How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio

01
of 07

Overview: A Blueprint For Moving Your Content to Other Platforms

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz
It's funny: people are always saying traditional radio (AM and FM) are dead. Yet, I get a lot of email from people doing Podcasts and Internet radio shows who want to know how to get their content onto AM, FM or Satellite Radio.

It makes me think there's still a lot of respect for radio other than Internet-based.

What I'm going to outline for you is a plan, a blueprint of sorts, to help you move your Podcast or Internet Radio show to a larger platform like AM, FM, or Satellite. You should understand there is no "magic bullet" here. I'm going to give you a direction. What you need to bring to the table is:

1. Great content (what it is your talk about or present in your Podcast or Internet Radio show)

2. A burning desire for success and a willingness to do some legwork

02
of 07

Step 1: You Already Have a Podcast or Internet Radio show

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz

If you don't, stop here and read:

How to Create Your Own Radio Program in 6 Easy Steps

03
of 07

Step 2: Create a Demo

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz

Here are some cold hard facts: nobody has much time for you - especially Program Directors and radio station owners. That's why if you get a window of opportunity you better make it fast and slick.

The demo you create for your Podcast or Internet Radio show should be no longer than 5 minutes. Most of the time, you won't get more than 30 seconds to make an impression because people who make programming choices either know what they're looking for and judge you against that standard or are listening for something that is so new, fresh, and unique it demands more attention.

If you get past the first 30 seconds and a Program Director listens to all five minutes of your demo, that's great. Trust me: if five minutes isn't enough, he/she will contact you for more.

Since the first 30 or 45 seconds is so important, make sure your demo starts with something that is absolutely riveting and compelling. Find a snippet of audio which showcases your talents or your show in the best light possible. Remember: a demo can be edited together in an audio montage format. It doesn't have to follow the congruency of a standard radio Aircheck.

Label your demo with the Podcast or show name and make sure you include your contact information on it including email, phone number, and website.

Include with your demo a short cover letter and a one-sheeter: all the information that's important about your show on one standard sheet of paper. Besides not having much time to listen to demos, Program Directors don't want to read a long, drawn-out history of what you're doing. Give them the "Who, What, Where, When, and Why". If you have stats on current listenership or any impressive demographic information about your audience include that, too.

04
of 07

Step 3: Shop Your Demo Around

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz
Target Your Local Stations

Most people would rather either be paid for doing their radio show, earn income from the ads sold during it, or at least do it for free and get the benefit of using it as a platform to promote their interests and parlay it into something even bigger.

If you are not interested in buying radio time on a local station, the next best thing is to convince the Program Director you've got some content that would benefit him. Take some time and listen to your local radio stations, especially on weekends. Weekends are the weak link for AM and FM because stations often pick up cheap syndicated or satellite programming to fill the void if they can't automate and voice-track. The is true of many talk stations.

Listen to what these stations are already doing and try to build a case for giving you a shot with your Podcast or Internet Radio show. What you want to do is find a good fit between a local radio station and the demographic it serves and what you do on your show.

Mail on CD or email your demo and written materials to the Program Director. Follow up with a phone call or email. Expect to be ignored. This is where it's going to get frustrating. Work on several stations at once and keep hammering it. See if you can get some feedback on your content and ask what you could to improve it and make it more apropos for the station. Understand that what you do could be improved and embrace any criticism. Incorporate the suggestions into a new demo and start again.

05
of 07

Step 4: Cheat a Little Bit with Cash

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz

Have you ever heard a weekend program on a talk radio station about gardening or home repair or how to keep your auto running better? I'm not talking about national programs but rather, the local shows hosted by local business people or hobbyists who have a passion for a subject and the knowledge to discuss it and answer questions.

Just how do these people get their own radio shows anyway?

When it comes to commercial AM and FM, you should understand the primary motivation is revenue and if you can help it achieve that goal, you might be doing a radio show. A local station can make money if a show is well received by its listeners and/or it has good ratings. Popular programming attracts advertisers and the radio station's sales department will sell ads to various clients.

But, many stations will also run paid programming - and cash the check whether anyone is listening or not. Let's say I'm a plumber and I want to do a show on Saturdays about how to do home plumbing repairs while at the same time plugging my business. There are many stations which will sell you 30 or 60 minutes of time, especially if you agree to pay the "top of the rate card" or a premium rate. The first person you need to talk to at the station is a Sales Representative, not the Program Director.

If you can afford air time and are willing to pay, the Sales Rep or Account Executive will shepherd you into the Program Director's office. Of course, you may not get the exact time slot you want and often, a diligent Program Director will insist that you be able to conduct a listenable show. But, if you pay a premium for your own show, the station will more than likely provide an engineer/producer so you don't have to worry about learning the technical end of things. Plus, when you buy your own time you can promote your own website, products, or even sell your own sponsors.

06
of 07

Step 5: Jumping to Satellite

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz
XM Satellite Radio

XM Satellite Radio says:

"If you have an idea for a show on a specific channel, you can send an email with a BRIEF concept pitch to the program director for that channel or the designated channel address. Most channels have contact information on the channels dedicated page of the XM website.

If you have an idea for a show, but you’re not sure which XM channel would be the best fit, OR you have an idea for a channel, you can send an email with a BRIEF concept pitch to programming@xmradio.com.

Please don’t send an unsolicited pitch to someone outside of XM programming and ask that it be forwarded internally to the appropriate person. It’s also not a good idea to pitch your programming ideas on the phone, even if they are an appropriate contact. Stick with email.

Include your complete contact information with your pitch, but don’t call or e-mail XM to follow-up on your submitted programming idea."

SIRIUS Satellite Radio

SIRIUS Satellite Radio says:

Send proposals to ideas@sirius-radio.com.

07
of 07

Step 5: Believe

How to Move Your Podcast or Internet Radio Show to AM, FM, or Satellite Radio. Graphic: Corey Deitz
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to believe in yourself. You may have a great Podcast or show on Internet Radio but convincing the rest of the world - or at least someone with the power to do something about it - isn't always easy.

You should use every opportunity you can to pitch your ideas to people who might be in a position to help. Avoid being arrogant or conceited yet don't be too humble. Express confidence in your product and remember: every journey starts with one step. Just make a commitment to begin and move forward.