Numerous streaming sites exist on the internet today, but one of them has stood the test of time: Pandora. Pandora was one of the first services that tried to match music based of certain qualities – in doing so, it’s able to predict certain songs that you may like based off your likes and dislikes. Dubbed the Music Genome Project, Pandora effectively uses over 450 musical attributes to match various songs together.
It’s no surprise then, with all the crazy popularity around Pandora, that musicians everywhere want to get their music on it. Not only can someone listen to your station and find other music similar to yours, but other people can find your music by listening to any other station similar to your style. It’s a completely passive method of marketing, and it’s a huge step forward for any artist to get on Pandora.
Luckily, the submission process has become extremely easy compared to what it used to be. Here’s the 3 easy steps to get on Pandora – complete these and you’ll be jamming out to your own station in no time!
Side Note: Click here if you want to listen to my station: Freccero Pandora.
1. Make Awesome Music
This should go without saying, but the truth is, Pandora screens every song added to its database. If your song isn’t good quality or it’s a poor production, then I would suggest going back and building up your chops.
Keep in mind that there’s two different types of content on Pandora: Music and Comedy. Regardless of what category you fall into, make sure that your content stands out and is unique as possible. Entire sites are dedicated just to the craft of music – whether it’s electronic, hip hop, rock, rap, etc, and I can’t suggest it enough to make your content as incredible as possible.
2. Release Your Music On a Major Platform
Two avenues exist for releasing music: Through a label or independently. There are pros and cons to both, but regardless of your choice, make sure your music is on at least one of these services: iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon or CD Baby.
If you release through a label, they’ll usually do this for you. If you plan to release it independently, I would suggest releasing it through Distrokid or Bandcamp (or both). I released my debut album, The Light Nearby, via Distrokid and their system is incredibly smooth and effortless. The only catch is that it’s $20/year (or $40/year if you want to have a custom label name), but you keep 100% of the profits, so it’s definitely worth it. With Bandcamp, you can submit your music for free and they just charge a cut of the profits, so it’s up to you which site to use. Personally, I highly suggest to use both.
3. Fill Out Pandora’s Submission Form
Now that you’ve made awesome music and your on a major platform, the next step is to send your music to Pandora. The submission process is extremely easy, and it involves 3 forms.
The first one is just for your general info:
If you’re releasing independently, then select artist. If you’re releasing through a label, I would suggest letting them fill out this part – or just ask them what works best.
The next step is filling out your music information:
This is where you’ll enter in the link to a major platform your music is on. Keep this in mind: If you’re submitting an album, you’ll select a track as a preview. If they like that track, then they’ll move forward with the process – if not, then your journey ends there. It should go without saying, but put your best track forward.
Also, when it comes to the description, I highly suggest entering in something. Whether it’s a description of your music, how you made it, why it’s significant, etc. Your goal is to stand out, and sometimes the story behind the music is just as interesting as the music itself (I entered in a lot of information here when submitting The Light Nearby).
Once you’re music is submitted, you’ll seen a screen with a progress bar. Here’s how it look after you’re live:
The main roadblock here is the approved status. Once you get approved, it’s only a matter of time before you’re completely live.
In terms of the length, I submitted The Light Nearby on March 3rd, it got approved on May 22nd, and my station was live on June 16th. The timing is different for everyone, so it’s tough to say how long it will exactly take, but it took roughly 3 months for the whole process.