, artists who get played on radio stations will not see a dime out of their exposure. In other words, as an artist, you will likely get zero dollars no matter how many times your song plays on the radio.

This may sound contradictory since famous artists make significant revenues from their productions. However, while this is true to a certain extent, that money does not come from the radio. If you are a songwriter or singer, you will likely get paid what is known as royalties for every time your song goes up on the radio. This is because U.S copyright law protects the work of the composer, making him or her the primary recipient of dividends stemming from radio promotion. In other words, as a songwriter, you are entitled to get compensation every time the radio station plays your song.

On the other hand, if you are only a performer – lead singer, backup singer, or player – you will not get paid regardless of how many times “your” song hits the airwaves. This has been subject of intense debate over the years and still generates discussion, especially among performing artists.

The scene is different when it comes to Internet radio. Normally, Internet radio pays everybody, including composers, singers, and performers. While some may argue that their payment formulas are convoluted at best, they still offer something traditional radio can’t: payment to the artist regardless of who composed the song.

Why Should You Consider Radio as a Promotional Tool?

Despite the fact that you may not get paid for having your song on the air, the radio still offers a unique opportunity to engage with your fan base in ways other media can’t match. The immediacy and impact radio can have over a specific demographic brings an excellent opportunity to get your music out there. One of the reasons why you should always consider radio as part of your music promotion efforts is exposure. Despite its long years of existence, radio has proven time and time again why it still exists and remains a relevant music source.

Another reason why you should always consider radio is its ability to generate buzz. If you deliver a notable musical performance, you are likely to impact people and reach potential fans every time the radio station plays your music. This can not only help you establish a presence in popular culture, but it can also help you generate buzz around any upcoming performances.

Also, remember that your musical career is a product, and that the music industry is a business. While music is your passion and it is what you do, you should never entirely separate the artistic from the business side of the equation. Presenting yourself as a reputable artist and establishing a strong bond with your target audience via radio stations is vital to increasing your chances of getting air time and sharing your work with the fans.

The fact that you may not receive payment for your radio exposure – unless you are the composer of the song – doesn’t mean you should discard the idea of reaching out to radio stations. A knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled music promotion team can help you get your music played on the radio and reach your musical goals.

Los Angeles Music Promotion Company Handling Radio Promotions

If you are looking for a music promotion company that can help you design a tailor-made radio promo, Planetary Group can help. For more than 15 years, we have helped hundreds of artists reach their musical goals. Thanks to our experience within the industry, we can offer strategies that will boost your career. In addition to radio promotion, our Los Angeles-based company can also provide consulting, online promotion, events/festivals promotion, digital marketing, and additional services aimed at helping your career develop. To learn more about all our services and how we can help you with your next artistic project, call Planetary Group at (323) 952-5050 today.