GROOV Marketing, established in 1991 by Neil Gorov and Ynes Zavala, was soon joined by Josh Ellman and Mark Rini. With an emphasis on sound radio promotion (Once our slogan Jazz, Blues and Beyond-AAA, NAC & World) by virtue of garnering real radio airplay the mission was simple, Know the music, make the relationship, get the add. By doing so, Groov Marketing has been offering The Most Thorough Radio Promotional Campaigns Available for over 30 years. Specializing in Jazz, (Acid/Avant Garde /Fusion/Crossover) and World, we are a full-service radio promotion team, skilled in bringing your finished package to radio at the national level. Owned and operated by Josh Ellman and Mark Rini since 2000, Groov Marketing has handled the Jazz Radio promotion for Blue Note Records since 1995, Mack Avenue Records since 2001, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Blue Engine Records, and boasts repeat clients such as Basin Street Records, Palmetto Records, Songlines, Alma Records, Sony/Masterworks, Sony/Legacy and many others.
GROOV Marketing has been honored to win the JazzWeek Independent Promoter/Dick LaPalm award in 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
How we communicate with one another has changed drastically in the past 20 years, and so has the nature of both the music industry and the radio business. It doesn’t take much research to know that the way music is made and marketed is drastically different than it was before digital technology and social media.
At GROOV Marketing & Consulting, we know one thing hasn’t changed: The key to promoting a record on the radio is having good relationships. That’s why we’ve spent the past two decades building those relationships with music directors, station managers and individual DJs. Because when it comes to radio promotion, it’s who you know that counts.
To understand how we do what we do, it’s helpful to know a
little bit about how the national jazz chart is created. It used to be very
vague, and it was hard to know the relative weight of any particular station or
what “heavy” airplay meant at one station compared with another. Not anymore.
Nowadays radio stations go directly to the source of the chart (JazzWeek / www.jazzweek.com)
and input their spins, resulting in a weekly Top 200 and Top 50.
HOW GROOV GETS RESULTS
Phase 1 / Setup:
The crucial first step is to build the buzz for your album. Every release GROOV works has a minimum two-week setup period. During this time we talk to stations about your music, giving them insight into the project, the key musicians, and our suggestions as to the important (and most radio-friendly) tracks. Building anticipation with stations is a key part of getting results. Plus, labels now often release singles before the full album, creating a longer lag time between when the first sample of the album is heard and when the full album comes out. That makes the setup period even more important. Depending on which campaign you choose, we offer setup periods of two, three or four weeks.
Phase 2 / Strategic Mailing:
All the buzz in the world doesn’t help if the station doesn’t actually have your album. Whether you use us to mail your record or do it yourself, in most cases GROOV starts your setup the same day your record is mailed to radio stations. This ensures that music and program directors have plenty of time to listen to the music and to schedule it into their rotations on your add date.
Phase 3 / Street Date Parallel:
“Street date” means the day your record is available for folks to buy. At GROOV we work hard to match our radio promotion to the street date, so people who are hearing the album on the air can immediately buy it. If you’re on tour ahead of the street date, that’s no problem. GROOV will send advance copies to stations in the places you’re touring. If the stars don’t align and your tour dates don’t coincide with the street date and radio promotion, that’s no problem either. GROOV will promote your album to stations in those markets even after our main radio promotion is finished.
Phase 4 / The Push:
We’ve built up the buzz, the radio stations have your record, and it’s hitting store (and digital) shelves for fans to buy. Now it’s time for the big push. Week #1 is called the “add week.” During this week we focus on getting your record played at stations in key national markets. Why? Because that helps your position on the chart and with trade publications. We work to get adds at all stations, of course, but the biggies are our first priority in this first week. This includes syndicated, online and specialty shows, too, if they fit with your album. There are several benefits to this method. First, it increases your chances of getting on a “most added” list in a print outlet. Second, seeing a lot of airplay at big stations help other stations hop on the bandwagon. As the old saying goes, nothing succeeds like success. We also work hard to make this push transparent to you with our marketing reports. Reports are available every Friday and include new adds (and the sizes of the markets), feedback we receive from stations, spin counts (where applicable) and more. We make the reports easy to understand so you know what we’re doing and how your money is being spent.
