Train hitches its fortune to radio


Columbia Records recording act Train has a new album coming out, and a single from the album has been available since January. The band notes that “Drive By” – the new single – has already sold 200K copies, after getting exposure at AAA, Hot AC and Top 40 radio outlets.

The upcoming album is entitledCALIFORNIA37. The Grammy-winning band is doing the usual things to promote it – getting out before the public in concert, appearing at events and pursing cable music channel exposure both in theUSand abroad.

But radio remains a key element in the plan. As Train/Columbia noted in a statement, “The first single fromCALIFORNIA37, ‘Drive By,’ continues to climb the radio charts and has already entered the Top 10 at both the AAA and HOT AC formats. It is also charting at Top 40 and moving up quickly.  ‘Drive By’ has sold over 200,000 singles since its release in January.”

Train’s earlier album, SAVE ME,SAN FRANCISCO, also benefitted from radio airplay. The band noted, “’Hey Soul Sister; was the biggest selling single of 2010 and hit #1 at radio in theUSand in 15 countries abroad. SAVE ME,SAN FRANCISCOhas sold over one million albums worldwide and over ten million tracks. In addition to taking the sales and radio worlds by storm, Train has been all over television.”

RBR-TVBR observation: During the debate over the Performance Rights Act, RIAA liked to talk about the waning influence of radio on the success of musical acts. For something of such allegedly little value, musicians sure seem to crave airplay.

The reason is simple – radio exposure moves product. For musicians, this exposure is absolutely free – the cost would be prohibitively expensive if they were forced to pay for the same air time off an advertising rate card.

Yes – radio stations get free content — it is the age old quid pro quo between broadcasters and musicians, and works to each party’s benefit. Take a look at the bands own statement. They said “sales” and followed it with “radio” in the same breath. They seem to understand that there is a connection.