• Richard Anthony Chemaly

Your Music Submissions Suck!

From the Create-ors' Hustle series on Youtube

Welcome to Creators Hustle where we deal with the business of the entertainment industry. I’m Richard Chemaly and today we’re looking at 5 steps of submitting your music and we’ll do another bonus tips post.

You’re probably asking, meh, is radio play even worth it anymore? Is it even relevant? Two responses to that...first, yes! Quick test. Ask yourself whether you’ll be bragging about getting your track playlisted or scoring an interview. But more importantly, submissions are no longer just to radio stations. When you’re submitting, you should also be looking at blogs, playlists and if you really want to go for it, the gaming industry. It’s massive. Remember how you used to fire up Need For Speed and it introduced you to Lil John and the East Side Boys?

Here are five basic steps you should be taking to submit your music.

Number 1: Get an ISRC

It stands for International Standard Recording Code and functions as an ID number for your tracks...so that’s one ISRC per track. Fortunately, though the number consists of the registration country, registrant year and designation, the same number is applicable throughout almost every jurisdiction so the same number can be used internationally. You’ll need this number to exploit the copyright on your music and make money. There are a couple of agencies and organisations which assist with getting an ISRC and it’s relatively cheap so do a bit of research and find your favourite provider and go for it. Of course, I really like Burning Groove

Number 2: Build a proper EPK

An electronic press kit is vital for artists to showcase their offering. It’s a simple, but well-curated, document, that gives sellable information about the artist. The information you put in should include things like the general story behind the artist, links to previous interviews, links to social media profiles and videos, accompanied by artist images. Truth be told, there’s little limit to what can go in the EPK. In a sentence, it’s a document that represents you and answers the basic questions people have of you. Some include a tech rider while others do profiles of all the members. However you put it together, as long as it looks good and gives the right information, you’re waxed.

Number 3: Draft the mail

The best template generally has three parts split into three paragraphs; who you are, what this is and what you want. Music compilers don’t have a lot of time to spend on each submission so the goal is to do as much of their work as possible for them and then entice them to open your EPK and learn more while listening to your track. Short, impactful and direct does the job. Long submissions can be a turn-off, especially if the information is readily available in the EPK anyway. So open with a quick intro about yourself mentioning things that may be relatable (where you’re from. What you do) before going on to introduce your track. Is it upbeat or chilled? Perhaps you’d want to mention what it’s influenced by. After that, and this is where many artists get it wrong, or just forget...tell them what you want! Do you want it playlisted? Do you want it on a particular show? Do you want an interview? Mention it! If it makes the compiler’s job easier, then great. Throw a single graphic in, mention your ISRC, include links to your socials, attach the track and EPK and you’re on your way.

Number 4: Tier your submissions

Carpet bombing a database of email addresses is never effective, especially if you’re going CC and not BCC. So you’ll want to split your submissions up...usually into three tiers. Tier 1 will be your priority cases. These are the platforms you really want to get onto so each one should be individualized, personalized and drafted particularly for that platform. You could probably do between 5 and 20 of these because they take time but will give you a higher hit rate so do a bit of research on each platform, find out who the right people to talk to are and tell them what your track will work for them specifically. Tier two is also kinda personalized but without intensive research. You can throw in the compiler’s name and maybe do an intro paragraph that’s particular to them but for the rest of it, you can use the standard template. 20 to 50 of these should be easy to clear if your database is up to date. And then there’s tier three: the Hail Mary. Throw all the emails you have in the BCC field, Type “Dear Compiler…” and let rip. You might get little response but it’s only taken you 5 minutes to reach hundreds of platforms so if one or two-bite, it’s more than you would have had for very little work.

Number 5: Plan properly

Artists often get it wrong and think that the release date is the date you send your music out. If your music isn’t out by release date and ready to roll, how do you expect platforms to play and list it in a matter of hours? Give yourself time to think properly about the message you want to send out, who you want to send it out to. Do the platform research, build your lists and create an excellent submission that properly represents you. Good submissions take about a month to plan and another month to execute so give yourself enough time to think about how you’re going to go about it. The more exposure you get on release day, the better for your release so go for it.

But Chem, how do you expect me to release my music before the release date? We’ve got that covered with other tips in our next post {just the tip}

That’s it for Creator’s Hustle this week. If you like what we do or found it useful, I’m not really bothered to ask you to subscribe, ring bells or tell people it’s great. Just share it with your muso friends who may find it useful too. Let us know what else we should deal with in the comments and …