Getting Air Play on WPVC 100.5 FM

Published on 19 February 2024 at 23:58

How DOES one get airplay on stations like WPVC 100.5 FM? First off, you have to remember that WPVC 100.5 FM is a one-of-a-kind station. The way we do things is different from most of the other stations out there, but as far as we’re concerned, our way of doing things has gotten us to a place where we’re considered the premier music station -- a station where DJs actually program the music on their shows, and if our model works, we hope other stations do the same. 

We here at WPVC 100.5 FM listen to and give every artist a chance. That doesn’t mean we’ll play you just to play you; that doesn’t benefit anyone. There is a bar and if at least one of our DJs thinks you’ve risen above it, you’ll be heard at this station. Our hope is others will play you as well. You’ve worked hard on your music and the world should have the chance to hear it.

 Non-Commercial Stations, like WPVC 100.5 FM: “Non-Comms” is what we’re called and we like that. We sound like cool robots, yet ironically we’re not programmed by them. We don’t have commercials -- so guess what? We don’t have to answer to commercial interests. Why does this matter? It matters because we answer to listeners. Why does THAT matter? For me, it matters because it’s the listeners who listen for the love of music, while commercial sponsors are interested in dumbing down the music in order to sell their products. WPVC 100.5 FM is not alone. There are others for sure, but these are some of the primary stations that hold a non-commercial license that aren’t run by students. Student-run stations are great, great, great (listen and support them), but a big part of their mission is on-air training so you won’t necessarily get consistent programming, but in a lot of cases you will and it’ll be the best radio you’ve ever heard!

Commercial Stations: Don’t bother sending your music to commercial stations blindly. They probably don’t want to listen to your music, let alone play the music on their station. To be honest, it really wouldn’t matter much anymore if they did, unless you’ve somehow made it into their tiny list of added music which means you’ll be played like 50 times a week but that’s why it’s hard to listen to commercial stations… they play the same song 50 TIMES A WEEK. BUT there are pockets of good DJs and shows out there in the commercial radio wasteland. Usually, they put these shows on Sunday nights so check the listings on each station to find out what’s going on that night. Why Sunday night? For commercial radio, that’s one of the least listened to nights. Awesome, right? Well, no, but I hosted a local show on one of our commercial stations for a few years on Sunday nights and it was GREAT to expose kids to music they wouldn’t otherwise hear on the station. This can sometimes lead to regular airplay as well! You usually have the kid at the station who really DOES care about new and indie music hosting these shows and they are your best bets to champion your music and JUST like the college DJ’s they are underappreciated and understaffed. There are great programmers out there doing their best at these times to get good music on the air. There will usually be two different shows: a local show and a new music show. Find out which show is which and send to the appropriate one. Some also have specialty shows like singer-songwriter, metal, hip-hop etc. If you fall into one of their categories, by all means, give it a shot. This may be your only entry to the stations -- find the host, make friends, and submit your music. Change comes from the inside!


The big question has to be asked: Why send your music to radio? Do you just want to hear your band on the air? Do you want to know someone heard your band on the air? Are you going to make a tour stop in the cities that are playing your band? Is this “just what you do” when you release music? These are all good questions to ask yourself. Clearly, you should have a mission statement and goals as a band or artist so these questions always have an answer. It will make things a little more clear and a little easier. I had an indie label for years and every time I’d ask the question, “Why are we sending this to 500 stations when I’ve only heard about 10 of them?” I’m going to be honest, if you are seeking airplay to significantly increase sales, it won’t. To be honest about making money as an artist, you probably won’t. Not in music sales anyway. You may increase sales if you submit to stations AND back it up with touring. If you are already a well-known band, it WILL increase sales to submit to stations, but it’s hard to translate how connecting with a station relates to sales. Think of it as a promotion for your brand and your tours and if you feel it will help both, then do it. Remember you will only make money three ways:

The One Sheet:

This is must have and is exactly what it sounds like -- a ONE SHEET. This is a quick outline of what you’re sending and why you’re sending it. Think of it as your job resume. Would you get the job with a crappy resume? Avoid TWO sheets. I never get to the second sheet. Here’s what it needs:

  • - A song list.
  • – Make sure to list songs that are not FCC-friendly, as in any songs with cursing. We can’t play them during the day.
  • – List “Go To” tracks (pick your best two or three songs)
  • – Any quotes you have. Chicken and the egg here, how do you get quotes if no one has heard it! Get it to any friends, bookers, managers, anyone in the industry who can give you a good (and honest) quote.
  • – Signposts. Who might you sound like? Most people say “Radiohead” or “The Beatles”. Don’t aim so high; go for cooler indie bands in your genre that have a similar sound. You could also include genre in there as well.
  • – Avoid too much clutter; get to the point and keep it clean and focused

Patience and politeness:

Keep trying and once you get through remain polite and to the point. Ask the following questions. If any of the answers are “No,” stop asking and politely tell them to have a nice day.

  • 1. Did you receive so-and-so CD on so-and-so records?
  • 2. Were you able to review so-and-so?
  • 3. Are you going to add so-and-so to your rotation?
  • 4. Where are you going to add so-and-so to your rotation?
  • 5. Is there anything else you need?

Most stations have a “Heavy,” “Medium,” and “Light” rotation system. If you’re put into any of these categories of rotation, then it’s good news because you’re getting airplay. At this point, thank the Music Director and let them know you’ll be calling back later to see how the record is being received and where it is charting. Continue to follow-up for 6-8 weeks, the life of a new release in rotation. Or, if you like, keep an eye on the station website’s playlist.


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