The contacts listed are sorted into FIVE sections: |
1. Publications, Review Websites and Music Blogs that will REVIEW your music
2. Radio Stations, Shows and Podcasts that will PLAY your songs
3. Labels, Vendors, Distributors and Promotional Services that will help you to SELL your CD
4. Websites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3s or videos
5. Helpful Resources for recording artists
SECTION ONE: SITES/PUBLICATIONS WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR MUSIC REVIEWED|
A music review site dedicated to writing, publishing and promoting the best new indie music by getting back to basics: objectivity, honesty, and in-depth writing. We work with artists, labels, managers and agencies.and accept original music in all genres. NOTEWORTHY offers song, EP and CD reviews. The main factor that differentiates NOTEWORTHY from other independent music review blogs is that NOTEWORTH is highly selective. I am always looking for superior talent to review! If you are an indie artist with original material interested in a song, EP or CD review please send me an e-mail and put "Artist Submission" in the subject line. Please include your name and a LINK to your music. If selected, I will notify you by e-mail with a password to the "members only" page where you will be asked to submit more information facebook.com/BWHMedia @BWHMedia
A music e-Zine dedicated to reviewing and promoting the best indie music by getting back to basics. I write objective, honest, in-depth, quality reviews about artists I select. I work with artists, labels, managers and agencies. Send an e-mail to and put "Artist Submission" in the subject line. Include your name and a LINK to your music as well as any other additional information that might help us determine if you are a good fit for our e-Zine. If selected, you will be notified by email and asked to provide additional information. We only review original music - no cover tunes. facebook.com/bwhmedia @BwhMedia
A blog and podcast dedicated to playing music from musicians, as well as interviewing musicians. we work with Pop, Rock, Acoustic, Singer/Songwriter, Alternative, R&B, Folk ... "Everything!" facebook.com/itsezbreezy
Indie Connect Magazine
120 Donelson Pike #201, Nashville, TN 37214
Relevant music industry success articles, videos & interviews from renown experts! The entire focus of the magazine is on helping musicians succeed. It's built on a platform that allows us to have animated text, videos, live links and a lot more. Unfortunately we do NOT review music. facebook.com/IndieConnect
Ghost Cult Magazine
Dedicated to exploring the boundaries of Heavy Music. Our goal is to bring the latest genre-pushing work from Heavy Metal's most innovative artists directly to our readers. We're fans first and foremost, but we're fans with a passion for music journalism and a love for experimentation. We're out there exploring the boundaries of that most extreme of Extreme Music, and we want to share what we've found out there with you. For submissions, please send digital files, promos and download codes to our e-mail address. Due to the volume of submissions we cannot guarantee your music will be reviewed. facebook.com/GhostCultMagazine @GhostCultMag
No Depression Magazine
A quarterly, high-end, ad-free magazine with a concurrent online publication. (Alt-country, Americana, Folk, Bluegrass, independent Country and Rock and more). Now, back in print and with a staff of ND writers in our ranks once again, we look forward to more high-quality ad-free journals and all the stories we've yet to tell about the music we've yet to hear. Check our FAQ for submission details. facebook.com/nodepressionmag @nodepression
SECTION TWO: RADIO STATIONS, SHOWS AND PROMOTERS
2.1 RADIO - STATIONS AND SHOWS
WDOM - Providence U.
1 Cunningham Sq. Providence, RI 02918
A student-operated, non-commercial educational radio station. WDOM is an ever growing media outlet that streams online and interacts with the Providence Metropolitan area. At WDOM, we give students the ability to exercise their wide variety of music and talk interests to the entire public. facebook.com/wdom913 @wdom913
Aussie Grown Radio
PO Box 250, Palmwoods, QLD 4555 Australia
Specifically set up to showcase Australian Christian artists and bands. Our internet station also carries specific programmes highlighting Christian indie music worldwide. facebook.com/AussieGrownRadio @HankAussieGrown
Divine Word Radio
We host all things Gospel chat, Gospel music and more to inspire the name Jesus in the hearts of our listeners. facebook.com/DivineWRadio
Indie Folk Radio
We play the best in contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Country Folk, Neo-Traditional Folk, Indie Folk and eclectic music.
Metal Murdercast Metal Zone Radio
DJ KoolWhip & Brianitis
Music from independent and unsigned bands from ALL AROUND THE WORLD!
