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Radio play - waste of time ?

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Davesax1965 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 17 2017 at 03:40
As a quick question - is radio play now a complete waste of time for musicians ?

I've been played a lot on various radio stations, including prog specific ones. I don't think it's ever resulted in a sale, although I have made a lot of good friends through it, for which I am very grateful. 

Mind you, I don't really promote my music any more: I just write for my own amusement. 

Anyone else have a similar experience ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 22 2017 at 11:28
Hi,

I'm a writer, so please bear with me, because there is a similarity with what you are asking and what I do. I am not clamoring for fame, and acceptance, and that means, to me, that if it got played on radio, or someone's show on the net, I would not mind, or spend my time thanking the heavens that someone knows I was alive for a moment etc etc etc. 

I write for me, and what I see and understand. Many will disagree and find different points of view, however, when you and I look at the same tree, we do not see the same thing, and we have to accept those differences, however small they are.

I've given up, a long time ago, trying to satisfy and create something simply because it had some "value" that I felt was important. I, have not, for 40 years, written by that standard. I am a totally intuitive and "ad-lib" writer, and will only pen the "visions" and the "non-rem dreams" that are way out there, that have nothing to do with any ideas or opinions by myself or anyone out there. This is what I see and I merely try to "translate" that inner language.

Now, you must remember that I had a very well known father whose name is listed in Portuguese Literature for his achievements, and while his work itself was not about "appearances", pretty much everything else was, and in his later years, his talks and taped readings were full of crazy stuff that clamored ... attention. His fame, however, hurt the children a lot, specially the older ones that were affected by the country change from Brazil to America ... not to mention the previous one from Portugal to Brazil.

A lot of my writing came to me, by way of a country change ... coming to America at 15 and not speaking a single word of English, left me with ten formative years of INNER attention, because the communication to the outside was horrendous and pathetic, to the point of even hurting personal relationships without knowing or understanding why. I simply had no words for it, and could not express what I needed to say and felt!

IF, and WHEN, any of my work becomes appreciated, I will bow and say thank you and look up at the heavens and applaud the angels laughing out loud and rolling on their little bellies, that someone got something out of it. I will have a drink to their health! My only drink other than water and a soda now and then!

It's hard to not be a "cynic" about this, as people think I am. I'm much more of an "inner sentimentalist" than anything else, specially in regards to many inner experiences, all of which are consistently written about and evaluated ... but their truth and stated presence, has never changed ... and to me that is the "compositional" element in my work ... the only one. It has nothing to do with grammar, people, ideas, or concepts ... I write first and consider what it might mean afterwards ... I can not conceive an idea, and then go write it ... it simply is not how I work. I write it, and then find ... oh my gawd ... that's an interesting concept and idea!

I have spent in my earlier days directing actors in theater, and this was a very good thing to do with them, in rehearsal in preparation for their performance, and I have always believed that this is important for any musician, writer and artist out there ... however, just as I say that I meet yet another person that worships the notes and the chords, and thinks that Am is sad ... and can not figure out how to play it so it is not sad!

Hope this helps ... may sound weird and strange, but it is the best I can explain it ... but no concepts or ideas for me and my work, If there is one, it is the outside reader/listener that found it, not me! And for me, that is the definition of "art", that best explains all the feelings that I get when I meet it, or it meets me! It shakes you goodddddddd!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 06:26
Thanks, Mosh, that's a really nice reply and I have to agree with you. 

One of my all time music heroes recently heard my music, so I did him a free copy of my entire discography. That put a huge smile on my face, and his. Some things money can't replace. ;-)

I find radio play is usually a total waste of time for reaching an audience, however. Unless it's highly specialised. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 09:04
To be honest I don't listen to the radio but I sometimes listen to random bands on Spotify and that has resulted in me buying a number of CDs, so I would have thought the same thing applied to people listening on the radio, especially prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 10:14
So did I. ;-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 13:38
Hi,

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

Thanks, Mosh, that's a really nice reply and I have to agree with you. 
...

Thanks a bunch. I'm just happy to find there are others in this universe that also have similar sentiments! AND, they are artists!

