[Post updated November 12th, 2019]
Looking for some places to submit music online and off?
Well you just hit the jackpot.
By the end of this post you will be a music submission machine.
I am going to give you a few things to think about before submitting your music.
That way, you will be giving your music the best chance to get heard and talked about and less likely to be wasting your time.
Then, I am going show you a few resources that you can use to help distribute your music far and wide.
And finally, I am going to finish out with a list of smaller resources that you can pick and choose from.
Sound like a plan?
Lets do this…
What To Do Before You Submit Music
If you are an artist, publicist, manager, label, would just like to help out your favorite band AND you are looking to get maximum exposure for the music you are promoting, start here.
Because you will make things easier for yourself and anyone else on the other side of your submission.
How do I know?
These are just a few of the things I've noticed since I started blogging and podcasting. I've seen first hand a few things that musicians and PR firms do that could help make my job – and I imagine all of my fellow music bloggers and podcasters – easier when it comes to talking about your music.
So, if you are submitting to blogs, radio, record labels and/or any other service with a real person on the other side…
…make sure you have the following:
Make sure you have a day to day fan collection system in place.
Before you start pimping your stuff all over the place, make sure that you a) completely understand the audience you are trying to reach b) know how to get that audience to stick around and support you and c) have one source – not on this list – that brings you a consistent flow of new fans.
It may sound a little like putting the cart before the horse, but, if you understand how to do those things a few things will happen:
First, you will know exactly which sources will be the best fit.
You won't be wasting your time or theirs pimping something that just isn't going to fit. And when its a blogger, podcaster, or label, you'll be able to make a greater case for why it does fit and increase the chances your stuff gets played.
Second, you will multiply your results.
If you know how to turn listeners into fans before getting more exposure you are essentially pouring gas on the fire. Lets say your music gets on Pandora or Sirius. Lets say that in turn causes a few people to start looking you up. Your website will be ready to entice them with free tracks or some other offer to entice them to get on your email list.
Or lets say you get a blogger or podcaster talking about you. You could have a link to a squeeze page ready for them to link to from their site. This link would funnel all interested parties straight to your front door.
Third, you will be taken more seriously and in some cases might get a better response rate because now, you have an asset (i.e. your fans).
If you can tell a podcast or a blogger that you have 500+ fans that you can share their show or post with, they might give you another listen.
Or lets say you are reaching out to a record label. If you bring an audience to the table and show that you can get fans and understand how to get more fans, they will be way more interested in talking with you.
Need to learn more about understanding your audience and getting new listeners to stick around? Click here.
Know Your Rights
Raise our hand if you ever read the terms and conditions on a website or app. I'm guess not many of you (me neither).
But there are horror stories out there of unsuspecting musicians handing over chunks of their rights, royalties and intellectual properties away. Don't let it happen to you.
A good place to start is the RockAndRollLibrarian. Check out her guide on how to keep more of the money your songs make.
Make it easy to find all the places where your music can be purchased and/or downloaded.
This is a pretty big thing if you want listeners to be able to get a copy of your stuff. After all it is the ultimate goal right?
Sometimes I will take a quick stroll to a musician site to see if there are links but many time there isn't much.
I will sometimes check eMusic or CD Baby but if I'm in a crunch for time it may not happen. You lose.
Do not assume I want CD's, ask first.
I have a HUGE pile of CD's I do not want. If these artists would have asked I would've told them an MP3 or link to Soundcloud would have been sufficient.
Keep it short. As in send a SHORT … key word there… email asking if they'd like to check out your music before you send anything digital or physical.
Ask first and maybe save your time and money (cd + postage).
Provide links to your website.
Seems obvious… but you'd be surprised.
Only send what you need to send (if they want you to send it)
I get large envelopes and/or press kits stuffed with more stuff than I can possibly read through. It is just a waste of paper in most cases.
Usually one simple letter or bio will do. OR a business card with a link to your website where I can get more information on where I can look up your info if I want.
Help promote the blog or podcast who played/mentioned your stuff
This is something that would not take much time. Email your fans, post a link, bookmark the review or podcast to increase the exposure. Using something like the “share this” button below this post.
Just a few minutes of your time offers a huge opportunity to introduces your work and theirs to a wider audience.
Tell podcasters if the music is podsafe.
Mainly for podcast submissions. If I like something, I want to put it on a podcast and share as soon as possible without having to send out an email to five different people looking for permission. That is the fastest, easiest way to not get played. Again, you lose.
This may not be everything. BUT I just thought I would pass on a few casual observations to give you something to think about as you prepare to share your music with the world.