2.2 RADIO PROMOTERS
Jerome Promotions & Marketing
2535 Winthrope Way, Lawrenceville, GA 30044
PH: 770-982-7055 FX: 770-982-1882
We call the music directors and program directors of over 250 stations several times a week in order to help our artists get airplay and the recognition that they deserve with the goal of helping them make a deal with a major label. @jeromepromotion
Howard Rosen Promotion
521 W. Channel Islands Blvd. #15, Port Hueneme, CA 93041
PH: 805-382-2200 FX: 805-201-7816
Since 1985 We have been helping artists reach their goals of obtaining radio airplay, expanding their fan base, and creating awareness throughout the industry. @Howiewoodpromo
National Record Promotion
137 N. Larchmont #500, Los Angeles, CA 90004
We promote artists and groups at radio with an emphasis on independent labels and recording artists. Over the last five years NRP has worked with many major acts. NRP will assist you in weekly tracking reports...national chart activity & radio interviews. facebook.com/National.Record.Promotion
119 Bowling Ave. Nashville, TN 37205-2357
Our Radio Promotion work focuses on relevant radio stations (terrestrial and online), especially college radio stations, in the U.S., Canada and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Our staff works daily to build relationships with radio stations, regional promoters, music/entertainment publications and websites, and media outlets throughout North America as well as in eastern and central Europe. We work mostly with Rock, Pop-Rock, Americana and Alt-Country artists. facebook.com/cimgllc
SECTION THREE: SERVICES/VENDORS/LABELS THAT WILL HELP SELL YOUR MUSIC
3.1 SERVICES - PROMOTION/PUBLICITY
We expose Hip Hop and R&B artists to various exposures in the media, so that we can brand them in different markets that cater to their art-form, and also show and teach about the entertainment industry by keeping them in the know about their career moves so that they can become stronger more knowledgeable business owners and entertainers. We are networked with various RADIO STATIONS, MAGAZINES, SOCIAL MEDIAS, and BLOGS to bring your service / product to the public. Let us construct a strategy to effectively bring it to light. facebook.com/HamTrackzProductions
LeLo Creative Management
We are a full service artist management company located in Nashville, TN. We specialize in artist development and breaking new artists. We guide and encourage artists from multiple mediums to create innovative and inspiring art. Whether a musician, film maker, songwriter, or author, we become the team behind your dream. We go beyond organizing, planning and advising. We come alongside and dream together. You don't have to do this alone, and a team makes all the difference. We multiply the effects of your art and your efforts. We offer both short and long term management and artist development options. We work with Folk, Roots, Indie and Christian artists.
Inspired by retro and international indie music, TrendCulprit is a digital media creative agency for music with a pioneering approach to innovative affiliations with the world's most creative digital geniuses to provide alternative "globally flavored" creative services to bands and performing artists of Rock, Reggae, Reggaeton, Salsa, International and Indie music. facebook.com/trendculprit @trendculprit
Miles High Productions
PO Box 93157, Hollywood, CA 90093
PH: 323-806-0400 FX: 323-462-0829
Created to bridge the gap of companies working directly with music artists and entertainment based projects who are in need of additional marketing support. MHP also focuses on non-music ventures such as corporate brand building, cosmetics, gaming, sports and other industries. MHP's goal is to elevate your product or artist to a higher ground in an expedient timeframe by exposing them to new and existing online audiences. MHP also focuses on taking our campaigns one step further by cross-promoting all traditional methods of marketing with online opportunities for further outreach. @MilesHigh
119 Bowling Ave. Nashville, TN 37205-2357
We provide Social Media Marketing and Social Commerce Solutions for our clients, in addition to Artist Management and Record Label Services. We work with artists, record labels, agencies, events, and brands of all kinds that want to effectively engage their supporters and fans via social media. Considering the global marketplace and international appeal, we offer our services in several languages as well, when appropriate to meet your goals. We work mostly with Rock, Pop-Rock, Americana and Alt-Country artists. facebook.com/cimgllc
3.2 SERVICES - LABELS, DISTRIBUTORS AND ONLINE VENDORS
We are an independent Hip Hop record company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company was founded by Doctor Hlatshwayo and he later decided to collaborate with other artists and producers.