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

...
One of my all time music heroes recently heard my music, so I did him a free copy of my entire discography. That put a huge smile on my face, and his. Some things money can't replace. ;-)

A treat ... well deserved. One of my screenplays, was written out of a series of dreams and it was dedicated to Nicolas Roeg and Theresa Russell. I have no idea if they read it, or thought about it, but the writing style was in a sort of way, similar to his filming style ... it just flows and time has no say in his film, specially the early ones. As for Theresa, I can not say. It was just a feeling. 

However, I did not realize until AFTER I finished writing it that it had elements that could be found in Nic's films. Mostly, I thought about Luis Bunuel and his cutting style that always went inside a person's head, and then came out, and of course, everything was different now! 

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

I find radio play is usually a total waste of time for reaching an audience, however. Unless it's highly specialised.

There has been, and was, some great radio ... however, it was all done during the days that radio and tv were not bought out by corporate interests, which took ALL the local folks out of the equation, and that included your and mine tastes and our friends. You might check out the "Space Pirate Radio" thread on this board, for some amazing radio stuff Guy Guden did, and I wish that there was a way that some of the shows he did could be shared around ... what he did, will never be done again, or heard anywhere else ... even with the Internet stuff, these days, all you get is fanboys (not many girls, either! No wonder prog is not favored by them, right?) ... and the whole thing is just so manipulated towards the top ten and the better known work, because folks are afraid of losing an audience. Audiences come and go and the women might be thinking of Michelangelo ... who gives a fudge? Move on! Do something ... so instead you get some megalomaniacs on Sirius and other places, making it look like they are bigger and more important than you or I, and their work is vacuous. So empty. And the talks to some of the musicians, are so poor and meat-less, that it makes me wonder where did these folks learn, and went to school to be stupid. It was sort of like that Italian interviewer talking to Gary Green (Gentle Giant) and explaining to Gary what "progressive" was and it's definition ... I have never heard anything so bad and so ridiculous in my life ... specially in front of Gary Green.

All in all, it is left for folks like you and I to bust the mold ... and there is no other choice. Guy, I think, is no longer interested, and I think his musical background in relation to radio is long gone, and I'm guessing due to health issues ... his blog has been empty for almost 4 months now ... and in the process, we need to help the new musicians and folks explain their art and how they see it ... not what it was supposed to be, which is the HUGE mistake in the whole process ... this is the difference between Guy's many interviews of which I have one, but can not share ... Robin Williamson (Incredible String Band) ... and you not only get to listen to a "person" and an "artist", but also a very cool and funny time on the air.

This does not exist on the air these days ... and it will not come alive, until we do it. I sometimes think that we use PA as our edification that we are prog-nauts!  
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the inner art is all about!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 15:40
A local band I worked for (on the side, in the mid 1980's) had built up a base of fans locally by gigging in pubs etc and produced a great demo tape. They got an opening spot on a local 'Radio One' roadshow (on the Beach!); they really thought, 'that's it, we've arrived'. Two tracks played on radio one and that was it.. nothing, just back to provincial band doing the pubs and clubs of the south west.. and the inevitable split. These guys were all professionals and radio play did nothing for them back then when radio was still king.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 16:38
Don't know about radio-play, but radio plays are great; an old school artform that still has life.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2017 at 07:23
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Don't know about radio-play, but radio plays are great; an old school artform that still has life.


LOLClap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2017 at 07:38
Been played quite a fair bit on prog specific radio. No problems there. Well, not many sales, but lots of nice comments and I made a lot of friends, which was really nice. 

THEN I get all my free stuff pirated by student radio stations. ;-))))

If you're not aware, student radio stations trawl Bandcamp and other sites for free music. They download this and use it as space filler for radio shows. So you get played by idiots to idiots who are usually listening to crappy rap or EDM tracks. After this happens a few times, I drop a polite mail to a Belgian radio show saying yes, the music is free, but it's still copyright, if you could ask permission, that would be appreciated. 

DJ comes back, she's about 20 and full of herself. "How dare you send me a mail like that when I'm doing you a favour by playing your music ?? !!!!! I am going to tell you now that your copyright is worth sh*t in Belgium, as are your royalties. So I'll do what I want". 

