What Artists Should Know About SubmitHub
In March of 2016, I published what quickly became my most popular post: These 59 Music Blogs Will Listen to Your Song, Guaranteed.
Four years later it’s up to 1100+, and also includes radio stations, YouTube and Twitch channels, Spotify playlisters, and Instagram influencers.
Jason Grishkoff, the founder of SubmitHub, walked me through the submission process for my latest single on a two-hour call. Along the way, he provided loads of helpful tips to maximize results while minimizing budget.
After uploading your song, the first step in the submission process is selecting what type of credit you’d like to use.
Premium credits cost about $1, with discounts for buying in bulk. I usually go for 100 credits for $80 ($0.80 each).
Be sure to check for coupons by clicking the “Add Coupon” button!
Everyone gets a “save10” coupon when they sign up, and I recently took advantage of the “covid19” coupon for 19% off, bringing my cost down to $0.63 per credit.
Curators charge 1-3 credits per submission and earn $0.50 each. To collect, they need to listen to at least 20 seconds of the song and make a decision within 48 hours. If they reject it, and most will, they need to explain why.
That seems entirely reasonable to me, but several commenters on my earlier post called it a scam.
Some argue that it’s a form of pay-to-play, arguing that artists should never pay for exposure (I suppose hiring a PR company is out).
But you’re not paying for exposure — you’re paying for a few minutes of someone’s time who would otherwise be too overwhelmed with submissions to listen to yours.
Most curators charge one credit and average listening time is two minutes per track. That’s $15 per hour, without factoring in the necessary back-and-forth communication around approved tracks or actual content creation.
Again, that seems entirely reasonable to me. There are plenty of safeguards in place to ensure that curators aren’t taking advantage of artists, from active policing of bad actors to user reviews.
If you’re not convinced, you can always use Standard credits, which are completely free. You get two credits every four hours, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a response.
As you’d guess, the approval rate is significantly lower at 5% vs 12% for Premium credits.
Next up, you select whether or not you want written feedback, and how important it is to you.
Curator feedback is occasionally useful, but most of the time it’s not. It may not even make sense, as English may not be the curator’s first language.
At this point, I stopped writing so that I could scan my feedback for a couple examples of comedy gold, but there weren’t any! The quality of feedback has improved dramatically over the past few years.
Instead, you’ll have to settle for a couple of my favorite declines:
If you’re thin-skinned, you might think the ego-saving option of forcing curators to listen for 90 seconds is the way to go, but Jason explained why that’s not the case.
A curator can easily have another window open for email, or just mess around on their phone while the 90 seconds tick down.
On the other hand, if a curator knows they need to explain their reasoning, they listen more intently.
The proof is in the stats. “It’s quite important” has a 12% approval rate, “Not that important” 11%, and “at least 90 seconds” a mere 5%.
Select “It’s quite important.”
Genres & Filters
Then you’re confronted by a rather intimidating screen. First, select up to three genres.
Then scroll down and deselect SoundCloud, Radio, and On Twitch unless you have a good reason not to.
There are a bunch of additional filters you can use to narrow down the number of outlets into something manageable.
When you’re done, select “Genre match: high to low” at the top of the screen.
Curating the curators
Here’s an example that I marked up, for a blog that also has a Spotify playlist.
Working through my highlights left to right, top to bottom:
A single $ means that they charge 1 credit.
The speech bubble with a heart icon means that the blog is listed on Hype Machine.
The Really Good Blogger designation means that they write original content rather than just copy/pasting your press release.
Be sure to check the approved percentage! If it’s less than 1%, you might want to save your money. If it’s over 30%, it doesn’t count for placement in SubmitHub’s popular charts. Really Good Blogger approvals count double!
Every week I check the Synthwave/Vaporwave chart for additions to my playlist. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
The Quick Facts section, coupled with average Spotify plays, likely has most of the info you’ll probably need to make a decision. Still, I recommend clicking the name of the outlet to get to their profile page.
There you’ll have access to even more stats, their curator settings, and a rundown of their playlists and growth:
On the settings page, you can see their approval rating by genre, which goes a long way toward determining if your track is a match.
Even better, take a listen to some of their recent shares:
Working through all your matches like this can easily take up an entire afternoon! That is, unless a curator has already made the decision for you. 😭
Once Genre Match gets below 4, Jason recommends sorting by something else. I’m usually out of credits by then.
My SubmitHub results
I pitched my song “Juggernaut” over the course of three campaigns.
Why three campaigns? I confess that I didn’t exactly follow Jason’s advice on thrift.
Compared to what I’ve been paying for Facebook ads and a PR company, spending a couple bucks per submission is an incredible bargain. My policy has always been “when in doubt, submit!”
The first campaign was the one I started on the call with Jason. The second was in response to an email alerting me that a curator who was “taking a break” was now accepting submissions. The third was created after 48 hours when the first expired, and included resubmissions to outlets that didn’t respond. I selected three different genres to pull up anything I might’ve missed the first time around.
In total, I spent 123 credits, which would cost $98.40 without a coupon at the 100 credits rate.
I submitted to 98 outlets and received 75 decisions, 8 of them approvals.
That’s five playlist adds (including one not mentioned above), four blog posts, two Instagram stories, a SoundCloud repost, and a YouTube channel feature.
Was it worth it? Hell yeah! 🙌🏻
Looking back at my SubmitHub history, it seems my overzealousness didn’t pay off. In the past I’ve gotten similar results submitting to half as many curators.
Should you try SubmitHub?
Absolutely. It’s cheap, transparent, and fair to both parties.
If you’re considering spending a few hundred dollars on a Spotify PR company like Playlist Push, test the waters with SubmitHub first. You’ll likely reach many of the same curators!
What’s your experience been with SubmitHub? Share your thoughts, strategies, and wild conspiracy theories in the comments!
Hi Brian! I have used Submithub for 7 tracks so far and not got a single positive response out of it!! I still do it, as it is cost effective, but it seems to be sometimes like the curators may like a song generally but their criteria is near impossible to meet as there is always a ‘but’ in it. When I read a generally nice review that says they like elements and then comes the BUT, I just think ‘come on guys, give people a chance, your listeners may really like it!!!’.
Personally, I feel like many curators consider themselves to hold all the power and are proud to be the new gatekeepers who can make or break artists, and so they are hyper-picky. That’s just my thoughts – I don’t believe my music is so bad that no one in the world could possibly like it (it’s singer/songwriter, indie-pop- perhaps my genre is the most over-subscribed and therefore I am at a disadvantage??) but when you get nothing but ‘no’s’ from sites like SubmitHub you are start to feel like you are truly the worst artist in the universe!!! This really knocks your confidence and you think ‘well, if I can’t even get on one list, why am I still doing this?’.
