Master Your Craft: Monetizing your TV/Radio interviews

By Andile Nkosi
In my line of work I have seen many financially struggling artists that are somehow always on television screens and radio. What are they doing wrong one may ask? Well. they are making a common mistake in the music industry. They are not monetizing their TV/Radio interviews. 

Everyone agrees that TV and Radio performances and interviews are vital to lively-hood of musicians merely because artists can record the greatest album of all times, but if no one knows about it, it's water down the drain. As such, successful commercial musicians need media plug-in and a good radio and TV pluggers are key to achieving this success. 

Radio/TV pluggers are the people who try to make sure that your record is played on TV/radio. Getting a good plugger can make the difference between a single becoming a hit or a flop and between a band having a successful career or disappearing into obscurity.

TV/Radio plugger's are paid to:
- ensure Radio plays for the band/artist's music. 
- secure live performance sessions and interviews for the act on radio/TV
- organize competitions on TV/radio that give away the artist's CDs, merchandise, gig tickets, etc, as prizes
- get the artist's releases and upcoming live shows mentioned on air.

But radio and TV pluggers cost artists and labels money. Money the artist may not recoup if they do not monetize their TV/Radio interviews. So before your TV/Radio plugger starts working, ensure you abide by the below rules: 

1. Sync radio/tv/press pressence with gigs
2. Ensure venues/promoters know of your tv/radio/press appearance 
3. Allow enough lead time before the interview to market the tv/radio/press appearance 
4. Religiously update the artists website and social media pages
5. Sell your airtime to small businesses

1. Sync radio/tv/press presence with gigs 
Venues want crowds, crowds listen to radio. If you promise a venue owner crowds they will pay you. Artists should ensure they have a venue to mention every time they are on TV/Radio. If you have not secured anything, rather postpone the interview instead of wasting it. 

2. Ensure venues/promoters know of your tv/radio/press appearance 
Since venue owners and promoters pay your salary they should be your primary focus. Keep a list of venues and owner contact details. Call them to let them know your will be on TV/Radio on a specific date. Ask them if they have any shows that same or preceding date which you can mention on air with the agreement that they book you to perform in return. If  venue owners and promoters believe you are attractive to the media, they will also believe you are attractive to the masses and bookings will come your way.

Remember: Push them to pay in a deposit before the interview.  

3. Allow enough lead time before the interview to market the tv/radio/press appearance 
It is the saddest thing when an artist was on a big TV show but her fans missed it. It is also pathetic when labes and artists send sms and WhatsApp messages a day before the interview. The same is pathetic when you see a Facebook post of someone telling you to catch them on WhatWhat FM in the next 15 minutes as if they did not expect to be on radio. not only does it make you appear unorganized and unprofessional, it also shows that you are not respecting and appreciating the platform you have been given. 

Remember: TV and Radio needs help with ratings and will call artists that cause their phone lines to jam and twitter hash tags to trend. Without sufficient lead time, achieving this is impossible.

4. Religiously update the artists website and social media pages
Artists/Labels should invest time in building up anticipation for their next TV/Radio/Press appearance. Build a digital poster, tag people on social media; ask people what song should you perform; engage them on what you should wear; ask them what question do they want you to ask the host and ask it on their behalf; collect shout outs and make them live on radio. Not only will this build you a fan-base, it will earn you respect from your clients (venues/promoters). 

Also remember to update your website and direct the listeners to it for more information. 

5. Sell your airtime to businesses

Agree with a business to place their advert on your homepage (and social media page) on the day of the interview for a fee. During the interview urge peoplpe to visist your website. Automatically you drive traffic for the business and are paid accordingly. Also agree with another business to mention them on air. Ask the TV/Radio presenter if you can send a shout out, work in the business name during the shout out. 

In essence, Tv/Radio/Press appearance should have a dotted line to money in your pocket. If you are on radio/tv/newspaper that week and no money is  deposited in your bank account then you are in the wrong business. It is thud essential to have regular meetings between your artist manager and Radio/TV pluggers to ensure a positive cash flow.

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