I interviewed Marvin Kuijs one of the people behind iPluggers. iPluggers is a radio promotion company. Their mission? To send independent music to radio stations. When I first found out about their service and did my research online I’ve read lots of good things about them, and decided to promote the latest E-Mute single release Praise Your Senses.
You can get a free download of the song from Soundcloud:
I was very happy with the outcome in fact; I got much better results than the traditional radio plugging service that I used some time ago and combined with the awesome fact that Soundcloud featured the song on their Explore What’s Up & Coming section of their website Praise Your Senses has reached many new ears.
The concept behind iPluggers is simple yet very effective. As an artist, create an artist profile, send your music to them and if it is approved from the iPluggers A & R team, then they send it off to radio stations that fit your genre. Now what makes it interesting is that radio stations that iPluggers send your music to are stations that have registered with the service, waiting for new releases through iPluggers. There are a few different options of similar services out there , BUT the majority just sends out horrible e-mail blasts to lots of industry contacts, basically spamming the world. Not ideal. iPluggers is different.
Check out what Marvin had to say:
We started iPluggers back in 2011 for several reasons. For musicians the most
important way to get heard and get more fans is airplay. Traditional plugging is a
major investment that certainly independent musicians cannot afford in these times.
iPluggers makes it easier and affordable for artists to get airplay and increase
their fan base. Labels, artists and bands no longer solely depend on major
investments in traditional plugging to get their music on air. Not only that,
iPluggers promotes music worldwide in every genre. With over 30.000 stations our
global reach makes it possible for us to give out an airplay guarantee on each
release we promote.
2) Do you think that radio plugging is still important? Is streaming
something that is step by step replacing traditional radio?
Streaming is a great way for an artist to digitally connect with his existing fans.
The problem is: how do you as a potential fan know that there is an new artist or
a new song? How does an artist create new fans? How do people that love the genre
music an artist makes find him and his music?
That is why radio and music channels such as MTV will never die. People loved to
discover new music and preferably new music that is curated for them.
3) iPluggers has its own A&R team. Out of all music submissions, how do you
choose the music that is then sent to the radio stations?
It’s not a typical A&R process where taste and music preferences play a role. If we
can answer Yes to the following questions, a release is suitable to be promoted to
radio stations worldwide:
1) are the recordings good enough for radio?
2) is the release vocally up to par? (out of tune vocals are a no-no)
3) are the arrangements played well / rhythmically correct?
4) is the artwork professional?
5) is the artist profile (online airplay kit) and its content as effective and
professional as it can be?
4) why choosing iPluggers over a traditional radio plugger?
We are not a replacement for a traditional radio promoter.
The ideal scenario would be to use traditional plugging and digital radio promotion
via iPluggers hand-in-hand.
But if you are an independent artist with limited funds then we definitely
recommend iPluggers above a traditional radio promoter. Traditional radio promoters
are very expensive and usually only promote your release in one country to the
national stations. As an independent artist it is almost impossible to get airplay
on these stations. You could very well end up spending a lot of money with nothing
But most artists are still stuck in the last century: these days every artist
can sell his music worldwide via iTunes and other digital stores. If you sell it
worldwide, why not promote your music worldwide so you can establish a worldwide
Here’s the experience the band Bongomatik had in using iPluggers for their
worldwide radio promotion:
Genre: Latin / Pop / Jazz
JJA Jazz Awards nominee
We choose iPluggers for our radio promotion due to its enormous reach and network:
iPluggers spreads our music to radio stations we could have never reached by
Before we started looking into digital radio promotion we hired a traditional radio
promoter which would promote our single to radio stations in The Netherlands. Costs
were approx. € 2500,–. Although we gained some airplay from his activities, we
found that with traditional radio promotion getting insight in the results is not
always that easy.
When we started working with iPluggers, the costs of radio promotion of a single is
about 10% of what we’d normally pay, we have direct insight in the results and we
reach radio stations worldwide instead of being limited to our own country.
Their website makes it very easy to retrace the actual airplay and downloads by
radio stations. Our music gets played on stations worldwide. We would recommend
artists that have the resources to pay for traditional radio promotion, to do both
traditional and digital radio promotion.
Every band or record label should consider using iPluggers for their (digital)
radio promotion: they just do what they promise to do and the communication with
them is extremely smooth.
5) Do you think that radio play is influencing album sales?
This depends on some factors:
1) How big is the audience of the radio station your music is played on
2) What is the frequency of plays
3) And most important: does the audience like your music?
If the audience loves your music, airplay will definitely influence streams, album
sales and fanbase.
6) Do you receive music submissions from indie artists only or also from
labels? If yes what kind of labels? Indie or major labels too?
We receive submissions from both indie and major labels. We do a lot for a.o Roton
(label of INNA), ZYX Music, The Orchard. But we also work for independent artists
and labels such as SELLABAND, Innercat Music, JTV Digital, Record Union and AMAdea
7) we have all heard the term “Payola” regarding radio play and major label
artists. What do you think about it?
“Payola” kills the music industry as hits can be bought and that is certainly not
a good thing. “Payola” is something that still happens. There are also online
companies that offer “Payola”. You can buy 50 spins for $100. The problem is
that all these radio stations are owned by the company that sells the spins.
These stations have 0,1 listeners due to poor or non existent marketing and the
alternating quality of the music played. So you end up paying for an illusion.
8) who’s the most successful artist that has used iPluggers?
We have promoted music from major artists such as Snoop Dogg, Gigi D’Agostino, Kat Deluna, INNA, Alexandra Stan, Coolio, Haddaway, Ell-Nikki (winners Eurovision Song Contest 2011), Beenie Man, Shifty Binzer (former front man of Crazy Town), Chenoa, Obie Trice and Bobby Farrell
But do remember, we are part of the team that’s behind every successful artist:
success stories are never done by just one party.
9) Have your say:
Please use iPluggers as a part of your total marketing plan not as the ONLY
marketing tool. Our plugging needs to go hand in hand with other marketing efforts.
For example: a band that has no fanbase, does not perform, has no other online
presence whatsoever, will have a hard time generating airplay.
To get airplay as an independent artist is one of the most difficult things in
the music industry. We at iPluggers are so glad that we can help independent and
established artists with this challenge!
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