LabelRadar wants to benefit artists, labels, promoters and fans alike. For artists, it democratises access to key decision makers in the industry by streamlining the demo submission process. It helps labels and promoters find new tracks and talent in an efficient way. It’s for fans, too – they can slip into the role of a scout by supporting their favourite demos. On top of that, there are some exciting marketing features built-in. Here’s how it works.
Song submission and label sifting
Artists can upload their tracks to LabelRadar, choose the best 20 seconds of it and submit it to either specific labels/promoters or to all of them – with the 20 second clips artists can take control of the first impression but the full song is still sent alongside it. The submissions are all in a unified format, so labels don’t have to click out to Soundcloud links or download massive WAV files, streamlining the process. Instead of receiving tracks as email attachments, labels can access a dashboard where tracks that have been submitted to them or the wider community can be accessed as tiles with easy follow-up actions.
From this label dashboard, users can access the submitted tracks that artists have specifically sent to them. There’s also a ‘General submissions’ section where they can explore the songs artists have made available to all labels, offering a wider pool of music and artists to aid their search.
Ed Brew, co-Founder and co-CEO of LabelRadar, explains hobbit came about: “We saw it from both ends of the spectrum where you have labels who receive thousands of demos a month and it’s just too much to go through in your inbox. On the other hand there are also labels who don’t have a major presence and don’t receive any, as they’re not on artists’ radars.”
Reviewing submissions and empowering fan scouts
When reviewing submissions, users have a lot of options: they can shortlist the track as a potential signing, skip the track if it’s not of interest, toggle between the full track and 20 second clip, filter by genre/territory, or get the link to share the track with the wider team. Communication is made simple too: labels can simply reach out to the artist via the message feature, and send over contracts, masters and whatever else they need to confirm and sign the release.
There’s also a mobile app that labels and promoters can use, withs a Tinder-like left/right swiping functionality to like/dislike tracks. The app is where the fans also fit into the picture. Artists can choose to make their tracks available to fans to listen to, and they can also swipe to show their approval – ideal for music fans who like to be among the first to discover new music and prove their tastemaker status.
Their clout is catered for, too: fans can build their profile as a music scout with a ‘scout score’, showing how successful the fan has been at endorsing tracks which have gone on to be shortlisted and signed: it’s about bragging rights, but also an opportunity for music fans looking to get into A&R.
For labels, this is additional A&R insight, showing the number of people who gave positive feedback through listening behaviour. Once a label decides to sign a track via LabelRadar, the platform will notify fans who swiped right – giving the track an additional marketing boost upon release.
Up until that point, any fans who liked the song will only have seen the title of the track (not the artist name) and will only have heard the 20 second clip rather than the full song. In that way, it’s similar to what we often see on TikTok: snippets of tracks becoming popular pre-release, and the full track becoming successful upon release due to the familiarity created beforehand. On LabelRadar, artists can seed this demand within a very music-focussed community of early adopters.
Challenges and remixes – and who’s already using LabelRadar
LabelRadar is already used by more than 1,300 labels and promoters – including the likes of Monstercat, Atlantic Records, Dim Mak or Armada Music. You can find a full list of their label roster here, and the company says that over 123,000 artists have used their platform. For labels it’s completely free to use while artists receive free credits every month to spend on submitting music. More credits can be purchased for $1 each.
LabelRadar’s list of label partners currently skew slightly to the electronic music world, however, Derek Clark, Co-CEO, points out: “We’re looking to grow this to other genres as well, as the goal was never to make this exclusive to electronic music. We’ve already had metal bands or rappers sign through the platform as well.”
On top of the submission process, a small selection of trusted label partners have access to a further tab – called ‘Opportunity Manager’. Here they can run remix contests, “finish my record” challenges, demo review livestreams or other activations. Brew says that it’s a popular feature: “From the label perspective it’s a no brainer. You get to crowdsource amazing remixes from this big community and then go on and make this your marketing engine and marketing activation for your new release. For example, some use a download gate for stems or playlist follows / pre-saves on Spotify. That, we found, is our kind of sweet spot: if we do a remix contest for an old track in the run up for the release of a new track, we can gate it with a pre-save which lights up the algorithm so the new track gets better playlist support.”
LabelRadar has already run contests on behalf of artists such as Charlie Puth, Tiësto and Armin Van Buuren. There are also opportunities for marketing teams to further integrate these activations into the artist’s or label’s wider marketing strategy. For example, RCRDSHP and Ballroom Records partnered with LabeRadar on a remix competition where the artist Kaiser Souzai will listen to the submission live on RCRDSHP’s Twitch channel.
LabelRadar continues to work on new features – for example greater community visibility with artist-to-artist interaction, fan app leaderboards and more.
You can sign up / request an invite to LabelRadar here.
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