I think we have to remember that these curators are not necessarily music experts – many of them are simply fans like you and I – and therefore, although they have got themselves in a position where they do hold the key to accessing more listeners, their taste and their decisions are not really that important at the end of the day, and we should be seeking our true fans via other methods.
I am still working through the Fans on Demand and Fan Finder courses (all found thanks to your articles!!!), and the more I go through courses like this the more I understand that I shouldn’t be chasing numbers/stats but real people who will genuinely love what I do, and that it is quality over quantity when it comes to listeners!
Stay safe x
It’s really, really competitive. You’re fighting for attention against not just other indies, but majors.
While I’m not a SubmitHub curator, I curated for Playlist Push for awhile, and I get at least a dozen submissions for my playlist on social media every week.
The way I see it, my job is to make the best playlist I can — something that I would truly enjoy as a listener. If I can’t use my own taste as a guideline, how else do I decide?
I can’t just give everything a chance because some people might like it. If they don’t, I lose followers, and I have a weaker platform to offer to the artists that I really believe in.
Anyway, just playing devil’s advocate here. I appreciate that curators try to let me down easy for the most part, by pointing out something they like. Yeah, it can feel a bit phony and formulaic, but it beats a flat “no.”
What really rubs me the wrong way is when they say “keep trying.” I try to assume positive intent, but it feels so condescending.
Like you said, you don’t have to go this route at all! You can build your music career entirely direct to fan.
Hello man do you accept afrobeat genre or do you know any curator you would suggest to me, so I can submit to them
My playlist is synthwave-only. Try filtering by genre. I don’t know if Afrobeat is in there, but you can triangulate around it.
I cannot say HOW MUCH! I agree with this comment !! it had to be said.
I don’t mean to come off rude or anything, because I support creativity in all forms, however you need to think honestly and practically about the moves you are making. If you’re consistently being told no by curators and they all seem to say the same thing(that your music has potential, but it’s just not there yet), maybe you need to be real with yourself about the content your creating and start asking yourself the tough questions. Is your music professionally mixed/mastered so that it at the very least has ‘good’ sound quality? Or does the music your making have audio clipping, and distorted wave sounds which make it unpleasant to the ear? Maybe the music itself is only of ‘average’ or below quality. You might be thinking that music is subjective(and it is, like any art), however there are still certain standards that must be met. The fact of the matter is if your music just isn’t good enough, you cannot be angry at curators for not ‘giving you a chance’. The mentality of waiting on people to ‘give you a shot’ is single handedly one of the biggest career killers. Remember you aren’t the only person making music, there are millions of musicians out there, and thousands of them are constantly trying to get playlisted by these curators, if you’re music doesn’t stand out, statistically you’re going to fall through the cracks, that’s just the way the world works. Don’t be discouraged by the no’s, use them as a compass to find out where it is you went wrong, and keep improving. Hard ‘No’s’, are nothing more than navigators on the path towards Yes.
Tough love and great advice! As a curator, I’ve provided mix pointers to artists and heard their mixes improve over time. Occasionally an artist will even pull the mix, integrate my suggestions, and resubmit!
Would you be willing to have a listen to some of my catalogue and then tell me if your above comment still stands? (I am not being aggressive, it is a genuine request as your comment is valid, but without hearing my music, it is generalised and I would love to know if you think it applies to me after hearing a bit of what I release!).
I have had several songs make the semi-finals of international songwriting contests too and I record at a very professional studio with my mastering done by someone in the UK who works with a lot of big names, so I am not convinced it is the standard of my music – but I would love to hear your thoughts. If you say it is bad, I will gladly accept your opinion!!! I am not someone who believes the world or music industry owes me anything, but I also don’t think that curators have been fair with me so far!!!!
IF you don’t mind listening to a cross-section (for the sake of this post; I am in no way trying to promote myself here.. and you of course are not obligated to), then this is me:
If you’re interested in feedback…I listened to each of your songs and felt that the arrangements were dated (mid-career Madonna), the lyrics tended to be preachy, and the vocal performance was a bit Broadway. It is so hard to be original with so much music out and available. Listen to what’s current, Top 100 or indie, and notice how writers are phrasing things, where the lines start and stop, how wordy so many songs tend to have lines without the breaks for guitar done in past decades. Find some knowledgeable, young musicians to give you specific feedback and spend time experimenting to find a vocal style, lyrics, melody, and production that is truly current and WHOA!!! So different than anything your target listener has ever heard, makes them say hey, this is new, I’ve never heard anything like this. Listen to a variety of genres for inspiration, like reggaeton, country rap, world music…with enough variety that it melts into pure inspiration.
It might surprise you to know I’m over 50. But I’ve had songs on charting albums, TV, world radio, I lead a songwriting group and I’m always listening to new music and learning new stuff (actually working on a reggaeton something for a digital production class).
Seek enough feedback that you develop an awareness of whose opinion gives you news you can use to sharpen your unique sound. You have the capacity to do this…but it’s hard to let go of familiar ways. For me too.
Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective!
Don’t get discouraged, these curators would reject legendary songs from the past. I firmly believe these folks would reject 3/4 of the Depeche Mode catalogue. There is a nerdy inclination towards over-production and a dismissal of actual song quality. 70% of the tracks I’ve heard on the Hub are over-produced with dozens of layering and watering down. It’s like a bunch of nerds took over the industry when they should be doing quantum physics or something of the sort. A lot of the time, musicians will take their nerdy recommendations to heart and lose their essence. The game is not good for the soul or your development as a musician.
Thank you! I too believe that they would have rejected a great many of the wonderful songs that are still going strong today! Sadly, the music industry has changed so much, and a lot of success is linked to the persona behind the music (over sexualised artists etc). Oh well, onwards and upwards!!!
Opino lo mismo que tú los curadores no son expertos en música y con la mano en la cintura opinan como si lo fueran, y no se ponen a pensar que pueden arruinar a un artista, porque los artistas somos sumamente sensibles, yo acepto opiniones de gente experta que sabe con respecto a la música como lo he hecho en la sociedad de autores y compositores de México. Además las respuestas de los curadores son muy confusas no dicen nada claro como lo diría un experto.
I had to use Google Translate to know for sure, but I agree!
I’m a new Submithub curator for my urban edm playlist (2500 followers/ 500 listeners) and I’m astonished by the amount of submissions I recieve that don’t fit my playlist in the slightest bit! Please guys, if you use Submithub, don’t just waste money but research the curators thoroughly..
