I’ve known Chris Davies from Planetary for about 15 years. He’s always been a good pal and once provided me with some great service with the Supersuckers and the College Radio Market. I got a chance to ask Chris some questions for my Rockonomics Q & A series
Q: Over the years a lot has changed in the radio market. Back when the Supersuckers released Must’ve Been Live in 2002, I couldn’t imagine not working such an album to College Radio. Do you still feel that the college radio market is as important today as it was just a few years ago?
A: Yes, absolutely. But what was true then, is still true: college radio is most important, and at it’s best, when done in conjunction with other marketing and promotion efforts. Obviously, there are more ways to spread the word about a band or a release. From digital PR to just social networking, etc. The social networking stuff, any band can do, and should. But college radio still is a key element when working a release. It still has a significant audience. In fact, we recently did some cost analysis work, and found that for the money spent, radio was still the biggest bang for your promo/marketing budget buck, in terms of audience. Hard to believe with all these eyes and ears on the internet, but true.
Q: Where have you seen examples of College Radio being viable in todays market?
A: College radio is at it’s best in development. It’s an early indicator, and testing ground. Gets bands their first introduction to peopl who are ready to listen. Are you asking me Can college radio break a band in today’s market? The answer has always been; not by itself. There need to be other activities in any band’s ‘promotional and marketing pie’. College radio is a good part of that pie, but only one slice.
Q: How can college radio make a difference in an artist’s career the way commercial radio can’t?
A: Development, and introduction. Again, college radio’s biggest asset is its “new” factor. Any new band will get it’s best shot in this area of media. A few spins by stations with some audience, is way better than one post by a blog that no one goes to. With commercial radio, a band HAS to be further along in it’s career.
Q: Finally, Planetary worked a lot of Supersuckers releases, was there a certain promotion or marketing campaign that we once did which stands out for you?
A: All the extras. Videos, vinyl, the new year’s eve contests. All those extras are what make the Supersuckers, or any band for that matter, stand out. There more stuff we get to work with and encourage spins and support, the better. Supersuckers has ALWAYS done more for their fans than many other bands. Cool stuff. Clubs, special events. It is non-stop with the goodies they are willing to do for their fans. And it’s those things that make our work with them special.