5 Must-Have Target Areas for your Indie Rock PR Campaign

With indie rock being one of the most competitive fields in the music industry for promoting your music, we know just how hard it can be to get your music out there. With industry tastemakers getting increasingly harder to get hold of, radio stations playing more and more signed artists and the new Spotify submission form giving you no luck, this blog post is going to outline the perfect areas to target in your indie rock PR campaign, which will lead to you securing your target press, radio and playlist coverage.


You need to have all the necessary assets to run a successful music PR campaign. These assets include high resolution images, a private streaming link, social media links, an artist biography and artwork for the release.

Some of these assets are a lot more important for alternative rock bands than other genres such as high-resolution images. With so many indie rock bands releasing music every day, your image can be what gets your band noticed over the hundreds of thousands of others. You need high resolution images that suit the genre, your band’s style and the image you want to get across. This is the same with your artwork, make sure it represents the music you’re releasing as it’s what’ll be used on all digital platforms, as well as any online coverage that runs.

Kings of Leon Press Shot

Next up you need to pick a release date. Make sure to stick with this date and do not change it last minute as it’ll confuse fans and any press that has run prior, will be incorrect. Release dates usually fall on a Friday, so choose a Friday which isn’t too far away but isn’t a rush for release also, so have you time in the run up to focus on the promotion of the release. Book the release date in with your distributor first thing and then you can tick it off your to do list.


Writing the press release is going to be one of the hardest parts of your indie PR campaign as this is where you really have to sell yourself and the music. We know how difficult it can be, just like writing a CV, but the easiest starting point is to bullet point some key factors such as who you are, what you’re releasing, your musical history, career highlights and what you’ll be doing next.

The first paragraph of your press release needs to be the most enticing, engaging the reader so they read on and actually listen to the music you’re trying to promote. The first line should be something catchy such as “After Supporting The Sherlocks, indie rock band… return with new single….”. Obviously not every band has the credentials to have that as their hook, but you can still make it interesting, using past press, support slots or statistics to engage the reader.

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the actual body of the email, showing the headline is the make or break. We suggest writing the full press release first and then finding the headline from there. Make it powerful and unique so that anyone that reads it will know that you’re not just another indie rock band. For example, ‘After securing over 3 million Spotify streams on debut single, [insert band name] return with [insert song title]’ carries more weight than simply ‘[insert band name] return with new single [insert song title’].

As an indie rock band, it’s essential that you focus on standing out amongst the others, so we suggest replacing your name with another band’s name throughout the press release and if it’s still relevant, you haven’t made it specific enough to your band enough.


Now that you’ve got your press release, you’re ready to start your indie rock PR campaign. The easiest place to start is with online blogs. You’re going to focus on places that cover indie rock, so an easy starting point is using the platform SubmitHub.

Upload your single and all the information necessary, then tick the ‘Indie Rock’ genre and you will be given a list of blogs that cover indie rock artists. This is the easiest starting point as it will guarantee feedback from blogs and you don’t need to have any relationships built with the journalists already, so can be done by anyone. Unfortunately, this service isn’t free, but each blog only costs a couple of dollars so is worth it for the publicity.

SubmitHub indie rock submission

Regional coverage is also something that can be approached. If you’re an indie rock band from Cambridge, then look approaching the Cambridge Independent for an interview. Building fans in your local area and then growing from there is an important pattern to follow. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool so if you’re the biggest band in your town, you’ll soon become the biggest in your city and then hopefully your country! You can also cover regional press if you’re going on tour, even if it’s a small tour. Try to set a goal of securing one piece of press per tour date, this will not only get your name out there within each location but will increase ticket sales, which is always essential for an indie rock band.

Another tip for finding the right blogs is searching similar indie rock bands on Google to see which coverage they’ve secured. For example, if you think you have a similar sound and image to No Hot Ashes, you simply type in No Hot Ashes into Google, select ‘Tools’, ‘Any Time’ and ‘Past Year’ so you have up to date coverage, and approach the places that have covered that band. This way, you’ll know the publication likes indie rock and will potentially cover you.

No Hot Ashes Google search

5 Must-Have Blogs

Listed below are a few of our favourite blogs that are supportive of indie rock bands.


Next up you can pitch your track to radio. If you’re promoting an indie rock EP or album, then choose the strongest track. Make sure the track is not over 4mins and doesn’t have any swear words, otherwise a radio station won’t be able to play it.

Radio plugging can be a lot harder than online promotion, as producers and presenters are bombarded with tracks, hence radio pluggers can be so expensive as they have taken years to build relationships with these people. However, there are many stations that play indie rock and we’re going to explain how you can get played on those below.

Start with pitching to radio stations where you have regional links, similarly to online promotion. So again, if you’re from Cambridge, send your track to Cam 105 and if you’re from Manchester, send it to XS Manchester. As well as regional radio, you can look into student and online stations to build up your portfolio of plays, as there are many that cover indie rock.

Now you’ve secured a portfolio of plays, you need to upload to Amazing Tunes and BBC Introducing. These uploaders are the perfect gateway to national radio play, with Amazing Radio supporting emerging artists and BBC Introducing working as a springboard to BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and even 1. If your track is picked up by either Amazing Radio or BBC Introducing, you’ll be notified by email, so you can listen to it being played on air. Both platforms support indie rock bands, so this is the best possible way in to the nation radio stations.

BBC Introducing Uploader

5 Must-Have Radio Stations

Listed below are a few of our favourite radio stations that are supportive of indie rock bands.


With Spotify recently introducing their new submission process via Spotify for Artists, everyone has a chance of appearing on an Official Spotify playlist. In the past, getting your music in front of the correct Spotify editor was extremely difficult, especially if you’re an indie rock band with no contacts. With this new feature, you simply log into your Spotify for Artists account, select your unreleased song for playlist consideration and write a short pitch that will get submitted to Spotify’s team.

For it to appear on your Spotify for Artists, your distributor needs to have uploaded it before release date, so you may have to push them with this one slightly. Make sure you’re pitching around 4 weeks prior to release date, as this gives you the highest chances of success.

Spotify have noted that it’s also very important to submit as much information as you can, whilst keeping within the word limited. Use parts of your press release to explain your genre, influences and previous coverage you’ve received.

Not only will your track get listened to by Spotify’s editors for a potential playlist placement, but the song will automatically be added to all of your followers’ Release Radar playlists.


Doing your own indie rock music PR campaign isn’t impossible and can result in you dream press, radio plays and Spotify playlists but only if you invest the time and follow these steps. All of these tips are completely free and every suggested media outlet is 100% supportive of emerging artists, so make sure you’re pitching to those to secure coverage immediately.

