How a song gets chosen for radio play

Music Industry Online (MIO) reported last week that 5FM was attacked and labelled "Anti-South African" because it rejected the twin duo Locnville's new single, 'Stars Above You'. After the song was given thumbs down, it is alleged that the duo's label, Just Music, went onto social networking platforms to mobilize the masses to force 5FM to play the new single. Since its release, the song has been getting mixed reviews, with some defending and others rubbishing it. After all the controversy around the song, this week MIO chat to 5FM's Programme Manager Vukile Zondi about the station's song screening process, and the reasons why "Stars Above You" was rejected. Read the article and let us know youer view.

How does one submit music for possible playlisting on 5FM?

Record labels and artists submit their songs either in person or via email to our music team.
Who do one talk to if I want to submit my music?
Someone from the music team - you can call the station and request to speak to someone in the music department.
Which procedure do you recommend when submitting music?
It's best to call the music team at the 5FM offices.
Fair enough. So, in terms of packaging, is there anything specific that the artist can do to get more attention?
Display your contact details clearly and include a short biography.
Ok, can you explain the screening process that happens after an artist has submitted his/her music?
It's listened to by the team and if it meets our programming criteria it will be playlisted.
In the case that you find an artist's music unsuitable for the station, do you inform the artist/label and also give them reasons why their music cannot be played?
They will receive an email the following week from 5FM, regardless of whether they are playlisted or rejected. If they don't get feedback it's normally because they didn't display the correct contact details on their submission, if any at all.
Radio stations always talk about the music committee; at 5 FM what kind of expertise do the station's music team have in this regard?
The 5FM playlist committee is made up of selected internal 5FM staff members who have a combination of broad music knowledge, an appreciation of 5FM's music strategy and audience.
Which type of music gets first preference at 5FM?
Music which is best suited to our format and to our target audience and which falls within our station's music format.
In terms of quality, what do you look for?
The song needs to meet our programming criteria – recording quality is also extremely important.
If the song/s one sent were rejected, does it mean that I cannot submit other songs as well?
No – you can submit as many different songs as you'd like and you can submit the same song more than once.
Recently, you were labelled "Anti-South African" for having rejected the new Locnville single; can you explain why you rejected the song?
The criteria for song selection are based on the 5FM programming strategy, which is confidential, but the main criteria are format, strength and production quality, amongst others. In the view of the playlist committee, the song did not meet these criteria.