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."
2. Sign in to your Pandora account, or create one. Click "Continue"
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"
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!
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!
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"
7. Confirmation! If you're seeing this page, you've just successfully submitted your tracks to Pandora for review:
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.
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.