7 Proven Steps to Reach 1m Views on your Music Video for 2019

Now that your track is mastered and release, you will be looking to get your music heard by as many people as possible. The level of reach you have will depend on your previous online presence and your current fan base. If you already have a fan base on your social media or followers on Spotify, then this is the perfect platform for you to grow exponentially. If you are just starting out, then this is still the best guide for you.

We’ve written this article to ensure you are in the right place before you go on to spend your hard-earned money on Music PR companies. This is every step we would take to get a band from 0 views or streams to their first 100,000.

In 2019, the way people consume music has changed dramatically, with over 45% of people listening to music via streaming services such as Spotify. So, using your mailing list and spamming to Facebook groups are outdated techniques.

Before you begin these steps, you need to identify your target audience to ensure the people who you are getting your music heard by have the potential to become lifelong fans of your music, rather than simply tricking someone to click your music video in order to increase your stream numbers.

These are our first steps to get your music heard and reach its full potential:

1. Reddit

Reddit is where most of the virals and stories you see on social media originate from, so this is the best platform to give your music the best chance of going viral.

Have you ever wondered where virals originate from?

Reddit Logo

Most things that go viral actually start on Reddit. Reddit is described as your “Front page of the internet”where people can submit links. Users then vote on these links as to how relevant and useful they are. This lends itself to be the best possible platform to launch your music to a new audience.

Reddit is a huge platform now and is broken down into subreddits, which are essentially topics and groups.

These are the best subreddits to post your music:







Each subreddit will have their own rules on posting, so be sure to follow them. Modesty also goes down well on Reddit, anything that says along the lines of “Best music video this year”will be downvoted in to oblivion. If you post your music and it doesn’t get any upvotes, try deleting the post and posting it again with a tweaked title 24 hours later, maybe you’ll catch people in a better mood.

2. Find people who have shared similar music videos

The best people to target are those who are fans of other artists, your fans aren’t going to come from nowhere, they are currently fans of other artists, so you need to identify which bands have a similar fan base to yourself and target their fans.

If you are an indie rock band and are looking to get more views on your music video, you can use lots of different search functions on social media to see people who have shared artists similar to you.

Catfish and The Bottlemen Sting tweet

For example, you could search Twitter for “Foster the People” or take their latest single and search the URL directly in to Twitter. Create a shortlist of all of the people who have shared that track, them DM them all saying something along the lines of…

“Hey, I noticed you shared the new Foster the People track, I absolutely LOVE that one.

Check out this track too, I hope you like it, and if you really love it feel free to share it! :)”

If you can get 10 people with 1,000 followers each to share your track, that’s a 10,000 person reach which has cost you absolutely nothing.

Bonus tip: If you have the budget, there is a fantastic online tool called Buzzsumo which allows you to search any link and it will show you who shared this link online and how many followers they have. Which makes finding people to share your music much easier.

3. Get your track added to another YouTube channel

I don’t think artists are utilising this one enough. Sometimes artists can be too precious about getting the views to their own YouTube channel, but our objective here is to get your music promoted to as many people as possible, if your music is good enough, they will find you and listen to your other songs.

Sam Fish Music YouTube channel

Almost every YouTube channel has a contact email address which allows you to submit your music, simply go to the channel and then the about section and click “view email address”.

4. Social Media

We know you’ve already done this, it’s the first thing most artists do when they release a new music video and want to promote it to the world, your own following is where it starts. But have you nurtured your followers enough for them to even see your posts?

As Facebook have changed their algorithm, you need to have a strategy already in place which is going to let Facebook know you have the potential to have high engaging content so it pushes your music video to a higher percentage of people who have liked your page. This is the same for all social media platforms.

You need to create a social media strategy which allows you to create posts which receive constant engagement, whether you are creating polls, challenges, blog posts or funny videos, it needs to be something which people can relate to and share.

We understand that as musicians this isn’t what you’d like to be doing, and may not come naturally to you, but unfortunately, the social media algorithms have forced us to go down this route in order to reach a larger audience.

5. Facebook ads

Facebook logo and icons

Following on from Social Media, I wanted to include this tip because Facebook advertising can work incredibly well, but we see so many artists making mistakes with Facebook ads for their music video that they may not realise their money is being burnt into thin air.

You need to think about your audience’s current frame of mind, and attention you give to sponsored posts when you scroll through your Facebook feed, how often do you stop and watch a sponsored video?

Because that is exactly how others are going to react to your music video. So, although Facebook can give you data which looks like incredibly high numbers, getting 100,000 views for as little as $300, what these views actually represent may be soul-crushing to you.

Facebook considers a view to being someone who watched the first 3 seconds of your video. That’s enough for people to simply scroll past and not even listen to a single note of your track.

If you are going to upload your music video directly to Facebook, you need to give people a reason to stop scrolling, turn their volume up and listen. You could do this by putting reviews on the video which validates why the video is worth watching, or you could put up a title such as “For fans of: Catfish and the Bottlemen”then promote only to Catfish and the Bottlemen fans.

If you really wanted to be clever, you could run Facebook ads for 3 different videos, with different bands mentioned. For example:

Video ad 1
“For fans of The Hunna”as the title promoted to The Hunna fans

Video ad 2

“For fans of Blossoms”as the title and promote to Blossoms fans

Video ad 3

“For fans of The 1975”as the title and promote to The 1975 fans and so on…

You could direct each ad to your YouTube video (this is a lot more expensive than a direct upload to Facebook), and you can be absolutely sure each view will be a potential fan of your music

6. YouTube ads

YouTube ads are an under-priced resource in marketing right now, not just for the music industry. What is fantastic about YouTube ads is how well you can target your audience, you can run your ad before other music videos or any other channels which may relate to your genre of music.

Why we love them so much is that you don’t have to pay unless someone either clicks through to your music video or they watch the full 30 seconds of your ad, so you really only have to pay if you get results.

You can set up your YouTube ad campaign by setting up a Google AdWords account and choosing a video campaign.

To set up a Youtube ad, simply go to your channel and enter the “Youtube Studio”. Find the video you’d like to promote and there will be a promote option. By clicking this you’ll be taken to Google Adwords where you’ll need to make an account in order to promote your music video.

7. Collaborations

Our final tip is to collaborate with others. If you are struggling to get views on your videos, you can plan ahead and offer to collaborate on a track with an artist or band who may have a bigger fan base than you right now, this will help raise awareness for your band and you can attract new fans from each other and have a 2+2=5 situation.

Remember if you are getting 10,000 views on your videos, don’t reach out to someone who is getting 1m views, look for an artist at the same level as you or slightly bigger, but you have to be able to offer them something, whether it is access to your fan base too, or perhaps money, but they won’t do it as a favour.

The Winners and Losers of the Music Industry | What has changed?

