Why College Radio Still Matters

Bearcast Media Professor Chad Ashmore breaks down the college market









The University of Cincinnati’s Bearcast Media Adjunct Professor and Radio One Cincinnati Producer Chad Ashmore tells why artists should still utilize college radio when promoting their music.

Chad knows a thing or two about radio. Starting out as a music director for the college radio station he now teaches a class on (Bearcastmedia.com), he’s helping to develop some of the next greats in radio. When he isn’t teaching he’s producing the morning shows for Radio One’s Cincinnati cluster.

“What makes college radio so great is that we’re not trying to just make money, we’re friendly to artists,” he says when asked what he thinks about artists building relationships with college radio stations. Many new artists often scramble to get airplay on commercial radio stations that are corporate-run, taking away much of the decision-making from local program directors. Chad strongly advises that independent artists should build relationships with college stations as they’re more accessible and easier to get spins on. He adds “There are a lot of open slots and program directors need as much help as they can get”, when asked if artists would be stepping on toes of going directly to dj’s to get adds making djs easier to get to.

As the internet and streaming options are becoming more prevalent to audiences, the way listeners consume music over terrestrial and even online radio must become more creative and appealing. College stations are having to “up the ante” to get artists to bring music to them.

“What makes us attractive to artists is that we’re multi-platform. We provide services not only on the air but also online with social media, blogs and on video”, he says. More stations are gearing toward becoming multimedia platforms for music by incorporating radio, digital, television and promotional services. They are going toward becoming full promotional outlets, offering artists a range of services to include in their promotional campaigns. Artists can now take advantage of digital and video platforms, if the stations offer.

At the end of the day artists want to know if college radio spins can amount to dollars. “There are a few ways artists can make money a few ways. They can partner with station events to possibly sell merch, they can be paid from their songs being registered with the PROs, and they can also find out if stations may have budgets for entertainment to get them booked to perform on campus”, he explains.  

Regardless of what level you’re on as a DIY artist, the idea of marketing yourself to colleges should be taken into consideration as it can prove to be an indispensable tool for promoting. He mentions “It’s a valuable asset to have and it’s not worth spending the money with promotional companies when it comes to college radio stations being that you can now go straight to them.”

Contact Chad for music inquiries on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @djchizzad.

If you’re looking to break into the college market, Blaze 4 Glory Music Group creates, customized campaigns for artists to get the most promotion. Submit inquiries on our contact page for details.

Author: Will "Aryez" Jones

Founder of Blaze 4 Glory Music Group, LLC specializing in music management, marketing and publishing.

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