This is the article located on Pandora’s Blog located here:
Pandora thrives on little-known and yet-to-be-discovered music. Introducing listeners to music they’ve never heard before is one of our central missions, and we welcome independent artists from all backgrounds and levels of visibility, working in all styles, to submit their music for possible inclusion in Pandora’s Music Genome Project.
We have a deep respect for the music and those who create it and take the responsibility of curating Pandora’s music collection very seriously. We see an enormous (and always growing) amount of music, and the task of selecting music is made even harder by the limits on our capacity for adding music. Every song selected is manually analyzed by a trained musician along up to 400 distinct musical attributes, a process that can take anywhere from 15 minutes to two hours per song. So, while we feel a great affection and respect for everyone who makes the choice to create music, the reality is that the majority of the music we receive does not get selected.
The Basics: How to Submit
To submit music to Pandora, you’ll need these items:
1) a CD of your music
2) a unique UPC code for that CD* (This is a link to Nationwide Barcode, we are proud to be the vendor of choice for Pandora)
3) this CD to be available through Amazon as a physical CD (and not just as MP3s)**
4) the legal rights to your music
5) a standard free Pandora account, based on a valid email address, that will be associated with this submission
6) MP3 files for exactly two songs from your CD
Once you have all of these items ready to go, you can submit your music to Pandora for consideration here: http://submitmusic.pandora.com/.
What criteria do you use in accepting or declining a submission?
We try to balance a knowledgeable and fair evaluation of the music’s value to our collection with what we know and can predict about the interests of our listeners and the current state of Pandora stations. Our evaluation of the quality of the music plays a central role, but we only make a purely aesthetic decision if there is nothing else to go on. In addition to our own evaluation, we consider the level of existing audience, our collection needs, and our sense of the impact each song will have on our playlist quality and diversity.
Our goal is to put together a collection of music that will be most pleasing to listeners who will hear it. While listeners can quickly vote with their “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down,” we have an important role to play in determining what music to put in front of them.
In genres such as rock, pop, or jazz, where we have a large collection to draw upon– and where we already have a great deal of music by independent, unsigned artists– a submission from an independent artist must be uniquely compelling to be accepted.
Please don’t write to check up on your submission, as that will just take away time we could be using to work on listening to submissions.
An updated status message for your submission can always be viewed here:http://submitmusic.pandora.com/submit/status. You’ll need to be signed in to Pandora with the same Pandora account that you used to submit your music in order to see your submission status.
Please note again that there is no guarantee that your music will be accepted. If the decision is made to include your music in Pandora’s Music Genome Project, then we’ll get in touch to ask you to send the CD to us, along with a form legally authorizing Pandora to play the music on your CD.
Please don’t send us your CD until you hear back from us!
Thanks again for your interest in having your music on Pandora. We wish you the very best in your musical career.
How many albums / CDs can I submit?
It is only possible to submit one CD at a time to Pandora. If you attempt to submit more than one, your subsequent submissions will be marked “Problem” and will not make it through to our review team. Only after your first submission has appeared on Pandora (or been rejected) will you will be able to submit another album– and we strongly recommend you wait at least six months before you submit an additional CD. If you are a new artist to our collection, usually we will want to wait to see how your first release does on our stations before we consider more of your music.
Please note that having one “Accepted” submission does not guarantee that future submissions will be accepted. Each submission is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
I already have a CD in Pandora. Do I still have to go through the submissions process for my future releases?
Yes, you must go through the same process for each CD you submit. We take each submission on a case-by-case basis. If you have music in our collection already, its performance on Pandora stations will be a significant factor in our decision on whether to add new work.
Troubleshooting Submission Problems
*IMPORTANT NOTE on Step 2): To obtain your own UPC code at a low cost, click here. If you already have a UPC code for this particular CD– for instance, through your record label– just use that one.
**IMPORTANT NOTES on Step 3):
- To make your CD available on Amazon (after you have a UPC code), you can sign up for the low-cost Amazon Advantage program (click here).
- Within the Amazon information for your CD, make sure you are listed as the “Artist” (not “Performer” or any other field) and that “Tracks” are correct for each track on the CD. If you need assistance correcting your album art or information on Amazon,click here. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to make sure all information is correct on Amazon before submitting your music to Pandora!
- We cannot accept music available only as an MP3 download through the Amazon MP3 store; you must have a physical CD for sale through Amazon.
- If your CD is being physically sold through CD Baby, and you checked the “opt-in for in-store distribution” box in your CD Baby account, you may need to request that CD Baby manually correct the meta-data they deliver to Amazon for your album, including tracklisting, before you can submit to Pandora. You can contact CD Baby to make this request by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “PANDORA” in the subject line.
- If your CD is being physically sold through TuneCore, it may be 1-2 weeks for the meta-data, such as track listing, to be completed on the Amazon side. Once you see track listings appear for your physical CD in TuneCore, you’re ready to submit to Pandora.
- If your CD is being physically sold through Amazon’s CreateSpace program (also known as “CD on Demand”), you should be able to submit to Pandora right away. Again, make sure you are listed as the “Artist” (not “Performer”) and that “Tracks” are correct for each track on the CD.
IMPORTANT NOTE on Step 6: You must submit exactly two songs. You cannot submit a single track on its own.
Click here to begin the submission process.