When your production is finished, it’s time to start promoting your music. Millions of music fans are listening to Pandora, an online radio service that allows users to create “stations” based on their musical tastes. After a user creates a station, Pandora plays them a constant stream of music from artists with similar sounds. The best part about Pandora for independent artists is that if your music is in their database, your songs can be played alongside famous artists that we all know and love.
So you probably wouldn’t mind having your song follow U2, would you? Pandora’s library of music is called the Music Genome Project, a system which has them listen to every song in the database and assign specific characteristics to each one. This is how they can make recommendations based on the music you listen to. Inclusion in the project isn’t guaranteed, but here is what you can do to try to get in on all the Pandora fun!
Own Your Music
Before you do anything, you should know that you need to own the rights to the music that you’re trying to submit to Pandora. Submitting music that you don’t have ownership of is sure to be rejected, so it won’t be worth the effort!
Get Your CD Pressed
First things first: you must have physical copies of your CD available. This means investing a little money in CD replication (or CD duplication, but replication is more common). Make sure you have a professional music production that is mixed and mastered on a level that will allow you to compete with other music you hear on the radio (we can help you with that). There are many CD duplication and replication services online, but be sure to choose one that will give you a UPC code when they manufacture your discs. You’ll need it when you submit to Pandora!
Get Your CDs on Amazon.com
Another requirement before you submit to Pandora is that your CD is available to buy from Amazon.com. Note that this specifically means your physical CD… Just having MP3 downloads available through Amazon won’t cut it. You can learn more about how to get your CDs on Amazon by clicking here.
It’s important to note that no distribution company promise to get you onto Pandora, but some might be able to help you get your CDs on Amazon.
Make Two MP3s
You’ve probably already made MP3s of all your songs at this point, but all Pandora needs is two songs to start. If you’re not sure how to convert songs on your CD to mp3, there are many simple programs (including iTunes) that can help you do this very easily.
Create a Pandora Account
Here’s a simple step: make an account on Pandora with a valid email address. This account will be associated with the music you submit. Then head on over to submitmusic.pandora.com to start the submission process once you have everything above in order. Remember that it will take some time for them to review your submission, so you might not want to get too antsy for results quite yet!
Hope For the Best
At this point, you’ve done just about all you can do to get on Pandora. There’s no guarantee that you’ll be included, but it’s now out of your hands. Pandora’s team will listen to your submission and learn more about you as an artist before they decide whether or not you get to have your songs side by side with Michael Jackson. And although they claim to thrive on unknowns and up-and-comers, you can imagine that competition among independent artists can be pretty stiff. Their website states that “a submission from an independent artist must be uniquely compelling to be accepted.”
Don’t let that discourage you from trying. Many indie artists make it, so why not give it a shot? But first, make sure you have a great recording to give them. If you’re not sure how your song compares, submit it to our free project consultation form for some feedback!