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Getting Your Music Heard on Pandora

July 27, 2023
3 min read

Launched in 2005, Pandora has grown to become the biggest ad-based streaming platform in the United States. In the first quarter of 2023, Pandora reported revenues of more than $462 million. For independent musicians, every revenue stream counts. While the process of submitting your music to this streaming service can be time-consuming, it’s definitely worth doing if you want to start monetizing your material. 

As well as unlocking additional revenue streams, Pandora offers some pretty impressive artist tools. Along with detailed insights into listener behavior, artists can use the platform to engage more directly with their fans. Wondering how to get your music on Pandora? Read on for everything you need to know. 


Understanding Pandora Music 

Pandora tends to be overshadowed by rival media streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music. This is largely down to the fact Pandora is only available within the United States. Nonetheless, this subscription-based service is incredibly popular. As of 2023, Pandora has more than 46.6 million monthly active users. Of that number, more than 6.2 million listeners are paid subscribers. 

What makes Pandora so popular with American audiences? The major appeal of this streaming platform is the refined listening experience it provides. The Music Genome Project is what powers Pandora, providing listeners with personalized recommendations that take tailored playback to the next level. It goes beyond the half-baked algorithms found elsewhere, with an expansive team of musicologists assigning hundreds of musical attributes to each track in the Pandora library. 

Pandora Service Tiers

Pandora Music Radio is available for free. This ad-supported service allows listeners to create personalized stations based on their favorite genres, tracks, and artists. Once they’ve selected their preferences, Pandora takes care of music curation. Listeners provide their feedback, which in turn attunes future recommendations. 

For those who want an ad-free experience, there’s Pandora Plus. As well as eliminating ads, this service tier grants listeners the option to replay tracks, skip songs, and unlock playback at much higher quality. Pandora Premium is a slightly more expensive choice but does offer offline listening. Furthermore, users can access tracks on demand. There’s also the option to create truly personalized playlists. 

Pandora for Artists

It’s not just music fans who can benefit from Pandora. For musicians, there’s the Pandora Artist Marketing Platform. Unlike the main streaming platform, this service can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It gives artists powerful tools that can be used to obtain invaluable streaming data insights. 

Additionally, musicians can use Pandora AMP to connect with their fans. They can use it to spotlight new releases, promote live performances, share multimedia assets, and more. Pandora Stories also lets artists integrate podcasts and spoken word content, opening up a whole world of creative promotional strategies

Preparing Your Music for Pandora Submission 

Submitting music to Pandora is simple enough, but you need to consider how the platform works if you want to stand the best chance of getting your music heard. Stations are curated based on a huge number of attributes, so only the best-sounding tracks are going to make the right impression. 

As such, you can’t afford to cut corners when it comes to product values. This is even more important if you want to hit the right note with listeners using the free, ad-supported service. Remember, these free users will be listening to tracks at a much lower quality than their subscription-paying counterparts. 

As with other streaming platforms, you also need to take the time to optimize metadata. At the bare minimum, you’ll need to prioritize track names, album titles, release dates, and contributors. Along with enhancing discoverability, it’s vital for ensuring everyone responsible for creating a track is credited and compensated accordingly. 

Submitting Your Music to Pandora 

Wondering how to get music on Pandora? The Pandora music submission is relatively straightforward:

  1. First, ensure you actually have legal rights to the material. Your track needs to be registered with a performance rights organization if you want to tap into royalty revenues.
  2. To access additional revenues, you’ll need to make sure your music is available elsewhere online. You can do this by submitting your tracks to Amazon Music or iTunes.
  3. Create a Pandora account and log in. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to submit your track. As an artist, you don’t have to be based in the United States to do this.
  4. You can now create your account. You’ll need to add basic information like your name, contact details, and your role in creating the track in question.
  5. Next, you need to add additional details like band names, artist bios, label information, track titles, and more.
  6. Once all that’s done, you’ll need to wait for your submission to be approved by Pandora. Waiting times vary, with some artists getting the green light within a day or two.

Need help navigating the Pandora submission process? With IndieFlow’s distribution process, you can take all the effort out of submitting your tracks to Pandora. What’s more, our digital music distribution service can help you reach a global audience by getting your tracks out there on other major streaming platforms. 

Maximizing Your Exposure on Pandora

Pandora’s algorithm is fairly complex. The Music Genome Project breaks down each track in the Pandora library into more than 450 attributes. This includes micro-genres, vocal styles, tempo, phrasing, and more. While the Music Genome Project is the backbone of the algorithm, it’s the only factor in the equation. Pandora also takes into account Thumbs feedback from listeners. Furthermore, it turns to feedback provided by other users who’ve been listening to similar artists and genres, providing a more personalized experience to listeners. 

For musicians, Pandora’s AMP tools are invaluable. Artists can upload audio messages that can be played whenever a listener launches their station or one of their songs plays. They can also be used for other promotional ventures, such as directing listeners to live streams or merchandising platforms. 

Looking to spotlight a track you’re particularly proud of? Simply mark your song as a featured track. As well as being more likely to appear in stations beyond your usual listening audience, featured tracks are typically evaluated more quickly. Artists can also make use of Pandora Stories. You can curate custom playlists populated with tracks by other artists, extending your reach and giving you the option to collaborate with other musicians. You can also include additional content like podcasts to turn your station into a content-rich platform for building your brand. 

Unlock the Potential of Pandora Today

Pandora is one of the oldest streaming platforms around. While it’s not as well-known internationally as the likes of Spotify, it enjoys a substantial audience in the United States. As such, it’s a worthwhile venture for artists looking for lucrative music distribution avenues. It’s the powerful Pandora algorithm, the Music Genome Project, that makes this streaming platform so special. With hundreds of attributes assigned to every track, Pandora listeners can look forward to high-tailored stations that provide a personalized listening experience unlike any other. 

However, there’s also a suite of powerful tools for music creators. The Pandora Artist Marketing Platform is available to artists across the globe. With it, independent musicians can tap into a listenership of more than 46 million people. These tools can be used to support innovative promotional campaigns, foster collaborations, and deliver additional content to audiences.  

If you’re looking to monetize your music, reach new audiences and engage with your fans, submitting your music to Pandora should be a priority. 

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