Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And now I think Pandora is kinda stupid.

Happily Ever After: A Rock Opera
A month or so ago, my wife and I picked up a great docking station at Costco for our iPhones. For a coupla years, all music in the home had been relegated to computer, so if we were doing any cooking or house-cleaning or whatnot and we wanted some tunes, that involved firing up media jukebox, selecting a playlist, and blasting music from the office. A docking station let us quickly dial something in whilst in the kitchen or entertaining, and has proven wonderful. However, the next hurdle was what to listen to. I only have the 8GB iphone, and my carry-around playlist is pretty much my jogging playlist, and my wife can't tolerate Iron Maiden, so there is a rub.

Enter Pandora. Several folks at the office had been using Pandora for a while, but as I had a 450 GB drive on my work computer filled to the brim with music I could organize into whatever playlist I was in the mood for, I never really saw the need to check it out. However, if my wife and I are fixing dinner and we want some quick tunes that we can both agree on, I don't wnat to take the time to build a playlist. Pandora is the perfect solution - pick an artist or genre, and Pandora makes a playlist for you on the fly - quick and easy.

As I have become more accustomed to using Pandora, I have really enjoyed some of new music it has put in my playlists... it is a great discovery tool. To that end, if Pandora was hipping me to new music, I figured it might could hip other folks to my music.. and so began the exploration of how to submit to Pandora.

Originally, I thought this post would be a step by step on how to get your music on pandora. Which went like this:
On its FAQ page (http://blog.pandora.com/faq/) , Pandora gives the following instructions:

Q: How do I submit my music (or my band's music) to be considered for inclusion on Pandora?
We're very excited to announce a brand-new process to submit your music (or your band's music) to Pandora.
You'll need:
* a CD of your music
* a unique UPC code for that CD
* your CD to be available through Amazon (must be a physical CD, not just MP3s for download)
* the legal rights to your music
* MP3 files for two of the songs from your CD
* a free Pandora account, based on a valid email address, which can be associated with your music
Once you have all of these items ready to go, you can submit your music to Pandora here:

So I jumped through the hoops. I established an Amazon reseller account and mailed in my CD to inventory, even though the CD was already available digitally via Amazon. Once completed, I walked through the Pandora submission. At the end, I was told my submission was pending. I did not get an email, I just had to remember to log in to http://submitmusic.pandora.com/submit/status every once in a while.

Finally - after 2 months, I just happened to remember to log in and found that my music has been rejected. No explanation, no chance for appeal, just rejection. This is for a record that is professionally produced, with great players, that is objectively on par with anything on Pandora (http://TheRockOpera.com). Is it because I did not go through a music service like The Orchard? - which is what some services, like Slacker Radio require (http://forums.slacker.com/want-to-get-your-music-on-slacker-radio-check-here%C7%83-p224.html)

I just don't know - a quick search yields no answers, just other frustrated rejects like myself: http://www.jamesclark.com/2009/11/21/pandora-has-closed-her-box/, http://parallel-rose.livejournal.com/13820.html.

And the worst part is the lack of info. If I knew i had to get with an aggregator or work through another channel, I would check that out. But I don't know, I am just rejected. Not only is Pandora not helping me get my music discovered, it has left me rather despondent.

Rejected. Bummer.


Jim Clark said...

It seems to me that Pandora isn't interested in independent music. If you're not represented by a label, or if you don't have an "in" with them already, then you're not worth their time or even an explanation.

Jon D. Wright said...

...Which is funny, as the whole initial mission statement was to help discovery of independent music..

Benjamin said...

Thanks for posting this -- I went through the same thing. Extremely disappointed.