So far I’ve been accepting submissions to my playlist wherever they come from, mostly DMs. I’m worried I’ll need to switch over to SubmitHub or simply stop accepting them soon. And yeah, half aren’t even close. It says “vocal synthwave” right there in the title. If someone doesn’t know what those two words mean, they have no business demanding my time.
Don’t hold your breath my friend.
Submithub sucks, stop paying for fake promotions…invest your money in your live performance and get REAL fans that will love your music/vibe. The feedback they provide on Submithub is all opinions.
Matt, the promotion is genuine. You can look up all my results and see for yourself.
Of course the feedback is all opinions. What else could it be?
If you’re going to claim “fake,” you need to do a better job defending your position.
I don’t need to “defend” an opinion…this isn’t a courtroom lol good luck with your payola buddy!
Hey Matt, there is alot of payola in the music industry but certainly not on Submithub, I don’t really get why you are attacking Brian on this… he is just commenting on Submithub’s features and results..
take aggressive action against (a place or enemy forces) with weapons or armed force, typically in a battle or war.
an aggressive and violent action against a person or place.
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I agree with Brian Matt – I am a curator and genuinely looking for music to keep my playlist fresh.But it needs to fit and it needs to be an amazing track.
Love to see curators in the comment lines. Gives me hope.
How do I submit to your playlist
On SubmitHub here.
Frame – as you are a curator, in the interest of this debate – I would like to hear your insider perspective in a little more detail please. When you say ‘amazing track’ are you talking in terms of production, songwriting or vocal performance as many indie artists may have great songs but not polished due to financial restraints and lack of resources. Do curators expect perfect tracks that could compete with the big name artists, because isn’t the point of SubmitHub to discover new artists (and perhaps be the first to do so)?
I have heard of many unsigned and unknown artists who also struggle to get added by curators and when I hear their music I can honestly say it is head and shoulders above some of the stuff the majors are releasing – there are way too many impressive and talented indie artists out there who will sadly never get heard and whose gifts are truly being wasted. Curators could really help in this area by perhaps relaxing their attitude that something has to absolutely stellar.
We all know the stories of huge artists who were turned away by record execs for being rubbish but then become loved the world over by music fans. I am not saying to lower your standards and just add any old tat – but if a song ticks the boxes of production, songwriting and vocals from 7/10 and up – isn’t it worth testing them with your listeners even if you don’t feel they are 10/10?
Personally, the 7 tracks I submitted are all fairly different – ranging from singer-songwriter and indie-rock to dance pop and ballad. They have been done professionally and generally the comments I have had say that vocal performance, production and songwriting are all decent, and yet, not one of them has resonated with a curator and there is always a ‘but’ – often not even a logical ‘but’. I deliberately tried campaigns for all of them because I wanted to see if any one type would fare better. To this end, from my experience, I just find that curators have impossibly high standards.
Would you be willing to listen to even just 10 seconds of the choruses of a couple of my tracks to confirm either that indeed curators find me ‘rubbish’ because I am just deluded – OR if the number of submissions and competition is simply too fierce and that curators make is neigh on impossible to be heard because they are looking for some form of ‘perfection’? I know this might be fruitless as your genre is EDM and mine is more mainstream – but perhaps you might still be able to offer some kind of insight – perhaps regarding production quality that curators are seeking?
This is NOT me trying to get promote myself (that is really not my style and perhaps this level of insecurity and not being pushy enough with my music is to my detriment?!) – I am genuinely at a loss as to why my strike rate is so abysmal and I think some of Brian’s regular readers might also be curious to see what’s what having had similar experiences themselves.
Hey Apostolo, first thing you have to know is that the music industry is tough. Very tough. For every yes, there are a hunderd No’s. I’ve released with labels, supported by big DJs, toured a bit but the amount of No’s you have to face before you get there is astonishing. And after I guess I recieve even more No’s because I’m working more independent.
That’s why it best to have a system, to constantly improve, network, and build up a dedicated fanbase – even if it’s just a small amount of people.
“but if a song ticks the boxes of production, songwriting and vocals from 7/10 and up – isn’t it worth testing them with your listeners even if you don’t feel they are 10/10?”
Let me comment on that. That’s just not how the psychology of music works. A track needs to grab you by the gut and deliver a powerful emotion. That’s what music does – and that is where everyone is looking for.
Producers, songwriters (including myself) always think that a song deserves recognition if its well made, ticks all the boxes and introduces something new. BUT THATS NOT HOW IT WORKS!! Music is EMOTION and must STRIKE the listener.
You say you released songs in different genres – thats a huge red flag and a big mistake. You should try to find your own sound, experiment with it, find out what people like about it. check what emotion it displays and then start pumping out tracks like crazy, each of them being a little different. Also, study other music, dance on the ‘best’ music then dance on your music – is the energy as good, does it feel as easy to dance to? Take songwriter classes, take production classes. Do you know Ed Sheeran says himself he first released a floodwave or horrible songs before he eventually got to write those hits?
‘I can honestly say it is head and shoulders above some of the stuff the majors are releasing’
For me the chance that I like an submithub song is as big as I like a major label song. To be blunt: 95% of what the majors release I think is shitty.
This is an incredibly important point. It’s not too difficult to write “b-sides”; that is, songs that are merely “pretty good” (within your genre). These songs check all the boxes – good chord progression, melody, rhythm, production, etc etc – they’re good songs. It’s VERY difficult to write “a-sides”; that is, songs that are “really good” and will resonate, or strike a chord (no pun intended), with your intended audience. And the line between a-sides and b-sides is very thin (and taste-dependent and often hard to define). Sometimes the artists themselves aren’t quite sure whether a particular song is an a-side or a b-side – that’s where producers, managers, etc come in. (And sometimes the latter don’t know either… lots of subjectivity, obviously.)
In the Metallica documentary from several years back, Lars Ulrich would describe songs as “stock,” as in, “Yeah, that’s a good song but it sounds kind of stock.” What he meant was the song was good – it had the Metallica stamp, folks would like it, but… it didn’t resonate; there was something undefineable missing. Out of 50 songs they recorded, 10 (I believe) made in on whatever record they were making. I’m sure those other songs were pretty decent… but they weren’t (in the band’s eyes) a-sides. (I’m only a passing Metallica fan; I don’t know a lot about them and I’m not much into metal. But that notion of “stock” songs stayed with me.)
Unfortunately, the way the music business works… only a-sides matter. And with the exception of the “hit machine” song writers (who write all the schlock for many of the most popular artists – they write songs like it’s paint-by-numbers), it’s hard to set out to write an a-side… I think it just kind of happens (when it does, that is); for 99%+ of artists, of course, it never happens. And that’s just the way it is.
