Four Tips for Success With SubmitHub
In the age of the digital democratization of the music industry, endless platforms continue to emerge to promote your music, to submit your song to blogs and influencers, and to get your track added to Spotify playlists.
Most seem sketchy at best or like obvious payola at worst. But there is one platform that seems to sit above the rest: SubmitHub.
SubmitHub is a platform that provides access and metrics to create relationships with bloggers, playlisters, and even influencers, all in a way that is fair and music-centric, putting love for the art above the love for the money.
I recently sat down with the site’s founder and creator, Jason Grishkoff, to walk through the entire SubmitHub submission process, picking apart the data, and gleaning invaluable insight from him into how to succeed on the platform.
Here are four tips I learned for success with SubmitHub.
1. Always Choose to Receive Feedback (Even If You Don’t Want It)
When walking through SubmitHub’s upload process, you have the option to select “[feedback is] quite important”, “not that important”, or you can opt to receive no feedback at all in exchange for the guarantee that the curator will listen for at least 90 seconds.
Select one of the first two options, because here’s the problem with the third: no one is going to give your song a full 90 seconds’ worth of undivided attention.
If a curator isn’t writing feedback about your song while they listen to it, it is overwhelmingly likely they are spending that time on something else.
Something besides listening to your song.
In a medium article that SubmitHub founder, Jason, published in February, he outlines the curator listening habits that he has witnessed on SubmitHub, and, as it turns out, most are listening for over 90 seconds anyway.
So to select “no feedback” is a useless option. An option that actually hurts you in the long run.
If you ask your curators to listen for 90 seconds without giving feedback, it’s not 90 seconds of focused listening you’re getting.
You are now the background music for checking emails, sending tweets, and dishing out likes on the ‘Gram.
Always choose to receive feedback, even if you don’t want it.
2. Selecting the Right Genre Is a Big Deal
It may seem obvious, but selecting the right genre(s) to match your song on SubmitHub is crucial. If you fail to get this right, you’re just setting yourself up for more rejection.
And you’re already going to get a lot. Trust me.
There are now over 120 genres available on SubmitHub, so odds are there’s an outlet for you, regardless of what your music sounds like.
Don’t recognize a genre? Look it up.
Not sure if a genre applies to your song? Again, look it up.
Google and Wikipedia can come in mighty handy when you need to whittle down your list of genres to three or less.
Take your time to get this step right. It matters.
This is called “playing the game” and this is what it takes.
3. Do Your Homework Before You Submit Your Music
The curator profiles on SubmitHub are chock-full of helpful information that can aid you in your quest to maximize your results.
There are genres match scores, quality scores, influence scores, and relevant data about how quickly they share music and what kind of feedback you’re likely to get.
You can even listen to the recent submissions they’ve approved to get a feel for their taste (I highly recommend doing this even if the outlet matches your genre).
Putting in the work to cull through every aspect of a curator’s profile can save you heartache (and money) in the long run, so be picky about who you send your music to.
A blanket send-to-all strategy is counterproductive here.
I know. I’ve done it.
4. Manage Your Expectations
The average approval rate for any given song on SubmitHub is around 10%.
If you took a moment to check your calculator, you just realized that means 90% of curators are going to turn you down.
But don’t get discouraged. This is called “playing the game” and this is what it takes.
Even the best of the best on SubmitHub - the songs that wind up on the popular charts - only have a success rate of about 20%.
You’re gonna get rejected. This is just the harsh reality of submitting your music to playlist curators and bloggers, regardless of platform.
Everyone has their own tastes and opinions, especially when it comes to music.
You’ll get feedback that makes no sense, feedback from one outlet that precisely contradicts feedback from another, and some just won’t reply at all.
This will happen.
But nothing worth doing ever came easy, did it?
Realistic expectations may not change the outcome, but they will change your perception of it.
Like so many music-review and -pitching platforms, there are simply no guarantees for success on SubmitHub, but, if used correctly, SubmitHub can foster some amazing (and productive) relationships for you. But you have to be willing to put in the work and get a little bit outside of your comfort zone.
And if your music gets criticized (overwhelmingly likely that it will), don’t let it get your down. Keep pushing, keep creating, and don’t be afraid to step right back up to the plate and give it another shot with the next song.