In the past 10 years, the way we consume music has changed drastically, yet musicians are still trying to promote themselves using the exact same techniques. Whatever your role in the music industry, it’s key you adapt with the times with the aim to get music placed where people are actually listening. In order for you to gain the most success in your music career, it’s essential you’re following the consumer statistics, watching out for new platforms and testing every new promotional technique you can. This blog post is going to break down the recent changes and explain how you can use them to your advantage, rather than complaining and feeling stuck.

Having worked in the music industry for multiple years, we’ve seen the major changes that have impacted musician’s lives, income and success. The consumption of music is nothing like it used to be, so our promotional methods shouldn’t be either.

Spotify Killed the Radiostar

The main change in the music industry, which is having huge impact, is how people are consuming their music. A recent study showed that in 2018, 55% of people listen to new music via video stream, 23% with paid subscriptions and 22% using free audio streaming. With consumption of music so different to what it was, the aim should be to focus on these new platforms where your audience will be. The Mid-Year Music Report revealed that in the first half of 2018, Americans streamed 403 billion songs, via video and audio services. That’s nearly 100 billion songs more than what they streamed during the whole of 2015, when streaming accounted for as much as half of US music revenue. Statistics don’t lie, and you can’t get around them, so instead you should be using this to your advantage and see streaming as a greater chance of success rather than a step back.

Going Viral Without A Promotor

Alongside streaming is the growth in social media. Close to half the world’s population (3.03 billion people) are on some type of social media, that means your music is able to have a potential reach of half of the world with a click of a button, and the best part is, it’s free. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are free platforms for musicians to promote their music to as big an audience as they can draw in. 15 years ago, Facebook wasn’t even launched, meaning artists had to push their music using traditional promotional techniques such as sending their CDs to radio stations or magazine editors. Now, there are multiple social media platforms, with many features that can help in promoting your music e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live and IGTV, which we’ll go into more detail later. People complain about the amount of social media platforms there are, how often they change and how sometimes you have to have a budget to get in front of the right audience but be thankful we have these free platforms in the first place, as you can’t complain about something that’s being given to you for free.

Instagram stories music promotion

Making Money Unsigned

Everyone is now able to get their music out there due to low cost distribution and again social media. With distribution dirt cheap or even free, any artist can have their music uploaded to streaming services, which was never before possible. Artists that wanted their music recorded and listened to use to have to have money, which quite often meant a large label behind them. Now, anyone can have their music online, giving all artists a chance of success. With it being easier to distribute music and streaming becoming more popular, this means revenue for artists is a lot higher too, with 2017 seeing music sales rise by 8.1 percent to $17.3 billion. For example, American singer-songwriter Vérité has made a living off of Spotify streams, stating, “the ability to make a living somewhere between starving artist and international pop/rock/other star has never been more within reach.” We’re in an era where unsigned artists don’t need to be doing stadium tours, be signed to a major label or have money constantly pumped into advertising, but instead can upload a track to multiple platforms and the money can start coming in.

Mix and Master From your Bedroom

Not only is the distribution low cost, but so is the digital production. Digital audio software such as Logic Pro, offers artists a complete professional recording studio from the comfort of their home. With time and effort, an artist can record and produce their own music, rather than needing a large budget to secure recording time, a producer, mixer etc. YouTube offers tutorials for everything an artist needs, allowing anyone to produce as much music as they can on a budget. There’s a massive rise in artists showing the world that a tune created on GarageBand can be just as popular as a studio produced, high budget track so why not be the next bedroom big name?

Say Goodbye to Ticket Touts

Streaming services have not only helped with revenue, but also live music sales, with Spotify generating $40+m in ticket sales in 2017. Global concert sales have hit a record high in the first half of 2018, with so many platforms offering the opportunity for artist to list their gig dates, popular platforms such as Spotify, Facebook and Google work in favour of the artist, leading to live music sales growth. Google recently released a new list of changing rules for websites that resell tickets, transforming the way tickets are sold, improving the experience for both the musicians and the fans, and YouTube partnered with Ticketmaster to sell concert tickets on artist’s video pages so all these platforms are working to your advantage.

NME Didn’t Stop Printing for No Reason

The transformation from paper to digital isn’t just a change we’ve seen in music but seems to be one of the most drastic within the music industry. With NME closing their print edition after 66 years, it was clear that the music industry no longer loved print like it did. The transformation to digital was huge, for years blogs dominated the music space on the internet. This took years for business models to change, with outlets such as Complex succeeding in the digital space because they created a model that made money off the web, unlike other areas that stuck to their old model, not diverting away from print. This is a similar issue again as this digital age is forever changing but not everyone can keep up. There are endless amounts of music blogs, just search the term ‘music news’ or ‘music reviews’ on Google and you’ll be there for days, but no one really knows what the next wave will be, that’s why it’s key you keep yourself up to date with this complicated evolution. With streaming services rocketing up, blogs have had to start creating playlists. With video streaming becoming so popular, blogs have begun to produce YouTube content to reach a larger audience. NME stated that as they are now only digital, they have to change their strategy to be profitable, with editor Charlotte Gunn saying, “As part of its strategy, NME will also look to incorporate sponsored and native content, start live events and expand their ticket offering”. But not everyone is adjusting with the times and those who don’t, will be left behind.


An individual that has started to hack this complicated, ever changing industry is Carl Hitchborn, CEO of High Time Records. Many of you won’t know who he is, maybe because he spent his early life as a baker, but now Hitchborn is the CEO of artist management house, record company, music publisher, merchandise, branding hub and independent concert promoter, High Time, best known for their success with The Hunna.

Hitchborn’s story is pretty crazy, but very representative of how the music industry now works, by being creative in this digital age. In an interview with Music Business Worldwide, Carl explained how he went about promoting The Hunna: “I went to Virgin, Lloyds and Barclays, got three new credit cards – £5,000 on each one. We made a 45-second sizzle video for no money, then in September/October 2014, we literally spent the entire £15,000 in seven days on social media marketing. And then it went boom.”

Basically, Hitchborn put a large budget behind Facebook advertising until you couldn’t ignore The Hunna anymore. Carl took everything he learnt from the bread making business and applied it to the music industry using 3 simple rules:

  1. Make sure the product is better than anyone else’s
  2. Don’t scrimp on the deal you cut your supplies, or it will impact their loyalty and motivation
  3. Target your marketing to your key captive clientele

The Hunna are currently sat at over 80 million Spotify streams, 307k Facebook likes and 77.4k Instagram followers. You can’t argue with that.

Carl Hitchborn is just one example of someone changing with the times in the music industry and proof that it’s necessary for success.

Start Dominating the Industry Today

You must use these changes to your advantage. I wouldn’t even call them changes, but more improvements to the music industry, offering all artists a fairer chance of success. Below is breaking down the main changes to the industry we discussed prior and looking into what you can do to take on these changes head first, pushing your music to the top.