I can definitely relate to the idea of a “stock” song. As you describe, there’s nothing really wrong with it, which makes it hard for curators to give a satisfying reason why they turned it down. On paper, it could be a perfect song, yet it lacks soul.
Spot on comment.
I would add to that the industry (especially dance and edm) revolves alot around releasing the same type of song everytime. Also because big industry players can make a profit out of it everytime or just a small loss. And because the audience at festivals and at Spotify playlists will love it and they dont really care.
This confuses artists who think that they have to make a song that ‘ticks all the boxes’. In dance music you have a whole generation of artists that do this and focus way to much on it – usually to get a record deal, but in the end they don’t come far because they don’t have their own identity or become super-dependent on that record deal for everything.
Wow I really felt that. I too have submitted multiple songs from different vibes with the same discouraging responses. My songs were good but not good enough. I come from a hip hop rap background and I thought my music was right up to par with the other submissions being released from a sound quality stand point. I didn’t think it was a standards problem I thought maybe I was being reviewed by individuals that do not realize what is actually popular with the new listeners. People want to hear fresh music, it should be easier for them to find the good ones.
Hi Marc, I just don’t get it either!!! I continue to submit different tracks and I get the oddest rejections. From great voice, bad production, to great production, bad voice FOR THE SAME TRACKS. It is ALWAYS along the lines of ‘it’s good BUT I am gonna find a silly and non reason to reject you’. A couple of times I have appreciated the comment – for example my newly released single is quite dramatic and two curators said that it was too dramatic for their taste and I found that to be a totally fair comment for that particular track. But other than that, the other comments and rejection reasons I have received just seem to be for the sake of rejecting people. I guess we have to keep on submitting as it is not a huge cost to do so and hope that ONE good curator will take ONE of our songs on and the rest will follow, cos I think that is all it would take to break through to moderate indie success – one song on one great playlist… Good luck and don’t give up hope!!!
I firmly believe that most of the curator nerds would’ve rejected 90% of Prince’s catalogue, we never would’ve heard those songs if those artists were coming up in this era. Music industry has always been a crap-shoot and merciless. I really hated the 90s overall, specially the late 90s, but today’s scene is just bad for the soul.
Thanks for taking the time to reply… I am still non-the-wiser on why I am not getting any joy on SubmitHub, but thankfully we Indies have the Brians of the world to educate and evolve us through the myriad of options out there to find the ones that fit. And dear Brian often steps on the landmines of the industry so we don’t have to!!!!
Well.. if you want you can send me some of your music here or on submithub (‘urban edm’) and I’ll have a look.
Thank you! As it is your professional time and energy I will go through the official channel, but I cannot search curators to submit to – do you have a way/link that I could do that via the site?? In regards to genre – the tracks are not miles apart – more like say, Pink for example would have. She is generally mainstream but some tracks lean more towards rock-pop and others more dance-pop, then there are her more raw singer/songwriter or country offerings. Genres are so hard to define nowadays!!
Here you go https://www.submithub.com/blog/urban-edm-by-frame-dj
Thanks, I did it – 2 diff tracks for this experiment that will hopefully prove useful for others on this page!!! You can tell me if they are so awful that no one could ever want to add them or if I have just been unlucky so far!!!
That’s very generous of you! Those landmines aren’t as explosive when you know you”ll be able to prevent others from stepping on them.
You are just about the only person out there not seeking to extract money from Indies by trying to sell them this or that magic method to make it. You share your knowledge and experiences more as a community service and that doesn’t go unappreciated by all who read your stuff. I promise that if I ever make it to the status that I was given an award, you would be one of the first people I would thank on that stage!!!
I eagerly await that day!
Just want to reinforce what Frame is saying about genre, because it’s so important!
I remember one of my sync contacts years ago was always giving me the advice to follow up with everyone who was pitching my music, and ask what was working, and specifically “what can I give you more of?” It was never about trying something different, just iterating on little successes.
So find something that works for you that you can build from, and keep at it so the world knows that it’s you in the first five seconds.
Thanks for this amazing article but after so many times i’ve tried with Submit Hub it’s so frustrating paid to get rejected and the only fews i’ve got picked wasn’t big enough in streams or exposure, so do not waste your money on this.
I can relate to that frustration! As for the exposure not being substantial enough, keep your eye on each curator’s Influence score. Usually the more influence a curator has, the more selective they are, so it’s a double-edged sword.
So, Frame listened to two of my tracks that are a bit diff in style (one singer-songwriter and one dance pop) and he said there is nothing wrong with either tracks – they are well produced etc so he doesn’t see why they are not getting picked up on SubmitHub other than I am labelling them as in the same genres as some very big, successful female artists that I could never compete with, which means I need to be offering something more – something different that would make me stand out. If I correctly phrased all that – Frame can confirm?! He was very nice and insightful with his feedback, so thanks! So, not sure there is a conclusion really to the how SubmitHub curator debate… from my perspective it still seems as though standards can be impossibly high. Nonetheless I will still continue to use it simply because it is affordable to do so, unlike one of the big playlist placement providers which require a steeper investment and still get me nowhere!!!
I can confirm the above 🙂
Some other things that have an impact:
Alot of big curators are probably not on Submithub but instead doing the payola thing.
Submithub is not very centered on pop music like Apostola’s? I think it’s hard to find her niche there.
I like Submit Hub. We had generally good results there the one time we used it. And we didn’t even properly use all of the helpful suggestions included in Brian’s article. So, I expect next time it will be even a bit better.
I think the big trick with Submit Hub – which has been mentioned – is that you really need to spend time going through the various sites/curators to make sure your music fits with their guideance. That should take several hours if you’re doing it correctly. (We half-assed it the first time around and it still worked pretty well.)
Regarding one poster’s charge of payola… for christ’s sake… a couple of dollars? That’s payola? Gimme a break. The curators don’t make diddly on this after taking into account the time required. Now, if we were talking hundreds of dollars or more… different story. I think of the small fees as acting as some minimal gatekeeper for the curators – they’re going to prioritize artists who are serious, and who realize that their (the curators’) time isn’t completely worthless.
In an ocean of useless, illegitimate sites and services, Submit Hub is pretty decent.
Taxi used to describe their $5 submission fee as a “discouragement fee.” I think the same applies here. It’s the bare minimum not to be flooded with poorly targeted submissions.
Hey Brian – where do we find the Submit Hub covid-19 discount? Or have they stopped offering that?
Thanks from Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
Just checked with Jason. Just use “covid19” at checkout. He’s going to keep the coupon active through May as well!
