Posted: Feb 26, 2013
Category: Online Distribution
**This article was updated on 2/18/2014. Read How to Submit to Pandora (Without a CD) for their new submission guidelines.**
The internet has effectively leveled the playing field in the world of music. Music lovers no longer have to rely on radio djs at a handful of stations for exposure to new music; there is a seemingly limitless stream of great music available online all the time. The internet radio powerhouse Pandora, for example, played 1.39 billion hours of music for its listeners in December alone. And as most of you know, the great thing about Pandora is that it recognizes the user's taste in music and suggests new songs and artists they are likely to love, making it an ideal platform for exposing new listeners to your work.
So how do you get your songs added to the mix? The folks at Pandora do a pretty great job of finding tons of amazing musicians out there to include in the database. If you have a decent level of visibility, get your songs played on the radio from time to time, or have a strong online presence, you've likely already been found, and Pandora subscribers could very well be listening to your songs right now.
For those who are new to the industry, or who are still waiting for that big break (+DIY), Pandora offers a submission process that allows you to put your work in front of their music reviewers, who will then evaluate it and decide whether or not it should be included.
Pandora Submission Steps:
1. Register for Pandora at pandora.com. If you already have a listener account, you're all set.
2. Complete the online submission form here: http://submit.pandora.com.
3. Upload MP3 files for the two songs you would like Pandora to consider. Put your best foot forward and choose fan favorites that showcase your style and put your talent in the best light.
You will need to have a cd of your music, and the cd has to have a unique UPC (Universal Product Code) and be available through Amazon. The disc must also be available for purchase through Amazon as a physical cd, not just as MP3 downloads, and the individual tracks must be listed in the "Track Listing" area on the cd's product page. This ensures that Pandora has metadata on the disc, saving them from having to manually enter all of that info, and allows listeners to purchase your song or cd by simply clicking a link to your music on Amazon.
Don't have a cd yet? Check out our list of On Demand Printing Outlets for some options. Have a huge stack of cds, but they're not available on Amazon? Learn how to distribute them through Amazon as part of their advantage program HERE.
Don't have a UPC on your cd? You can get one here: www.nationwidebarcode.com.
Pandora also requires that you have the legal rights to your music.
Wondering what's happening with your submission? You can check the status here: http://submit.pandora.com/submit/status. Keep in mind that Pandora receives a ton of submissions, so it will take some time for their reviewers to get to yours.
If for some reason your music isn't accepted by Pandora on your first attempt, don't give up. Keep honing your craft and resubmit at a later date, or rest assured that once you've gained some notoriety and are playing some more prominent venues, the Pandora team will probably find you on their own!
If your songs are accepted, be sure to spread the word. Email your fans, share the news through social media, and tell everyone you can think of that they can now create a Pandora station around your act. You may just introduce them to some of your tunes that they did not already know.
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