You’ve finished writing, recording, mixing and mastering your latest single(s) and have sat on the recording for a number of weeks, determining that this is the final version and you are 100% satisfied with the product. You’ve decided that instead of self-release, you want to submit this as a demo for a potential release by one of your favorite indie labels.The following tips and tricks come from a number of resources as well as my own personal experience as an assistant A&R for two indie dance labels, one very well-known and the other more niche. While some of these points will be more impactful in that genre, many of them are universal. Consider that each demo recipient is different and will look for different things, but everyone will appreciate if you adhere to these guidelines.
First, I’ll list the Do’s and Don’ts of demo email submissions. These points will help to make you look professional, avoid looking goofy, and most importantly look easy to work with. Next, I’ll offer a template to pin your email in the right direction.The more popular the label is, the more demos they receive and the harder it is to make sure your demo actually gets listened to. In the case that it is a bigger indie label, you will ideally want to form a personal connection with the A&R of that label – whether that be through Linkedin outreach, or introducing yourself at a show if you get the chance. Networking is its own science, and in some circles can be quickly shot down if seen as inauthentic – there are always people trying to work their way in for the wrong reasons. If you can’t make a connection beyond the unsolicited demo inbox, then your demo will probably be vetted by an intern instead of staff.This post will outline where to email your demos and how to do it optimally to increase your chances of getting them signed. This will include some background on the ”who” and “how”, along with a list of Do’s and Don’ts. Our demos represent us just as a portfolio of professional photos shows a fashion model in his or her best light. There is too much riding on our recordings to produce anything less than the perfect demo. Uptempo songs, and songs in styles such as EDM, R&B, or R&B/Pop, in which the backing tracks contribute a huge amount to the songs’ success, will likely need to be fully produced recordings with keyboards, guitars, bass, and drums, as well as background vocals and harmony parts. In these instances, the demos you play should not require a listener to imagine how your song might sound if it had a funky groove, if it included catchy keyboard licks, if it had an irresistible bass line, or any other “ifs.” If you imagine any element as being a critical part of your song’s success include it in your demo.An artist demo is intended to demonstrate a singer or band’s potential as a recording artist. It is tasked with convincing managers, producers, and record label executives that you are worthy of a significant investment of their time and money. An artist demo should sound as close as possible to the way you envision your final product. To accomplish this, it needs to include those elements that contribute to defining you artistically, such as the instrumentation and vocal arrangements you hope to feature on your master recordings. Artists’ demos tend to be more fully produced than song demos, with more attention paid to the sounds and effects. It is critical that the vocals be as strong as possible, so for many artists’ demos, vocals are comped, compiling the best parts of multiple takes. Depending on the genre, they are also likely to be tuned with the aid of computer software.
Some songwriters with home studios hire one or more musicians or vocalists to perform on their recordings. In some cases, these tracks can be recorded at the musician’s or vocalist’s home studio and sent digitally.
A song that requires only a guitar or keyboard and a vocal can typically be recorded in a professional studio for as little as three hundred dollars. Full-band recordings and those that require extensive keyboard programming and background vocals tend to cost from $500 – $1,200. Note that these are ballpark figures, intended to provide a general range.
Back in the days when the cost of a McDonald’s Happy Meal was my food budget for an entire week, I sang the vocals and collaborated with writer/producers who produced our demos for free in their home studios. I also offered myself as a proverbial guinea pig to students who were learning how to become recording engineers.“How good do demos need to be?” is one of the questions I am asked most often in my workshops. To effectively answer this question, you need to identify the purpose of your demo recording. For example, is it intended to be pitched in the hopes of finding a home with a recording artist? Will it be used to seek representation by a music publisher? Will the recording be used to present you as a recording artist to record labels, managers and producers? Do you intend to use it to promote yourself for live gigs? Will it also be pitched for sync licensing opportunities? Do you have an established relationship with the industry pro to whom you will play the recording? Let’s look at what constitutes the “perfect demo” for each of these scenarios.
If you are seeking live performance opportunities, a club owner or booking agent will likely be more interested in how you sound and interact in front of an audience than in how your recordings sound with the benefit of studio effects, such as comping and tuning. An audio or video recording of a live performance or a compilation of various live performances is a good way to go when the recording is intended to secure gigs. This is likely the only scenario for which you would submit a live recording.
