For this new edition of our WARM Story series, we are thrilled to introduce Michael (Mick) Ryan, the Head of US Radio Promotions at Your Army. He shared with us some insightful remarks about the status of radio promotion in the music business as well as a glimpse into their daily work routine. Ryan also elaborated on how the industry does not make their work easy and how the agency makes the most of WARM’s radio monitoring system to overcome such difficulties. Discover what they said during the interview by reading the article below.
Founded in 2007 with a desire to break and deliver for the artists they believed in, Your Army has become a global promotion agency with offices in Los Angeles, Sydney and London. Their services include Radio Plugging, TV Plugging, Club Promotion and Digital Marketing. Over the years they have worked with a great number of artists, including international acts such as Disclosure, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Gorgon City, Sam Smith, Major Lazer, and David Guetta.
The most popular radio monitoring and spin-tracking systems are good at providing insight to a more narrow, commercial, and territory-specific scope of stations, but Your Army's approach to promotions left us wanting more breadth in terms of stations tracked and depth of information on each spin.
We also work with many different trackers in various regions around the world, but WARM has offered us a more streamlined solution for global radio campaigns. We needed an in-depth look at the Americas, while being able to monitor and adapt to how things are growing in Europe, Latin America, the UK, Australia, etc.
We don't define success just off of the chart position determined by spins across a limited subset of genre-formatted stations. The internet and the way genres overlap nowadays means music doesn't exist in those old silos anymore. The most exciting music to us as a company are things that straddle the lines of different genres, and these often don’t fit into the different formats the old tracking systems still offer.
Over our years working radio there's been an undeniable gap in the radio monitoring space in America, which WARM has now helped us close. WARM can still track many of the more commercial stations, but it's unique in that it allows us to see what is happening in more indie spaces around the country like College, Non-commercial, which for a long time hadn't had reliable reporting on current spins. Prior to using the WARM platform we would find ourselves combing through the daily or weekly playlists on countless unmonitored stations all so we could provide detailed reports to our clients about where their music was being supported. WARM offers us a look at plays we get at potentially overlooked stations that still have a real impact and are part of telling an artist's story in a new or unfamiliar territory for them.
We also wanted the ability to check up to the minute spins with timestamps attached. It's one thing to know how many times a record has been played at a station throughout the week, but we gain a different level of understanding when we can pinpoint exactly which of our radio partners are playing a record and how often they are spinning it. This knowledge allows us to form strong links between the artists we work with and the champions supporting their music and career journey.
Even for a lot of highly influential stations, before WARM all we could do was report on what stations self-reported they were adding, or oftentimes, for high-profile stations, we'd go back and manually track plays if they were even available on their website. But WARM has allowed us to automate this and track thousands of spins across different campaigns at stations like Nexus, Groove Radio, UCLA Radio, WNYC, for artists as diverse as James Blake, Hot Chip, Polo & Pan, and RÜFÜS DU SOL.
If we were to simply rely on industry standard reporting practices for our radio campaigns, we would have missed thousands of plays we were otherwise able to tell clients about because of the extent of WARM's tracking.
While unfortunately a perfect solution to global or even national radio tracking doesn't exist right now, from all of our work with the WARM team over the years I can tell they are as committed to building it as anyone else out there right now, and the current product is as close as it gets. The team has always been open and receptive to feedback, and the regular updates and improvements always feel like a step in the right direction, not a step back.
For professional promotions outfits like Your Army, WARM is the ideal way to round out any radio monitoring shortcomings. That said, by no means is this a system reserved for the pros. The system definitely could benefit new and breaking artists that don't yet have established teams in their corner in a myriad of ways too. Where other tracking platforms can get incredibly expensive, WARM can give artists a snapshot of their global radio story for a fraction of the price.
Our team at WARM is grateful for such valuable feedback from one of the world’s leading promotion agencies! Curious to hear more about how our users make the most of WARM? Check out the WARM Story of James Marsh (Head of Specialist Radio and Club Promotion at Listen Up), Martin Véronneau (President and CEO at Local9), and Fanny Hulard (music development coach, independent publicist and multi-talented artist).
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