David Dufresne

How-to: Get Your Music on Pandora !


The majority of our U.S. based Bandzooglers are probably familiar with Pandora, the leading online streaming radio, also super popular on iPhones and other mobile devices. For music fans, Pandora is a great way to discover new music, building personalized "stations" based on artists you already love.  So in theory, for independent artists looking to reach new listeners, Pandora should be a great way to promote your music, right ?  But how should one go about getting their music up there in the first place ? Well luckily for us, Bandzoogler (and Blogging Challenger) Jennifer Grassman recently wrote a post giving step-by-step instructions on how to make that happen.  After we saw in the Community Forums, we politely asked if we could re-post it here for our visitors and for anyone who had missed it, and she gracefully accepted. Check out her blog for more advice and general awesomeness.

By special request from one of my musician friends, I decided to write a blog about how to get your music aired on Pandora Radio (www.Pandora.com).

I just went through the steps myself when submitting Serpent Tales & Nightingales, so I took some screencaps to illustrate the process. 

PREREQUISITE: One thing that should be noted before you proceed to upload your music onto Pandora, is that in order for Pandora to display a cover image of your album in its player, it needs to be able to grab the image off Amazon.com.  So, if your physical album is not available for sale on Amazon.com, Pandora may ask you to make it available there prior to accepting your music.  How do you get your album sold on Amazon?  Simple. Sell it through CDBaby (or other distributors like Tunecore, just make sure they will make it available as a CD in Amazon' U.S. store). They'll take care of the rest. It's $35 per album, and CDBaby will distribute your music all over the world through their main website, iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, and of course, Amazon (among many others). I can personally vouch for their services, as I sell all my albums through CDBaby and have never had any complaints (and I must say, it feels like my birthday every time a surprise payment for downloads or CD sales pops into my bank account!).

WARNING: The songs / albums you submit to Pandora must be high quality, professionally produced, mixed and mastered. Otherwise, they will be rejected ... and I'm not certain ... but submitted low-grade material could potentially make Pandora less likely to take your submissions seriously in the future - even if they're great!  So be careful, and only submit your very best.  DO NOT SUBMIT ANY ARTIST'S MUSIC FOR THEM ON THEIR BEHALF. NICE THOUGHT, BUT ILLEGAL!

You can click on the screencaps to enlarge them in a new window.

1. Go to http://submitmusic.pandora.com/.  You'll see the page depicted below. Click "Continue."

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2. Sign in to your Pandora account, or create one. Click "Continue"

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3. Enter your UPC Code. You'll find it in the Bar Code area on your album. Enter ALL the numbers - BIG and small. Click "Check UPC"

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4. Double check your Artist name and Album title are correct. Select 2 tracks for review. I recommend submitted your most "radio ready" songs, or the songs fans seem to like the most right off the bat.  Your songs should be high quality, professionally produced, mixed and mastered tracks. Poorly produced songs or low quality tracks will be rejected by Pandora.  On this page, you'll be able to select an MP3 file off your computer. Make sure they're good quality MP3s ... and they match the song title you just selected!

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5. Scroll down and enter any Optional Information you want Pandora to consider when reviewing your music. Maybe some similar sounding artists would be helpful!

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6. Scroll down to review Pandora's contract with you. Check the square that confirms, "I do have the legal rights and permissions to submit this album and it's tracks to Pandora ..." Click "Upload to Pandora"

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7. Confirmation! If you're seeing this page, you've just successfully submitted your tracks to Pandora for review:

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8. If you click "status page" you will be taken to the following page, where you can review your submission, and cancel it if needed.

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9. You'll have to wait several weeks to months to hear back from Pandora.  If your music is accepted, you'll receive instructions on how to mail them your full album.

And that, as they say, is that.

Good luck!