If you have a well-established relationship with a publisher, you should be able to benefit from his or her feedback before investing time and money in a demo. In many genres, a keyboard or guitar and a vocal should be sufficient to see if the publisher is interested in representing the song. Unless you are established as a superstar writer, don’t pitch rough versions to A & R executives, recording artists, or artists’ managers. Many of the songs heard in the background on TV shows and in movies were recorded to function as songwriters’ and artists’ demos. To be suitable for television and film, the instrumental and vocal performances on these recordings, as well as the overall sonic quality, needs to be on par with recordings heard on the radio. This is sometimes referred to as broadcast quality because in most instances recordings placed in TV shows and films are not re-recorded; the recordings we submit are used “as is.” Additionally, we need to have the right to use the performances embodied in the recordings for sync placement. Whether your demo is bare-bones or fully produced, the vocals and instruments need to be in tune and up to the professional standard. Your recordings not only showcase your ability as a songwriter, but they also speak volumes about your professionalism. They as well allow you to share that you have additional skills, such as expertise as a producer, ability to play or program various instruments, and that you are a strong vocalist, if these are applicable. Demos intended to promote recording artists typically cost more than demos intended to showcase songs because they require more studio time to capture stellar performances and approximate a finished project. Remember that demos are not only the vehicle to present your songs to industry pros, but they also have another equally important job—they express your vision for your songs. In most cases demo recordings are our only opportunity to give our input about the instrumentation and production. In thirty-five years of having my songs recorded by artists other than myself, I have yet to be consulted by a record producer or artist seeking suggestions about the instrumentation or arrangement. I make my “suggestions” by recording the musical and vocal arrangements as I imagine them. My demo essentially says, “This is the guitar lick I hear in the verses”; “This is where I hear the background vocals coming in”; “This is the bass line and drum pattern I envision for the final recording,” and more.The cost to produce excellent demo recordings runs the gamut from zero to thousands of dollars. Those who have a home recording studio and the ability to play or program the instruments and sing the vocals incur no costs, while those who hire top studios, engineers, musicians and vocalists might spend a thousand dollars or more. With only a handful of exceptions, the finished recordings of my songs have sounded almost indistinguishable from the demos I submitted, except for the vocalist and the improved sonic quality. For example, when I’ve introduced a cello in my demo’s second verse, a similar cello line has almost always been included in the same spot on the master recording. Similarly, background vocals, guitar licks, and other critical elements included on my demos have almost always been reflected in hit artists’ versions. For a tender, slow song you might only need a guitar or a keyboard and vocal to fully convey the way you imagine the finished recording sounding. My demo for “Why Don’t You Kiss Her” (written by Jason Blume and Andrew Fromm, recorded by Jesse McCartney) consisted of two acoustic guitars (played by Larry Beaird) and one lead vocal track (performed by Dave Brooks). If I had imagined drums or other instruments on the final recording, I would have included them. When Andrew Gold produced the track, he stayed extremely close to the demo, recreating the guitar licks almost note for note, but adding the beautiful cello part.Song demos are intended to showcase the song, as opposed to the singer or band. These are the recordings you would play to pitch a song to a music publisher or other industry pro in the hopes of having an artist (other than yourself) record it.
If you hope to have a publisher represent your songs to record label executives, music producers, and recording artists, record demos the publisher can confidently present with no apologies or disclaimers. The ideal song demo is one that clearly conveys your song’s hit potential. But different styles require varying types of production to accomplish this.
So, how can you get prospects to say “yes, please” to your demo requests? In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about writing a winning demo request email and take a look at a few templates to help you get started.
And even if it’s not, that’s okay too. Finding out your product isn’t right for a particular lead during discovery will save you time and help you focus your efforts on prospects that are more likely to purchase your product.
Mallorie Maranda, the VP of Sales at WorkRamp, spoke to us about the importance of disqualifying quickly, noting, “If you’re disqualifying deals quickly and only focusing on the people who really see the value of your product, you’re going to grow your deal size because you’re focusing your energy in the right place. You’ll be successful.”Using a demo experience platform like Walnut, you can create interactive and personalized demos to embed in your email that convince prospects they need to hear more about your product.
The tone of your email should be based on your brand, the type of prospect you’re reaching out to, and anything else you’ve learned about the decision-maker that’ll be reading your email.By sending an email that’s straight to the point and easy to digest, you’ll not only increase the likelihood that prospects will read your email, but also that they’ll schedule a demo.
To write a demo follow-up email, you should thank the prospect for their time, provide a summary of the key discussion points, and provide clear “next steps” or a call to action.
It’s the first opportunity you have to demonstrate what your product can do for a prospect. And once you’ve shown them how your software can solve their problems and add value, closing the deal becomes much easier.
Through product demos, companies can help potential buyers understand what it would actually be like to use their product and how it could alleviate their specific pain points.By addressing these questions in your email, you’ll be able to highlight the value your product can bring and how it can address your prospect’s specific needs.