Thank You Brian for what You are doing!
I have used SubmitHub and have an opinion.
This is a good idea, but we need to work out the details.
The performance should cost less. It can be 0.1 $ (10 cents).
But ONLY if it is accepted, then 1 or 2 or 3$ is paid. This is a fairer deal than the endless search for a black cat in a black room.
Real service – real payment:)
What do you think?
I just signed on as a curator, and seeing things from the other side, I strongly disagree. 10 submissions takes me about a half hour, for which I get $5. I’m a mastering engineer, and can’t afford to value my time at $10/hr. Nobody is getting rich off that.
Paying only for placement is called payola, and provides no incentive for artists to choose curators carefully. They would just send everything to everyone, which amplifies the problem SubmitHub was build to solve.
I agree with Jason here.
Make sense. But now I don’t see any incentive for bloggers. I’m talking about some sort of reallocation of pay, a proportion.
In reality, they get the full price for listening (only for listening). Nothing motivates them to add a song. In this case, it is impossible to detect fraudsters.
And this is no different from the “payola”. It’s just “payola” without guarantees(of additing).
And for the authors, this is an illusion. Endless running over the horizon.
I’ve reread your comment several times, but I don’t understand your logic.
When you say it’s impossible to detect fraudsters I assume you’re referring to curators, but there’s a bunch of info about each curator’s behavior, plus user reviews, on their profile.
It’s different from payola in that you are paying for someone’s consideration rather than placement.
Brian’s right. There’s plenty of info on the curators’ behavior. And if you ask them for written comments, they have to provide them or they won’t get paid. The dollar amounts are too pathetically low to equal anything resembling payola.
Alex, that nothing motivates the curators to add a song… is a good thing. The only reason they’re going to add one is that they actually like it (or think their listeners will like it). You’re getting an honest opinion about your song from someone who hears a sh1tload of music. That has value, even if your song doesn’t get added to the playlist.
Now that may sound crazy but can we actually quote parts of the feedback we get on our website in further single promotion? Sometimes even if my song wasn’t accepted, the feedback was pretty good.
True, there are some gems in there! I’d ask the curator in chat. I bet most will consent, especially if you link to their outlet.
Hey, SubmitHub owner here — you absolutely can! Let’s say Indie Shuffle says “Loved the guitar solo, but found this a bit classic rock.” You could take some nice artwork, slap the quote “Loved the guitar solo – Indie Shuffle” on it, and share it with your audience. As Brian suggests, asking permission is a good idea, but it’s often not easy to do that if you’ve been declined and the curator hasn’t opened up a channel of communication. So in that case maybe @tweet them in your promo as well.
Hey Brian, I’m a singer songwriter from Monterrey Mexico thanks for awsome blog, it is very helpful.
I just used SubmitHub yesterday to test a track. Honestly, I was a bit sceptical but it definitly works, looks pretty transparent and fair, I even found a curator that turned out to live in my city and we got to talk. very cool service, I didn’t got any shares on the track but testing before investing on it was the intention of the exercise anyway,
So in short, will for sure use it again.
Read you soon!
These “curators” are a joke. They would have rejected John Lennon or R.E.M. had they existed back then – thank goodness they didn’t!
I’ve been curating for a few months, and I have to agree. Lennon and R.E.M. are both inappropriate for my synthwave playlist!
I would say the same… had to reject Lennon and REM because they obviously didnt look at my playlist and songs I usually repost and then send me some pop rock music? What the hell were they thinking…
So, this may be slightly off-topic, but regarding playlisting. I came across Soundplate, and some other services to whom you can submit tracks for consideration on their playlists. But as you go through the process, you come across this page that says that you give them access to your account and permission to…
-View your Spotify account data
-Your name and username, your profile picture, how many followers you have on Spotify and your public playlists
-Take actions in Spotify on your behalf
-Add and remove items in Your Library
-Create, edit, and follow playlists
-Manage who you follow on Spotify
Y-ou can remove this access at any time at spotify.com/account.
And that seems weird but DistroKid’s playlist wheel spin, does the same thing.
Anyone have any info on this?
Quite a list of permissions, eh? I know it gives me pause.
Personally, I’m a lot more comfortable just remembering to check out a track on release day than I am handing over my Spotify account to a company I’ve never heard of.
Some services ask for less permissions than others. For example, I believe Feature.fm asks for less than ToneDen for a presave.
In the case of agreeing to these permissions to submit a track, you can bet that it’s following a bunch of playlists on your behalf. That’s how they build up “real” followers. It’s just other musicians submitting their tracks!
To know that DistroKid is engaging in this kind of playlist manipulation makes me feel a little less confident in them. I just joined them for the first time this year – leaving CD Baby to do so. Hmmmm…
I don’t know that DistroKid builds playlists using this method. I’ve mostly seen it with playlist pitching companies and even individual curators.
Wow I’m new to submit hub, and thought once you bought your credits submit hub did the work and started to send out your track??? stupid me huh???
That would be nice!
There is another service that does do that – Music Submit – you pay your package of credits and they send the song out on your behalf, but tbh neither service is great in my personal opinion and experience. SubmitHub has many curators and influencers that are ultra picky and will autopsy your track to criticise the finest detail, and Music Submit doesn’t seem to be selective in where your track goes. I get excited when I receive an email saying that my track has been selected via a Music Submit submission only to find that 50% of the approvals require further payment of some kind to do play or feature the music.
Thanks for this article Brian, it was very helpful! I’ve been getting a lot of great info out of your posts in general.
Just curious: why exactly do you recommend un-checking SoundCloud, Radio, and Twitch?
That’s what Jason recommended, but if you feel like those are worthwhile avenues, you should absolutely pursue them! I’ll just say for SoundCloud that I’ve historically found reposts, even from profiles with tons of followers, to be mostly worthless.
Just seeing your reply now. Thanks Brian!
First, thanks for this deep dive, and all the others you do. I swear, there must be ten of you! You and Ari. Incredible shoe leather and fancy footwork!
Okay, down to business. I just did a Serious Rub SubmitHub! I tipped my toe in the waters a few times with a handful of tunes two years back, but I only submitted each song to four or five vetted, targeted folks.
This time, on December 16th, I submitted the title track from my new ep, “Serious Nowhere.”
It’s already getting some airplay on stations that play Americana/singer-songwriter/roots/country stuff, like Ocean Beach Radio, which a killer station, btw.
So I entered those keywords and looked for curators that are open to my song, which I’d categorize as Dire Straits and The Boss meets Mumford and Sons and U2. There’s some Americana vibe, but also classic rock and alternative.
