As you can well imagine, KOPN receives a large number of CDs weekly for airplay consideration from independent artists and small labels as well as large record companies. During the past two years alone, over 3,100 CDs were checked into the music library. Since many other submissions have not made it beyond the screening and classification process for one reason or another, I thought it would be useful to post submission guidelines here on the web site.
How Do We Operate?
The first thing to take into consideration is that KOPN is powered primarily by volunteers with full-time jobs elsewhere. This is the essence of open-access community radio as opposed to public or commercial radio. Program producers/DJs program their own shows with no interference from “On High”. In other words, KOPN’s programmers are not told what CDs are “hot” and “must be” aired during any given week.
Our programming is extremely eclectic as can be seen from our program descriptions, and producers devote a lot of time and effort to putting their shows together each week both from their own collections and from the station’s huge library.
When new CDs arrive in the mail, they are unpacked, previewed, classified as to genre and filed in the New Arrivals section of the music library by the music director, also a volunteer. A weekly listing of these new arrivals is emailed to programmers.
With the huge number of recordings the station receives in the mail, some will not make it through the screening process for one reason or another. Here are a few guidelines to follow when sending a CD to KOPN:
- Send only full, professionally manufactured, CDs. CD-R discs, while reducing the cost to an artist, have been known to have major issues. Also, please, no demos or CD singles. These will get lost in the library too easily.
- CDs should be in normal-sized jewel boxes – no slim-line jewel cases. The latter tend to get lost in a sea of full-sized cases, especially since there is no place for identification on the spine and no tray card. If there are cost or environmental concerns, you may send the CD, booklet and jewel case liner/tray card in a protective vinyl sleeve.
- There should be a CD booklet containing information about the artist, the songs, the various personnel on each song, songwriting credits, PRO affiliation (ASCAP, BMI, etc.) and, if at all possible, lyrics. If it is not possible to include the lyrics in the booklet, there should be a sticker or some other warning about any songs containing radio-unfriendly language. The artist/band name should be distinguishable from the album title as well. Be sure that the record label and contact/purchasing information is visible. Above all, the printing should be legible!
- The jewel case tray card should contain the track numbers, name of each song and accurate times for each track. It should also have the name of the artist and album name printed legibly on the portions of the card that are visible through the spine of the jewel case. Remember, without a track listing and times, the CD is unusable for radio.
- Try to put the artist’s name and album title on the CD just in case it and the jewel case go separate ways.
- If you wish to include promotional materials, you may send a one-sheet with pertinent information about the artist, style of music and touring schedule. Please skip the glossy photographs and pages of hype since these are useless for radio. However, if your name has an unusual pronunciation or the songs are in Gaelic or another language, it would be helpful to enclose a pronunciation guide.
- Before you send your CD, be sure to verify that we air your style of music by looking at our program descriptions.
- Be sure to send your CD in a sturdy package, like a padded mailer or a box, using bubble wrap around the CD if it fits loosely in the box. Manila or paper envelopes are not secure – CDs and jewel cases can get smashed or broken en route.
The address to send music submissions for airplay consideration is:
Attn: Music Director
915 East Broadway
Columbia, MO 65201
At this writing, KOPN reports airplay statistics weekly to the Americana Music Association, CMJ, Roots Music Report and the New College 500. The Sunday Morning Coffeehouse also posts weekly playlists to the folkdj-l list and the show’s website with monthly airplay reports going to the FAR report.