In order to do that, you’ll need to qualify your B2B leads. By researching your prospect’s company and their position within it, you can work to understand their potential needs. You can also make sales discovery calls to go even deeper into understanding who the decision-makers are, their technical proficiency, their needs and pain points, and budget.
If you’re using a demo platform like Walnut, you’re in luck! You can easily spin up a short, interactive, and guided demo that they can click through on their own to pique their interest about how your product can bring them value.On top of this, this email has done nothing to convince the prospect that you understand their unique situation and why your software can be the solution.Based on what you learned about your prospect from your own research and during discovery, you need to include information that is specific to them. Especially why they should want to have a demo with you. To ask for a demo in an email, you should start by explaining why a prospect should be interested in participating in a demo (i.e. what’s in it for them). This can be done by personalizing the email with any information you’ve learned about them during discovery or your own research. This is (Your Name) here from (Company Name). Thank you for reaching out. I wanted to see if I could help you understand how we can help with (insert value) and answer any questions you may have about us.
When you use subject lines that grab your prospect’s attention and let them know exactly what your email is about, you increase the chances of them opening and responding to your email.
Do you have 30 minutes for a quick meeting on Tuesday after 2:00 pm, Thursday between 10:00 am and 12:00 pm, or any time on Friday? We can talk through your goals, and I can show you how we can (value proposition).So, when it comes to the tone of your email, it’s all about balance. Don’t overdo it with facts and figures. But you’ll still need to be careful that you’re not too vague that the client can’t see the value in meeting with you.
But half the battle is getting the prospect to agree to the demo. And winning this battle requires just as much thought and consideration as the demo itself.
First and foremost, it places the burden of setting up a meeting on the prospect and suggests that they should find a time that works for you (and not the other way around).For example, consider what type of company your prospect works for. If they happen to work for a large, established company, it may be best to use a more formal tone.Rather than spending hours trying to understand our product on your own, we can spend 15-30 minutes doing a quick demo. I’ll invite (Colleague Name) who has a lot of experience with (company type) like yours and has achieved great results helping them implement (X solution).
What does it mean to send a demo?
A music demo, or simply a demo, is a sample recording of your music. Usually, demos are rough recordings of songs and often do not include an entire album’s worth of material. Demos are frequently sent by bands to record labels to try and land a deal.
As a basic rule of thumb, your email subject lines should be straight to the point, eye-catching, and professional. On top of this, you’ll want to avoid sounding click-baity.
Prospects have limited amounts of time, so it’s important to only include the information that’s absolutely necessary. It can also help to use short sentences so prospects can easily skim your email.
If you are looking for ways to submit a demo to Capitol Music Group or to any of the associate labels, be informed that CMG does not directly accept a track or clip. You will need to connect to a manager, producer, agent or industry professional to help you submit a demo. For queries, you can send an email to [email protected]. For the budding artists, the other alternative would be to sign up on Spinnup, the digital music distribution service owned by Universal Music Group. Spinnup charges a small fee to distribute your track to some of the world’s leading music services. Free tools are made available for creating music as well as social media integrations and creating promo links. Be assured of your songs being showcased to music industry professionals through the platform. You get 100% of your royalties and rights.Capitol Music Group deals with music of all genres and is popular with music lovers the world over. From pop specialists – ABBA to the evolution of rock/pop genres of the Bee Gees, all-time greats such as Neil Diamond, Paul Mc Cartney and the Beatles to the latest crazes Katy Perry, Nija, Troye Sivan, Rucka Raucka Ali and Ferras, Capitol Music Group has all the selections right. The versatility of music genres promoted by the group is evident from the musicians Capitol Music Group has under its wings. Norah Jones is a versatile musician with a wide-ranging repertoire of genres from country, jazz, folk and rock, is with the Capitol Music Group. Jon Bellion, with popular hits such as Welcome to Forever, The Human Condition and True Colours, is representative of the Pop Soul, Electropop and contemporary R&B genres. Based in the glamour city of Hollywood, California, Capitol Music Group was founded in 2007 in the United States when its parent company and former owner, EMI merged Capitol Records with Virgin Records America. What resulted was a music company known to promote good music of all genres. They are distributors of music record labels in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and France. They also distribute record labels universally through the parent company Universal Music Group. Capitol Music Group has a network of record companies under its umbrella. These include Capitol Records, Motown Records, Virgin Records, Blue Note Records, Harvest Records, Astralwerks and Capitol Christian Music Group. They also own Capitol Studios and an independent service and distribution wing called Caroline. Capitol Music Group is a new age entertainment company that encourages music by signing and providing complete support to