What is Pandora?
Pandora is an online music streaming platform and service. Much like iTunes or Spotify, Pandora’s focus is listener-centric. The service uses data and experimental algorithms to create Stations that rotate specific music genres or moods. The platform was started as part of the Music Genome Project, an initiative that accurately tracks and organizes digital audio content such as music and podcasts. With over 70 million users and two billion listening hours tracked every month, Pandora is a relatively lucrative avenue for any musician looking to up their stream count. In this article, we will cover the basics of Pandora’s artist services and show you how you can submit your music for placement on the platform itself.
The Three Pandora Services
Pandora offers their listeners three ways to utilize their music streaming services. All services are available on either desktop or mobile formats and for integration with smart TVs and gaming consoles.
● Pandora Radio – This is Pandora’s free streaming service. Users can create an account and tune in to different playlists called stations that rotate different music genres. With this tier, users cannot control what song is playing, only the station they listen to. Advertising will play now and then between songs and cannot be turned off with this service.
● Pandora Premium – Pandora Premium costs $4.99 a month and is entirely ad-free. Users can access the entire Pandora artists and songs database and have unlimited skips and repeats to utilize during playback.
● Pandora Plus – Pandora Plus boasts all the perks of Pandora Premium with a few added extras. Users can download songs while offline and are provided with unlimited access to the Pandora Station database. There are also family, student, and military discounts on offer with this service.
Pros of using Artists on Pandora (AMP)
● Reach new listeners with your music – When you upload your music onto a platform like Pandora, the curation team will be sure to place it on stations and playlists that compliment your style or genre. This increases your chances of finding listeners that will find your music appealing, and hopefully, they will decide to follow and support you.
● Next Big Sound Next Big Sound is a music-focused analytics provider that is very handy for understanding how your digital marketing campaigns and streams perform in real-time. Artists with an Amp account can create an account with Next Big Sound and upload all their relevant social URLs into their profile. Once this is done, the service will notify you of any significant behavior in your streaming or social metrics with weekly reports and email notifications. You’ll be able to keep track of what content and social media choices work positively while also keeping tabs on any areas of your online portfolio that may need extra attention.
● Personalized Audio Messages – Pandora allows its Amp users to upload personalized audio messages to their Artist accounts. These messages can be used to promote any of your future single or album release plans or even to send a greeting or thank you message to your fanbase to help them feel connected to you. Artists can set specialized location-specific messages if they want to promote an upcoming tour or concert in their listeners’ region.
● Free Ad Campaigns – You can create promotion campaigns that generate extra online traction for new Pandora singles or releases. This service also places any new tracks on experimental algorithms and stations for eight weeks after release. This window gives users a chance to expose themselves to new audiences and, in turn, boost their stream count.
● Submit to Pandora Playlist Curators – Playlists are the central focus of the music streaming industry. Much like radio charts, getting your song on a significant playlist gains you valuable exposure as well as a much higher stream rate. Spotify Artists lets verified musicians pitch their music directly to playlist curators and editors for placement consideration. The more traction your verified has, the higher your chances of getting playlisted.
● Listener Feedback Database – Amp account holders also gain access to an analytics section on their profile. This panel gives you an in-depth breakdown of how your releases perform on the platform. You can view your stream count for each song and find out which regions and demographics have the highest interaction rate with your music.
● Use singles to promote albums – Pandora’s algorithms are designed to use your singles as bait to lure them onto your other releases or back catalog. The more singles you have circulating on Pandora Radio Stations, the higher your chances of routing listeners back to the rest of your music.
● Quick Link System – Those that have access to an Amp Artist’s account will be able to make use of Pandora’s quick link feature. This feature lets artists upload quick links to their social media profiles, Youtube media, or other third-party services such as Patreon. Be sure to provide as many links to any online content you have on your profile to ensure maximum user engagement.
How to get your music on Pandora
1. Make sure that your music has been uploaded onto a music distribution service such as Tunecore or Ditto music. Setting up an account on these services comes with a membership fee, and there may also be some costs when releasing a new single or album.
Once your music is uploaded to the distribution site’s database, you can set a release time and date for your new single or album. It’s best to do this well ahead of the actual release day so that you have enough time to plan, promote and market accordingly.
2. Head over to amp.pandora.com and open an Artist account; make sure that you have an activated artist account on Pandora that you can connect your music to.
3. Your Artist profile has a dropdown menu with a Submissions tab. Open up this tab and look for the UPC search engine to look up your track. A UPC is a unique digital bar-code that will come attached with released music and albums. Select the tracks you wish to submit to Pandora.
4. Once your song/s have been verified with the UPS search engine, Pandora will ask you to fill in some details about the song. This will include details such as the mood or genre and help your release find its way to the right playlist or listener. You’ll have to agree to Pandora’s terms of service with every release, but once this is done, your single/s will be prepped for online placement.
5. You will have to wait to receive a notification from Pandora letting you know if your music has been accepted or not. If not, you can still upload the music to SoundExchange for streaming on other internet radio services.
If you’re a label owner or manager that handles more than one artist, you can contact the Amp support team to ask them to set you up with a specialized management account. With this access, you’ll be able to organize and submit all of your artists’ new songs through one user account, saving you time and effort on any unnecessary admin work.
As your stream count and monthly listener count rises, Pandora curators will begin to place your music more often and to a broader audience. As your profile’s credibility climbs, Pandora may offer to create your own Artist Station. This feature places all your top tracks into a playlist amongst other popular songs of a similar genre, with your music being the focal point of that station. This achievement will significantly increase your exposure to new listeners and gain valuable streaming traction.
Pandora’s extensive algorithms create valuable opportunities for artists to reach a large number of listeners they would not readily have access to. Being a musician in the digital age means utilizing every possible revenue stream possible. And while streaming is a terrific way to reach new listeners, it is only a lucrative source of income if you turn a high stream count on a consistent basis. We hope you found this article helpful and that in time, we’ll be hearing your music on a Pandora streaming service.