Social Media

Let’s start with social media. As we’ve mentioned, social media is constantly changing, and although complicated, its complexity works to your advantage if you stay up to date. With Facebook’s new algorithm introduced in early 2018, which prioritises posts which create a meaningful conversation and display it to those who interact with you most, most people see Facebook as a lost cause for promoting their music – wrong. By creating a content strategy, pumping money into Facebook advertising like Carl Hitchborn and following an ongoing theme, Facebook is the perfect platform to get your music in front of the right people. The constant changes also mean that if you are on top of things, you can steam ahead of the other artists stuck in the past.

Alongside Facebook promotion is Instagram, who have recently introduced many features specifically beneficial for musicians. Firstly, we have IGTV, the new Instagram feature and app, which allows long-form videos. Tech experts are estimating IGTV to be a dominant player in the social media industry, meaning if you as an artist jump on this before others, you’ll be ahead of the game. You can create content for your existing followers, have your music video uploaded directly onto the platform and also look at influencer marketing, which we will discuss further below. Another feature recently introduced that’ll benefit musicians is allowing soundtracks on Instagram stories. You simply pick a song to play before you record a video and you can drag and drop the track onto your story like the sticker feature. This will allow fans to sing along to their favourite bands, have it in the background or simply promote the track as a sticker, giving artists immediate promotion.

You can read more on how to promote your music using social media here – http://www.burstimo.com/single-post/Promote-Your-Music-Using-Social-Media

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing was unheard of just 10 years ago, now results of a national survey show 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by recommendations they see on socials. Influencer marketing is a phenomenon of modern marketing and should be a major focus point for the music industry, like it is for every other industry currently. 74% of people trust social networks to guide them to purchase decisions, so if you’re not working with influencers, you could be losing out to your competition.

Instagram currently leads as a global platform for influencer marketing, soon followed by YouTube, so these are the current focus platforms. With influencer marketing for musicians, you need to focus on what your product is, the music, and how influencers can promote it in a casual but effective manner. YouTubers are constantly on the lookout for non-copyright music, similar to Instagram stars with the new copyright rules, so simply message these influencers offering your music and whitelisting their channel. They’ll be getting something out of it, as much as you are. However, many influencers will be looking for payment, so set aside a budget, as it’s definitely worth it to get your music in front of a wider audience.

Ultimate Guide To Get Your Music on Official Spotify Playlists | Spotify Promotion

For artists releasing their music in 2019, Spotify promotion is one of the key elements to success in your music career.

In this guide, we tell you exactly how to get your music on to popular Spotify playlists, begin generating streams and being added to Discover Weekly’s.

Think about your last favourite song you discovered, did you discover it from a Spotify playlist?

The likelihood is that you found the song because you were listening to a Spotify playlist or it came up on your Discover Weekly’s. With 45% of people listening to music on streaming services such as Spotify, it is important that your music has a strong presence on Spotify and is given the best chance to be discovered.

Spotify has come under a lot of criticism over the years for not paying artists enough in royalties, with Taylor Swift boycotting the company by not uploading her latest album to the platform, stating that she thought artists were not being fairly compensated for their music. Taylor Swift has now been persuaded to re-join Spotify and uploading her latest album 3 weeks after the release. When speaking to UKTN, Burstimo insisted that Spotify is a monumental platform for the music industry and its survival against competitors such as Apple Music, Pandora, Deezer and Google Play Music is vital for the industry.

Unlike other platforms, Spotify allows user-curated playlists as well as hundreds of bespoke playlists which your music can be added to. This means that users can listen to niche playlists surrounding their mood, activity or genre of music. You can even search for a specific band and listen to similar artists on a playlist which has been specifically designed for fans of this music. With over 2 billion playlists on Spotify, this allows for more opportunity for smaller artists to be discovered.

Other platforms work a little differently, with no user-curated playlists and just branded-only playlists, there are only a handful you can subscribe to, all with gatekeepers who may have a specific taste in music and would not consider niche or emerging artists. This is the same for algorithm generated listening such as Google Play Music and Pandora.

So, although Spotify may not pay out a lot for the streams you gain, it does provide a democratic platform which gives artists an equal opportunity for success, using an algorithm which allows the users to vote with their ears to tell Spotify what tracks deserved to be heard by more people.

What’s Happening Behind the Scenes at Spotify

Spotify does have playlist curators whose job it is to sit and listen to music which could be a fit for their playlist (and we’ll tell you how to contact these guys later), however Spotify has taken this a step further and used the power of technology to help users discover new music. The algorithm uses the playlists you are added to in order to determine what genre of music your band are and also similar artists to your band. With over 35 million songs on Spotify, curators can’t possibly listen to every single track and list similar artists as well as allocate playlists, this task is in the hands of Spotify’s machine-learning in order to correctly place your track.

Spotify Home Page

Once you are added to playlists and getting streams, the algorithm then monitors how your track is performing to decide whether it is worth sharing it to other listeners. Spotify look closely at how often people are skipping your track before the end of the song and look at the engagement rate, which includes whether they go back and listen again, visit your artist profile or add the track to their own playlist. This allows Spotify to create a rating for your track as well as categorising it to know which listeners should be hearing your track on their Discover Weekly or Daily Mix.

If you were to search for people who work at Spotify, you will notice a lot of people who fulfil the role of ‘Data Curator’. These are people who are constantly looking at the data that comes back from your songs and adding it to official playlists. If people are constantly listening to your track, adding it to their own playlists, favouriting the track and repeatedly listening, your track has a very good chance of being added to Discover Weekly’s, it is here where your music will be judged whether it is popular enough to be added to Spotify Official playlists. If a track appears to be performing particularly well in one area, it will be brought to the attention of the Official playlist curator for that genre of playlist.

Full Step-by-Step Guide to getting on Spotify Official playlists

By the end of this guide, we want to get your music in a position to be able to pitch to Spotify Official playlists with confidence. If your track has that dreaded ‘< 1000’ next to it, there is absolutely no way you will be added to a Spotify Official playlist. So, we need to go through several phases to get you ready for Spotify Officials.

Before you start…

Get Verified

This is an important step which shouldn’t be missed. It helps give your profile credibility as well as gets your music picked up by the Spotify algorithm as this will mean your account is prioritised.

If you haven’t been verified already, we suggest you do so now. Lucky for you it’s a much simpler process now that Spotify have launched Spotify for Artists. Simply log in and confirm your details, after a few weeks you will see a little blue check mark on your Spotify profile.

