Why Music Bloggers Love SubmitHub.com
Honestly, Jason Grishkoff of SubmitHub.com did not pay me to say that I love his site. He did, however, find a way to pay me for what I’ve been doing for five years for nothing. The often thankless job of covering artists for the music industry often falls to music bloggers. Hour after hour of processing submission emails, maintaining “relationships” with PR companies who charge artists for their services while we disseminate the music to our readers without remuneration. It’s tedious and causes burnout; bands and firms are pushy, the writing fingers get a little numb, and it’s hard to keep up with everything. So what is this mysterious site and why do we love it?
SubmitHub solves two very big problems with one deceptively simple solution; the site offers a free music submission service to make it easier for a PR company or artist to have access to over 100 music blogs. If a submitter wants there is an option to make a “premium” submission at the cost of one dollar. Of that, half goes to SubmitHub and half goes to the blogger. In exchange for that fifty cents, the artist receives at least ten words of feedback and a guarantee that the blogger listens to at least 20 seconds of the song. For the first time music bloggers have a reliable source of income to cover the costs of the business like hosting fees, transportation costs, and the million other things we did out-of-pocket before SubmitHub.
And here’s the thing – I am not the only one that enjoys this incredible service. Some of the bloggers on the site have begun a bit of networking on our own, figuring out “best practices” for this “industry” that we somehow found ourselves in, although most of us do not actually work in the music industry full time (unlike most of the PR companies that send us their materials). Middle Tennessee Music writes, “I spend more time on [SubmitHub] now and the streamlining of the entire process has allowed for more direct engagement with the artists and PR agents instead of feeling overwhelmed by emails, experiencing brain shut down, and just ignoring most of them.”
So here’s how it works in the simplest sense. Rather than processing 30-50 emails a day, rejecting most with a pat answer and no meaningful feedback, we now have a system. An editor can sit down and listen to forty submissions, respond to them, and pocket twenty dollars for the site’s use. It’s a win/win situation, though, because those artists also got the opinion of a semi-professional (or sometimes professional) music critic. Many of the blogs on SubmitHub have a low acceptance rate, so when a band does get a feature through us, it should be viewed as a major compliment. But in doing all of this, the site provides new unique networking opportunities not found in other ways. As blogger Forrester Jenot writes, “SubmitHub has opened up the global musical landscape to us.”
The other reason that I love the platform so much is that it keeps the workflow moving. There are no more blanket rejection emails. Even the rejections feel more meaningful now. I can process a pile of submissions in a faster time, ultimately making more coverage on our site. As blogger rBeatz explains, “Bloggers should join SubmitHub because it’s an easy to use music submission platform that streamlines the connection process between artist and blog.”
We’ve faced some pushback on switching to this mode. Some PR companies want total control over coverage. They don’t like posting a link through SubmitHub or they don’t like the “impersonal” feel, which is ironic since “impersonal” is exactly what a mass mailer (or three) every week actually feels like. But more than anything, it’s just nice to be making even a miniscule amount to help us meet our expenses and potentially expand our own businesses. It’s well known that “pay for coverage” schemes are not acceptable in serious criticism and journalism; SUBMITHUB IS NOT PAY FOR COVERAGE. SubmitHub is more like “pay for consideration,” and even that is optional. More realistically, SubmitHub grants the blogger a tiny amount of compensation (like a “tip”) for giving a track a serious listen, regardless of whether or not the blogger decides to cover the song.
If you are a music blogger reading this, definitely give the site some consideration to streamline your own process. If you’re a musician or an artist reading this, consider using this as a way to get some affordable feedback – perhaps even before hiring a PR firm. The comments and feedback from an army of bloggers might be just what you need to take the next step in your music career.
For another blogger’s similar take on it, check out: indiemusicpreneur.com/how-to-submit-music-to-over-100-blogs
*Quotes all taken from an exchange on SubmitHub’s #blogger chat, which is not open to public view.