DJ’s offer their opinion on their favourite song by playing the ‘Record of the week’. The DJ is often well known, and the listeners respect and believe their view on the latest music. This influences people to buy the songs featured and recommended on the show because they trust the judgement of the DJ to lead them to a good album or single.
Many tracks that are played have not yet been released. This helps to bring about people’s interest in the song before it has been released, then buy it as soon as it has. It helps boost sales for the record company and artists, and get their track widely noticed before release date. The radio can really help start off a new band. Cold Play for instance was first played when they dropped a CD off at Radio 1.
The music industry relies on single sales, and focuses on how to promote singles into stations in order to achieve a high placing on the singles chart. They are dependant on the radio industry to get great coverage of new singles and good reviews. The radio is able to access listeners through local, regional and national platforms. The radio airplay is central to commercial success especially through the popular chart shows.
The different radio stations can focus on broader, or more targeted play lists, ranging from Radio 1 and Radio 2, through to Jazz FM, 1Xtra, XFM and Classic Fm. Each different station targets a different age group, so the artists and record companies can use a specific station to target the audience they are aiming the single at.
The record industry always wants more platforms for exposure, and now with the introduction on digital radio, this is possible. 6 music has about 18 hours of live music a week. 61% of its live music is made up of British acts with 83% being newly signed acts.
Some record companies benefit from radio airplay illegally. Although payola is illegal, where record companies pay DJs to allocate their records extensive airplay, other, more subtle methods still exist. These range from private functions which launch new releases to offers of holidays and other inducements to DJs and producers. The more airplay a single receives, the more likely it is to get in the charts, which benefits the record company and the artists.
The radio is also predominantly dependant on the music industry. The record companies supply the music and are eager to plug new products, and the radio stations need to play the music in order to get listeners. The record companies, or artists, often provide the record companies with ‘exclusives’. They may play a new single before any other station, or have an exclusive interview with an artist. This helps them gain and keep listeners.
Many people will listen to the radio whilst doing other tasks, such as ironing. This is a form of secondary consumption, and influences people to buy songs they have heard. In many cases you will find yourself humming to a song that you heard earlier, and if you have enjoyed it you may wish to buy the single. Radios also include talks about music or musicians, from gossip to critical reviews. This gives the listeners information about the artists and lets them delve into their backgrounds. This may also encourage you to buy their album. For instance if the radio focus on a Welsh band, and you live in Wales, you may wish to buy their albums to support people from your area.