The Truth on How to Get into Pandora

Musicians want their music in Pandora, it’s a great service with great possibilities for exposure. We wanted to explore the possibilities of getting TuneCore artists’ music into the Pandora service. From TuneCore CEO Jeff Price:

About three weeks ago, I met with Tim, the founder of Pandora, in hopes of exploring a way for TuneCore and Pandora to work together. I also spoke with them again, Monday, March 22nd, 2010, after I saw a recent claim by another digital distributor.

I can state to you with no hesitation or uncertainty based on my direct conversations with Pandora about this very issue that there is no distributor that is able to deliver music to Pandora for inclusion into the Pandora service. It simply does not exist, since Pandora makes it decisions editorially.

[Here is how to get your music considered for the Pandora service, directly from Pandora.]

Anyone that states otherwise is either knowingly misrepresenting the truth or not educated.

TuneCore is the largest distributor of music in the world, whose artists collectively sold or streamed for payment over 61,000,000 songs in 2009, making over $32,000,000, representing one of the largest and highest revenue generating catalogs in the world. We are constantly approached, and are approaching, by stores or services looking to gain access to your music. So we’re talking with Pandora and many services that we and our customers value, and we’ll always do it honestly, with knowledge of the process.

And no matter what, we will never, ever, lie or misrepresent. Our mission is to inform and educate everyone, so they know how to thrive in this evolving business.

Jeff’s right, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to put out there exactly how Pandora works and how to legitimately offer your music to them.

You’re eligible for consideration by Pandora if you have a CD for sale PHYSICALLY on Amazon. TuneCore can help:

  1. Put your album into TuneCore (details here: http://www.tunecore.com).
  2. When picking your stores, choose the Amazon-on-Demand store, either a-la-carte for $1.98 or INCLUDED FREE if you pre-buy distribution to all stores for our flat $46.99 offer (details here: http://www.tunecore.com/store/product/78).
  3. When your CD becomes available shortly thereafter in Amazon-on-Demand, follow Pandora’s own steps on how to qualify and submit (details here: http://blog.pandora.com/faq/contents/31.html)

Then it’s up to Pandora, as it always has been.

–Peter

Peter Wells
Co-founder, TuneCore

  • http://Fromcitiestooceans.com From cities to oceans

    I went thru this process not long ago, I eventually got the album up on pandora but I must admit that it was the most annoying process I’ve ever delt with. I realize that pandora probably doesn’t want to be working with smaller acts, but they need not make it so difficult for the smaller acts.

  • Jim

    They reject 95% of independent submissions anyway.

    • Almark

      It’s true, I was just rejected and so was someone close to me and our music isn’t bad, biased indeed.

  • http://www.marinatihvinskaya.net Marina Tihvinskaya

    I submitted my music to Pandora about 2 months ago and I’m still waiting for their reply. How much time does it usually take?

  • DD

    Is this a joke?

  • http://www.trancefury.com Trance Fury

    THANK YOU!! I was extremely annoyed to see this other distributor claim Pandora access!! I’ve been been through this process, too and they reject a lot. It’s not fair that they advertise and in small print say it’s not guaranteed. Pandora should be on them for that. I can’t say I agree with Pandora’s approach for including albums but it took me a long time to finally undertand why. They are a unique service and without that uniqueness they are no different than any other station. This uniqueness is why they are profitable. I am glad, too because I just got my royalty statement and it was a nice deposit from Soundexchange. While I am upset they won’t include my latest album I am thankful 1000% I got my older release in a few years ago. I am gaining fans by the day! They also said they do reserve the right to grab my new release if they get enough requests for it.
    -TF

  • http://www.redlightdriver.com red light driver

    Met all requirements, national retail distro, tour more than most bands, good run on college radio, etc… rejected. It made me a little sad but I got over it. You will too.

    • http://dirkbag.com Dirkbag Yarborough

      I’ve seen them reject great, quality music of many different genres.

  • CheekyKnight

    I submitted in January. Got my rejection in April. Some consolation I’m not alone :¬P
    Anyone got any good tips for upping the odds?
    Mine’s a unique voice and professionally produced. Strikes me a bit like credit: sure you can have it but once you don’t need it.

  • http://www.atrumorbis.com Joselin Ramos

    I am an independent label and they accepted 100% of the albums I submitted. Sometimes takes weeks or months, but they do it.

    • Glee Plee

      Do you have any tips or advice that can help me out to get accepted into Pandora that you see and/or hear a lot of these artist making mistakes on?

  • http://www.chessiepark.com Jim Webb

    If Pandora really wants to be “music discovery” they aught to accept all professionally produced music, genome it, and let the up/down thumbs decide if it continues to get played. Small acts are where it’s at after all.

    • TAL

      I agree with you Jim. Pandora want support from people but when you send them you’re professionally produced song that you know gets played by various radio/internet djs and they send you back some random message like “its not right for my station”… Really?

      Then you listen to Pandora, the stuff they play you realize the truth. They are just like the people who tell you they are for the “Independent Artist” but its not exactly true. I wish they would just be honest and figure out a different way to compete instead of giving us some random excuse.

      With that said…whenever I listen to Pandora though, I applaud the artists that were able to get on there, in whatever way and I support them, they worked hard too and Pandora knows their audience is pretty undeniable.

      I have no hard feelings though because whether they play me or not, others play me and I go out and bring great stuff to my audiences when I perform. I give them everything, they matter to me first.

      Should this have been rejected by Pandora? Well It was, take a listen for yourself.

      This was produced by a professional producer, I’m not bragging but its decently liked and I’m proud of it.

      https://www.reverbnation.com/tracyannlisa/song/25507830-this-again

      As a professional recording artist and a professional performer who does tours locally a lot, I get a little sick to my stomach when people like us who have something good get passed over. But it happens. It’ll continue to happen until you have to say to yourself, this doesn’t matter. Pandora does not matter to me at this point because I know what they are doing.

