Why and when you would hire a Radio Tracker
A radio tracker is an individual who is well connected in the broadcasting/radio aspect of the music industry. They may specialize in one specific genre or a couple formats only. Overall, they help artists achieve the best possible chance of success at radio.
A radio tracker should be considered to hire 2 – 4 weeks prior to your release at radio. However discussing with a tracker a few month in advance can be wise; 1. To confirm they are on board, 2. to get their insight on which one of your songs is strongest for single potential, and 3. to get feedback from Radio before you release, i.e any last min comments if certain stations need an AM mix, not quite up to industry standards etc. This can help in the long term success and charting at radio.
Radio trackers can charge either on a month to month basis, or the life of a single (* Life of a single is the time you take your song to radio, it charts, peaks and falls off. i.e Debuted at #32, peaked at #12 and is now losing spins and falling back down the charts #13 – 100). I prefer to do life of a single, as it is an all-in-exclusive-fee regardless is the song charts for 1 – 6 months… A radio tracker could charge anywhere from $3000 – $5000 for the life of a single based on my experience for Canada. Obviously, fees for month-to-month would be different and vary from the trackers success rate, region, genre and experience.
Your radio tracker will pitch your song to their radio contacts about 1 -2 weeks prior to release, making them aware of the song. On release day, they will re-send with the option for those stations to add the song. Not all stations will add the first day, don’t get discouraged. The more adds from other stations, fan requests from social media/phone requests, and growth of the song or artist the station will generally help to encourage to add the song as it moves along.
A radio tracker can help your song track SIGNIFICANTLY higher then if you were to be releasing the single to radio yourselves. They know all the right things to do, at the right time and have years of contacts and relationships built with these station personnel to increase your chances of success. They will also inform you what stations have added the song every week along with the growth, adds, current charting positions etc. That can assist greatly in your knowledge for social media posts, (which stations to thank, continue asking for requests, and updates to your fans on “Hey this week we are #22 on radio and climbing! Thanks for the support” As well as being able to thank those stations personally through twitter, and phone calls if recommended.
Radio trackers really are a valuable member to have on a team especially of an indie/unsigned artist. Having radio stats such as “Charted at #11 on Alternative Radio” is a valuable tool to be able to use in your bio, pitches, for promo/press releases and more. So consider a radio tracker in your team for your next big release and add them into the budget and discussion well in advance!!