contemporary artists. They respect erstwhile and established heritage artists, as well as encourage young talent and upcoming and hitherto undiscovered musicians. The company is constantly innovating and thinking up unique ideas to promote the artists signed up by them. There is nothing generic about their approach to marketing, and each musician is given a creative pitch suitable to their music, identity and public image. It is a large group of committed people working together to share great music with the world.Over 280 popular musicians and groups, past and present, have entrusted their music and have opted to record for Capitol Music Group as their interests are well looked after, and their music professionally promoted and marketed. Prominent artists with Capitol Music Group are Neil Diamond, Bee Gees, Rosanne Cash, Erykah Badu, Banks, Charles Lloyd, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Tori Kelly, Jon Bellion, Hillsong United, B.J. The Chicago Kid, Christine and the Queens, Robert Glasper, Halsey, Don Henley, Niall Horan, Illenium, Troye Sivan and Chris Tomlin Judah And The Lion, Kem, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, tobyMac, Paul McCartney, Vic Mensa, Migos, Ne-Yo, NF, Norah Jones, Katy Perry, Gregory Porter, Rich Homie Quan, Maggie Rogers, Calum Scott and Bob Seger. In the US, Capitol Music Group also has under its patronage Bastille, Disclosure, Glass Animals, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sam Smith, MNEK and Empire of the Sun. Lots of new artists try contacting record labels through DM (direct message) on social media: don’t do this. Unless you are asking for the contact email of someone to send your demo to, it’s usually not a good idea. Record labels are overwhelmed with submissions and sliding into their DMs is not going to help you get anywhere. If you’re sending a demo and not a finished product, make it clear. When you upload your track to Soundcloud or Youtube, you can even write (Demo) in parentheses to emphasis this. This is important to let the music label know what stage the song is at.
Who can I send my demo to?
The easiest way to send your music to record labels is to upload your demo to Soundcloud or Youtube as a private link. This is better than sending WAV or MP3 files directly in an email. The advantage of having your demo as a private Soundcloud or Youtube link is that it can easily be shared with others.
Briefly explain your intentions clearly. What are looking to get from the label in response? Are you looking to sign a recording contract? Are you just looking to get feedback on your demo? How can they help you in properly developing and promoting your music career? Make these intentions known. Contacting a label with a simple, “Hey, check out my new track,” is not enough. You need to be clear and direct about what you want so that they can understand how they could benefit from your project. Welcome to the music business.Professionals in the record industry don’t have a lot of time, so be succinct and pitch your track the best you can in a few words. Sell yourself and make them want to listen. Try to keep your song pitch to one or two sentences. Include relevant details about the sound, instruments, vibe, and subject matter.
What stage are you at in your musical project? Are you just starting out or have you released music in the past? This is important in figuring out which labels you could potentially get a record deal with. Some labels focus on emerging artists, while others will only sign a contract with artists that already have an established fanbase.Mackenzie Leighton is an indie-folk musician and florist originally from the Northeast United States. She has called Paris home since 2017, and her most recent EP “Fleuriste” is now available on all streaming platforms. Catch her at her next show in Paris! Main influences: Julia Jacklin, Devendra Banhart, Andy Shauf, Angel Olsen.
Don’t forget to include a personalized message in your email, whether it’s to an independent music label or a major record label. Why are you contacting them specifically? Show that you know who you are talking to and why they could be potentially interested in signing you as a new artist.
When finding a label to send your demo to, you must first understand the difference between major record labels and independent record labels. The three major labels, also known as the “Big Three“, are Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group. These labels own major subsidiaries that include big companies like Capitol, owned by Universal, and Columbia Records, owned by Sony. Major labels are known to have a lot of financial resources and influence, but they may not be adapted to the artist development of every musical project.A great way to find labels that correspond with your style is to find indie artists similar to you and look at the labels they signed with. Look at artists who play in your city’s local scene or artists you admire that have made it big on the indie scene. All of those famous indie artists had to start somewhere, so see where they got their start.
If you reach out to a label and you haven’t gotten an answer within one to two weeks, reach back out to follow up. Don’t spam them everyday with new messages, but follow up to remind them that you reached out. There is no harm in doing so and sometimes emails can just go overlooked. Following up with a label shows that you are actively interested and persistent.
If you’ve managed to find an email for a label you want to send your demo to, go ahead and contact them. Make sure that they accept unsolicited submissions before reaching out. Briefly present yourself and your project, making sure to include a short but captivating artist biography. You can find tips on how to write a good artist biography here. We’ll talk what else to include in your email in section 4.Send your music to the media outlets, radios, labels, playlist curators of your choice. They listen to your track, respond with guaranteed feedback, and share the tracks they’re vibing with!