The easier you make it for the person on the other side equals the better your chances of getting your music heard, shared, etc.
Now, keep reading to find out where to submit your music.
(P.S. If you'd like to download the free music submission checklist click here or the image below)
Where To Submit Your Music
There are a TON of places out there.
Lets start with some of the places that give you the biggest bang for your buck right out of the gate.
Music Distribution Services
You need to have your music out there on as many stores as you can. And if you want to submit music to Spotify, submit music to iTunes and/or a ton of other places, you will need to use a music distribution service.
I won't go into great detail here but lucky for you I did a post on this already. Click here to go read the quick and simple music distribution service overview.
I've seen and tried a few of these types of sites over the years but this is by far the best executed. They describe their service the best…
“SubmitHub makes it easy to connect with bloggers, YouTube Channels, Record Labels and more. It allows you to filter tastemakers based on their preferences, improving the odds that your music is shared with those who are likely to enjoy it.”
Very easy to use.
They do offer a limited free submission. But to be able to submit to a larger amount of blogs you do need to pay and that's fine by me. When you consider all the time it saves you, its a nobrainer.
As a side note, I submitted my music using the free option right before I updated this post. Stay tuned since I will be tracking my will be tracking the results and will report if/when I have anything to report on.
ArtistPR has a ton of great resources. This service, in particular, gives you the opportunity to get your music on the radio, heard in the press and by music supervisors.
Go connect with Music Managers, Record Labels, A&R Reps.
The Indie Bible
Here is a great resource that gives you access to contact information for over 9000 resources like radio stations, journalists, labels, publicists, managers and music licensing sites looking for music in nearly every genre you can think of.
The whole thing is divided up by genre, label, radio, publication, region, etc. This is a HUGE time saver.
You are able to really hone in on the resources that are specific to both your style of music and region of promotion. You do not have to spend hours sifting through a ton of non-related info to find the resources you need to tap.
There are literally thousands of Bloggers, Radio stations, Journalists, Labels, and Publicists all waiting to listen to and review your music. Need more, here's another Indie Bible Review.
There are 220 million people listening to Spotify. Sure, you are only getting a fraction of a penny every time your music streams, if you want to get your music heard, you need to be there.
A fast track to getting more listeners is to get on playlists. There are millions of playlist large and small in almost every genre you can think of.
They are filled with music fans who are into whatever it is you are creating. You just have to get your tunes in the hands of the playlist creator aka, curator.
This has been sort of a dark art for the past few years. A lot of artists have been getting ripped off by some playlist services who aren't quite honest.
But there's a resource that can help you take some of the mystery out of spotify playlist submission.
The peeps over at Indie Bible have put together another awesome resource that lists location, contact name, e-mail, website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of over 3000 Spotify playlist curators.
Here's a quick breakdown of how the Indie Spotify Bible can help you:
- Contact info for the 100 “Official” Spotify curators
- Curator location, contact name, e-mail, website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- All listings sorted by genre to save you a TON of time
- The number of followers the playlist has to make sure its worth your time.
- A free copy of “The Independent Artists Guide to Spotify” to give you the best chance getting your music played
- A lot more…
Pretty badass huh?
This is going to save you so much time and give you the best chance to get your music heard by so many more people. Maybe even make a few bucks. Go check it out.
Streaming Radio / Podcasts
There is an approval process but if you get approved, it could be a big deal because you get royalties.
It used to be a pain in the butt. I know because submitted before and I got turned down.
BUT when I was putting together this post, I remembered I never sent in my newest release. It was WAY freakin easier.
(Update: I made it in this time).
Submit Music to SiriusXM
I have never tried this before but SiriusXM could be a really nice place to have your music played.
You need to send your music to the following address:
Attn: Music Programming Department
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
I've heard of artists reaching out to DJ's on a channel by channel basis but the snail mail method is the only one officially mentioned on the website.
The owner reached out to me about starting a playlist. We had an excellent hour long conversation. He is a musicians and successful business man who is extremely passionate about music and has invested a lot to get this up and running.You are in good hands.
This is a service you'll want to try out.
They offer some free plays for signing up but eventually you have to pay. I was able to get my songs played along side some of the top acts in my genre. Between free plays and some paid plays I racked up 5660 plays that resulted in 212 new fans.
Earbits is strictly indie.
You won't hear any mainstream artists. Sure you miss out on the a large segment of the population, but, they are mainly casual listeners. I think indie only is good because listeners who are indie friendly are generally more supportive of artist (at least in my experience).
Earbits doesn't just let anyone in either. They are very selective to keep the quality high (that is a good thing).