Jennifer


Posted by David Dufresne on 12/02/2010 | 27 comments

Comments

Victoria Blackie
Posted by Victoria Blackie on Dec 2 2010 10:39 PM
YEAAAAHHHH Thank you so much for posting this.. I will give it a spin. THANK YOU ;)
WWW.QUIETSTORMBEATZ.COM
Posted by WWW.QUIETSTORMBEATZ.COM on Dec 2 2010 10:59 PM
GREAT INFO:)
Abby Feferman Music
Posted by Abby Feferman Music on Dec 3 2010 2:29 AM
Thank you so much! Definitely going to check this out! :)
Wilton Said...
Posted by Wilton Said... on Dec 3 2010 3:13 AM
You forgot to mention that at the moment, Pandora doesn't seem to deal with accounts that are outside of the USA. When I click continue and then try to creat an account, I get this. "Dear Pandora Visitor, We are deeply, deeply sorry to say that due to licensing constraints, we can no longer allow access to Pandora for listeners located outside of the U.S. We will continue to work diligently to realize the vision of a truly global Pandora, but for the time being we are required to restrict its use. We are very sad to have to do this, but there is no other alternative. We believe that you are in Canada (your IP address appears to be 64.231.21.77). If you believe we have made a mistake, we apologize and ask that you please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com If you are a paid subscriber, please contact us at pandora-support@pandora.com and we will issue a pro-rated refund to the credit card you used to sign up. If you have been using Pandora, we will keep a record of your existing stations and bookmarked artists and songs, so that when we are able to launch in your country, they will be waiting for you. We will be notifying listeners as licensing agreements are established in individual countries. If you would like to be notified by email when Pandora is available in your country, please enter your email address below. The pace of global licensing is hard to predict, but we have the ultimate goal of being able to offer our service everywhere. We share your disappointment and greatly appreciate your understanding. Sincerely, Tim Westergen Tim Westergren Founder "
3CK
Posted by 3CK on Dec 3 2010 4:09 AM
This is very useful info! I have tried to submit my music to Pandora in the past but i have run in to a snag. I too sell my albums through CDbaby and there are on amazon, however, when i type in my UPC BIG and small numbers i get the following messege. There was a problem reading the data from Amazon.com for this album (No track data returned). Please make sure that your album is available for purchase as a CD from Amazon.com, and has the required information. Please check the FAQ at http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/10008.html for more information. For more general information regarding music submission, see http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/31.html Any suggestion anyone? thanks
FreedomAndForgiven
Posted by FreedomAndForgiven on Dec 3 2010 4:32 AM
[quote="3CK"]This is very useful info! I have tried to submit my music to Pandora in the past but i have run in to a snag. I too sell my albums through CDbaby and there are on amazon, however, when i type in my UPC BIG and small numbers i get the following messege. There was a problem reading the data from Amazon.com for this album (No track data returned). Please make sure that your album is available for purchase as a CD from Amazon.com, and has the required information. Please check the FAQ at http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/10008.html for more information. For more general information regarding music submission, see http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/31.html Any suggestion anyone? thanks[/quote]DO you have just the downloads for sale on Amazon. Because the message is referring to an actual hardcopy CD. SO if you have only downloads for sale that is why.
3CK
Posted by 3CK on Dec 3 2010 2:29 PM
DO you have just the downloads for sale on Amazon. Because the message is referring to an actual hardcopy CD. SO if you have only downloads for sale that is why. You might be on to something. When searching my self on amazon I find the mp3's but i dont find a physical copy. I assumed that CDbaby would have made a physical copy available but maybe not? anybody know? Someone told me to sign up as a vender with amazon and put the Cd on like that. that sounds kinda pointless to me if Cd baby was suppose to take care of it.
FreedomAndForgiven
