Pandora Now Allows Digital Submissions

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Pandora Radio just quietly updated their submission process to allow anyone to submit music for consideration WITHOUT a physical CD.

Finally.

For as long as I can remember, the submission process for independent (non-label) music has been an incredible headache. In the past, you had to submit two mp3s to Pandora for consideration. Easy enough. The headache came in that they REQUIRED you to have a PHYSICAL CD with a UPC in the Amazon store. I have no idea why they went this odd route. But there was no way around it (for non-label artists).

Getting a physical CD in Amazon is no easy feat. You can’t just send them a CD with a note saying “hey please put this in your store.” You have to setup a seller’s account and go through all of that paperwork. It’s a process. I know. I did it. It’s not quick and there’s lots of waiting around for materials to be received and approved.

If you sold CDs through CD Baby, they would get you setup in the Amazon store, so that typically streamlined this process a little bit.

However, with more and more artists turning to digital only releases, this outdated process denied these artists access to the most popular internet radio station in the US.

There is no guarantee that Pandora will accept the music. And as it is well documented, Pandora is on their own, very delayed time frame (they currently state it takes about 6 weeks for the review process). Mainly because a musician (human) listens to every piece of music entered into the Pandora database. The Music Genome Project, as Pandora calls it.

With 76.2 million active listeners, though, it’s worth getting your music on it (even if you don’t live in the 3 countries that offer it).

So how do you submit now?

Simple. Just go to http://submit.pandora.com (the address hasn’t changed) and enter in the information. You must have a Pandora account. If you currently don’t, register for a free account (or sign in through Facebook). If you’re an artist based in a country that does not offer Pandora, you can contact Pandora at [email protected] and request they create an account for you.

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You do need to have the music available for sale in either iTunes, Bandcamp, Amazon or CD Baby. They ask for the name of the artist and links to the bio and other information. They also ask for your phone number and 2 links (not mp3s anymore) to where they can listen to the songs being considered for submission.

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If the 2 songs are up to Pandora standards, then they will approve it and will then get in touch for the full album, EP or single.On the confirmation page it lists the estimated processing time is 6 weeks.

Independent artists may only submit one album at a time. Labels, distributors, publicists, managers, et al, can submit more than one release at a time by contacting  [email protected] for more information.

There is a great status bar which notes which stage of the process you are in: Submitted, In Review, Approved, Live.

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Make sure to also register for SoundExchange to make sure you get paid for every stream.

Great news for independent musicians

About The Author

Writer, Musician, Whiskey Drinker

Ari Herstand is the author of How To Make It in the New Music Business (Dec 2016 - Liveright / Norton). He has been a DIY musician for over 10 years, has performed over 600 shows around the world and released 4 studio albums and 2 live albums. He has had songs featured on multiple TV shows, commercials and films and has shared the stage with Ben Folds, Cake, Matt Nathanson, Joshua Radin, Eric Hutchinson, Milk Carton Kids and Ron Pope. He created the music business advice blog, Ari’s Take in the Spring of 2012 to help DIY musicians navigate the independent world of music. Herstand was born and raised in the Midwest and got his start in the Minneapolis music scene. He rose to prominence locally and consistently sold out the 800 capacity Varsity Theater. He became the go-to musician in the scene for music business advice before he moved to Los Angeles in the Summer of 2010. Currently residing in West Hollywood, Herstand still spends a good portion of his time on the road touring. When at home he splits his time writing music, writing articles, writing his book (out December 2016 with Norton Publishing), playing shows at the Hotel Cafe and acting in TV shows (see him in his co-star appearances on Mad Men, 2 Broke Girls, Aquarius, Transparent, The Fosters, and others)

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8 Responses

  1. TuneHunter

    Sounds good!
    One of the first steps in Pandora conversion to discovery based music store.
    If they could earn actual cash on tunes sold and participate financially in global success of new star they have discovered and created the process would take 24h.
    Era of Radio DJs discovering and monetizing music is overdue.

  2. Me

    But, I’m guessing it will sill take 6+ months for them to review the music and actually put it on the service.

  3. MuSiciAn

    Any composers or musicians getting this error message when logging in?

    Server Error

    We’re sorry, there has been an unexpected error with our server.

    Please try again, or visit the Pandora Home Page

    • violz

      if you are not in US or australia. no can do.. =(

  4. Joey

    I’m okay with the 6+ week delay as long as it means an actual human being is checking everything out. This is great news!

  5. Beyond Life

    Peace to All,
    I hope that all is well with you this morning. I am honored that you accepted my invite now, lets network and get some money together. I believe that in order for OUR people to move forward in this era, we have to build our own connections and business network. I produce music, I also produce Internet TV and radio shows. Please stay in contact for I am relaunching the WBFR Network in a few months and ma building a network of strong Sistas and Brothas to make change in our communities worldwide and abroad. We must start at home. I thank you again and do not be a stranger, reach out if you have any needs for my services. If you need music for spoken word of anything, reach out to me. Please also go to the site and listen to the music and if you like the album or any singles, fee free to purchase there.
    http://damelaninatedsouljahz.bandcamp.com/music

  6. shahan a.h.m

    if an artist lives in asia, will he be able to submit his music??

  7. Jasmine

    Hi, would you direct me to the page where pandora says it will take 6 weeks? Because sadly, they told me they didn’t state that 🙁