Sunday, September 9, 2018
Gently Up the Stream
Let’s play a jazz version of the “would you rather” parlor game.
Would you rather receive a cumulative 250 spins a week on non-commercial radio stations throughout the country or rack up 10,000 plays a week in the global marketplace with a single song on Spotify?
The former option involves mailing compact discs to dozens of radio stations and (ideally) hiring a publicist to persuade DJs to play it. The latter gambit requires lobbying a well-placed connection at the music streaming service or simply relying on fortuitous serendipity to obtain placement on popular playlists.
The efforts documented on social media by many locally based musicians suggest that they covet placement on the JazzWeek terrestrial radio chart. Karrin Allyson, an artist who launched her career in Kansas City, currently holds the #2 spot on the chart with 238 weekly plays of selections from her Some of That Sunshine album at 53 outlets.
“Fake it Till I Make It,” a track from the Kansas City based Marcus Lewis Big Band’s new album Brass & Boujee, achieved a different form of success. Since being added to Spotify’s State of Jazz playlist a couple weeks ago, it’s been played more than 50,000 times.
As much as I like working in the terrestrial radio format, I believe that focusing on placement at streaming services is a savvier strategy for most area jazz artists, at least until a song or album gains traction.
(Original image by Plastic Sax.)