File Under: Getting Your Music Heard

This article is part of the Get Heard series: 28 Categories of Places to Get Your Music Heard.

Streaming music platforms contain an entire universe of internet stations that might play your music. Each might have a regular rotation, as well as specific shows that you can submit to. Follow these directions to get your music on streaming music stations.

Goal: Get your music in the rotation of streaming music stations.

Description: Streaming stations are easy to find using the streaming platforms such as Live365, SHOUTcast, or Radionomy. Each has its own music submission rules. If you do the research and follow the steps below, you can get your music played.

Audience: Streaming Radio Listeners

Cost: Free (with optional paid options)

Direct Income: None

Royalty Income: Streaming PROs such as SoundExchange

Estimated Time: 1 day preparation with results in weeks

What You Need:

  • High-quality MP3s of your music ready to release
  • Bio
  • Optional: Press kit materials

How To Get Played:

1. Find internet streaming sites that match your music.

Use aggregate sites like Filtermusic and Streamfinder, or platforms like Live365, SHOUTcast, or Radionomy to find stations that play your type of music. One way to do this is to find artists similar to you and find out where they are being played.

2. Set up a tracking system.

You'll need to keep track of who, where, and when you sent your music and press kits. A document or simple spreadsheet works fine.

3. Prepare your music.

For best results, make high-quality MP3s and WAVs of your music to send to them. Some stations might have format requirements, and you may need to prepare your music with them.

4. Prepare your bio.

Streaming stations are not like journalistic outlets -- they will have their own bio and submission requirements. But you still should share a short version of your story.

5. Target stations.

Each webcasting station has a format that it plays in rotation. Many are radio stations such as college stations, and so you can use the steps in Get Heard: How To Get Your Music Into A College Radio Station Rotation to get played. Others are independent radio stations that might have their own website that has submission instructions. Do the research on the streaming stations that you'd like to target and follow the instructions.

6. Target specific shows.

Keep in mind that each stream is an entire "radio station" and thus might have shows as well as a regular rotation. Each show is run by a producer which might accept music, and have their own website and submission policy. Follow their instructions to get played.

7. Keep tabs of the submissions.

After submitting, keep track of the responses in your tracking system. Many are automated systems, but if a person gets back to you, be sure to use good PR techniques like polite persistence or others to increase the likelihood of being played.

8. After being added track the plays.

Being added to the rotation or being told that you'll get played on a show doesn't necessarily mean that they will. It's likely you won't know if your music was played unless you listen to each station or they keep a log at their website. We also recommend making alerts with the name of your song if it's unique enough to come up in web searches.

9. If you get added, announce it on your social media and send a thank you.

Getting added to a radio station's playlist is a great thing to share on social media. But don't forget to send a thank you to the radio station, and keep that station and the contacts you made there on a list because they are the most likely places to play your next release.

How to Get Paid:

Streaming sites generate sound-recording PRO royalties with SoundExchange.

Make sure that you register with it to get the royalties that you're owed. If you'd like to understand how, see the Your Rights chapter in The Indie Band Survival Guide. Specifically the section "The 7 Registrations You Should Do For Every Composition And Sound Recording To Ensure You're Protected And Paid What You're Owed".

Pay-to-Play Options:

Sites like Live365 have paid options to allow you to submit your music and make it available to stations on their platform. It costs money, and there's no guarantee that you music will get played, but it does get your music in front of people that run streaming stations.


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Photo Credit: makelessnoise