Share your Artist Profile on Social Media

This is for the purpose of getting as many followers as possible. The more followers you have, the greater the credibility you will have as an artist. This helps validate that you have a fan base to any curators looking at your profile, especially for independent playlists as they know there is a chance you will share the playlist on your social media if you were to be added to it, which helps boost the exposure of the playlist and gain more followers. We would always recommend sharing every playlist on your socials, to show any curator that you are willing to reciprocate their belief in you by promoting their playlist to your fans.

Make sure you have a complete Artist biography

Spotify are proud of their platform and will favour those who take the time to make their profile as detailed as possible with great imagery. So, ensure to write the best Artist biography you can with great artwork as well as links to your socials. We understand that this isn’t an area people often visit, but the playlist curators do and that’s who are important to us right now.

Create your own Spotify playlist

This is a great way to get your initial streams, by creating a playlist of similar artists which includes your music, you can promote this playlist which can generate listens and fans. Make sure to give your playlist a name which will entice people to click and listen and your playlist must have more than 30 songs.

The 1975 Spotify Profile

How to find playlists to pitch

In order to pitch to Spotify playlists, you need to know how to find them. There are 3 types of playlists to search for genre, mood/activity and similar artists.


This will be most people’s go-to search, if you are an indie-rock band it is natural to search for indie-rock or rock to find suitable playlists.


These are the playlists which we listen to based on how we want to feel, whether it is working out, a road trip or simply waking up in the morning.

Similar Artists

These are playlists which are based on similar artists to yourself. Often when a band releases a new album, users will create playlists containing that album and similar tracks.

Pitching to Spotify playlists

Blogs and Brands playlists

This is the best place to start, because these guys tend to take a while to get back to you, so it won’t come through as your first playlist placement.

These branded playlists and blogs have a large following and are considered as early tastemakers for Spotify. Playlists such as Indiemono and Songpickr have submission platforms as well as Facebook pages and email addresses where you can email the curators to consider your track.

You can find these by searching Spotify and finding any playlist which isn’t curated by Spotify or a person’s name.

Once you have found your playlist you can then click the playlist and hover over the description of the playlist, very often the playlist will tell you where you can submit your music. Most of the time there will be an email address, however there are larger playlists such as Indiemono who have an entire platform dedicated to submitting tracks to their collection of playlists.

Indie Rock Spotify playlist

Some playlists also exclusively use Submithub and this can be a great way to ensure that popular playlist curators such as BIRP.FM listen to your track.

To get you started, here is a list of 42 playlist curators you can submit to right now.

Approaching Independent Curated playlist

This is where things get really interesting. There are thousands of playlists which have been created by regular Spotify users which you can target.

Contacting them is easy, firstly you search the type of playlist you’d like to be on and look at the results.

Find a playlist which is curated by someone with a real name and click on their profile.

Indie Rock Spotify playlist search

Make a mental note of their profile picture and search for them on Facebook.

Darshan Upadhyaya Spotify User Profile

Search for their name on Facebook, and match up the profile picture

Darshan Upadhyaya Facebook search

Bonus Tip: If their name does not come up, or if there are too many results, go through their followers on Spotify, and find someone with a unique name and match up their profile. Once you’ve found that person you can search within their friends list for the target playlister.

These types of playlists require a precise approach because it is not their job or hobby to consider new tracks from bands. Not only this, they will be constantly inundated with requests from bands hoping to get a place on their playlist, so simply sending them the track and hoping just isn’t going to cut it.

You should message them on Facebook, firstly complimenting their playlist and congratulating them on picking up such a popular following. You can even pick out a couple of tracks from the playlist which you like and commend them for discovering such an awesome track. Then ask if they would consider your own track, potentially comparing yourself to an artist which is already on their playlist to help validate why your track is suitable for their playlist.

You need to be able to make yourself stand out, and this is much different to standing out if you were going for a PR campaign, you need to give them something in return for considering your track of giving you feedback. One thing you can do is let them know that you will help promote their playlist by announcing that you have been added to their playlist on your socials, which will be of benefit to them as they receive more followers.

You could even run a competition which is exclusive to Spotify curators, by adding their name to a list hosted on your Facebook page, and by giving you feedback on your track could get them entered in to a competition to win an iPad or some gift vouchers. This would help you stand out and show your appreciation that you value their time and are willing to give back.

How to get on Spotify Official Playlists

Now that you have been added to a few playlists, this is your best chance of securing your spot on a Spotify Official playlist. There is potential for your track to be picked up by one of the ‘Data curators’ at Spotify who will notice your track is getting popular and start recommending it to various playlist curators.

Spotify Editorial rock playlists

Spotify for Artists

Spotify launched this feature back in August 2018 and it is currently still in beta. This is currently your best chance of getting added to a Spotify Official playlist.

Spotify recommends that you submit your song at least 4 weeks before your release to give you the best chance of being placed on an Official playlist.

You can log in to your Spotify for Artists app here:


Once your distributor has uploaded your track to Spotify, in the top right corner of the dashboard you will have the option to ‘Submit your song’.

Here you’ll be faced with multiple categories so Spotify can find the playlists most suited to your music.

Spotify for Artists submission form

On the next page, you will be asked to describe your song. Here is your opportunity to really validate your track and give the curator the reasons why they should take your track seriously. Previously, this field used to ask you to describe what your track is about and the meaning behind it but Spotify has now changed this which gives a strong indication of exactly what they are looking for.

Spotify for Artists submission pitch

Your pitch should include any press you have received, major venues you have played at and and relevant previous successes, along with a short pitch describing the track itself. You will have a total of 500 characters to squeeze your pitch in to.

UPDATE:Spotify have now changed the layout of their dashboard, if you can’t see a button to submit your track, go to the music tab, then to ‘upcoming’ and your new release will be there.

Pitching directly to curators

We may need to push things along a little more, with your 5 or 6 independent playlists, your track will begin to pick up streams and get picked up by the Spotify algorithm. This is the perfect time to now approach curators who will be able to identify that you have been added to popular playlists, generating streams and potentially showing up on Discover Weekly playlists.

To do this, you need to know exactly who you are targeting and which playlists they curate. The best way of doing this is to search on Linkedin to find Spotify playlist curators. They are usually called ‘Editors’, so your search term should be ‘Spotify Editor’. Usually in their bio they will tell you which playlists they curate and if they don’t, you need to final their personal Spotify profile and look to see which playlists they follow, this will give you a good indication of the genre they like and therefore will curate.

Once you add them on LinkedIn, you will have the function to message them and pitch them your music. Not only this, you can follow up with an email by using RocketReach, which can scrape the internet for their email address or guess their email address with a high degree of accuracy.

Approaching these guys is completely different to any other, they are the most wanted men and women on the planet, and constantly have a mailbox full of tracks to consider every single day, so you need to stand out.

