Bands Thriving Through Radio Marketing in 2011

The Syndicate has been offering radio promotion services for over twelve years. We know that it still has a great effect on modern album marketing. To support this fact, we tapped the younger generation to discuss this topic. We asked two of our interns, Kristen and Mark, to pick five albums that they felt had a positive impact from radio promotion so far this year. Here are their picks:


Working as a college radio program director, hundreds of albums come across my desk each month. Clearly, artists still find radio marketing to be one of the best ways to get their albums promoted. Although 2011 is not even halfway through, there have been a lot of great releases so far. The five albums listed below are records that I was especially excited about this year, and felt that they had a huge, positive impact from radio marketing.

Foster the PeopleFoster the People EP (Startime)

As program director, it’s exciting to hear a song I’ve been playing on my college radio station on a larger, commercial station. Many of the commercial stations in my area that play “alternative” music often have the same playlists. Sometimes I get tired of hearing the same songs every day, but when I hear a brand new song I’m really pumped up about, such as Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” I’m glad because I know the heavy rotation on commercial stations will get other people hearing it too.

Cage the ElephantThank You, Happy Birthday (Jive)

Cage the Elephant’s live performances have helped them make a name for themselves, making appearances on David Letterman, Lollapalooza, and Bonnaroo. I got the chance to see them a few weeks ago at a show sponsored by Jack Daniels. Upon talking about the band to people I met in the crowd, the general consensus was that most people had gotten into Cage the Elephant through hearing their music on the radio. Considering the band was headlining and the show was sold out, I think this proves that radio marketing is making a very positive impact on Cage the Elephant.

Oh LandOh Land (Epic)

With her previous album receiving positive reception in her home of Denmark, Oh Land turned to radio marketing to reach out to United States audiences on her sophomore, self-titled release.  So far it appears to be working well for her; Oh Land recently made her television debut on Late Night with David Letterman, and also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Foo FightersWasting Light (RCA)

Although Foo Fighters are already extremely well known, the band still uses radio marketing to promote their new material. After debuting the single “Rope” two months before the release of their full length Wasting Light, a lot of buzz was created for the record, and fans got a taste of what they could expect from their highly anticipated album.

Adele21 (Columbia)

I take a critical listening class at my college where we listen to classic albums and discuss production techniques. One of our assignments was to present a more modern album to the class for discussion. One student in my class chose Adele’s 21. He said he heard the first single “Rolling in the Deep” on the radio, loved it, and made it a point to check out the whole album. I feel like this is an example of radio marketing coming full circle; hearing a song on the radio, buying the album, and going out and talking about it to your friends or in this case, a classroom full of students.


The first half of the year brought a lot of new music my way,  and as music director,  I try my best to sort through all the madness. You never know when you can find your next favorite band, and that’s where promotion comes into play. With the right amount of effort, a band can really get their music played. Some are these albums are from very big names, but they are all nonetheless great examples of radio promotion catching my attention.

Adele21 (Columbia)

I have to agree with Kristen here, it’s nearly impossible to avoid 21. I’ve had a number of people ask me if I like Adele, and at first I used to say no. However, after hearing “Rolling In The Deep” again and again on radio stations, I had to admit that the song is fantastically catchy, and I was convinced to listen to the rest of the album.

The StrokesAngles (RCA)

The Strokes are huge, plain and simple. I have a friend who calls them “the saviors of indie rock.” Hyperboles aside, when I heard the very first seconds of “Under The Cover of Darkness,” I starting smiling, which lasted the entire duration of the song. It was such a good single, and constant radio push made so many people dying to check out the new album.

The Boxer RebellionThe Cold Still (Absentee)

Every year, there are a few bands that I become introduced to through college radio promotions that I instantly fall in love with. The Boxer Rebellion’s latest effort, The Cold Still, is such a solid album from start to finish, but what surprised me well how well it took to radio. Often times when I play a track off the album, people will want to hear more. Overall, The Cold Still was a very pleasing effort, and a joy to share.

Shinobi NinjaRock Hood (Self Released)

I would very likely have never heard of Shinobi Ninja if not for radio promotion. From what I’ve seen, the band has a die-hard fan base, and their unorthodox, vivacious style of promotion is likely they reason. I’ve been impressed with how much effort the band has been taking with the promotional facets of Rock Hood. They offer speaker systems, VIP club passes, and even a USB plastic knuckle flash drive. The extra amount of effort in support of the album definitely makes listeners take a closer look.

Death Cab For CutieCodes and Keys (Atlantic)

I know this album hasn’t even been released yet, but the radio promotion is already leaving me craving some new Death Cab. The first single “You Are A Tourist” has been played on my personal radio show every week since it was released, and a number of DJs have been playing it as well. It’s one of those songs that will actually make me stop what I’m doing and listen. Death Cab For Cutie always finds a way to make each album sound different than the last, and with the tiniest taste of Codes And Keys in my ears, I’ll be eagerly waiting for May 31st.

If you want to know how to integrate radio promotion into your next marketing plan, get in touch with us.

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