      We independent artists just have to be smart enough to continue to do what we do because we can do nothing else but what we do. And so hence the words of this song. This is for you guys…. This is for all of us who people tell us all the time our hard work isn’t enough. At the end of the day…. don’t lose hope.

      What matters is the people we make our music for. Its not the first and it won’t be the last that people try to block you from being heard or played.

      But once people start knowing us, the real musician behind the words of our songs, that’s raw and that’s what matters. Keep being real, and keep being true to yourself guys. Thanks for listening!

  • hmm

    I understand their intentions. No matter how good you may think your project is, maybe it’s not…Pandora would suck if it was completely flooded with artists that nobody knew that weren’t that good.

    • yabbadabbado

      Just cuz Pandora rejects your project doesnt mean its bad, there are tons of bands with followings who’s work gets rejected everyday, your saying Pandora is smarter then there fans:)??

  • FATIR HIDAYAT

    i use lastfm with no problem. Pandora is like the old radio station. They are full bulltwinky….XBOXLIVE, ANDROID PHONES, INTERNET.

  • Mr. Eddie Donahoo

    Im Eddie Donahoo ownner of the record label council of divine being and tunecore has bent very soportive of me.
    The help of carol kavosky has bent great.

  • http://www.borisberlin.com Boris Berlin

    I cannot get Pandora to recognize my UPC codes from TuneCore single releases, even though they are on Amazon Demand for CD. Does it have to do with them being single releases, not albums? Any advice appreciated!

  • http://www.myspace.com/secretpowersmt ryan maynes

    I found out recently that musicians all think they are way better than they really are. This information shocked me but it made a lot of sense. Now I see that I’ve wasted my life, I probably suck. Pandora will give me rejection in a few months and I’ll spend the rest of my life wondering why when the truth is I’m probably not very good.

    • Rytops1

      that’s not true, it has to do with proving you do shows, charity, and it will help to have some listeners on last.fm you can link them to. If you submit to cdbaby.com it will put your music on last.fm, and that will get you started. The big thing to prove is that you are doing shows, (I also believe some sort of cause/charity helps). Make sure there are only studio recordings up no matter where you are on the web, too.

  • http://www.d-otherside.us Lior Magal (D-otherside Music Group)

    Anyone had success with Pandora submitting a single, not an album? thanks in advance.

  • http://www.rascaltunes.com Albert cabrera

    Listeners should decide , I don’t believe in A&R from 27 years In the business I believe in music testers .
    We are all witnesses to what we thought
    was crap that became huge .
    One of my biggest records was the B side of a 12 inch vynil which the A&R hated .

    • SaintMarx

      The fact that something “became huge” does not mean it’s any good.

  • http://www.illegalsubstance.com Byan

    Why wait for Pandora. They need you more than you need them. They are one outlet and are becoming more corporate by the day. Commercials anyone?? I say move on and support up and coming companies like a Slacker.com
    It could be the 90’s when your only shot was selling CD’s in a record store. You’ve got the net at your disposal for crying out loud.

  • http://www.myspacemusic.com/guitaristjohnfmoon John F Moon

    Last fm rocks. Pandora is a waste of time I dont care how crappy your music is. Some people like crap!

  • Jack

    Why would you jump through hoops to get on the sinking ship Pandora? Just wait for Spotify and use all the other, better services out there for the time being.

  • http://www.nulldevice.com nulldevice

    It took a few months but Pandora rejected our latest album.

    Which, you know, okay, fine. Their call.

    What’s weird though is they have accepted every album and EP we’ve released up until this point, some of which even *I* think were of pretty dubious quality. It seems like early on, when they needed content more desperately, they were open to basically all comers. Now, since they’re basically huge, they’re being much pickier.

    Which is I suppose fine for them, but lousy for indie artists seeking exposure.

  • http://www.nulldevice.com nulldevice

    It took a few months but Pandora rejected our latest album.

    Which, you know, okay, fine. Their call.

    What’s weird though is they have accepted every album and EP we’ve released up until this point, some of which even *I* think were of pretty dubious quality. It seems like early on, when they needed content more desperately, they were open to basically all comers. Now, since they’re basically huge, they’re being much pickier.

    Which is I suppose fine for them, but lousy for indie artists seeking exposure.

  • hasaan

    We submitted our material august 23rd received approval letter last week. They base alot of the review on quality of the product not the content a great mix and master should do it….

  • http://es.apple.com/us/artist/slippery-when-wet/id167957222 LindaVeeSado

    We have over 10K streams on Spotify alone on some songs and still got rejected. But it’s probably one person listened to a song and it wasn’t their thing. Much like writing. I sent one of my stories to 13 magazines before one bought it. So don’t feel too bad. It may be their loss. Often in the media biz those who make the decisions can be short sighted. I have read instances where best selling novels were often rejected first and the editors who rejected them really take the ribbing later over it too.

  • toneofark dotcom

    I had an EP rejected myself, although it’s on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and Slacker.

  • Adrienne Charles

    I submitted my album in October of 2015 and it was finally approved and went live in June of 2016. I’m not complaining because they did approve it. I also submitted a single and they just approved it within 3 weeks and it’s already live on there so once you are on Pandora the process is a little faster I think. A little tip to everyone trying to make it on there, I would suggest professional radio ready songs. Professionally recorded mixed and mastered and you have to have a great voice. They have a panel of many different musicologist and they all have to agree on whether or not your album or single is approved. I know a lot of people do think that they are better then they are and people think just because they are in a band that they are good but it’s not the case. I have never toured in my life but I still manage to sell music. I do covers and Originals