This is a guest post from The Unsigned Guide, an online music industry contacts directory & career guide produced specifically for emerging bands, artists, music managers, producers & anyone trying to make a living from music.
Reaching UK waters with your music is not as unachievable as you may first think! You may not have the funds and resources to journey over in person as yet, but don’t let that stop you spreading your music to further horizons.
Getting your music out to the masses
Thanks to the marvels of the internet it is no longer necessary to have a distribution deal in the traditional sense to get your music onto the likes of iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and eMusic. The major bonus with these digital stores is that you are not limited by territories so your tracks can be listened to across the globe. Find a digital distributor, carry out some research into the stores they can get your track into, enquire about the royalties you will earn and any cut the distributor may take, plus the length of time it will take for your release to be live in the stores. It can take up to 8 weeks for your music to be available digitally but this will allow time for you to orchestrate a campaign to draw the eyes & ears of the UK music industry to your release. This is where the trickier work begins, but it is certainly far from impossible – all you need are the right contacts.
Reaching radio & press contacts
The UK has many radio stations with specialist programmes and shows dedicated to unsigned & emerging music and most will welcome demos; you just need to know the producers and presenters to target. Many UK stations stream their shows live across the internet or have ‘listen again’ options on their website, so it’s always worthwhile tuning in and making sure your music fits the bill. Certain regional radio stations are always very happy to play music from local bands. Obviously, if you’re not from the UK this can be a little tricky but use your imagination a bit. Do any of your band members have links to a particular part of the UK that you could maximise on? If not, you could always make something up!
Although it can be harder getting coverage in the UK press on a national scale, there are plenty of smaller, specialist and well-respected publications you can try. However, an easier approach may be to get in touch with the many new music blogs and websites to get a buzz started. As with contacting radio stations, it always pays to do your research. Scour the blogs for reviews of bands & artists making music of a similar ilk and then see if you can get in touch with the writers and reviewers directly. This method of approach is often more fruitful than submitting your music to a general email contact. If you’ve already had some positive feedback and press quotes in the US, then this could certainly stand in your favour so make sure you include this when you make contact.
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Get ur Tweet on!
Ah, the joys of Twitter! Chances are you’re already using social media to the max to promote your music…and if not, why not?! But have you considered using it to help establish some UK music contacts? You could start by tracking down an equivalent band based in the UK with a similar sound and then look through their followers and the Twitter types they are following themselves, to see who is into their music and who they are actively promoting it to. You may just stumble upon some good contacts, and obviously Twitter is perfect for a direct route of communication so you can obtain an email address and get in touch with further information about your music. Once you have gained a few overseas contacts, Twitter is also a simple and effective way to stay in touch, keep them updated with what you’re up to and hopefully create a longer term connection.
How do I get started?
The internet is a wonderful tool to start your research into finding relevant UK music contacts, but if you want to save yourself lots of time and put your effort into your release, then signing up to The Unsigned Guide is the perfect way to arm yourself with all the UK music industry info you need! The Unsigned Guide contains a mammoth directory with over 8,750 UK music contacts from all sectors of the music business. When self-releasing your music, our Selling & Distributing Your Music section will help you track down suitable digital distributors and stores. Our Media section will also be particularly handy as it encompasses contacts for Radio Stations including online stations & new music podcasts, National & Regional Press, Online Magazines & Blogs and much more.
Beyond the contacts, The Unsigned Guide is also packed with useful articles and blogs helping you get to grips with how the UK music industry operates including advice on how to get radio airplay, approaching music companies, self-releasing an album, and loads more, all provided by experienced industry professionals & organisations. Our DIY Doctor is also on call to annual members of The Unsigned Guide, so overseas bands & artists can take advantage of his expert advice to assist with moving their music careers forwards in the UK.
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