It’s been a quirk of digital music service Pandora that artists have always needed to have a CD release before being able to submit music for inclusion. Now that’s changing, with the personal radio firm launching a new submission system late last week that ditches the CD requirement in favour of merely requiring “basic contact info with links to preview tracks”. It’s not a guarantee of inclusion, mind: Pandora’s curation team will still “personally listen to every album, EP or single that is sent in”. How that scales could be interesting, if Pandora is overwhelmed with submissions now. The company says that nearly two thirds of its catalogue is independent music, with 44% of “total spins” coming from indie labels and self-releasing artists. “The recording industry needs indie labels and self-releasing artists to thrive. Our new submissions process is intended to attract these artists, no matter the genre, no matter the stage of their career,” said founder Tim Westergren. Expect some pushback from Pandora’s fiercer critics among the artist community, who’ve been attacking the company’s desire to reduce its royalty commitments.

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