Independent labels run on independent funding and represented 31% of the recorded music market in 2020. These record labels range in size and notoriety and include the well known labels like Matador and XL Recordings. Independent labels also include all the small collectives that are founded on college campuses and out of garages. These labels could be better suited to growing your project than a big label and could have more time to invest in you. It is also easier to get in touch with them!
After preparing a clean demo, you need to spot the record labels that interest you. It wouldn’t make sense to send your demo to a bunch of random labels without putting in the work first. If you find record labels that correspond to your style and your expectations, you’re more likely to get a response.For independent artists, it can be tricky to get in touch with and send a demo to record labels. Artists used to send in physical copies of their demos on CDs or cassettes to record companies in hopes of landing a contract. Practically every music label now navigates the digital world to find new artists to sign or get in touch with. On the one hand, send a demo to a record label has never been easier. However, often indie musicians are faced with the challenge of getting in touch with record labels and actually getting their demos heard. Many recording labels do not accept unsolicited submissions from artists because they are so overwhelmed with requests. Here is everything you need to know about how to send a demo to record labels, get your music heard, and potentially sign a contract.
Define your music style and genre. This is crucial in narrowing down record labels that could be interested in signing you. Let’s face it, the music industry is a big machine that uses genres to properly pitch new artists to the music market. Sometimes artists push back against the general labeling of their projects as simply “Pop” or “Rap“, believing it doesn’t capture the nuance of their unique style. Fair enough, but the recording industry needs these categories to run their business. Once you’ve narrowed down your style, start researching the record labels that sign artists in your genre/genres.
When researching record labels that interest you, ask yourself: what do you expect from a music label? Do you expect them to take on the entire production aspect of your project- recording and producing the music? Or are you approaching them with a finished product and want them to primarily help you with promotion and visibility? Not all labels will provide the same services and a lot of them have different contracts available for artists. Make sure the labels you are interested in meet your expectations of where you want your project to go.If you get a response and the feedback is not what you expected, make sure to answer anyway. The feedback may be negative but at least the person on the other end took the time to listen and give you an answer. It’s important to create a link and respond, even if you’re disappointed. Who know’s, maybe they’ll like your next track.
You need to prepare a clean demo before you send your music to recording companies. This is key in boosting your chances of getting a positive response. You don’t need fancy equipment to record a clean demo, but you shouldn’t record it on your phone either. More and more independent musicians are making music in their home studios nowadays. Recording a clean demo at home is completely acceptable, as long as it’s done well. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but make sure to get a clean recording and mix the levels properly. You can always go into a recording studio and work with professionals if you have the budget. The demo is your chance to make a good first impression to record labels.
The easiest way to send your music to record labels is to upload your demo to Soundcloud or Youtube as a private link. This is better than sending WAV or MP3 files directly in an email. The advantage of having your demo as a private Soundcloud or Youtube link is that it can easily be shared with others. If one person from the label likes what they heard, they can pass it along.Are you playing a show soon? Did some of your past songs end up on the radio or in a big playlist? Have you gotten recent attention from the press? All of this is important news to share with a record label. As an indie artist, there are now more resources than ever to build your own fanbase without the help of a label. Show them that you are a good investment.
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Sending out demos can be a little frustrating. Often, despite your best attempts at a follow-up, you just won’t even hear back from some people. You are also likely to hear “no” a lot. Don’t despair. It only takes one “yes.” If you hear “no” from someone, ask for feedback, advice, and suggestions of other labels who may like your music.Sending out demos can be a little bit stressful, but you can increase your chances of getting your demo to the right people by following these demo sending tips. Above all else, remember to follow the demo rules of the label and keep your demo short – you’ll win instant friends at the label when you make their job easier in this way.
As I said earlier, the word “no” is one you’re bound to hear a lot of when you send out demos. You can’t take it personally, and you can’t let it discourage you. When a label turns you down, most of the time it comes down more to your kind of music not being a good fit for the label or to the label not having any room in their schedule for new releases.
It may take months for a label to actually get around to playing your demo, but a friendly, occasional email will help your demo stand out from the pack. Unless you have been told differently by the label, Don’t call. It puts people on the spot and won’t win you any friends. Stick to email. Above all, don’t guilt-trip the A&R staff because they haven’t yet listened.Before you start sending out your demo, you need to compile a list of labels who might be interested in hearing it. Sending your hip-hop demo to an indie rock label is a waste of time and money. What bands do you like? What labels are they on? What labels deal with the kind of music you play? Spend some time online researching artists you consider to be similar to yourself and the labels that work with them.
