Friday, September 7, 2012

DJZ. Reflections On The Midnight Freedom Show

DJZ. Reflections on the Midnight Freedom Show

Creative Commons License
DJZ. Reflections on the Midnight Freedom Show by drew Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


September 7, 2012
For those of you doing the Free Music thing (making recorded music and releasing it under a license approved for Free Culture as per Freedom Defined’s Definition of Free Cultural Works - ), if you want to increase the chances of getting your Free music played on broadcast radio, read on. If you have no such desires, you could skip this if you like.

Back in December 2008 I made this announcement on Jamendo:

“Well, I am working on a new project now that NaNoWriMo is done, November was some month.

1. Plan is to play one BY-SA or BY or similar licensed song at midnight on Y98 every day.
2. At the same time, a link to download the song will be published on the Y98 web site.
3. Prefer songs in our genre but close may pass at the start.
In May of 2009 I posted this on my blog :
“Midnight Freedom Show 1

OK, so since the beginning of the year, I have had a small radio show that airs at around midnight every night on Y98.7 in Nassau Bahamas.
I have worked for a group of radio stations for many years, but I am not on the music side. I am on the tech side of the business. Still, I had a daily radio show on one of our stations for a year and gained some perspectives on what made or would have made my life easier and what made it more difficult.
Lately I have been thinking about the show and what I liked about it and what I struggled with. Its good points and its bad. I have been thinking about writing up a little article trying to help people doing the Free Music thing.
I have been thinking of more possible advice for people doing the Free Music thing who might want to get their music played on the radio.
Over the years since the last show, I have thought occasionally about picking it up and doing it again. The time commitments have always resulted  in the idea being put back on the shelf though.
In the post on my blog, I mentioned that putting full lyrics on the page where the song can be downloaded would be helpful in getting the song played. I have some other tips.
So here we go.
1. Put lyrics up. (Mentioned already.)
2. Make sure the Free license is easy to find on the same page as the lyrics and download.
3. Make a high quality download available. Or offer to send one when contacted.
4. If the download is not radio friendly, put up an alternate version that is. Don’t make the DJ work harder to get your song ready to play on the radio.
5. Give some biographical information about yourself and some information about the song for the DJ to talk about.
6. Give contact information so the DJ and fans hearing the song can get in touch.
7. Record a generic Artist Drop and make it available for download.
8. Record an introductory announcement to your song and make it available for download.
9. Record a back announcement to your song and make it available for download.
10. Describe your reason for using a Free license.
11. Describe what commitment, if any, you have to Freedom and Free licensing now and going forward.
12. Offer to record customised versions of 8 & 9 above for the station / DJ.

The Midnight Freedom Show was not a normal show in many respects. Since I only played one song a night and since I seldom repeated a song during the whole year, my time to find and vet the songs and ingest them into the automation system as a show was skewed to the high side. If I were doing 5 to 10 songs per show per night and repeating songs as I went, my time per song and likely time per show on average for the year would have most likely been lower. I think a lot of the above would have made things better even in  that situation though.

I would like to do this again sometime for you artists doing the Free music thing, but things will need to improve to make the time commitments workable. Did I mention that I did the show for a year with no pay? I was a labour of love on my part and a thank you to you musicians from me. Many were the days / nights when my young son would complain that I was spending too much time on the show. Not to mention my wife doing the same. (Oops, seems I did mention it.)

If you would like to get on the air, perhaps we can work together on some of the above with like minded musicians around the world and I can get a bunch of songs pre-selected and ready to go before approaching the guys about doing another show. Let me know if you are interested.

I would like to say more to come but look what happened to that earlier blog post.

all the best,