They let me in and I racked up 16724 plays, generated 198 clicks on the banner ad they let you post. I used the banner ad to bring people to my email capture form and I received a handful of Facebook fans and 50 or so email addresses.
If you have a budget to promote your music, check out MySpephora. You can get your new release shared with Spotify Curators for less than 20 bucks or invest a little more to be submitted to 5000+ radio stations.
General Internet Radio
I was able to get airplay on a few shows by reaching out to station creators on Live365 (when it was still around).
I outlined the whole process in my post Stupid Simple Free Way to Get your Music on Internet Radio post.
This method could also be used by going through the following Wikipedia page (and any other resources you might find).
There is a huge list of internet radio stations here. Look them over and reach out to them using the method I described in the Live365 post.
Reaching out to podcasters is a great way to get plays. I did 39 episodes and I was approached by many artists.
The biggest hurdle for podcasters is knowing what they can and can't play. If you let them know up front, they are more likely to play your tune if they like it.
To find them, browse through some of the big directories like iTunes and Stitcher.
You may be able to find some podcast directories in this post but it is a little outdated.
Its a bummer because there used to be some cool resources out there where podcasters would go search for music that artists posted and labeled as podsafe. But many of them are gone. The biggest of them all, Podsafe Music Network was great but it is out of business. I miss it.
Read The “DIY Musicians Radio Handbook”
A friend of mine, D. Grant Smith, wrote “The DIY Musicians Handbook”.
D has been in radio for a long time and has lived the many of the changes we've seen over the past few decades. He a great networker and has a ton of great radio promotion tips about getting your music played and creating some quality contacts along the way.
I wasn't sure how to categorize these so I chucked them in here. Its kind of a grab bag that I hope to build out as I find more places to submit.
This is a little outside the box. Plus, I've never used any of these services myself but I figured they might be worth a mention.
Fiverr is a website where people offer there services for $5 a pop.
Some of the services offer you the chance to submit your music to radio stations, club DJ's, record labels and more.
Just visit Fiverr and do a search for “submit music” and you'll see a few options.
I can't say how effective any of these are but it only costs $5 to experiment. Just pay attention to the providers reviews and rating to make sure they are legit.
I couldn't list everything here so if you need more or didn't see something above that agree with your style, just do a search on Google, Bing or any other search engine.
Just go over to Google. Then copy and paste (OR type) any of the following terms:
- submit your music
- submit music
- submit my music
You could also narrow your search by genre or medium:
- submit music video
- submit hip hop music
- submit country music
- submit music to a&r
- submit music to record labels
- submit music to radio stations
- submit music to podcasts
Notice a pattern there?
And when you start typing Google will help you out even more.
Just start typing and pay attention to the suggestion.
Or scroll to the bottom of the page and check the related search section. You'll see all kinds of ideas.
So there you go. That should keep you busy from now until infinity.
But that's a good problem to have right?
Endless places to submit your music.
And you can always ask for help from friends, family and fans.
Just make sure that before you start submitting you are prepared to give yourself the best chance to take advantage of the exposure.
Go through and check everything off that is listed under the heading, What To Do Before You Submit Music (above).
You could also download the handy checklist I have for you (see below).
Now go forth and spread the good word.
And stay tuned. I'm sure I'll be adding to this page in the future since I'm sure some of you will see a few places that I missed.
So did I miss anything?
Or do you have any first hand experience submitting your own music?
Let us know in the comments below.
(P.S. If you'd like to download the free music submission checklist click here or the image below)
Most Recommended Marketing Tools and Services For DIY Musicians
Indie Bible – This 330-page music marketing Swiss Army Knife will show you how to get access to 4000 music publications willing to do reviews, 3200 radio stations willing to play your songs along with 1200 other resources looking to help you get the word out. They have also been adding resources to help you find playlist curators to help you get more streams on Spotify, Apple, and YouTube. Click here to check out the Indie Bible.
ConvertKit – Need to start an email list to build a fan base? Or looking for an email provider that provides made-for-you landing page templates? if so, ConvertKit is awesome. They cater to Makers and Creatives (like us music types) so you know you are in good company. It is also one the easiest to use for beginners and feature-rich for more advanced users. They now offer a totally free tier of up to 1,000 subscribers. Click here to try ConvertKit.
TubeBuddy – Just started testing this, but damn, the handy optimization tools alone saved me a ton of time already. So much to love for marketing geeks like me. They have a feature-filled free tier. If you do any YouTube Marketing you'll see the value instantly. Try it here and you'll see. Its a no-brainer!