Posted by FreedomAndForgiven on Dec 3 2010 2:39 PM
[quote="3CK"] DO you have just the downloads for sale on Amazon. Because the message is referring to an actual hardcopy CD. SO if you have only downloads for sale that is why. You might be on to something. When searching my self on amazon I find the mp3's but i dont find a physical copy. I assumed that CDbaby would have made a physical copy available but maybe not? anybody know? Someone told me to sign up as a vender with amazon and put the Cd on like that. that sounds kinda pointless to me if Cd baby was suppose to take care of it. [/quote]You actually have to send in hardcopies of CD's to CD Baby. If you did this, and they still are not showing up on Amazon. I would call CD Baby, and talk to them about what is going on with Amazon. Amazon also has the right to either accept or deny your music depending on the price, and quality of the music. I think your best bet would to just call CD Baby.
3CK
Posted by 3CK on Dec 3 2010 3:16 PM
]You actually have to send in hardcopies of CD's to CD Baby. If you did this, and they still are not showing up on Amazon. I would call CD Baby, and talk to them about what is going on with Amazon. Amazon also has the right to either accept or deny your music depending on the price, and quality of the music. I think your best bet would to just call CD Baby. They have hard copies so ill just give them a call and see whats up. thanks for your advise.
Islam Rap God / Emcee & Producer
Posted by Islam Rap God / Emcee & Producer on Dec 3 2010 10:20 PM
I have done it. However, it's over a year and my music still has not posted. So, prepare for a long wait!!!!!!!!!:bawling:
Tammie Davis
Posted by Tammie Davis on Dec 4 2010 12:40 AM
:) I submitted my CD 3 months ago..and just found out today that my music was accepted and will be put onto Pandora..YEA!!!! Needless to say im super excited, even though they said it may be up to 3 more months before they show up on the site.
Chrissie Odell
Posted by Chrissie Odell on Dec 6 2010 11:49 PM
AMAZON INFO: For those of you who have your cd(s) available on Amazon, but you are getting the error message from Pandora stating "No data track returned" you need to go to: http://www.amazon.com/gp/content-form/?ie=UTF8&product=music Fill out the form which will add track information to the cd. When a cd is put on Amazon, there is no initial space for this info, so it must be added later. -- Sometimes CDbaby does it, sometimes not. And if you put the disc up on Amazon yourself like I did, then you absolutely do NOT have track info up for your disc unless you have filled out this form. It takes a bit for it to go through (days) then, it's fully searchable by Pandora. Good Luck Guys!
Cafe Latte Express
Posted by Cafe Latte Express on Dec 7 2010 12:56 AM
Thanks so much for this excellant information, will check it out. Happy Holidays!!! :)
frequencytheater.bandzoogle.com
Posted by frequencytheater.bandzoogle.com on Dec 7 2010 4:44 PM
This is the most direct and concise "how-to" I have seen on getting independent music onto Pandora. Thanks!:agree:
Reality Suite
Posted by Reality Suite on Dec 7 2010 8:25 PM
My band, Reality Suite, went through the whole process. You just need to be patient. It took nearly 4 months before we were accepted and featured on Pandora. It was a process, but well worth the wait. Brian King www.realitysuite.com:)
Ockums Razor
Posted by Ockums Razor on Dec 8 2010 1:28 AM
The problem that I always have with getting our music on there is that when I enter the UPC code, I get an error message after I check the upc. I just did an update on Amazon for the particular release and I know that it is for "physical" cd's. I emailed CD Baby in the past about it and they never replied back, they are usually pretty good about getting back on most stuff, though. Any suggestions? I am gonna keep tryin' in the future....
biggrime1
Posted by biggrime1 on Dec 8 2010 2:56 AM
wow I am currently working on my mix sound track with different artist. I just produce the songs. I have never thought about submiting my songs there. Very good idea. I will be working on that
Mayan Fox
Posted by Mayan Fox on Dec 8 2010 4:00 AM
BOOO! They wouldn't accept anything from Australia! Meh
craigbancoff.com
Posted by craigbancoff.com on Dec 8 2010 5:55 AM