There are tons of curators, that’s for sure. Seems endless. But I found my 73! Admittedly, my “vetting” for these folks was somewhat cursory. I did take about an hour or so making sure I at least wasn’t barking up completely wrong trees, but turns out I did bark up a few. (Though I will say every single curator I submitted to had added/featured hundreds or even thousands of songs they classified as “Americana” and “singer-songwriter,” so go figure!)
I definitely learned more about who liked what after the reviews were in, so that’s one great instructional take-away. I used the “favorites” feature to save the kindred spirits and potentials for future submissions and also took advantage of the “notes” section that’s private and just for me to see. (Presumably! Ha ha.)
Okay, drum roll:
Out of 73, got 66 decisions/responses. That’s 90%! Pretty decent IMHO.
Out of those 66, 7 Approvals. 10% Not bad, not bad. We’ll take it, happily.
Two blog posts and five Spotify Playlists.
I already got my two blog posts (Mystic Sons and Roadie Music) and five curators are adding this song to their Spotify playlists, which have a combined audience of a little more than 112K! Zowie! We’ll take it!
Two salient points: I submitted to a lot of curators with a 1% approval rate, so I knew, going in, I was facing a big mountain. The 1% approval rate did dissuade me from picking some of the curators, but I got bold and went for it with several. (I didn’t see if any of those approved me. Need to go back and see. Off the top of my head, I don’t think any of them did.)
I also chose a lot of “Really Good Bloggers.” None of them approved me. Sigh. Oh well.
Anyway, I’m sold and have some better clues on targeting curators.
I’m going to do another round soon. Probably submit three very different, genre-wise, songs to 40-50 curators each, and see what shakes out. I plan to take more time to vet the curators so my picks will be a little more in line with their brand/tastes. Like Brian wrote, could take an afternoon, or even a whole day!
I’d say nearly 95% of all respondents said very kind, thoughtful, positive things about my voice, songwriting, playing, production, and the vid. (It was from YouTube.) I was actually blown away by some of the praise. A few quotes:
“Absolutely love your vocals! Great melody and very nice instrumentation. Would’ve loved to feature it but I don’t think it’s quite my channel’s style.”
“These unique vocals are the shining stars of the tune.”
“Thanks for sending this in, David Nyro! These visuals are super raw and real man, huge respect. The instrumental and vocal work reach into the soul of the listener, but with that said, I am finding this one just missing a bit more modern pop influence for me so sadly I can’t share this time around, but thank you for a really great listen! I’m looking forward to hearing more from you. Keep on keeping on!” 🙂
I got a ton of these kinds of comments – great stuff, but not a fit for my audience – and also some constructive tips on production, song-arranging, vocal approach, as well as good guidance as to what each is looking for for their audience and brand!
And all of the quotes above are from curators who declined!
I included that last quote because I had a few reviewers (five, for those interested) who ended their decline by inviting me to send them more tracks. Of course, the cynic in me says “Well, of course. Ka-ching!” Ha ha. But I felt a sincere vibe there, so I will familiarize myself more with their musical ethos and target them with a song better-suited to what they’re about. It’s all about fine-tuning.
The other cool thing is now I can build off this, add to the resume, etc., for more radio airplay, playlists, etc.
So the upshot, again: I definitely am sold on SubmitHub! I am happy with the return and will definitely do another round, as mentioned. I’ll try and report back on how that goes. I got some of my credits back from the curators who didn’t respond or didn’t leave any feedback. Only three or four didn’t provide any written feedback, and there were seven who didn’t respond at all.
Oh, another benefit: discovering the other awesome artists who were featured in those blogs. I cross-promoted everything via my socials, and some of those artists returned the favor…and so we build and we build and we…
Good luck to all! Stay safe and happy holidays!
Thanks for sharing your results and conclusions David! This is great stuff.
I’ll admit I was a little scared to read past “Serious Rub.” This is a family-friendly site David! 😉
It’s great to hear that the comments were kind and thoughtful. I go through a dozen submissions a day, and sometimes it’s hard to stay positive, especially with stuff that obviously isn’t a fit.
You really went the extra mile with that cross promotion. Good stuff! Fwiw I’ve been featured on Mystic Sons a few times myself.
There’s another perk to being a curator: I can convert my earnings to discounted credits at $0.50 each. I’ve got a new single coming up, and you can bet I’ll be hitting SubmitHub hard!
Thanks Brian! LMAO re your riff off “Serious Rub.”
As I always say “Rub the one you’re with!” Actually, I don’t say that, but I can’t help punning. Punning Stunts, as it were…Okay, this is going south fast. “Family-friendly…”
Yes, it was nice to get the merciful, kind comments. No one was mean at all. In fact, one curator in turning my song down apologized and called himself a jerk!!! I told him he most certainly wasn’t and I appreciated his candor and manner!
Mystic Sons is very cool and hope I can get some more traction there. Definitely added them to my favs on SubmitHub.
Good luck to you, me, and all of us in this primordial soup!
Thanks for your great R & D.
Nice to hear that none of the curators’ comments rubbed you the wrong way! 😉
I am quite happy about this service.
I am a neoclassical composer with no time for marketing and campaigning because music is not my first job. In addition, neoclassical is quite a niche sector, requiring time from people who want to listen to it. Therefore, I had quite an important repertoire of compositions which was appreciated by friends and acquaintances. However, in the internet (Facebook, Youtube, Spotify) the attention was very low. I have been spending some time with facebook ads but I went to the conclusion that that money was mostly wasted.
I started to use Submithub following the advice of a colleague. I made campaigns for 2 months, spending more or less 300 premium credits. I focussed on Spotify playlister and now I see that I have around 150 listeners per day: this is nothing for professional artists, but still something for amateur like me. Now I am trying to understand whether my music will remain in the playlists (around 50 so fa) and maybe will be chosen by others, or will slowly disappear. Let’s see.
I found very good to receive feedbacks, especially the negative ones, they taught me something. Some of them (50%) were very clear about my mistakes and I must confess they were useful. The 50% left were standardized, so I did not care.
To sum up, a satisfactory experience. The only negative thing is that the number of neoclassical playlist curators is quite limited, so the growth expectations look not so god for me.
I’m actually shocked that there are ANY Neoclassical curators at all on SubmitHub! You somehow managed to spend quite a few credits though! 😉 Congratulations on your successes so far, and thank you for sharing your story with us.
Brian, I appreciate your intelligent writing on this matter, and your information seems to be accurate. Also I really like Submit Hub’s model which is a cost-effective way to bring artists to venues who “actually are looking for them”.