How do I get my demo heard?
Keep it Short and SweetA short demo. Go for two to three of your best songs. … Your demo should be clearly labeled with your name and email address (NOT your number – you’re more likely to get a response via email).SHORT band bio. Keep it on the subject and to the point. … Press clippings, if available.
When you do hear “no” from a label, that doesn’t mean you have to scratch them off your list. Include labels you like on your emailing list, which should include an “opt-out” option, to let them know what is happening with your band. If you record a new round of songs, it is perfectly fine to send a new demo to a label that has rejected you in the past. If you’re playing a show in the town in which a particular label is based, invite them to the show. Getting people to know your name is half the battle.
How many times have you sent an email out or made a phone call about your band only to be ignored? It happens to everyone – and it happens a lot. That’s why it is so great when people actually take the time to share some advice with you or talk to you about your demo. When it happens – say thank you.
How much does it cost to record a demo song?
A song that requires only a guitar or keyboard and a vocal can typically be recorded in a professional studio for as little as three hundred dollars. Full-band recordings and those that require extensive keyboard programming and background vocals tend to cost from $500 – $1,200.
One you have your short list of labels, you need to learn each label’s policy on demos. Some labels, especially larger labels, will not accept unsolicited demos for legal reasons – they worry about people sending them demos, and then later suing them, claiming their songs have been stolen. Most labels have demo policies clearly displayed on their sites. Find out:
Have a professional presentation. Take the time to print up a band bio that is clearly written and free of spelling errors. Jotting a few things about your band on the back of a napkin and tossing it into a package won’t cut it. If you have press clippings, make a copy of each one a separate piece of paper and bind the pages together.
Again, you won’t get this advice from everyone, but asking never hurts, and you may end up with the piece of advice that turns everything around for you. Treat every “no” as a chance to learn something that could turn that “no” into a “yes” in the future.Once you have sent your demo out to labels, you need to follow up with the labels to make sure they have received them and to solicit their opinions. If the label has a demo follow up policy on their website, make sure you stick to that. Otherwise, an email a month after you have sent the demo is a good place to start.Remember, even small labels are inundated with demos, and many labels do listen to everything they get. Making their job easier will only help your case. Your demo package should include:
Pick songs with strong beginnings. When you demo goes into the CD player, if the song doesn’t grab the listener out of the gate, then the listener is likely to press “next.” Don’t go for the slow burners on your demo. Pick the songs that grab people on the first listen, from the first note.
Not only is it the decent thing to do (you’d be surprised how many people don’t bother with the whole gratitude thing), it puts a little goodwill in the bank for you. Who do you think is more inclined to help you out in the future – someone who took some time out to share some advice with you and who was rewarded with a thank you, or someone who tried to help you out, only to receive no reply from you? Exactly. Make a database of contacts. Keep a list of every label to whom you send your demo, and of every person you talk to about your demo, whether the conversation is positive or negative. You never know who will be able to help you sometime down the line. So you’ve recorded your demo – now what? Now you need to get your demo in the hands of the people who can help you take it to the next level. But with so many people trying to get their demos heard, how can you make sure your demo won’t get lost in the shuffle? Follow these simple steps to move your demo to the top of the pile.
Should I send my demo to record labels?
Copyrighted music: Most labels ask for original full-length tracks. They often reject remixes, mashups, short previews, unfinished tracks, and anything with copyrighted material. Acceptable demo formats: For example, private SoundCloud or Dropbox links, MP3 or WAV attachments, CD, thumb drives, etc.
It used to be the case that record labels didn’t expect to hear professional recording quality on demos. The idea was that a great song shines through in the simplest presentation. With the proliferation of sophisticated home studios using the same digital audio workstations the big guys use, that’s all changed. Present the best work you can; everything about your presentation counts.
When you get turned down, consider your demo, decide if there was anything you could have done differently that might have made a difference, and then learn from it and move on to the next label. End of story.Please note we are unable to accept unsolicited material. Typically, demos are recommended to one of our labels’ A&R departments by a manager, agent, producer, radio DJ or other industry professional. Another option for unsigned artists is Universal Music Group’s site, Spinnup, which offers both digital distribution and has a network of scouts who have a relationship with CMG.
Be aware of individuals who falsely claim to be affiliated with CMG and seek money from artists in return for submissions. It is against our company policy for any employee to accept payment in return for submitting music to one of our companies. If you are approached by a person who claims to be a CMG employee and who asks for any form of compensation in relation to a demo submission, please contact us here.
