Find playlists that look promising. Use them to contact DJs and/or Music Directors. Learn to search (Spinitron) data to find (your) information.
Spinitron is a database of music that has been played on the radio, who played it, when, and at what stations.
At present (April 2021, still in times of COVID restrictions) around 250 stations regularly use Spinitron, mostly in the USA with a few in Canada. Over 10,000 DJs across these stations add to the database at a rate of about 330,000 spins per week. Since it started in January 2003, Spinitron has grown to nearly 100 million spins in 4.6 million playlists.
The radio stations are all non-commercial, about evenly split between education (college and school radio) and community radio. Nearly all the DJs spinning the tunes are either student or community volunteers. Some DJs have been producing specialty music radio for years and have dedicated listeners.
Each spin exists in a playlist, together, and in order with, all the spins included in an episode of a radio show by a DJ. (At Spinitron we distinguish a song, a thing that exists, from a spin, which is an instance of a song being played.)
You can think of the information you’re looking for in terms of questions. In the case of music promotion the questions might be: Has my music been played on the radio? At which stations? By which DJs? In what radio programs? When? What other music was played in those programs? Where are these stations? And you might ask similar questions of other specific music besides yours, or other artists, or of music like it, or of a certain kind/genre.
You can try to answer the questions by searching the database using keywords, i.e. names of artist, songs and albums, or parts and combinations of them, to find playlists in which they appear. Depending on the tools you use, you may be able to constrain or filter the searches by date, station, genre and so on. The playlists you find tell you the station, DJ, and radio program with its date and time. They also show the music played before and after the spins your search found. DJs can optionally put a public email address in Spinitron. If that’s not available you may be able to find contact info for them or their stations’ Music Director or general staff using the web.
You can use 3rd-party search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo to find playlists of interest or you can use Spinitron Search. We don’t know how well Google etc. work for this task but we don’t do anything to hinder them from indexing Spinitron. So if that meets your needs, feel free.
Spinitron Search is a service we offer and are responsible for. The search engine is integrated with the Spinitron database and indexes all spins from the beginning of time up to (no more than one minute before) when you run the search.
Spinitron Search is offered in three tiers:
Free – Keyword search of the last 24 hours.
Standard – Keyword search any day or week you choose from Spinitron history. ($40/mo)
Advanced – Search and chart any time interval, by artist, song, release and label fields, filter results on stations and genres, group spins by artist/release, export/email search results. ($120/mo)
If you can’t afford standard or advanced search then you may still find what you need using the free search if you use it at least once a day over the date range you’re interested in. This won’t work to find spins more than a day ago but it will find all spins of a new release if you are prepared for it and remember to do the searches.
Standard and advanced are aimed at music business professionals from independent artists all the way up. You’re free to subscribe for just one month and not renew after that.
Free and standard search (youtube.com). A bit old but gives you the idea.