But, overall I have been disappointed with my placements. You can easily outspend anything you can make from streams. If you spent $20 to get on a playlist, you would need over 13k in streams to break even. That has really asked a lot out of playlists that aren’t editorials. I had a song that once had 7 approvals. The end result was under 800 streams.
The other problem is that those streams die after one month. They never build a residual audience that comes back for your next song. You have to go back out and do it on every single. It’s hard to be motivated when I have never broken even on the cost. This means that I have yet to recoup any money I’ve invested in equipment, time and decades of practice. There were months when I played open stages 2-4 times a week. I reported this to ASCAP, and ended up getting paid more than the money I streamed. I only had to play 2 songs, and I just played originals. No equipment to set up other than my keyboard.
So for me, music has not been a winner. I started playing guitar in the 70s, so I’ll probably not quit. I’ve even read label artists say that they think they never made enough money. The guitarist of Fastball made that statement in a magazine.
That is the reality of music. Artists figure that they will get rich under any set of circumstances. They see that ONE artist on television is filmed in a mansion or a limo. Since they are invincible, they never have bargained with labels, rights organizations or music providers for more money. The artist is the one who creates the product and holds all the power. Why they give it away, I don’t understand.
And what is the result? Spotify wants to reduce the streamshare amount, nobody complains. Even the most popular songs just get cheaper and cheaper. It used to be that to play a song in a jukebox, it took a quarter. Spotify pays in fractions of a penny. The costs and barriers to entry have also skyrocketed. The invincible artist knows they will become famous, why bicker with a studio or producer?
So I still work…
Thanks for the kind words John! It won’t surprise you that I have a slightly different take.
First off, I wouldn’t bother thinking in terms of breaking even. And even if you were, your math is wrong unless all of those 13K streams came from India. 😉
You’re right that if you’re not building an audience, there’s no point. That assumes that your listeners aren’t following you or saving the song. If that’s the case, either you’re on the wrong playlists and/or your music isn’t doing the job.
Those playlist placements should also be triggering algorithmic plays, which will net you more saves and follows. Over time the percentage of “listener’s own playlists and library” should go up.
I’d like to think that my playlist legitimately benefits artists, or I wouldn’t bother. It takes hours to curate every week, which is definitely not worth the money when I could be doing mastering or production work instead. I add about a dozen tracks every Friday to the top of the list, one track per artist, and they stay in until they fall off the end (currently 150 tracks).
This isn’t intended to be a revenue-generating strategy. Anyone following this advice should fully expect their ROI to be 0.
As an artist I can drop the following: So far every track that we uploaded was accepted 1-5 times. Had nice contact with curators, some of them are artists themselves. It has genuinely been the place with the least shady practice going on, compared to all the impudent offers we’ve gotten before on every other platform out there we use. No 40€/3day pay to play offers whatsoever…
That’s great to hear Andy! The closest thing I’ve seen to shady is that an artist offered to pay me for a placement, right in their submission!
Overall I like SubmitHub…however I am frustrated with the fact that there are so many playlists with hundreds (if not thousands of followers) that result in very few songs plays.
I’ve gotten onto multiple playlists on SubmitHub and always do pretty well with that aspect actually. However…after my songs are added I get almost nil plays from being on them. And like I said this is from playlists that have over 500 if not a thousand followers. And I’m talking about after a month or so…I get two plays and then my song is taken off to make room for new songs.
Anyway all I can say about this is that I get better results from just researching playlists, finding emails and asking people to put me on them for free. As far as I can tell almost no one listens to any of the playlists I’ve been added to from SubmitHub.
My most recent song has been added to almost seven playlists on SubmitHub over a week ago and so far…zero plays. I blame myself a bit as I clearly picked entities with low influence and based my decision more on whether or not I liked their name…lolololol. But when the playlists tout at least 500 listeners you would think that you get at least ten plays a month…or something.
But I think that SubmitHub has become very cluttered outlets that do not do anything accept collect money. I mean it’s nice reading a glowing review from someone saying that they “love the song.” But I’d much rather get plays.
I don’t want to just paint a negative picture of the service either as I think it probably does work very well for other people…lolololol. Maybe I should switch genres?! lolololol
I hear you! Follower counts are pretty useless. SubmitHub’s influence score is a better guide.
Monthly listener counts are available on each curator’s profile. For example, mine says “Monthly listeners: 350 – 600 (per song)” which sounds about right.
It’s sad that curators are profiting off useless playlists. If something strikes you as suspicious or outright dishonest, you should definitely report it.
In the meantime, it’s a little extra work, but check each curator’s profile for actual listener counts so you don’t waste your money!
Very good idea Brian. I definitely have not been as thorough as I should have been. Thanks for the advice!
My experience with Submit Hub in a nutshell , a great place to hear new music and met wonderful people . The Hot or Not section is excellent for this. For playlist submissions and getting listeners , it does not work for our band. We got a very small or none effect on listeners or streams. And I know because I check which playlist increase our listeners/streams on Spotify for Artist.
Brian , your articles are great. Very well written and I can relate to the facts you publish. Thanks a lot.
Thanks for sharing your experience Victor!
I haven’t even messed with Hot or Not, but I do check out the Popular charts sometimes, another easy-to-miss area.
As for not getting streams, if you look at each curator’s profile, it’ll say how many streams to expect. If memory serves, it even tells you how many streams each playlist gets when you’re submitting.
I’ve found those numbers to be quite accurate. My profile page shows “Monthly listeners: 400 – 700 (per song)” and that sounds about right.
Just curious if anyone here can tell me roughly what percentage of curators would be open to songs that are not brand new releases. Some of my favorite tracks of mine were a few years back and would love to pitch them to some channels I’ve recently discovered, but don’t want to waste money/effort if the vast majority look exclusively look for new music. Thanks!
I focus on new music, but if something really blows me away I’ll add it anyway. I don’t think anyone can give you a percentage figure, but unless the curator’s pitch mentions new releases, I’d feel free to send them your best stuff regardless of shelf life.
Ok good to know…Thanks Brian
I’ve submitted to 100’s of curators on Submithub using the free credits/submissions and have not gotten any approvals. Looks like I’m going to have to try to use the premium credits and see if that makes a difference.
Has anybody found any success using the free credits option?
Bite the bullet and use premium credits! I’ve never even tried the free credits option, but I get enough rejections already. 😉
Nice writeup Brian. I chanced upon this article randomly and just felt that I needed to comment – for the sake of the artists expressing despair in the comments.