You may take the next step toward becoming a renowned recording artist by using the advice in this article to promote your music to the proper audience.
What do you send in a demo submission?
If you’re submitting to an unsolicited demos inbox, you really only need the subject line to convey 1) who the artist is, 2) what track or playlist it is, and 3) that it’s a demo submission. Don’t describe the song or start a message in the subject line.
These tried-and-true tips are sure to guide you in the right direction during the demo submission process. When you’re ready to send a demo to a record label, remember that first impressions make a difference. Good luck!
Many record labels specialize in a specific genre and style. It’s essential that you research a label before sending them your demo. Also, make sure your music aligns with the music they release. It makes zero sense sending a future house track to a techno label. The waiting game starts once you send your demo to a label. It takes some patience before knowing your tracks fate. It also takes time to go through demos, especially for labels that receive 100’s a day. Moreover, it could take several weeks before getting a reply. Moreover, check out the other artists signed to the label your researching. Does your style of music sound similar to theirs? Also, research artists that produce the same style of music as you and find what labels work with them.It’s a professional courtesy to communicate on the label’s official channels. Avoid messaging through social media to ask about your demos. Personal and business communication are two different things. Demos sent in social media messages are often rejected or never read.
How do I send a demo to Capitol Records?
How do I submit a demo to Capitol Music Group (CMG)? Please note we are unable to accept unsolicited material. Typically, demos are recommended to one of our labels’ A&R departments by a manager, agent, producer, radio DJ or other industry professional. Cached
Send a polite email thanking them for taking the time to check out your music. Also, ask for feedback, advice, and suggestions of other labels that may like your music.
How do you know if your tracks are ready for release? The short answer is, ask for feedback. Seek feedback from people whose opinion you value such as another music producer with experience. Moreover, be cautious about asking close friends and relatives. They may not provide hard criticism because of their close connection to you.Lastly, compile a list of the labels you want to release with the most. Familiarize yourself with those labels. Look for their website, SoundCloud, Facebook Page, Twitter account, and other channels. Find names and contact information such as the A&R manager’s email address. Also, locate their demo policy! Building relationships and networking in the music industry is always helpful. Get out and connect with people, regardless of their status. Try to meet other artists, producers, DJ’s, publicists, booking agents, label staff, fans, and anyone else in the music industry. These connections could lead to opportunities. But, do so in a professional manner and don’t be a stalker. Preparing your demo for submission is an essential first step. Before you send a demo to a record label, ensure your music is sounding the best it possibly can. Don’t waste an A&R manager’s time with unfinished or poor quality tracks. Make sure your tracks are finished, mixed down, and either mastered or ready for mastering. Send your best work!Like any emails, the golden rule is to keep them simple, concise, straight-to-the-point, and polite. For example, briefly introduce yourself, say something about your track(s) and why they are a good fit for the label. Below are some best practices:
How do I email a demo submission?
Here’s some key factors to consider when drafting up your email:Use the person’s name. … Keep the email as short as possible. … Write a couple of sentences maximum to give them an idea of the music.Emails with just a link will get sent to junk or disregarded immediately, and it looks spammy.
Furthermore, ensure you’re exporting your tracks in the correct format and tagging them properly. Most labels prefer links to stream demos over downloading them. Make sure the exported tracks meet the requirements of your preferred streaming service. Or, find out what file format a label prefers and use a service like Dropbox to send a download link. Labels often prefer MP3 files over other formats because of there smaller file size. Also, give your tracks clear file names and ID3 tags. For example, Artist Name, Track Title, and contact information such as an email address.Once you have your list of labels, locate and carefully read their demo policies. Most labels have a demo policy displayed on their website. A demo policy outlines a set of guidelines they require for demo submissions. Some also offer advice. Demo policies often include information about: Are you ready to turn music into a career? ICON prepares students to become music producers, composers, performers, recording artists, professional DJs, and entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry. Click below to get information about our award-winning programs: Most people in the music industry have public accounts on social media. Although these accounts let you message them directly, it doesn’t mean they want to receive your demos there.Lastly, DO NOT send demos with copyrighted material unless it’s cleared for use. Labels will reject tracks that could land them in legal trouble. Moreover, avoid sending remixes and mashups. Labels want original work and not to worry about copyright issues.Before you send anything, find out how the label accepts demos. Most labels prefer private streaming links to your hosted demos. For instance, private SoundCloud links with downloads enabled have become an industry standard. Moreover, sending a link to stream your demo is fast and easy. The easier you make it for someone to access and listen to your music the better.
