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The Full Story of SubmitHub with Jason Grishkoff

SubmitHub is a platform that connects music artists with curators. Jason Grishkoff is the founder of SubmitHub and in this video we have a chat about the platform and how music artists can use it to grow their fanbase. Get 10% off SubmitHub here:

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Important Points:

Jason and Andrew provide tips on getting the most out of SubmitHub for artists. Begin by grasping your niche – understanding is key. Andrew suggests a 10-20% acceptance rate for song pitches to curators is promising. Learn from both rejections and acceptances. Jason suggests prioritizing curators similar to those who accepted your pitch. Keep your targeting sharp.

Andrew’s recommendation for a $1,000 budget involves allocating the largest portion (about $850) to meta ads, dedicating a portion to YouTube ads, and a smaller amount (around $50) to SubmitHub. This strategy ensures diverse exposure while making the most of your budget.

Jason shares insights on optimizing Spotify usage. He stressed the importance of teaching Spotify’s algorithm about your niche. This involves honing in on hyper-targeting and consistently releasing music. According to Jason, sticking to a specific playlist niche enhances listener retention and amplifies save rates on Spotify.

Andrew and Jason share insights on achieving artist success, highlighting that it encompasses more than just ads, marketing, or playlist efforts. It’s about the complete package. They draw from lessons of prominent artists, underlining the importance of exceptional music and crafting an engaging public presence both online and offline. They also underscore that criticism is inevitable as success grows. The pivotal factor is discerning which critique to heed and focusing on improvement.

Podcast Outline:

[00:22]: Jason shared how he started his music blog called Indie Shuffle in 2007. – Jason

[00:51]: In 2015, Jason rolled out SubmitHub to take on Indie Shuffle’s challenge: handling over 300 daily pitches from musicians gunning for a feature. – Jason

[01:43]: Simply put, Jason envisions SubmitHub as both a savvy contact directory and a hub to link up with playlist curators.- Jason

[02:52]: Some artists miss out on SubmitHub’s full potential by overspending and neglecting to fine-tune their targeting.- Jason

[04:04]: According to Andrew’s experience, a successful pitch acceptance rate on SubmitHub generally falls between 10-20%.- Andrew

[05:22]: Putting yourself out there pitching your music can help you learn who your audience really is. – Jason

[08:50]: Andrew’s tip for SubmitHub success: pitch to those who’ve already featured your song. – Andrew

[09:46]: Jason recommends using the hot or not feature to determine your song’s genre.- Jason

[11:38]: SubmitHub is designed to filter out misfit genres, trimming around 20% of unrelated choices.- Jason

[12:41]: Jason’s advice is to skim through the curator’s playlist first. That way, you know their vibe before pitching your track. – Jason

[14:58]: The SubmitHub crew is tuning up genres, going compact. They’re tapping into Spotify’s API to let users preview the sound of each genre.- Jason

[22:52]: Jason’s focus for SubmitHub is to stay away from schemes where users will have to pay more. – Jason

[26:32]: To gauge engagement accurately, Jason incentivized indie artists to share their Spotify engagement data, which was then integrated into Submithub’s system and reports. – Jason

[33:10]: SubmitHub now includes a feature that shows the number of streams for your track. – Jason

[36:27]: Jason reiterates that playlisting and keyword targeting are two super competitive areas for marketing. – Jason 

[40:06] Numbers aren’t the whole story, yet some curators manage to generate solid engagement by sharing plenty of quality materials.- Jason

[42:56]: SubmitHub introduced measures to prevent fake playlists. According to Jason, curators need at least 1,000 followers.- Jason

[46:08]: According to Jason, maintaining a consistent playlist niche increases listener retention and boosts save rates on Spotify. – Jason

[50:19]: Jason believes ads work well because there’s no rejection. It just gets displayed to the right audience match each time. In SubmitHub, pitching can lead to rejections.- Jason

[52:30]: Andrew shares the wisdom of big artists: success isn’t just about ads or SubmitHub. It’s also creating great music, strong social media presence, and real fan interactions.- Andrew

[55:38]: Both Andrew and Jason agree: as you succeed, anticipate criticism, even baseless. Don’t let it overly affect you; instead, discuss it with close friends and family. – Andrew and Jason

[58:42]: To enhance SubmitHub’s shoutout feature, Jason and his team adjusted mechanics, including shoutout stats in the engagement count.- Jason

[1:03:00]: For authentic responses and feedback, Jason’s team established a system to identify repetitive curator comments.- Jason

[1:08:00]: Rather than separate feedback emails, the SubmitHub team is developing a summary-style email that compiles pitch responses. – Jason

[1:17:00]: Jason encouraged SubmitHub users to join the ads chatroom to lear and get advice about placing ads. – Jason

[1:18:00]: Jason and his team are crafting a SubmitHub marketplace. Here, you can delegate tasks like album cover design, bio writing, and ad setup – letting you concentrate on your music. – Jason

[1:32:00]: Jason’s focus? Keep making the platform better. In fact they’ve just reached 30M submissions. – Jason

Wise Words:  

[05:22] When you think about it as an artist, you have to put yourself out there in order to learn who your audience is. And so, SubmitHub can be a useful tool for that. Let’s say you are submitting to 50 people, and 40 of them say no, you might be able to learn something from that. At the end of the day, those aren’t the people that you should be spending your time on or interested in.- Jason

[46:27] My genuine belief here is that one of the best strategies you can use from a playlisting standpoint is to try and leverage it, to teach Spotify’s so that, the next time you release a song, they go, “Oh, cool, here’s a new song from you. We know exactly who to show this to”. And when they do show it to those people, it actually gets engaged with. Because the last thing you want is to finally teach Spotify’s algorithm and you taught it wrong.- Jason

[52:30] I’ve worked with artists who have over 3 million or multiple artists with multiple millions of monthly listeners. But it’s not like the ads by themselves got them there. Some of them, the ads were a recent thing, and some of them, ads were an important part of what they did. But usually, for those people with like millions, it’s like they had ads, they tour,  they do the playlist thing. They’re doing the PR, they’re making awesome music on a regular basis. They have awesome social media.- Andrew

[1:32] I really enjoy building the product and developing the product and making it better. And I’ve been a believer that if I continue to make the product better, more effective, and deliver better results to both sides of the equation, then the product will speak for itself and people will keep using it. And so far that’s worked. Yeah. We just passed 30 million submissions. – Jason

Resources Mentioned:

  • Get 10% Off SubmitHub – link
  • Indie Shuffle Blog – link

Learn More:

If you enjoyed this interview you might also like this one I did with Temima Shames (of Next Step Talent) on how music artists can grow their fanbase by going viral on social media.