I used SubmitHub for a couple years with mostly rejections. I am not American, and do not sing (or rap) with an American accent. Yet I got so many rejections with comments like “this song is perfect – lyrics, beat, message, etc – the only thing I don’t like is your accent, if only it could be in an American accent…”
HUH? WHAAT? What was I to do? Force myself to speak like an American, which I am not? (lol! the audacity to even suggest something so ridiculous!). I think this just speaks to the unnecessarily exclusive (in my case, frankly, borderline racist) attitude of the many gate-keepers in the system.
So I started my own playlist, built my own community – and guess what? Listeners love my accent! Which means a lot of the SubmitHub bloggers are full of it, and honestly are spewing some opinion that has nothing to do with reality.
Moreover, I became a SubmitHub curator, and run things differently – rather than take many many submissions and then drive my acceptance rate down by making up reasons that don’t make sense to reject good music – I limit my submission intake by taking a week or two off periodically and staying inactive on the weekends. This way the submission volume is manageable. I also try not to take someone’s money if I can’t help them, i.e., wait until the submission expires and only then reject it. Truly thinking about the artist, because I had been in their shoes. Sure, I make a lot less than I could be making, but money isn’t gonna be great either way, and I would rather be helping people.
I find that the majority of the music I receive is worth sharing with my audience. My audience engages and keeps coming back. I receive so many messages from artists close to giving up, for who my “artist-first” approach was a ray of hope in a crucial time that kept them going. We become a community and support each other… All I am saying is – there is a different way.
Start your own playlist, build your own community, defy these tired rejections these outlets come up with by being your own promoter, help others with your platform, become the change you want to see – and you just might receive so much more in return. You are special and unique, forge a unique path – these gatekeepers mostly don’t know what they are talking about!
Wow! I’m surprised people would complain about your accent! I always keep those thoughts to myself, even when the accent is so strong I can’t make out the words.
Interesting that staying inactive doesn’t earn you a huge backlog of submissions!
I try not to take peoples’ money by limiting my genres to two (if memory serves) and requiring lyrics in English. That’s about as dialed in as I can get.
I’ll generally give detailed technical suggestions even if the song isn’t a fit for the playlist.
Way to turn lemons into lemonade!
For the weekends, I use SubmitHub “weekend mode” – people can’t send you submissions during this time, they are just told to return when your weekend is over.
For a longer time off, I used the “take a break” function in SubmitHub. Again, no one can send you submissions, they just see a personalized message from you. This comes in useful if you fall sick, go on vacation, etc.
Without these 2 features, yeah, the volume is pretty overwhelming. Becomes quite manageable once you enable it.
I use both of those features as well, and find that if I “take a break,” artists try to submit to me on other channels. I’m not convinced that they reduce the overall volume of submissions by much. Anyone serious about submitting to you will enable a reminder and hit you back upon your return.
Derelikt, what is the name of your blog? Where can people submit to it?
“You wrote 83,282 words of feedback”
You’ve written more than a novel in feedback comments!!! Woah!
Maybe I could sell it as an e-book! 🙂
Have you tried Groover in comparison? They appear less influencer based, but still seem like a similar idea.
I’m guessing you got the same email from Patreon today, with a discount code for Groover. Nope, never tried it!
Haha! Yes!! My new response to weird websites trying amazing things: Has it been tried on Passive Promotion? No. Well, no thanks!! 😛 Haha! Although I’ll keep an eye out for future posts. ;P
Hey I’m way late to this party, but as a submitting artist and a new one at that, I felt I could offer some perspective.
First, a little about me. I’m a synthwave artist who started making music about 4 months ago. I’m a little older than most artists probably, yet I’ve always wanted to make synthwave. As it stands right now, I have a 6% approval rate. Hardly anything substantial.
Submithub is great! I believe it gets a bad rap. Now, I have a fairly cushy career so the $ is a pittance.
What never seems to get discussed is how valuable Submithub can be for upcoming artists in improving their craft. Whether curators hear it or not, I’m growing by leaps and bounds in production and composition thanks to the feedback. Most music production/composition teachers charge 30-100$ an hour. Submithub gives you short lessons for far less.
Further, it’s unhelpful to knock curators for being strict. First, it’s their prerogative — it’s their playlist and their time. Second, it gets you nowhere to just chalk rejections up to bad taste. Maybe their taste sucks, maybe it’s great. The point is that you are attempting to get on THEIR playlist. The only option is to suck it up. Third, feedback seems (in my case at least) to have several generalities sprinkled among the outlier statements. That’s prime learning material right there at bargain rates. It is extremely difficult to get honest feedback for one’s music that is (at least somewhat to mostly) useful. Even unbiased normal people can only give you ‘like it/hate it.’ That feedback fails to pinpoint what needs to improve.
At this point in the game, and probably all points, I see Submithub as primarily a learning tool. Now, maybe most here would be down about my approval rate — I’m stoked! Wow! People are actually putting my music on playlists? WHAT?
Moreover, it really has helped me (and there’s a recent article to this effect) to treat submitting like applying for various colleges. You have your reach schools, your good shot schools, and your safety zone. I peg that as 8-10, 4-7, 1-3 engagement. Spread the credits accordingly. I myself get too excited for my latest song and get swept with golly gee this could be the one thinking and so probably overspend on reach curators. And my even more dismal approval rate with them shows it!
And not all rejections are rejections. Some curators genuinely like the tune yet have playlists with a different vibe, which reflects back to me as a failure to research thoroughly.
Last, and my favorite feature of submithub, is the chat feature — where curators who, even when they decline, will open a chat with you. This allows you to start building RELATIONSHIPS with curators. You can take that feedback and enter into a dialogue and expand upon it. Talk about stretching the money!
I personally believe looking at Submithub as an enormous opportunity to improve your craft really helps. But then again, I have the luxury of having the budget to look at it that way. Regardless of anyone’s budget, the bargain for ‘lessons’ is unbeatable.
Just my 2 cents.
PS — great blog, great music!
Thanks for sharing your perspective!
I wish all artists shared your attitude, because my rejections tend to feature detailed and specific suggestions on how to improve the mix. Lately artists have the option of selecting feedback be “not critical” which always leaves me in a bind, because if I didn’t have anything critical to say, I’d probably accept the track!
I’ve actually started using SubmitHub in exactly the way you describe, BEFORE my track is released so I can actually implement the feedback. Of course you have to know who to trust, because much of the feedback is contradictory.
I’ve had artists submit tracks to me that I reject with specific suggestions, that then pull the release to make changes based on my advice. When they submit the revised track, I feel obligated to accept it!
A 6% approval rate isn’t necessarily bad. It likely reflects the fact that credits are so cheap you can afford to be wasteful.