A record label founded by Christians, specializing in Rap, Rhythm & Praise, Contemporary Gospel, Praise & Worship music, as well as spoken word. Have a demo? E-mail us the LINK where we can hear your music. We will not open attachments. facebook.com/LOWRECORDSLLC
SECTION FOUR: SITES WHERE YOU CAN UPLOAD YOUR BAND'S MP3s
13909 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230
CD Baby's YouTube network that applies the "power in numbers" principle to YouTube monetization‚ combining the volume of multiple artists' channels in order to help you. Make more money from your YouTube channel. Build your YouTube audience Drive more video engagement. Develop a smarter content strategy. Optimize your channel and videos. Earn higher ad revenue from your music on YouTube. In order to be eligible for the Illustrated Sound Network‚ your YouTube channel must: Have more than 500 subscribers. Be older than 30 days. Have at least one video. Have at least 3000 views in the last 30 days (across all videos). Be in good standing (in terms of copyright strikes). If your channel meets those requirements‚ we'd love to help you take your YouTube presence to the next level with Illustrated Sound. @illustratedsnd
Our goal is to provide artists with the royalties they deserve with minimum fees and fast payouts. We provide 80% of all sales to our artists every 2 weeks through a low fee bank transfer or a zero fee Bitcoin transfer. D-Tune Me uses a cloud distribution service for high speed downloads and fast transactions. All music on our site is in high quality formats and DRM free so you can take the music you buy off our site to any audio player or device. facebook.com/DtuneMe @DTuneMe
Provider of publicity services and film music networking opportunities. We are the ultimate fans of independent artists. Since 2001, we have been helping independent filmmakers and musicians work together. Now, we are also broadcasting indie films and music videos on our streaming media channels.facebook.com/versusmediadotcom @versusmedia
An open free hosting platform and social marketplace for musicians and a music discovery and listening platform for fans. Content providers are in complete control of how their music gets heard with no long-term contracts, and all services simply offered non-exclusively whenever possible, period. If you currently have music on SoundCloud you can simply have it all imported to Orfium automatically to make the switch simple. See below to learn more about what we do and start uploading today. facebook.com/orfium @OrfiumMusic
We are home to independent musicians, talk show hosts and their fans, worldwide. Radical is completely free for artists, and we pass 100% of revenues generated by them - via downloads, merchandise sales, and show promotions - directly through to those Artists. A corporation with a conscience, Radical compensates artists, composers, and labels for all the music streamed. Yet the company chooses to offer the ad-free service on a 'Pay What You Can' donation basis because Radical believes in a quality musical experience devoid of commercials, even for the unemployed and working poor. facebook.com/RadicalIndie @radicalfm
76, Avenue de la Liberté, L-1930 Luxembourg
The world's #1 platform for free and legal music downloads under Creative Commons licenses. Available in eight languages, the site offers a catalog of over 500,000 tracks from 40,000 artists! Free music is music that is not managed by performance rights organizations (PRS, ASCAP, SOCAN, BMI, BUMA, GEMA, SIAE, SGAE, JASRAC...). Artists choose to protect their rights through specific non-exclusive licenses such as Creative Commons. "Free music" doesn't necessarily mean free of charge, or devoid of any rights restrictions, it means "some rights reserved". Artists define what rights they grant on their music through their choice of license. facebook.com/JAMENDO @Jamendo
SECTION FIVE: SOCIAL NETWORKS AND ONLINE COMMUNITIES
10115 E. Bell Rd. #107, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
A social music and event platform to help artists and fans listen, interact and promote in one place. The mission of More Bass is to solve Music Industry fragmentation by providing the social features of Facebook, streaming abilities of Pandora, and discovery capabilities of Google, to create the first true social music solution. Join thousands of emerging artists working to advance their careers. With a powerful suite of tools, access to the industry, and a comprehensive approach to artist development, More Bass plays a meaningful role in the success of independent artists. facebook.com/MoreBassOfficial @morebass
SECTION SIX: HELPFUL TOOLS AND RESOURCES FOR YOUR BAND
