Pro Audio Files

How to Get Your Music Featured on Blogs & Playlists

Years ago, the only the only way to get your music heard was to get it played on the radio or to perform it on TV. Now, artists can release their own music without the help of radio, TV or even a record label.

But now that anybody with a laptop can release an album, simply making good music isn’t enough. There are over 20 million songs on Spotify, but roughly 20% of them have never been played. So how do you stand out? How do you get your music heard through the noise?

You need the support of influencers.

Influencers

In the past, artists had to focus on winning over gatekeepers. These were the radio, TV and record execs in charge of what got played on the air, and what didn’t. These were the people who decided what music was good, and what music wasn’t.

Musicians relied on gatekeepers to introduce their music to the masses. It was all about access. But today the internet gives artists access to anyone with a wi-fi connection. It’s no longer about access — it’s about attention.

Influencers are people or brands that have the attention of a specific demographic. They have a built-in network of people in your target market. Which means if they support your music, their fans will likely support it too.

Influencers can be:

  • Music Bloggers
  • Playlist Curators
  • Music News Websites
  • Magazines & Weeklies
  • Celebrities & Brands
  • Radio Stations
  • TV Shows & Films
  • Podcasts
  • Other Bands
  • Fans

Before you start pitching your music to influencers though, you need to get your shit together. Seriously, your reputation means everything in this business, and first impressions make a big impact.

Social Media

Your first step should be to build a respectable social media presence.

Make it easy for influencers to find you. Use the same name for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Post links to all of your sites on every profile you have.

Update your contact info. Seriously, no one wants to email FooFighterFan86@aol.com. Your email address should be something like YourBandName@gmail.com, or booking@YourBandName.com.

Write a well-crafted bio. Be concise. Focus on telling your story, not bragging about your accomplishments. Remember, humans are emotional creatures. Don’t sell them on why they should like your band — sell them on why they should like you.

Don’t skimp on the visual media. Try to have at least one professional band photo to use for your profile picture. Create an engaging banner image. It wouldn’t hurt to have a band logo, either.

Consistency is key. Make sure all of your information is consistent across social media. Update your contact info, bio, photos and links.

Once your social media presence is in order, start building your following! The better your numbers and engagement are on social media, the more likely an influencer will be to take a chance on you.

Get Verified!

In order to pitch your music to influencers, you’re going to need a way to share your music with them. While sites like SoundCloud and YouTube are great, major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music are typically the preferred methods.

It’s also the only way to get your music featured on playlists for either site, which is one of best ways to gain new fans.

Once your music is released and posted, you’ll be able to verify your artist page. This gives you additional control over your profile and provides you with valuable information about your listeners that can help you build your social media following.

To verify your artist page on Spotify, first, make sure your releases are posted in the Spotify library. Then, log in with your personal Spotify account.

In the past, Spotify required artists to have 250 followers to apply for verification. Today, all you need to do is sign up for Spotify for Artists. After signing up, you can verify your Spotify artist page using your artist’s Twitter page, or several other options.

To verify your account on Apple Music, you’ll have to follow a similar process using iTunes Connect.

Once your artist’s pages are verified, update them with the same photos and information from your social media sites. Remember, consistency is key!

Finally, post the link to your artist pages on social media sites and ask your fans to follow you.

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Formulate a Plan

Now that your web presence is presentable, do a little research and find the right influencer for your target market. Obviously, it would be great to be featured on a major blog or official Spotify playlist, but you’ll have much better luck starting small.

Not sure where to start? Thankfully, Ditto put together this killer list of blogs that are actively accepting new music submissions.

Once you find the right influencer, start by showing them you’re a fan. Follow them on social media. Like and comment on their posts. Engage with them!

But DON’T be a creep. Don’t be too thirsty. Don’t try to slide into their DMs. Play it cool! The idea is to make sure the curator is aware that you’re a fan, not a musician.

The Pitch

When the time is right, reach out to them about featuring your music. Check for a  submission policy on their website. If you can’t find one, send a professional and personalized email.

But what do you say?

Be personal. Don’t blast a vague bulk-email to everyone in your address book. Send a personalized email to each influencer. And for God’s sake, make sure you spell their name right.

Tell your story. It’s much easier to get people to like your music if they like you. Connect with people on an emotional level. Show them why this is your passion.

Don’t oversell yourself. Don’t tell an influencer how great your music is. That’s up to them to decide. Include links to your social media, and let your fans do the bragging for you.

Be specific. Don’t just ask them for their support, tell them what you’re asking for. Here’s a short list of possibilities:

  • Music premier
  • Playlist feature
  • Personal interview
  • Album or song review
  • Live show review

Include private links. No one is going to risk a computer virus in the hopes that your band is better than The Beatles. DO NOT attach song files to emails. Include links to trusted websites.

Be picky. Don’t send every song you’ve ever written — most of them probably aren’t that good. Influencers are busy. They don’t have time to listen to an entire album of your music. Start with your most popular song. Or, if you’re looking to promote a new single, that’s fine too. Just don’t ask them to pick their favorite.

Be professional. Grammar is important. Make sure you triple-check for spelling errors. Seriously, have your Mom read it before you send it if you have to — just make sure it looks like a literate adult wrote it.

You’ve Got Mail!

You’re going to get a lot of “no’s”. That’s OK — so did everyone you look up to. 

More likely, you’re going to have a lot of unanswered emails. Don’t be afraid of those either.

Just remember to follow up. There’s a good chance your submission simply got lost in the flood of incoming messages that day. A polite follow-up email never hurt anyone — just don’t go crazy.

Eventually, you’ll finally get a ‘yes’. Congrats! Now the real work starts. You need to work just as hard to make people aware of your feature as you did to get it. Support the influencer that supported you!

After all, you’ll be right back at it again when the next single comes out…

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Brad Pack

Brad Pack

Brad Pack is an award-winning audio engineer, writer and educator based in Chicago, IL. He helps musicians become artists by creating sustainable careers in the music business. Brad holds a Master's Degree in Electronic Media Production from Central Michigan University. When he’s not in front of his laptop, Brad can be found in the mosh pit. Follow him on Instagram or get in touch on his website.

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