I have to say I was denied by Pandora last year with my album Eden. It realy bumed me out! My album was all over the net including Amazon where it sold really well,as well as being in the in the top three,for five months strait in both the country alt and Americana category on CD baby(CD baby also featured me twice in there mailer). My album sold moderately well on iTunes but actually spent a short period on the front page of there site for new arrivals. I reviewed right along side many major artists in my genre often getting better reviews then some of my favorite artists, and in a lot of different music forums and mags. I promoted and sold my album in all the appropriate markets, yet still denied. I don't say all of this to brag, I'm saying that I was and am still baffled. I'm not sure what they wanted but it clearly wasn't me?:bawling::bawling::bawling::confused::mad::(:bawling:
Carrie Armitage
Posted by Carrie Armitage on Dec 8 2010 1:49 PM
Pandora WILL accept artists outside of the USA, you won't be able to listen to Pandora, but if they like your stuff they will play it. You just need to go through their customer service (providing the info that you have a CD for sale on Amazon, send them the link to prove it) and YES it takes ages, even a support email could take 2 weeks to get a response and the entire process takes months.
Mayan Fox
Posted by Mayan Fox on Dec 8 2010 9:17 PM
[quote="carriearmitage"]Pandora WILL accept artists outside of the USA, you won't be able to listen to Pandora, but if they like your stuff they will play it. You just need to go through their customer service (providing the info that you have a CD for sale on Amazon, send them the link to prove it) and YES it takes ages, even a support email could take 2 weeks to get a response and the entire process takes months.[/quote] Via the submission link they stated outright that they are currently not accepting submissions from outside of the US. To tell you the truth I've never even heard of Pandora until now but I'm assuming it's a great avenue for exposure considering the dedication of a whole blog to it. I can try customer service though. thanks Carrie:) Nate
Carrie Armitage
Posted by Carrie Armitage on Dec 9 2010 12:04 AM
I'm still in the process of getting set up, but they appear to be helping me. Their customer service doesn't hold a candle to Bandzoogle though, you need patience! good luck!
Mayan Fox
Posted by Mayan Fox on Dec 13 2010 2:52 AM
[quote="carriearmitage"]I'm still in the process of getting set up, but they appear to be helping me. Their customer service doesn't hold a candle to Bandzoogle though, you need patience! good luck![/quote] Perhaps because you still on the continent it's different but they wouldn't accept Australian artists. Good luck though getting stuck in to them:)
somethingbetter
Posted by somethingbetter on Dec 17 2010 3:54 PM
Okay, I'm sure every artist believes his or her music is good enough for Pandora. But based on experience, no matter how high the production values or quality of the music, indie artists should be prepared to be rejected by Pandora, without explanation nor the ability to follow up and ask, why? Their business model has morphed into commercial radio's business model, which means they rarely accept music from those not on a label. So, even though they say they go by this complex "Music Genome Project," where "trained" musician sit for hours and put your tracks into a super computer to ascertain its worthiness for Pandora, don't be surprised by rejection. You're better off attracting fans by internet radio outlets that truly let both the music and the fans speak for themselves, like last.fm and jango.
SpiritN3D
Posted by SpiritN3D on Dec 17 2010 5:48 PM
Thanks David for the step by step. I will post our album on Pandora soon. I'll let you know if there are any snags. :)
G-Major
Posted by G-Major on Dec 17 2010 6:03 PM
well thanks to everyone i will start the process and see where it takes the music. Just remember Elvis was initially rejected as was Led Zeppelin,Alice Cooper etc etc the listening audience will decide in the end
FAIYA
Posted by FAIYA on Jan 13 2011 11:22 PM
Yea pretty much EVERYONE that has "made it" has been rejected countless times....the hustle of this industry is making unfamiliar faces familiar with you. We are all in the business of converting people's minds (or at least ears) to add us to their palette. I want to try and submit to Pandora, does anyone know if you are registered to a PRO such as BMI, do you manually report Pandora streams to BMI, or will they already know by tracking your artist name ???