6.1 RESOURCES - GENERAL
The Music Industry Lawyer
9107 Wilshire Blvd. #450, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Erin M. Jacobson
Erin M. Jacobson, Esq. is an experienced deal negotiator and a seasoned advisor of intellectual property rights who protects musicians, songwriters, music publishers, record labels, and a wide variety of other music and entertainment professionals. Ms. Jacobson’s clients include Grammy and Emmy Award winners, legacy artists and independent artists and companies. Ms. Jacobson regularly handles all types of contracts within the music industry, and works with artists in the Rock, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Americana, and Country genres, as well as composers for film and television. Please note that I do not shop or accept unsolicited material. facebook.com/musicindustrylawyer
13914 Hickory St., Omaha, NE 68144
E-mail based booking service. We help you cut out the research and get on the road quicker. facebook.com/IndieBooker
2418 Queens Plaza S. #8121, Long Island City, NY 11101
Helps musicians and labels test their songs against a live market of potential new fans, and receive valuable feedback to inform composition and promotion. All genres are welcome! facebook.com/audiokite @AudioKite
We are a film company that travels a lot to New York to work on music videos. We offer very low prices for a video or photo session. We've worked with very well known artists here in Spain, Colombia and New York. @delirisprods
Your premier radio airplay broadcast monitoring service that tracks radio airplay of songs in the US and worldwide on more than 5000+ radio stations. These radio stations include Major FM Terrestrial, College, Commercial and Non-Commercial as well as thousands of streaming Internet radio stations. Some of the radio broadcasting networks Although there are many genres of music, DigitalRadioTracker.com specializes in monitoring radio broadcasters in the following formats: CHR/Pop (Top 40), Rhythmic, Urban/Hip Hop/R&B, Country/Americana, Rock/Alternative, Gospel/Christian/Inspirational, Adult Contemporary and Jazz/Fusion. DigitalRadioTracker.com gathers millions of songs being played each day and compiles DRT Reports for our clients. A DRT Report breaks down exactly who is playing a song, when it's played and how often it's played. DigitalRadioTracker.com also offers Historical 8 Week Reports which list the history of airplay detections on all of our monitored stations during the last 8 week period. In addition, we provide Comprehensive Reports which shows the exact time of day/night a song is played on each of our monitored radio stations. If you have a song receiving airplay on radio and want to know when and where it's being played, get your DRT Report today!
Festival Network Online
PO Box 18839, Asheville, NC 28814
PH: 828-658-2779 FX: 828-645-3374
Lists more than 10,000 events throughout the U.S. and Canada seeking performers, from local & regional to national & international. @_festivalnet
6.2 RESOURCES - EDUCATIONAL
Indie Artist Resource
9107 Wilshire Blvd. #450, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Erin M. Jacobson
Are you making great music with your band, but you are still unsure who owns your music and who owns your band name? Have you hired someone to produce your new album or manage you, but only have a vague verbal agreement and you are afraid you are going to get screwed? Do you know you need to legally protect your music and your career, but you can't afford attorneys' fees and are intimidated by the suits and legal concepts you don't understand?
Relax. Indie Artist Resource provides affordable, easy, DIY legal solutions to protect your music and your career. By using Indie Artist Resource you can protect your music with high-quality contract templates drafted by a music attorney at prices you can afford. Here's how it works: You pick and purchase an item or a package of items that fit with your situation, complete the checkout process and download your forms, follow the instructions, and you're finished. facebook.com/indieartistresource @IndieArtistRsrc
Indie Recording Depot
A community of Indie bands and artists, as well as recording/mixing engineers sharing tips and tricks for recording, mixing, songwriting and marketing their music. We also offer a free critiquing service that allows you to submit your recordings to have your music analyzed in whatever way you like (mix, overall song/songwriting, etc.) by members that consist of pro engineers and producers to hobbyist and music enthusiasts. All of them share valuable insight and tips. It is also a great place to ask questions and discuss projects.