We offer three different radio campaigns that take into
account your goals for the record, your budget, and our expertise and
experience regarding what works. If you choose one of our top two tiers, you’re
hiring us to promote your record for at least six weeks. Over the years we’ve
learned that by the end of six weeks we know whether or not a station is going
to add your album, or continue to play it if it’s already been added. You’ll find an explanation of our three tiers
below. Please note that all campaigns will start with an individual quote based
on your specific project.
Tier 1 / Life At Radio: This is by far our most popular campaign. Life At Radio offers a minimum of two free weeks of setup, 10 weeks of radio promotion, tour support, a GROOV Marketing Web Feature, interview opportunities with interested stations, weekly consulting, weekly client reports, mailing labels and a chance for you to make thank-you calls to stations that support your album. If your CD is still making radio progress after 10 weeks, GROOV will work the CD until both you and GROOV feel like your album has reached its maximum potential, usually measured by chart position and new adds at stations.
Tier 2 / Standard: Our Standard radio campaign is essentially the same as the Life at Radio Campaign, but with a shorter promotion time of six to eight weeks. This campaign is good if you want to make a statement with radio stations but you’re on a tighter budget. If an album is doing extraordinarily well, we often suggest an extension. We offer extensions in two-week increments past the original Standard campaign. How do we know if your record is doing well? Positive chart numbers, continued adds and conversions in the sixth week, and product giveaway requests.
Tier 3 / Awareness: The Awareness campaign does just what it says. GROOV will run a low-pressure campaign for your album for four to six weeks. This is enough to let stations know your album exists, but it doesn’t come with expectations of an appearance on the chart. These campaigns are typically for albums that might not make the Top 50 anyway for some reason, such as an artist with very limited exposure or a record that’s at the edge of the standard radio format.
Custom Campaigns: Got a record that’s a little outside the mainstream? From avant to swing to fusion, from Latin to world to college, GROOV can create a custom campaign with e-mail and mailing lists to suit your needs.
Added Value / Digital Delivery: Let’s face it – mailing CDs isn’t cheap. Luckily, noncommercial
radio stations are finally catching up to their commercial counterparts and
accepting digital music. GROOV is constantly researching station contacts; as a
result, we now have a database of more than 1000 contacts in the U.S., Canada
and select international markets. This list includes jazz, Latin and world
music formats. This database means we can send videos, electronic press kits
(EPKs), hi-res artwork, and audio files via email at no cost to you. As an
added bonus, we can also work with specific on-air hosts via email, not just
music and program directors. And we can promote singles more easily, too, ahead
of full album releases. Digital delivery doesn’t completely eliminate the need
to mail physical CDs, but it greatly reduces the number and cost.
Interviews, Phone Calls, Station IDs and Giveaways: An integral part of our radio campaign is generating interest by way of in-person or phone interviews, thank-you calls and liners from artists. (A liner is one of those things like “This is ARTIST and you’re listening to STATION NAME.”) We also encourage managers and labels to match tour dates with retail and radio dates to make these types of promotion even more effective. As for giveaways, anyone in non-commercial radio understands the importance of CD’s or digital downloads for fundraisers and artist features. We ask that every radio campaign be accompanied by at least 30 CDs or download cards for us to use at our disposal to support those types of events.
Maintenance: As a courtesy, GROOV often works a release an extra week past the initial campaign agreement while the album winds itself down at radio stations. This lets stations know we’re still interested in the album’s performance. We also find that stations who weren’t early adopters will often pick up the buzz later on. Please note that we don’t offer radio reports on maintenance.
Stations: Our straight-ahead jazz list, world and
latin lists are always changing due to constant research. Our overall digital
download contact list is at well over 1,000 contacts. Again, these outlets
include stations, syndicated and online programs affiliated with JazzWeek,
NACC, Earshot, community radio, college variety, and many more.
The Key: We said it at the beginning, we’ll say it again: The key to promoting a record on the radio is having good relationships. We love what we do! Although we primarily work jazz records, we’re simply music lovers and would be thrilled to work with any artist. Most of the people we work with feel the same way and many of the programmers who will be adding your record have been our friends or close business associates for years. When we make calls on your behalf we get through, and you benefit from those relationships and our shared love of music. That’s the key to our success. Let GROOV Marketing & Consulting help your next project get the exposure it deserves.
Please note that we only handle radio. We do not pitch artists or projects to the labels we currently represent. We also do not pair up artists with management or booking agents. Please respect this.