Your email should be kept short and concise, giving them an accurate indication of the genre and similar artists. Don’t be afraid to follow up, their job is an incredibly difficult one and sometimes they may miss your email.

Spotify Official curators still use online blogs to find new music, so your general online presence is incredibly important. You could get discovered by a large playlist curator via an online blogs, which means that using music pr companies to get additional exposure will prove to be a great investment and help with that final push on to Spotify playlists.

Marketing Companies Are Petrified By Facebook’s New 2018 Algorithm – What Does It mean For Your Music Promotion?

If you don’t work in the marketing industry, you may not have heard that Facebook has made dramatic changes to their News Feed algorithm, and it may significantly affect your music promotion results.

Whether you are constantly creating content for your audience, or simply pushing your music video, this is everything you need to know to continue to promote your music on Facebook.

On January 12th, the marketing sector received news that caused panic across the industry. Mark Zuckerberg announced major changes to the Facebook Algorithm, which will now be prioritising posts that create a meaningful conversation and displaying it to those who interact with you most. Zuckerberg is hoping the change will result in more organic reach, for real people to have real conversations.

For personal accounts, this means that those who you speak to frequently on messenger and regularly like your posts will be more likely to see your next posts.

Facebook pages will see a significant decrease in their organic reach, with Zuckerberg actually aiming for people to spend less time on Facebook, but the time they do spend on the platform will be better quality time and an overall better experience.

Facebook believes that interactions between friends and family is worth more than interaction with a fan page, therefore it will be more likely to show posts from your Facebook friends and family than a music fan page, which is going to make your band’s Facebook page work even harder to gain fans and get engagement.

In Facebook’s press release, Facebook stated:

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook–in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos”

How to get your posts to rank higher?

Your post should aim to be receiving comments, shares and reactions, anything such as clicking the video, watching it or hovering over the video will have no impact on how far your post ranks in your fan’s news feeds.

Something you may not be aware of is that not only does Facebook consider someone sharing your post to their own news feed a ‘share’ but if someone was to take the link and share it to a friend on Messenger, this counts as a share too, and boosts you up the rankings in your fan’s news feeds.

Not only this, Facebook takes in to account the engagement that those who share the post go on to receive, so if one person shares a post and a lot of their friends then comment on that post, the ranking is increased. This is why we advise that you do not run ‘share competitions’ on Facebook as you will be punished for not getting engagement from the posts which were shared.

Facebook call this Engagement Bait, where you make posts to instigate a reaction or share, which Facebook is now cracking down on. A lot of pages, especially in music, have relied on this technique to get engagement and grow their audience, but this was severely reducing the quality of the Facebook experience and causing people to spend less time on the platform.

As a Musician, what is the best strategy to get more engagement on your Facebook page?

Your content strategy must be relatable to your target audience, which inspires them to engage with your post. To do this, you need to know what your fans and potential fans want to see, and why they’d want to follow the posts you are putting out. Have they followed you to see backstage photos, are they inspired by the lifestyle that you as an artist are undertaking or do you have strong characters in the band who entertain the followers? Once you understand this driver, you will be able to create content on a regular basis, which receives a huge amount of engagement.

A fantastic tool we use is Google Trends which allows us to see which hot topics people are talking about across the world, so we can create social media posts that people are desperate to discuss, this means that our posts are more likely to gain interaction from our audience and therefore rank higher on news feeds. You can post your opinions to see how yours differ with others or you can post open questions and watch the discussion take place in the comments section.

This explains why you have seen so many ‘Tag a friend’ posts so often in the past 12 months, because they instigate so much interaction that they rank incredibly high on the Facebook news feed.

In the Facebook Press Release, Adam Mosseri went on to state:

“Live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook–in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities”

Artists and bands are in the perfect position to create live content as they are used to performing live in front of a crowd. You could even use your Facebook audience to put on live sessions while interacting to each of the comments that are coming through between songs, and maybe even take requests if you’re feeling ballsy.

You can get creative with your live audience, check The Academic who used the Facebook live delay as a loop pedal, which turned out to be an incredible publicity stunt and got them a feature in NME.

This example shows that you truly can achieve anything if you invest enough time in creating content for your audience. This video originally went out live to their Facebook audience, which of course went straight to the top of every news feed of those who had liked the page, and now has 4x as many YouTube views as the original track itself!

What does this algorithm change mean for pushing a music video over Facebook?

On Neil Patel’s marketing podcast, he bluntly summed up that content creators are going to have to up their game and spend more money. And that was a key point, Facebook exists to make money out of advertising revenue, therefore every decision they make is designed to make companies spend more on their platform to advertise their products. Unfortunately, this means musicians are going to have to spend more to get people to watch their latest music video.

But you can still create content which can grow your fan base with some simple steps.

One particular tip that we do encourage is to ask your audience to choose the ‘See First’ option on your page. This is similar to a YouTuber asking for a viewer to “turn on notifications”so they immediately get a notification when the new video goes live. In Facebook’s case, this feature ensures that you see every single post that the Facebook page makes, which will dramatically increase your engagement.

Arctic Monkeys Facebook Page

Because you are going to be punished so greatly for lack of interaction, one thing musicians will suffer with when promoting their music is promoting gigs themselves, so if a band are promoting a gig in Germany, and they keep advertising it on their page, this means nothing to anyone outside of Germany because someone from the UK is unlikely to travel to Germany, therefore your engagement levels are going to be incredibly low so you need to avoid this or you will be punished. Instead, you should be creating event pages for all of your gigs, that way you can promote to a specific audience, and only post on the News Feeds of those who are local to the area and actually may interact with the posts and attend the gigs.

With all of these changes in mind, you need to get your audience to follow you anywhere you go, because we all know what happened to Myspace, bands managed to build huge followings which were then useless after all of the users left, so be sure to encourage users to sign up to your mailing list to receive your content before anyone else.

Our final tip is using Facebook groups, although these were the very first method of reaching a new audience on Facebook, and actually became a bit useless, but now they are back stronger than ever before as they already operate on the basis of audience engagement, so you can either create your own fan group with exclusive content that no one else can see, which will generate very high levels of engagements, or you can post your content in specific groups online which allow you to build new fans, but be sure not to spam those groups, you need to build up your credibility first and add value to the members before you can hit them with your latest music video.

This algorithm change has been a wakeup call for a lot of marketers, not just in the music industry but across all industries, and reminded us we cannot invest the entire of our resources in to one platform, we have to diversify and show growth on multiple platforms, telling a different story. Creating unique content on each platform will help us build a large fan base, and it doesn’t matter what changes each platform decides to make, you can direct your loyal audience to anywhere you like.

Advanced Music PR Techniques To Run A DIY PR Campaign For Your Next Release

Want to promote your music but don’t have the budget to hire a music publicist? No problem, there are still promotional methods you can use without having to hire a music publicist and having those relationships they have with the industry tastemakers in order to get your music on blogs, radio, playlists and publications.