CD Baby Podcast
13909 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR 97230
Join CD Baby's Kevin and Chris as they discuss current music news, interview artists and industry professionals, offer tips and tricks to help today's independent musician move their career forward and much more! Interviews about how to be a successful musician without compromising your art. It's a perfect time to take advantage of the many opportunities for Do-It-Yourself artists that are springing up everywhere. @cdbaby @kbreuner
6.3 RESOURCES - TOOLS AND APPS
244 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016-2417
Chris Erhardt and Mylene Besancon
Good music never dies. Throughout time, music is the one constant that moves us and bonds us together. It's a gift that keeps on giving; a unifying force that links all of us, whether young or old, professional or amateur, man or woman. That's why SongCat is here - to simply help you express that gift in the best way possible. Founded in the Fall of 2014, SongCat Music, Inc. has a growing presence in the United States, Canada and Europe. With SongCat, you're guaranteed a radio-ready sound, a more in-depth style of production, and a quicker turnaround time than traditional music studios. Most importantly, you keep the full rights to your songs! SongCat is designed to uplift exquisite talents who may be held back due to the high cost of producing great music today. There is no trade-off in quality, neither do we believe in cutting corners; instead, we aim for consistency and impressive artistic intuition by combining our years of experience in the music business with the best session musicians and engineers around the world, along with the latest music production technology. facebook.com/songcatmusic @SongCatMusic
Check if your band name is available. Search now for free! Our mission is to help you find and reserve a name for your band. Our bots crawl the web looking for data on existing bands, groups and artists and we have created the world's most comprehensive database of this information. facebook.com/bandnamevault @bandnamevault
620 Allegheny River Blvd. #182, Verona, PA 15147
Do you want sheet music for a song... any song? Our worldwide team of professional transcribers can start working on your project today. Just give us a YouTube link to the song. We'll give you complete sheet music for keyboard, guitar and vocals, plus a playable MP3 and an editable MusicXML file. It's quick, easy, and amazingly cheap. And guaranteed to make you happy! facebook.com/tunescribers
A user-friendly, feature-rich, online newsletter management program for novices and professionals alike. facebook.com/MyNewsletterBuilder1
6.4 RESOURCES - AUDIO
2841 Hickory Valley Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37421
Our mission: Maintain integrity throughout WTS while delighting our customers and clients. WTSmedia is the South's leading blank media source for CD-Rs, DVD-Rs, Blu-Ray BD-Rs, professional recording media, media storage, and accessories. facebook.com/WTSmedia
6.5 RESOURCES - ORGANIZATIONS
The oldest and largest online community of indie women musicians. Our mission is to promote, support and empower indie women in music. facebook.com/gogirlsmusic @GoGirlsMusic @MadalynSklar
SECTION SEVEN: THIS MONTH'S ARTICLE |
How to get your music in a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music
by Chris Robley, DIY Musician Blog
© 2017 All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission
With the right playlist, one song is all it takes
Independent singer-songwriter Perrin Lamb put out an album that wasn't gaining much traction. More than a year passed with little to show for it in the way of streaming, radio, or YouTube activity.
Then seemingly out of the blue one of his songs got placed on an official Spotify playlist. That song now has more than 10,000,000 plays on Spotify and helped drive up the play-count for deeper cuts in his catalog too.
The power of digital music playlists is no secret. And it's not just on Spotify.
Playlisting has become a huge part of how music fans find their new favorite artists on Apple Music, Rdio, Deezer, and more. Some playlisting services (such as Soundrop.fm) can even draw source audio from several services (Spotify, YouTube, Deezer) so the playlist is accessible across multiple platforms.
The songs on a curated playlist are grouped together to appeal to a very specific audience - and that means more listens, more shares, more revenue for rights holders, and the chance of getting your music into the ears of music supervisors, many of whom listen to playlists as a way of finding the right songs for current TV and film productions.
These opportunities are precisely why many labels PAY for prominent playlist placements, ranging from "$2,000 for a playlist with tens of thousands of fans to $10,000 for the more well-followed playlists."
About now you might be wondering two things:
1) If Perrin Lamb's placement was random, how can I possibly duplicate his success?
2) If playlist spots are so coveted that labels are shelling out huge sums to scoop them up, how do I stand a chance?
Well, here's the answer to both questions: because of the number of playlists out there (and the fact that new songs are always being added to them), there are some simple steps you can take to increase your chances of getting a song onto a prominent playlist without dropping a dime.
Who's creating playlists on music streaming services?
Everyone! (But that's not very helpful in terms of knowing your options or coming up with a strategy to contact these playlist creators). So here's a more focused list of streaming music playlist creators:
1. Music bloggers and music news websites -
"The Best Americana Tracks of 2015," "Bowie in Berlin," etc.
2. Magazines and weeklies -
"Songs from this Week's Best Local Concert Artists," "Maine Coastal Living: Relaxing Songs for Your Seaside Vacation," etc.
3. Political figures -
"Keep on Rockin' in the Free World," "The Official White House Fitness Mix," etc.
