As an independent artist these days, getting your music out is a lot easier than it used to be pre-internet. Back in the day, musicians, producers, vocalists, and rappers needed to either know someone in the record industry, sign away their souls, do “favors,” or be blessed by the Almighty to get a recording deal.
Thank goodness everything has mostly changed…
Now, if you can get your music on Pandora Radio or other streaming apps, you can essentially cut out the middleman. Lots of online platforms for music artists provide the kind of exposure that was once limited to a very select few. As I said, times have changed.
Unfortunately, many of these online music publishing services are not worth the time and effort. But, not all of them. One very useful platform is Pandora Radio.
But what is Pandora Radio? How can it help you get your music out there? More importantly, an answer to “How to get your music on Pandora Radio?” Fear not, my musical friends. Let me show you how it’s done.
Is Pandora Radio an App?
Pandora is an app and streaming service that works more like a radio than its streaming competitors. More on that later. You might not realize this, but Pandora Radio has been around for over 20 years, just not always in this form.
It’s one of the most popular music streaming platforms out there. However, it doesn’t seem to get the same recognition as Spotify, Amazon Music, or Apple Music. Depending on who you ask, Pandora has between 50 and 80 million users per month. So it’s hardly an inferior service; quite the contrary.
Pandora Radio was originally founded in 2000…
But, it was formally known as Savage Beast Technologies. In 2005, the company rebranded and launched as an online internet radio platform. This was long before modern-day streaming was a thing.
Sirius XM Holdings bought a major $3.5 billion stake in Pandora in 2019. Currently, the subscriber count for Pandora Radio is around 6.4 million.
Why is Pandora Radio Ideal for Independent Artists?
Because Pandora works more like a radio than a streaming service, it’s a great platform to find new music. And, by that rationale, it gives independent artists and musicians more chances to get their music in front of new listeners. The Pandora algorithms work to give the user the type of songs and genres they like.
As an independent artist, there is a greater chance someone will hear your music on Pandora Radio than on other platforms. Therefore, allowing you to build a new fan base. Or, at the very least, get your music some new exposure.
Pandora users can discover more music they like by artists they didn’t even know existed. But, if you are looking for ways to get your music on Pandora Radio, there are a few more important things I need to cover first.
Is Pandora Radio Free to Use?
Pandora Radio is very similar to Spotify in this regard. That’s because you get a free-to-use option with limited features and some premium services. Simply download the Pandora Radio app from the Google Play store for Android or the Apple App Store for iOS users and start streaming right away.
Pandora’s free service is called Pandora Radio. It allows you to listen to music for free, but you cannot choose the exact music you want to listen to. The service is limited, but you can go into the settings and change the preferences to the music genres you like the most.
So, theoretically, at least you can stream certain genres. But, if you want specific streams, songs, and artists, you’ll have to opt for one of the paid Pandora subscription options.
Buying Pandora Premium Service
Just like Spotify and Apple Music and iTunes, Pandora offers a premium service where you get a much more user-friendly music listening experience.
This subscription-based service gives you the ability to stream whatever you want whenever you want. You can play any song you want and won’t be forced to have a shuffle-only option. The songs will also be ad-free.
Pandora Premium is currently $9.99 per month, although taxes and fees can vary depending on your location. With this option, you get unlimited listening online and offline while also being able to play all songs on demand. The key reason to buy this service is you can create and share your playlists.
Buying Pandora Plus
Pandora Plus is also a paid subscription service that costs $4.99 per month. It pretty much offers everything the premium services offer but without the ability to share your playlists.
Some might say that this Plus service is much better value for money than the Premium offer, and that would be a viable opinion. You still get unlimited skip options and some offline listening.
Pandora Premium is the top-tier subscription service, while Pandora Plus is the mid-tier option. You get loads of customization options with both and an ad-free experience.
How Can Independent Artists Get Their Music on Pandora Radio?
Ideally, independent artists would prefer listeners to only use the Pandora Radio free service because there is more chance they will hear your music.
This free service acts more like a radio station. Users have to listen to songs that come on the radio, whether they know them or not. This is why independent music artists should use Pandora Radio. It will give your music greater exposure to a wide audience, and in turn, gain you more fans.
The Pandora team operates like the staff at a radio station…
They are always looking for new artists to promote on the platform. So, more opportunities all around for unsigned artists. And, if your music is already on Pandora Radio and performing well, you will get even more exposure.
Pandora also has an online submission system where independent artists can present their music. Each song will be listened to and reviewed by the Pandora team. If your music fits the criteria for the kinds of music Pandora Radio is looking for, you will be accepted and get heavily promoted.
Can Artists Who Already Have a Distributor Use Pandora?
You can use the Pandora online submission service whether you currently have a distributor or not. Either way, your music needs to be submitted, and then the Pandora team will decide if it meets the grade. And, if it does get accepted, your music will be propelled across all of Pandora’s channels and their Premium service.
Any royalties made via plays on Pandora Radio will be paid by SoundExchange. But, if you already have a distributor, the royalties will be paid to that chosen distributor instead. This transparency is fantastic for independent artists. They can see how many streams they got and how much in royalties they are due.
If you don’t already have a distributor and your music gets accepted, it will still appear on the Pandora Radio section. That alone is fantastic for finding new fans and getting your music out there. The royalties for artists that don’t already have a distributor will also be paid via SoundExchange.
How to Get Your Music on Pandora Radio? – Quick Step-by-Step Guide
We are almost there, guys. Hopefully, your music gets accepted and will be available on Pandora Radio. But before that, here is a quick step-by-step guide to getting your music on Pandora.
- First things first. Make sure you own your music. Or, at the very least, know who does if you don’t. If you wrote the song in question, you can submit the track to Pandora, publish it, and get paid via royalties.
- You should preempt this submission by making sure your music or song is already on Spotify and Apple Music, Amazon Music, and other leading streaming platforms to give your music the gravitas it needs. This will make the Pandora team think they need your music on their platform too.
- If you don’t already have one, create a Pandora account. Once you’ve done that, find the “Submit Your Music” page and fill out the details regarding your song submission.
- Verify your submission by following the details you receive in a confirmation email sent to your account.
- Now, all you need to do is wait for the verdict from the Pandora Radio submission team to see if your music has been accepted or not.
Are You An Aspiring Music Artist?
If so, check out our thoughts on Steps to Start Your Music Career, Can You Record Music on Your Phone, How To Create Your Own Beats For Beginners, 8GB or 16GB RAM for Music Production, and Song Structure Types for more advice on how to get your work out there.
How to Get Your Music on Pandora Radio? – Final Thoughts
Learning how to get your music on Pandora is not that difficult. The difficult part is if the Pandora submission team accepts your music or not. It’s better to have your music on Pandora Radio as opposed to their Premium or Plus subscription services. That’s because there is more chance of getting new fans that way.
Pandora Radio users on the free service do not get to choose the music they listen to or unlimited skips, only preferred genres. This means there is more chance of getting your music exposure on the free service.
But, if the Pandora team doesn’t approve your music, you might have to get your tracks on Spotify or Amazon Music first to legitimize it.
It’s a great time to be an independent artist…
You have more control over your creative output and finances. And you can take away the middleman and be your own record company. But, if your music is not very good, it won’t make the grade. That’s entirely on you, not some dodgy record company executive looking for a “favor” to get you a record deal.
Until next time, good luck, and let your music play.