This article is going to be a step by step guide to running your own music PR campaign without the need for using a music PR company, breaking down the different media outlets you can push out to, how to hit out to them and what you need to do to really start creating a buzz around your release, all without spending anything at all. Running your own music PR campaign can be a lengthy process, forcing you to do tedious jobs but it definitely comes with its rewards, so be sure to set aside enough time to commit to promoting your record by following this guide and you will see the results.


Before anything else, make sure the release is a strong enough standard. Take your time to write, record and get the track mastered so it’s at the best quality it can be as there’s no point promoting music that doesn’t truly represent you and your style. Once you’ve got a release you’re proud of, you need to start collecting all the assets you’ll need to push it out.


You will need 5-10 high resolution images which suit your music genre, style and image. These are essential for getting online coverage as it can be what catches a journalist’s eye and is also what will be used in any online features, so you want it to be representative of you as an artist.

Arctic Monkeys


You need artwork for your release, clearly stating the track title and your artist name. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you definitely need it again for online coverage. The artwork needs to represent your style of music and who you are as an artist. It will also be used on all digital platforms such as Spotify and can be what persuades someone to stream your track from the millions of others, so take your time with designing this.


Choose a release date for your track and make sure you stick to it. This is what all media outlets will run with so if you change it last minute, you will not only have confused fans but a load of press that’s incorrect. Get the release date booked in with your distributor as soon as you’ve sorted it so you can tick it off your to do list early on and not have to worry last minute about getting it onto the different platforms. Release dates usually fall on a Friday so choose a Friday that is a month or so away, this way you’ll have time to work on your music promotion in the run up to the release.


Once the track is ready, upload it as a private SoundCloud link. This is the easiest way for tastemakers to stream the release before it’s live. Some artists make the mistake of sending a download link or attaching the MP3, but nobody has the time and effort to download a track and then listen, so make sure it’s SoundCloud you focus on and send in your pitch.


Writing your press release is pretty similar to writing your band biography but this time around you need to make it more focused around this specific release. The most important thing to remember when writing your press release is that you’re trying to persuade the person to listen to your track against thousands of others so it’s essential you keep it precise yet creative. The press release is the make or break as to whether your release is successful or not, so spend time on this and get others to read it over.

We know how difficult it is to write a press release, especially when writing your own, it’s similar to writing a CV and sometimes you don’t know where to start. The easiest starting point is to bullet point some key factors such as who you are, what you’re releasing, your musical history, career highlights and what you’ll be doing next e.g. touring.

The first paragraph of your press release is the most important as if it’s not engaging, no one will read on and you’ve completely wasted your time sending it and their time reading it. The first line should be something catchy such as “With over 3 million Spotify streams, indie rock band … return with ….”. Obviously not every band has the credentials to have something like that as their hook, but you can still make it interesting, using past press or support slots to engage the reader.

On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the actual body of the email, showing the headline is the make or break. I’ve found writing the full press release before the headline helps as you have worked out what the most important points are already, so you can use these to work out the headline and use that for the subject bar. Make it powerful, using an active voice rather than passive.

For example, ‘After securing over 3 million Spotify streams on debut single, [insert band name] return with [insert song title]’ carries more weight than simply‘[insert band name] return with new single [insert song title’].


  • Have the release date (sounds stupid but many forget)
  • Include images of the band but also the artwork
  • Add your social media links
  • Have the private SoundCloud link
  • Proofread
  • Include contact details


  • Make it super long, no one will read it
  • Make it too cliché (a good exercise for this one is to swap another artists name in and see if it’d still be fitting)
  • Waffle on. Many artists start giving their musical background in depth but if it’s not interesting or impactful to where you are right now, cut it out
  • Be cocky. No one wants to read why a band with <1000 Spotify streams are the next Fleetwood Mac
  • Use stupid fonts and colours


Now that you’ve got all the assets ready, you need to start your campaign around your release with some online promotion. The internet has opened up endless possibilities to promote your music, making it easier than ever for artists to secure online coverage. This needs to start prior to the actual release date as you need to give the journalists time to write and upload the feature, plus no one wants to run an article about an old track so give yourself at least 3 weeks before release date to be working on this.


You need to choose the sites you pitch to carefully as if you start bombarding blogs that don’t even cover your genre, they’re going to get pissed and the music industry is a small world, so you don’t want that! Firstly, start looking into other bands that are a similar level to you, see what online coverage they’ve secured and if those sites are relevant for you.

Then you can start looking for genre specific blog, you can find these via a simple Google or social media search. Look into each site, what sort of bands they cover and think carefully about whether you’d suit their site. Also look into your geographical links, if you’re from Scotland then target Scottish music blogs. You can do this with tour dates too, so you confirm regional press around your gigs.

The final area you can focus on is angle led sites. These can be anything that has a niche, examples of this include female guitarist blogs, mental health sites and gay publications. If you feel your angle fits into any niche, approach these areas saying why you’re relevant and what you’re approaching them for. Often, these sites have large readership so can be very beneficial for building online presences and overall fanbase.


You have all the correct assets you need to pitch to online blogs, plus you’ve found the sites you want to hit out to, but how do you approach them?

Submit Hub: One of the easiest methods for getting your music in front of journalists is SubmitHub, plus many bloggers use it as their form of income so you’re also helping out a fellow music industry buddy.

SubmitHub is a simple submission page where you can submit your single to different blogs and they give you feedback. Sounds fantastic right? The catch is you have to pay, not much but still a fee. We highly recommend SubmitHub for emerging artists and artists that don’t use music publicists as it’s a simple way to connect with journalists without having a relationship with them already. Also, some sites only take submission via SubmitHub so sometimes it’s a necessity if you’ve got your heart set on a certain blog.

SubmitHub works with many different streaming links but most blogs prefer SoundCloud so copy and paste it into the form and fill in the correct details and you could be featured on multiple blogs with a click of a button.

SoundCloud 'Upload a new Song'

Now to the real pitching, this is where your press release comes in handy. You’ve got a list of sites you want to pitch to, and you’ve collected all the right email address (more about that below). Now you need to make sure you’re sending them something that a) they’re going to open and b) they’re going to actually read. Each email has to be personalised and cannot be some mass mail out. Get your press release and copy and paste it into the email. Never attach anything like the MP3, high resolutions images or the press release as a word document as journalists don’t have the patience to download attachments and won’t be happy if you’re taking up all of their storage with your 8MB MP3s.