4. In-house curators at the streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) -
"Depeche Mode: Influences," "Popular Songs that Were Never Hits," "Coffeehouse Music for Studying," "Undiscovered Indie-Pop," etc.
5. Authors and poets -
Playlists that highlight the music that inspired or compliments their books (such as David Biespiel's Spotify playlist for his latest poetry collection Charming Gardeners.)
6. Brands -
"Tea Time with Tazo," "Fast Eddy's Favorite Driving Songs," etc.
7. Other bands -
Other bands might make playlists to showcase the music they're listening to on tour, or songs by bands they're playing with over the next six months, or musicians they admire in their own region.
8. Radio stations -
"Z101's Most-Requested Songs This Week," "KINK In-Studio: Acoustic Hits," etc.
9. Music fans -
Perhaps the most obvious and most overlooked playlist creator: your average music enthusiast (there are literally millions of them making playlists across every genre and region).
10. You! -
Yes, I'm looking at you.
Before we talk about getting your music onto other people's playlists...
... let's tackle the obvious alternate solution: creating your own playlists. It's relatively easy. Spotify even has this guide to show you how.
You can pick any theme and start compiling songs. The idea here is to work a few of your own tracks into the mix. Just a few, though. Be sure to spread the love to other artists so it's truly a mix, not just a playlist of your greatest hits.
Collaborative playlists are also a great way to get your fans involved. And you can always team up with other artists to cross-promote your music: you put their songs on your playlist, and ask them to include a song of yours on their next playlist.
Oh, and here's the really important part: be sure to tell people about your playlist. Tell your fans, tell the other bands who've been included, and post it on social. You want as many people as possible to listen and share these songs.
Getting your songs featured on prominent playlists
Okay, now for the part that takes a little more elbow grease.
In order to get your music onto high-profile playlists, you're going to need to essentially "pitch" your music to an influencer, curator, blogger, business, etc.
BUT, keep in mind that these folks might be inundated with similar messages from hundreds or thousands of other artists, so be sure that your pitch communicates clearly how your music can benefit the person you're contacting.
In other words, be human, be clear, be brief, be cool, be helpful, be real, and make it easy for 'em.
Verify your profiles with Spotify and Apple Connect
In-house curators are reluctant to feature anything by artists who've not verified their profiles on the streaming platforms. So be sure to:
a) verify your artist profile on Spotify,
b) and claim your Apple Music artist profile through "Connect."
Get as many of your fans as possible to follow you on their preferred streaming platform
Playlist curators don't always need to see that you're wildly successful and famous. Sometimes it really is just about the music. BUT, the more obvious it is that you have fans (and that those fans are active on the platform that hosts their playlists), the more obvious the benefit to them when they consider including one of your songs.
So be sure to share links to your Spotify and Apple Music profiles on social, on your website, and via email. Don't be afraid to ask your fans to follow you on Spotify or Apple Music. Some of those fans that are casual and occasional music steamers might not have known they could even do so.
Get your whole digital house in order
Website. Social. Press photos. Artist bio. Tour calendar. Etc.
Make sure it's all up-to-date and relevant.
The more of this stuff that's in place, the better the impression you'll create when a playlist curator finally investigates you and your music.
Leave yourself plenty of time
All of the things mentioned above take time. And time is usually scarce when you're about to launch a new album or single. So give yourself some room and make sure to get things ready well in advance of your release date.
If you're targeting an in-house playlist, they're going to be more likely to include your stuff if it's delivered to them a week or two ahead of time. That gives them the flexibility they need in terms of debuting a new track in conjunction with a playlist feature.
It's similar with a popular music blog. They're going to want to know about the single (and know that it's going to be available on Spotify on such-and-such a date) in advance of the release. This will help them plan accordingly if they want to put your song in a playlist that's time-sensitive, such as "This Week's Best New Tracks."
Find some playlists that you love and make an introduction
Time for some field research. Start putting together a list of playlists that you absolutely love, paying close attention to whether your song is appropriate for the playlist's genre or theme. Follow them (from your band account) on the corresponding streaming platform, and see if they also have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. and follow them there as well.
Also, don't neglect playlists created by local businesses, weeklies, radio stations, libraries, and such. Sure, you want to get placed on a big official Spotify playlist, but it might just be the momentum you get from a lot of smaller playlists that brings you to the attention of Spotify's editorial team.
