Road to Pandora now goes through Amazon

Independent acts now have to be selling physical CDs through Amazon before Pandora will consider them.

Pandora is a great music-discovery service , so it's only natural that independent bands would hope to get their music placed on it. Unfortunately for them, Pandora just made that a little harder--and a little more expensive.

As I first saw on the Digital Audio Insider blog a couple weeks ago, Pandora recently changed its music submission process, and is now accepting solicitations only from bands who have a physical CD for sale through That requires the artist to manufacture a CD with proper album art and bar code, which is much more expensive than creating a bunch of MP3s, and to pay Amazon $29.95 a year to participate in the Amazon Advantage program; Amazon then takes a 55 percent cut of the list price of the CD.

This shouldn't hurt too many artists--serious musicians want their CDs to turn up in a search on the world's largest retailer, and probably have a relationship with Amazon anyway. But you were planning on using CD Baby or another site exclusively, or hoping to save money with an online-only release, don't count on Pandora as a marketing mechanism for your music.

About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.


    Discuss Road to Pandora now goes through Amazon

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments