How To Pitch Your Music Without A Publicist
Tips, Tricks, and the Latest News
We’re Rachel Hurley and Frank Keith IV, co-owners of the Sweetheart Pub. We’re music industry veterans with over 30 years of combined experience in the music business, having worked in licensing, talent buying/booking, label management, tour management, and more. Once a week (hopefully), we’ll publish a new edition of this newsletter, where we’ll share some philosophy and actionable advice on all facets of the music industry.
This is the free version of the newsletter. Consider subscribing below to receive more in-depth research and opinion pieces.
We’ve been putting together a weekly playlist of seven songs (just enough to keep your attention) every week — check out The Sweet Spot to hear what we’ve been listening to.
How to pitch your music without a publicist
A “pitch” is basically an email to a writer or editor asking them to cover your music. The coverage varies from outlet to outlet. It is imperative that you are clear with your ask when you send someone a pitch. Do you want to be interviewed? Do you want to be on a playlist? Do you want to be included in a weekly round-up? Do you have a feature story in mind? Do you want an outlet to premiere your new song or video?
Just asking someone to “Check out my music!” will get passed over by busy writers that have hundreds of pitches in their inbox. If you make someone else do all the legwork, they’re less likely to jump on board. Making it easy for a writer / editor to give you coverage obviously will get you to a “yes” faster.
You don’t have to use a publicist to pitch your music, they just already know what genres writers are into, what type of stories they write, how far in advance they need to be pitched, etc. But if you’re willing to take the time to do the legwork, writers often can be very accommodating to working with musicians directly.
Contact discovery is crucial to making sure your pitch finds the correct inbox. Hunter.io offers a streamlined way to do this at an affordable rate — but you can also just Google, look writers up on Twitter or LinkedIn, etc. — you’d be surprised how many personal e-mail addresses are in plain sight with minimal search effort.
Press Hunt is another option, as are Cision and Muck Rack (although these last two are aimed at PR professionals // prohibitively expensive on an individual level)
Pytch is a new-ish company also that offers extremely competitive rates for music PR:
Our software is as simple as providing your project’s information. Create a pitch, and an attention-grabbing subject line. Our team will review your pitch, brainstorm ideas on how we can tell your story, and make the proper revisions to your pitch. With your approval, we’ll send your pitch to publications. Finally, you can send the perfect pitch with just a few clicks.
Submithub is a great tool for pitching individual tracks. It has filters for genre, so you know you’re pitching someone looking for your style of music. It will not make you famous overnight — but it won’t hurt to get your track featured in as many places as possible (some of which exclusively take submissions through this platform).
Of course, to be successful — all of this takes a ton of time, legwork, connections, contacts, organization skills, and knowledge of writers and publications…
…and that’s why so many people decide to just hire a professional ;)
Unfrozen: What will the new physical mechanical rates do to or do for valuations?
Instagram adds music from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music to messages
Global Value of Music Copyright is bigger now than it’s ever been
Three Things To Know About Spotify’s Featured Curators Pilot
Tweet of the Week
Just for Fun
The cold email sequence Will Smith sent the Academy to try to keep his spot
Music Rookie Podcast
Thirty Tigers’ Founder shares info on label deals and talks streaming economics
Former Bloodshot Records Radio Promoter talks radio and navigating “the biz”
Have a follow-up question for one of our guests? Got a tip? Did we (*gasp*) get something wrong? Our line is always open -- hit us up and if we use your question or response in a future newsletter, we’ll give you credit and link your socials.
As we often receive requests to work with artists who don’t have the budget to afford a full campaign, we’re launching an “Office Hours”-style consulting service where you can book us for 30 or 60-minute blocks of one-on-one time.
You can learn more here (scroll down past campaign details)
Thanks for sticking around! If you dig what we are doing, here are some easy ways to support us:
Forward this to a musician or industry professional
Subscribe to the $5 / month paid version