Literally and verbatim. Hence me pulling free music off the website. ;-)))))


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 21:15
Hi,

The freemusic side of things is always a tough bit ... I think that you have to "share" some of the pieces, and not necessarily the others. If Bandcamp and others are allowing the distribution of it, they are the ones that should be sued, I imagine, however, this is where I might question its inclusion in any information about a band, and its music ... if they abuse the process, why not send bandcamp owners a nice lawyer letter demanding the removal of all your music from their website, and that if any more distribution of the music continues that they will be served.

There were, in the 70's and 80's, some issues with bootlegs and they were also a problem. I would not want to deprive ANY artists of their chance and ability to put another dinner on the table for the wife and the kid! But something along the way here, is strange ... the best selling bootlegs were from a couple of bands that did not give a damn about things, and one of them encouraged it. And eventually started selling the recordings 2 or 3 days right after the concerts so you could have them in a better quality and a special memory with it ... you were there!

The fear and the bad stuff around the bootlegs started with the record companies, and since by the end of the 70's they were already about to finish buying out all the FM stations and turn them into commercial enterprises of a corporate nature (in America! -- not that it already wasn't in a way!), then the "evil" and the "bad" was the illegal this and that. But there were many bands that made their fame in concert ... Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and The Who, and the Grateful Dead, were some of the greatest examples ... they shook your knees and gonads silly, and having a bootleg was a small memory of what you saw and experienced.

I think, to deal with the dual nature of the sword in this case, that one needs to have a portion of free stuff, and the rest private or on CD and in a protected environment legally, so if Bandcamp lists the CD and shares those songs, it is obvious that they took it from the CD and kaboom, they need to get nailed. But allowing for some material, might make better sense for the fans and a chance for others to know what is being done by that artist.

I, personally, always loved the album cover and still allow it a large amount of "tell" in my decision to buy something ... there is very little I have bought because of the listens on the internet, mostly because I did not find them that great anyway ... not to mention that some things listed are simply not available any more, and you wonder what they were like.

In the early days, Guy Guden and his shows, in Santa Barbara probably were the greatest listen, because his list, by the end of the year was already past 500, something that most radio can not do or even conceive, and most folks on the radio, don't even have the talent to listen to enough music to even KNOW what they could or should play. It was amazing how many LP's (and now probably CD's) are sent to radio stations, the dj's and air folks not only will never hear them, or play them ... and most of them really have no idea that there is music elsewhere other than the top ten they are used to cueing up every time! Ohh, excuse me ... they cue up the young girls, instead, with look up the skirt contests!

I have not heard, from Guy's comments and stories of any musicians complaining about getting their material heard, and if you check his blog, you might even read about someone driving down 101, and all of a sudden hearing their music ... on this side of the world ... what a nice ... wow ... that really was, and became for both the artist and Guy ... making a friend forever, and the number of folks that not only did a nice ID for him, is insane and a rarity all around.

Is that good? It might not be on the sales side of things, but inside your guts, it feels too good to pass up. And I am not in that kind of situation to be able to speak better, and I have had a screenplay stolen and those folks will never be able to use it, and there are lawyers that are keeping tabs on those folks and their work ... and those folks know. But the girl's attitude is wrong, and I would have stated it differently, and if you said no, there are others that want to be played and heard ... and there would be no harsh feelings, hopefully.

Internet radio, has a chance to improve things ... with the artists, but it won't happen until the record companies and the corporate structures get taken down some more, and their numbers are less relevant to a corporate structure that is the major problem right now ... the top ten is a corporate structure to ensure that folks like DaveSax can not benefit ... and of course, at times, how do I know what he sounds like, is what many folks would ask, as I have before to many. At this point, many of those "distribution" sites are using their database as a copy of the corporate structure and it would not surprise me to find that many of them are privately funded by many of these corporations!

