I have contacted all the major labels that currently dominate the Beatport charts with a list of questions. A large part of the labels that I have approached answered my questions, and the answers are surprisingly similar. Some of the labels asked me not to publish their name, so out of respect for this I will not publish any names.
The number one reason tracks get rejected
The number one reason is obvious: bad music.
You can’t argue about taste, but every single label stated this as their number one reason for rejection. It’s important to send your best music but also make sure your track fits with the image and sound of the label your sending it to. It makes no sense to send your hardstyle tracks to Axtone.
This blog is all about getting your tracks to a professional level, so I won’t solve that problem in this post. But take the following points into account to increase your chance of getting signed:
- Make sure your track is the best it can be, you’ve got only one chance to make a first impression.
- Don’t send low quality MP3 files. 320kbps bitrate is the standard.
- Don’t send WAV files, they take forever to download, ain’t nobody got time for that.
- Give labels streamable links (like for example private SoundCloud links). Labels have a lot of submissions to go through, so make it easy for them. Give them the opportunity to stream your track so they don’t have to download it.
- Don’t add your MP3 file as an attachment, this will clog up the labels email box. Some labels will delete your e-mail straight away.
- Don’t add a ton of links in your email, this might result in your email ending up in their spam folder. A lot of links is a huge red flag for spam filters.
- Introduce yourself with relevant details, nobody cares if you love cats or bacon. Have you released songs on other labels? Did you receive support by some known artists? It’s a huge plus if a big name supports your tracks, labels know for sure they’re going to sell your track if it has been supported already.
- Send personal e-mails to every label, don’t CC or BCC the whole dance scene in your e-mail. Add some details to the email which make sure you’re not copy-pasting from a Word template and sending it to every label in the world.
- Labels are busy, so they won’t be able to reply to every single e-mail they get. If they’re interested in signing your track they will get back to you, don’t worry. Don’t send reminders or questions like ‘Did you receive my demo?’ a lot of labels are turned off by messages like this.
- The average response rate is somewhere between 7 days and 3 months, depending on the size of the label (the bigger the label, the more demo’s they get) and the amount of people they hire to listen to demo submissions.
- Send only 1 track, some labels don’t care if you send up to 3 tracks. But the vast majority only wants one track at a time, if they hear something in you(r track) they’ll respond and that’s when you know that you can send your other tracks also.
- Your track has to stand out. You can be pretty sure mailboxes are full off hardstyle kick and reverb drowned percussion lead tracks at this moment, because that’s what’s hot in the Beatport chart and on the festival mainstages. But be as creative as possible, you need to have a unique selling point as they call it in the marketing world.
- Try to find your way to a label by someone in their network. Get friends with the A&R manager or get an artist to support your tracks so they can refer you at that label. This tactic might require some more work from your side, but your success rate goes up exponentially.
Leave your own tips in the comment section below and don’t forget to share this article with your producer friends!
Good luck on getting your tracks signed.