Once you've found and followed a number of great playlists, it's time to show your appreciation. Leave comments. Get geeky. Demonstrate (casually) to the person who programs the playlist that you're knowledgeable about their music choices.
Of course, don't be a suck-up or sycophant. The idea is to begin an honest and low-pressure interaction with the "tastemaker" on the other end of the playlist. That shouldn't be too difficult, though, considering you already LOVE the music they're putting together, right?
Lastly, don't pitch your music... yet.
Hold your horses, and just use this time to establish the relationship.
Okay, NOW contact the playlist curators
Once you've done the legwork and established yourself as a knowledgeable fan of the playlist (and not just another musician who wants a placement), it's time to make your pitch.
Jorn Haanaes gives this advice in a MusicThinkTank article about Spotify Playlists:
Everyone likes something fresh! Before your song goes public on the streaming platforms, send a personal note with a private link to the new track to your target playlist curators. Some of these may be tastemakers, media, or simply regular Joes who curate great lists. You can track them down through the platform OR research and send them an email.
For targeting playlists that are curated by the platform, research and find the "Artist Liaison" contacts for the streaming platforms in your region. Each streaming platform office has a few. Grab their contacts and reach out to them, asking for suggestions on who you can send your music to, to be considered for the playlist genre that best fits your music.
Send short and concise emails with clear links to the music, as well as info on what lists you are targeting. Give them some brief background on the band and where you're going!
In an effort to keep your pitch brief, you want to be specific from the start about why your song is perfect for the playlist. This could involve genre, theme, topic, instrumentation, something noteworthy in your music career, or any combination of those factors.
For instance, if you write to the guy who runs the "Covers of Electronic Classics" playlist, you could begin the email with something like, "I'd love for you to hear my new chiptune cover of Kraftwerk's ‘Computer Love.'"
Or write to the Maine Coastal Living folks and say "My newest single would be perfect for your playlist. It's an ambient folk ballad that we actually recorded in Camden with the windows open, so you can hear the ocean gently rolling in the background."
Okay, maybe I'm overselling it there with that last example, but you get the point: these people are busy, and they need to know in a matter of 5 seconds whether to check out your music or delete your message.
You got a placement on a playlist - so share the news (and the playlist)
Again, it's all about driving plays, so share the playlist with everyone you can. Maybe even consider paid promotion on Facebook or Twitter (targeting both your existing fans, and people who follow the corresponding streaming platform, genre, etc.)
When you do share the playlist, be sure to tag the platform and playlist creator if possible so they can share the news as well.
Follow up, follow up, follow up
Jorn Haanaes, in that MusicThinkTank article I mentioned earlier, goes on to talk about maintaining the relationship with anyone who places your music in their playlist:
These champions of your music will grow alongside you for years to come. Stay in touch and make sure to engage with them each time you release a new track. Invite these people out to shows when you're in their market and aim to build genuine relationships with them! Ask them for feedback on new material before it gets released and bring them into your band's family.
Which leads us to one final point.
Always start with the assumption that playlist creators are APPROACHABLE
Most people who create playlists are diehard music fans, just like you. They want to find the best new tunes AND whatever great songs might've slipped through the cracks. They want to discover it, love it, share it, and help those artists find a larger audience.
Some curators make it clear (explicitly or implicitly) that their decision-making is a closed system. They don't want inquiries and they don't want pitches. If that's the case, respect their wishes and leave 'em be.
But otherwise, you should assume that playlist curators are used to being contacted and have developed a system to field these messages. If those preferences have been made public, by all means, follow their instructions for submitting music for consideration.
If they haven't stated either way, keep your pitch short, helpful, respectful, and go with the mindset that you're actually helping them do their job. If you think of getting a song placed on a playlist like scaling a castle wall, you might never get out your grappling hook in the first place. Better to knock on the door expecting to be greeted (at the very least), and maybe, if you're lucky, let inside.
Chris Robley is the Editor of CD Baby's DIY Musician Blog. I write Beatlesque indie-pop songs that've been praised by No Depression, KCRW, The LA Times, & others. My poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, Prairie Schooner, The Poetry Review, & more. I live in Maine and like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a little too much.
This article first appeared in the November 2015 issue of the
DIY Musician Blog
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