If the label has a demo follow-up policy, make sure you stick to that. If not, it’s safe to send a follow-up email after a couple of weeks. Send a short, polite email asking if they received your demo and had a chance to listen to it. The hard truth is, you will get a reply if they find your demo is a good fit the label. Otherwise, you should not expect a response.
Lastly, avoid sending mass mailings to multiple labels. This approach is not effective and often rejected. A&R managers are keen to spot lazy attempts using marketing software and unsolicited emails. It’s always best to put in the effort and personalize your email to the specific record label.
Don’t despair if a label rejects your demo. Perhaps the rejection has nothing to do with your track’s quality, but rather it doesn’t fit with the label’s sound. Take it as a learning experience and continue improving your music. Accepting rejection and learning what works and what doesn’t helps you grow as a producer!
The more you know about the label, the better. The information you collect will help you personalize your message during the submission process. It will also help you reach the right people.Instead, look for a label’s official contact methods for demo submissions. Visit the label’s website or Facebook page and locate their contact or demo submission instructions.Do you have finished tracks and want to send a demo to record labels? Signing your music with an established record label is the best way to reach a global audience. But how do you get a record label to listen to your demo, and how do you persuade them to release it? This guide outlines several critical steps to help with the demo submission process.Avoid attaching your tracks to emails unless the label prefers it. Emails with attachments are often deleted for security purposes or end up in the Spam folder. Also, files can take long to download, clog inboxes, and can seem suspicious.
By this point, most labels would have seen at least one of your emails. There’s no need to make the second one longer than a couple of lines, as the ‘RE’ in the title and the second email should usually get the point across.Yes, most labels are friendly, want to sign new artists and care about art, but only if the music reflects well on them and aligns with their back catalogue and vision.
I didn’t just write this article because I came up with a bunch of random ideas about submitting demos. I’ve actually used this stuff in the real world.
That’s why we created our FREE eBook – 10 Tips For Promoting Your Music on a Budget. This will help you on your way to getting the most out of your music.
Experiment with these yourself, as they can vary between people and circumstances, but they can often be the last 10% that means the difference between signing and no signing:
If you’re using an open tracker like Hubspot, and you can see your previous ones have been opened, I wouldn’t even bother with this email unless absolutely necessary.
What is a demo request?
It’s the first opportunity you have to demonstrate what your product can do for a prospect. And once you’ve shown them how your software can solve their problems and add value, closing the deal becomes much easier. But half the battle is getting the prospect to agree to the demo.
I’m not kidding when I say I thought I had good music once upon a time. But when I look back, all the time I spent promoting my music was futile because it actually wasn’t good. If you can’t find a demos email, normally the enquiries or general email is okay. Smaller labels usually only have one email, and that’s also usually your best option. I’m just emailing you to let you know that I’ve finished up a couple of demos that I think are a great fit for your label, either as an EP or if you’ve got a compilation coming up.
If you’re a pop or hip-hop artist, you might want to target larger companies – even the big 4 labels (UMG, Warner etc.). When targeting these, you’ll need to have a bit of a game plan, which we’ll get into next.
Hope you’re having a good week man! My name is Aden, and I make music under the name Artsea, with releases on Giant Recs & Timewarp. I’m based down here in Melbourne, Australia.
Sometimes, labels will use a website submissions form or a third-party management system like SubmitHub. If this is the case, don’t send them an email.Otherwise, if you don’t get a response, usually they aren’t interested. You can send a 2nd follow up as a ‘close off’ email, but wait a couple of weeks before emailing them a second time (depending on the size of the label.
Does demo mean free?
A demo is a free product walkthroughled by a member of the Sales team to show prospective customers how they could get value out of the product. A free trial is an opportunity for customers to try the product for a limited time (or limited number of uses) without paying.
Let’s fix that – here’s my guide to submitting demos that have the best chance of getting read and listened to, based on my 10 years of producing music and sending demos.Note: if you’re submitting music to blogs, playlists and other tastemakers, the breadth may be wider since these people normally curate a larger amount of music.Notice how the email can fit on the size of one screen (okay, sorry mobile users). But you get the point – minimum to no scrolling is required. The link is clear, the text is straight to the point without being dismissive and remains respectful.Majestic Casual isn’t going to sign a heavy trap record. Trap Nation isn’t going to sign your next hot lo-fi beat. Universal’s not going to sign your experimental ambient soundscape album.
This is where the quality over quantity approach works really well – choose a small number of labels (no more than 25) with ranging sizes as your ‘pool’.When this does happen, usually only a select few media members will get to hear the demos. Generally, this happens when demos contain “finished” songs. In other words, songs that are still in the writing and tweaking stage don’t often get played for people outside the band and label.