Once you’ve copy and pasted the press release in, you need to actually write the body of the email. Below is a simple format you can use, which will be above your press release:

Hi [insert name],

Hope you’re well? I’m [insert name] from [insert band name] and we were hoping to get your thoughts on our upcoming single [insert song title] for your blog, which you can stream here [insert SoundCloud link]

From here you need to start getting the most important and interesting parts of your press release e.g. who you’ve supported, who your influencers are and any previous press. You can also make this part more personal to the publication e.g. “we saw you covered [insert band name] who we supported last month…”

To finish your email, make sure the journalist knows what you want from them.

“I would love to hear your thoughts on the single for a feature or review and we also have tour dates at the bottom of the press release, which I’m happy to organise press passes for.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you

[insert name]”

If you really want to capture the journalist’s attention, show that you’ve read their previous work or that you’re a fan of their blog e.g. “after reading your review of The Hunna, I thought I’d reach out as we have a pretty similar style.” This not only shows that you’ve read their previous work, but it also gives them an indication of what your sound is like, so they’ll know whether it’s worth them taking the time to listen. Although time consuming, it will likely convert to success, so it’s worth taking the time. If the journalist doesn’t come back to you after a few weeks, send a polite follow up email, asking if they’ve had a chance to check it out yet. Chances are that if they don’t respond to a follow up email, they’re not interested so don’t be the needy artist that bugs them on email, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, just try again next time.


Now you know which blogs to target and how to pitch to them, you need to work out how to get their email address and if it’s a larger publication, which journalist to approach.

Many lower level blogs have a generic Gmail style email address listed on their site, which is always easy for you to find and then send them your press release. However, there are many sites that won’t have a contact address or form listed on their site, this is where you need to start digging.


There are two ways of being able to locate the best music blogger’s email addresses. Most companies use a set formula for their email address, so once you can find one employee’s email address you can guess the formula. For example, is may be the first letter of their first name following by their surname.

You may also find their email address which has already been posted somewhere online. There are fantastic tools which do this all for you such as Hunter.io. This is a powerful tool used by many music PR companies which will scout the internet for the person’s email address. If it is unable to find the address, it will give you a prediction based upon other people’s email address who work at the company.

Hunter Email Address Generator


Use your influencers and bands similar to yourselves to find journalists that you think will like your music. If you have an indie rock style, look at who may have covered up and coming indie rock bands like No Hot Ashes recently and email them with one of our suggested templates above.

Bonus Tip: If you want to find recent features on a similar artist, Google the artist, select tools and then past week as shown below:

No Hot Ashes Google reviews


If you can’t find a journalist through a simple Google search or anywhere on socials, give LinkedIn a go. Quite often you’ll find a journalist through LinkedIn and if you keep yours up to date with your music, music industry news and other things you find interesting, the journalist may connect with you. From here, find their email address and drop them a line.


A hook is something that makes you stand out from others, something that other bands haven’t got and what can potentially get you in the major online publications. You’ll find that this is where most music PR agencies succeed but you can have just as much success if you’re creative and push to the right areas.

Major online sites receive thousands of emails per day with the same “This is my band’s new release, it’s really good, listen to it” junk so you need to have a hook that makes you stand out and be news worthy. Think about how your band is different – this could be how you came together, how you play your instruments or what your latest release is based around.

Examples of hooks that we’ve used to gain national coverage in areas such as Metro, London Evening Standard and We Plug Good Music are:

Kid Kapichi London Evening Standard Feature

Each angle is entirely different, and you can’t always tell which will get picked up by the media so be creative and test a few out. If you worked with a major name, try that, if you’re working with a clothing line, give that a go. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed as any hook can be a potential way in.

If you use all these tips, you will begin to create a list of journalists who you know give feedback on your music and if they gave a positive review, like your music. Make sure to create a database of these contacts so you can use them again for your next release and keep building relationships.


Radio plugging is a whole other story compared to online promotion, with it being highly competitive and national radio stations having limited shows that play out emerging artists. This is why radio pluggers charge so much as you’re paying for the relationships they’ve formed with producers over the years, which you yourself can’t always gain.

Although it’s difficult, it’s possible so don’t be disheartened, you just have to start low. Use the email format you’ve already created for online promotion with the pitch and the press release copy and pasted below but this time have a link to download the track. In your online promotion pitch, you may be pitching a full EP or Album but with radio, you only need to pitch one track so don’t send a link to a full album as producers don’t have the time to listen to the full thing to work out which track is their favourite. The single which you choose to run with needs to be a radio edit, so no swearing and around 3:30mins, definitely not longer than 4mins.

The radio station will need the MP3 if they want to air the single but whatever you do, don’t attach the MP3! Use either Dropbox or WeTransfer to give them the option to download the track and have the MP3 titled correctly ‘[insert band name] – [insert song title].mp3’.

Start with pitching to regional radio stations before anything else. If you’re from Cambridge, look into Cam 105 and see if you can find an email to send your music to them (refer to ‘How to get the right journalist and their email addresses’ as this works similarly for producers/presenters). As well as regional radio, look into hospital, student and online stations to build up your portfolio of plays.

As soon as you have your finished track and release date sorted, add the MP3 to Amazing Tunes and BBC Introducing. These uploaders are the perfect gateway to national radio play, with Amazing Radio supporting emerging artists and BBC Introducing working as a springboard to BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and even 1. If your track is picked up by either Amazing Radio or BBC Introducing, you’ll be notified by email, so you can listen in to it being played on air.

Amazing Tunes uploader

The major advantage of BBC Introducing is the leads it gives you to the national BBCs. If the track is picked up well on your local BBC, you may find that it’s aired on Tom Robinson’s BBC Radio 6 Music show – The BBC Introducing Mixtape. If it isn’t picked up naturally, you can always send it via Fresh On The Net but read through the submission process carefully –http://freshonthenet.co.uk/send/


In 2019, Spotify is the leading music streaming platform, with over 207 million active monthly users, so it’s key that your music is available for people to stream on here. Besides being uploaded to Spotify and letting the algorithm work in your favour by pushing it out to the masses, you can also pitch to Spotify Official playlists via the Spotify for Artists submission form. You need to be doing this at least 4 weeks prior to release, so you may need to push your distributor to get it uploaded for you. Once it’s available on Spotify for Artists, fill in the form in as much detail as possible, giving the editors something that will make them want to listen and potentially add it to their playlists.

Alongside the official Spotify playlists, you can also pitch to user curated and branded playlists, some of which have just as many and even more followers than some of the Spotify official ones. You can read our guide on how to pitch to these here  – http://www.burstimo.com/single-post/Official-Spotify-Playlists-guide


Music PR isn’t impossible for musicians to do completely independently and still secure fantastic results, as long as you follow this step by step guide and invest the time into each area. A DIY Music PR campaign has an amazing ROI as you invest your time and in return you secure an online presence, revenue from streams and overall growth in number of fans.