It's the same thing for every artist out there ... it has to be seen, so folks find out about you. But, yeah, I imagine that once in a while there are some folks that are probably making some money under the table for what they do, and they will likely tell you where to stuff it, because they get money from somewhere else, and they would not care what you think. You may have to just sit that one out, and not say a thing ... is what I have to do with my own work. 
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now you know what the inner art is all about!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 21:21
I will say I think the sound of a recording is absolutely key to getting attention; a high-quality or, even more importantly, unique studio sound will get more attention than a great song with a medium production.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 22:07
^ true, style seems to trump content in the popular consciousness
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2017 at 05:22
Very true. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2017 at 16:05
Originally posted by ExittheLemming ExittheLemming wrote:

^ true, style seems to trump content in the popular consciousness

Yes, it seems to be true, but this is where WE here can change this perception and help create something stronger than just a bunch of pop songs ... right now, the whole "progressive" thing is just another variety of top ten numbers and choices, that allows for "style" and not content.

IF, we are to help "progressive" make its mark, it will be its content ... NOT STYLE ... that will help is become bigger and better. Commercial radio and distributions, are almost all about the money and the style ... thus the myriad of sub-divisions to help you find the same thing again ... until you are bored to death, I hope!!!! ... and a lot of this becomes a bad joke and ends up getting questions about "dark" this and that, and those kind of inane questions, that ignore the content ... it's like saying that the Bonzo Dog Band did not have a dark side, and it's all over its work, even though it is kinda buried in a comedic way that we think its funny ... but it isn't. 

If all you are interested is "style", then you are not a "progressive" anything! Plain and simple. That is the socialist point of view ... everyone with the same style, because you can not have anything else ... and that means progressive would have NEVER come alive and lived like it has. Thus, the whole thing was about content ... from lyrical to music ... and not style ... I do wish we would appreciate that difference a lot more.

There is no "style" to 20th century music per se ... or you will have to define Stravinsly, Bartok, Orff, Davies and so many more ... and the same has happened to rock music and jazz music and every kind of music we can think of. 

It's not a style ... you compose to feeling, not style, and it comes out like this or that, and it  is us the fans that name a "style" in order to classify it, so zombies can find their favorite dope!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 04:37
But. 

We now live in an age where style is valued above content. There are a few people who will invest time and effort into listening to complicated, ambitious, different music. But the vast majority don't want that, they want musical wallpaper, something simple to understand which is just ... mental chewing gum. 

Audiences have changed since the 60's and 70's. As has the world. So you'll never get a mass audience now. And the whole musical machine operates against you as it's become a numbers game. Really, music is not about music, it's about a few people getting rich by manipulating the system. So only mass market music which can make a few people a lot of money will ever get marketed and hence listened to. 

I've heard so many times on here that people support prog rock by buying CDs and downloads and supporting musicians: they don't. Perhaps one in a hundred fans - sorry, "fans" will download and pay for music off a site like Bandcamp. Most just use it as a free streaming site. 

That's why radio play for prog rock groups is a waste of time. It doesn't generate sales. No money or appreciation coming in, bands fold. It's critically needed for small, specialised bands. Now you have to run a band and spend all your time marketing it, and there are only so many hours in the day.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 18:05
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

I've heard so many times on here that people support prog rock by buying CDs and downloads and supporting musicians: they don't. Perhaps one in a hundred fans - sorry, "fans" will download and pay for music off a site like Bandcamp. Most just use it as a free streaming site.


Sure, plenty of people still buy CDs and support artists. The problem lies in the fact that there are so many artists to support, the odds are not in your favor that they will buy your CD. It's more like there's one out of a hundred bands that I've heard that I'll buy music from.

Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:

That's why radio play for prog rock groups is a waste of time. It doesn't generate sales. No money or appreciation coming in, bands fold. It's critically needed for small, specialised bands. Now you have to run a band and spend all your time marketing it, and there are only so many hours in the day.


I'm curious as to how much time you're wasting to get your music on the radio; you did mention previously that some radio stations were grabbing your free music and playing it. That's like calling a free sample a waste of money - seems like you've been wasting more time preventing people from listening to your music!

