Although YouTube and the like are major music discovery engines for the younger set, radio is still king when it comes to finding new tunes for most people. Which means, if your band makes music that don’t exactly jive with what they’re playing on 106.PopJams4U, there are tons of people out there who will never have access to them. That’s the issue that The Fan Guru is seeking to solve.
The Fan Guru aims to get bands on the radio using ad buys, incorporating music into a station’s programming in a way that isn’t immediately recognizable as an ad. “We are buying airtime, but it’s more like alternative programming and less like the ads we’re used to hearing on the radio,” says CEO Erik Sanchez. “We work closely with program directors and coordinators to ensure that our artist’s song fits in nicely with the rest of the programming. This is good for artists, listeners, and the radio stations.”
Sanchez describes himself as “a starving artist that turned to the web in order to solve my own problems.”
“I kept hearing the same thing from other artists, ‘Man, if only I had
more exposure, I know I’d hit it big!’ Sanchez says. Such was the impetus for founding The Fan Guru.
The service essentially works thusly: A band fills out an application, including links to their music and stations that they would like to be featured on (according to the Fan Guru site, they have access to more than 6,000 stations — 68.5% of all FM stations in the US). A committee then reviews the music for “likability” and runs it through the scoreAhit web app for deeper analysis. If the tunes are approved, Fan Guru will get them on the radio, scoring the band (hopefully) legions of new fans. Each radio spot includes music and a directive to your online artist profile.
The whole thing is not free, however. Hypebot has the pricing for single plays below:
Atlanta – $15
Los Angeles – $45
Dallas – $50
Orlando – $65
Miami – $180
New York City – $250
Granted, these prices are a bit steep — especially in a world where Grizzly Bear is speaking out about their lack of health care and Cat Power is cancelling tours due to bankruptcy. Still, the ROI could be intriguing if bands are able to book shows/sell albums by widening their exposure. We’ll just have to wait and see how the first batch of test bands fare.
The Fan Guru is currently looking for artists to kickstart the service — by doling out pro bono accounts. Applications to be sponsored by the service are due November 10. Make sure to add “SPONSOR ME” to the “What radio station(s) are you interested in?” text box to be considered.
Image courtesy of Flickr, S. Diddy