In my band, we're in the process of getting our EP pressed on CD's, and part of that plan is to mail/e-mail our album to community radio stations around the country who accept submissions. Sure, it'll cost some time to do, but I think the time is all insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Maybe we'll get a few more people interested in our music, or maybe all the stations will deem our music to be garbage and throw it away. It's a risk we're willing to take.

Now, I can't refute your claim that you'll get no extra sales/concert attendance from radio play because I have no statistics regarding that. I do listen to a weekly local prog rock radio show, and I will freely admit that I have not made any purchases based on what I've heard from it yet. It takes more than hearing a song once to buy a band's CD - but if I've never heard of them, there's a 0% chance of sale. If I hear them, maybe they'll be among the hundred bands that I'll buy a CD from.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 18:09
Hi,

If it matters, I only buy my music. I do not download a whole lot, and my listening habits do not even include a bandbullpucky or anything of the sort. I tend to get things from the artist's home, as I have for many bands, including Marillion, Djam Karet and such, because the distribution factor for a lot of their work, is not as wide as one would like to be able to get something of theirs.

I think, and I may be naive here, that it is about how much you can get out of your website and your own distribution via that website. There are many bands that finally did this on their own, and I even remember in the 90's when I first met GONG, in telling them to start a website to help promote and push their work and their members work, and 2 years later GAS was there, as Johnny was simply travelling with the band and selling the products as best as they could ... not enough. I know that Marillion proved a point when they asked on their website for help to get into the studio for a new album, and they got it tenfold! Djam Karet, is a bit different, in that their folks are also professionals in other fields, but they come together really well to do something different, and they are not afraid of doing something that is not what the "public" would buy or accept. 

You have to say ... this is what I do. Somewhere along the way ... even Picasso once said ... "they are not artists!" when someone tried to compare him to someone else of a commercial nature! It's a naive comment in some ways, but the point is strong.

Again, for me, Bandcamp  is not where I would be at all! How to promote what you do, is another story but in my book should not be done by an "agent" that does not give a sh*t about you and your work ... it only wants the action for itself, not you! 

But, please remember, this is me ... and how I see things ... I do believe you have to separate yourself, enough, to be able to protect your work ... and hope (if that's your goal) that it gets appreciated along the way, and here might be the real issue ... you can not spend time worrying about your own appreciation of whatever work you did, and move on to the next piece?

But protection, might require some legal advice that I am not suited to give. And I do believe, that Bandcamp and other websites of similar interests, need to get nailed sooner or later, like Napster did 25 years ago ... and in the end, all it will do is open up the corporate interest in the controls, of which I am willing to bet that Bandcamp is a part of! 

Otherwise they would protect the artists they show a lot more! A heck of a lot more!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Davesax1965 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2017 at 01:22
QUOTE - I'm curious as to how much time you're wasting to get your music on the radio; you did mention previously that some radio stations were grabbing your free music and playing it. That's like calling a free sample a waste of money - seems like you've been wasting more time preventing people from listening to your music! /QUOTE

Hi Forestfriend - have a look at the free music section here, I'm all over it. I had tons of free music on my Bandcamp site. Also I had Bandcamp analytics. I had about 35,000 free plays AND 500 downloads. Most listeners (the majority from here) listened to entire albums all the way through, several times, then didn't download anything which wasn't *free*.

Put free music up, a swarm of locusts descend. Charge even a nominal fee, no one buys. 

You might have noticed that the "free music" thread has ground to an inevitable halt, with virtually no posters for years. 

A free sample played as space filler on a student radio station inbetween rap and chip shop tracks is, actually, a waste of time. My day job is sales and marketing, by the way. ;-)


MACCLESFIELD ILLUMINATI
https://brotherhoodofthemachine.bandcamp.com/
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Joined: February 23 2017
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ForestFriend Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2017 at 11:14
Originally posted by Davesax1965 Davesax1965 wrote:


A free sample played as space filler on a student radio station inbetween rap and chip shop tracks is, actually, a waste of time. My day job is sales and marketing, by the way. ;-)


You keep saying "waste of time", but I'm curious in the number of minutes/hours/days that you're wasting by trying to get your music on those stations.

You can't possibly waste time if you haven't spent it. Or if I decide to play your music on my radio station, am I just wasting my time?

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