Please Don’t Be Greedy

Listen Without Prejudice

Our inbox is currently receiving up to 200 tracks per week and we check out every one of them so that you don’t have to. Our moderators listen without prejudice to what comes out of the speakers: when working through that much music in a single afternoon we don’t have time to look each artist up on a spreadsheet before clicking “approve”.

So chances are, if a recent Fresh Fave Artist sends through another really strong track a fortnight later, it’ll end up on the Listening Post again. And that will mean one place less for a new unknown artist to get heard.

Please, people: if you’ve recently been featured on the Fresh Faves or Introducing Mixtape, please leave it three months before re-submitting.

[Update: As of late 2015, we now remove tracks submitted too soon from the final batch. Artists will be able to resubmit the tracks for inclusion after three months have elapsed.]

We’re always happy to give a good big push to artists we love, three or four times a year. But there are many hundreds of other acts who also deserve our support. Why not go and widen your audience at other blogs and radio shows instead of hitting the same one here again and again. David Durant has commented below mentioning his Under The Radar Live Sessions for instance – and don’t forget to send your tunes to our friends over at Amazing Radio.

On the other hand, if you’ve been featured a few times on the Listening Post without picking up many votes, maybe you’ve now done your testing and got the results. Namely: one or two of Team Freshnet like your work, but it lacks mainstream appeal. If mass popularity’s what you’re aiming for, go back to the drawing board and come back in a few months with something designed to blow our readers’ minds. But a lot of excellent music simply isn’t mainstream, and that’s fine too. In which case why not consider how to move forward in the light of that info, instead of endlessly repeating the test? Product testing

The trouble with getting 200 tracks a week and only having 25 spaces on the Listening Post is that some 175 artists are bound to be disappointed. Please rest assured that if you’ve sent us a tune anytime our inbox was open, it will have been heard by at least a dozen team members, including me. But do take a look at this post about how the listening process works. The competition is ferocious, so make sure you only send us your very strongest, most favourite track – that way there’s some chance it’ll end up as one of our favourites too. There’s no point sending us all the second-best and third-best tracks off your last album, week after week – it just wastes your time and ours.

As for airplay, remember that radio should be the LAST place you take your music – when you’re ready to take the world by storm – not the first place you send your early demos. In my view BBC Introducing shows – including mine – often play promising artists far too early in their career. Often, such artists end up with one or two spot plays on national radio – which come and go – and then nothing else happens, leaving everyone with a disappointed sense of anticlimax. See Independent artists: How To Promote Your Music for possible alternative strategies…

Steve Lamacq - click to zoom inage in new windowOne last thing: it is possible. with a bit of persistence, to get the attention of people in the media – and they will listen to your music. But – as Steve Lamacq has often pointed out – only once. An artist recently mithered me to death on Twitter to listen to a song that turned out to be almost laughably awful. With a straight face I carefully crafted a tactful reply along the lines of “it sounds like your best work is still ahead of you” – all of which which took about twenty minutes out of my working day. To which the cheeky sod replied “Oh that was just a quick demo I made two years ago, my new stuff’s much better – can I send it to you next week?”

Erm, no. No you can’t.

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Priceless Tom!

    Dan B-) xo

  2. Nice post…. hope the peeps listen…. there’s a fine line between persistence and being a pain in the bum. Still Putting on my SILENCIO nights, some musicians can be well over the line on the pushy scale…. and some of the real qualirt acts don’t push enough, almost too polite…. lesson learned for the SKOPJE

  3. Yup message received & understood, sorry we do have a habit of getting a little over excited when we finish a track.

  4. us too, we’ll keep our heads down for a while (its so easy just to click that button!)

  5. kindly expressed, well said 🙂

  6. Oh I’ll wait a bit then

  7. Thanks Tom for your honest and direct approach, and your points are so valid.

    I think I too may have been a little enthusiastic with my track submission over the past few weeks. I can only offer my apologies. One of my tracks must have got onto the listening post, and suddenly I had hundreds of views, and even a few likes. This has never happened before, I felt like a pop star, it was so exciting. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. If I’m being honest, I suppose I was hoping that another track might make the transition to Fresh Faves position, or even the Mixtape.

    I can understand your frustration when people just keep uploading stuff up to you. The temptation is so great because there is little opportunity
    for artists to get their music heard by a professional, or team of professionals. And of couse there is the inherent belief that harbouring within ones portfolio of creations there might be “the” song. A little optimistic probably, but it’s a steep learning curve for us newbie musicians. A reality check might be a better term. Understanding other people’s musical tastes is the prize, and we must just keep following the yellow brick road, until we arrive at our musical Oz

    This fantastic blog gives everyone such a massive chance to showpiece their creativity, and the thrill of submitting a track, and seeing it being listened to, hoping and praying it goes onto the listening post is captivating, but I realise now that this may stop someone from achieving their dream of being heard.

    I will learn from your pearls of wisdom,and continue my search for that elusive song a little more quietly.

    Thank you for all of your effort in producing this site, and I will continue to avidly listen, and comment from time to time.

  8. Very well written with sensitivity as always Tom. I would like to add that there are many other excellent radio shows, podcasts, blogs, live streams who are passionate about emerging independent music and hungry for content. Many of them actually do have serious followings from avid new music fans, and I am one of them, so please hit us up with good quality MP3s and downloadable links to your tracks and we will showcase your music to a wider audience.

    David Durant
    Under The Radar Live Sessions go out Sundays from 7pm on on Brooklands Radio

  9. Sharon Lazibyrd

    Good comment Tom, I have certainly been guilty of being a bit trigger happy with the same song. I won’t send second or third bests That said I will keep sending new tracks because different people tell me that they think different tracks are our best song. If I am lucky enough to be selected again I will definitely lie low for a while. Thanks for all your support of new music.

  10. Just come across this article and the associated youtube lecture from last December. Fantastic advice delivered with obvious care. Thanks Tom.

  11. Tom

    Cheers Martin – glad you enjoyed it. Mind you advice, is always easier to give than to follow and following one’s own advice is hardest of all 🙂

  12. Very informative stuff, and agree wholeheartedly that sometimes you find artists getting national radio plugs when they can’t possibly back it up. The hardest thing I find is trying to co-ordinate everything when you have new music, whether grouped together as a proper release or merely as individual demo tracks; you’re itching to get music out to your existing fans to listen to, but also to as many media outlets as possible, and want to get things booked in gig wise. It’s one thing a good manager will probably be much more experienced and aware of than any band who’ll (as I’ve done) inevitably have to learn from their mistakes. God knows I’ve probably helped to keep the newly privatised Royal Mail in business with the number of demo CDs posted off to places there wasn’t much point sending them too!

  13. You could also try your luck on the Radio Paradise LRC (Listener Review Channel).
    Selection is very tough though, I’ve got the impression you need 90% positive feedback before your song goes to the main channel.

  14. Priceless indeed, thanku

  15. To anyone reading, I just wanted to also add my respect for David Durant’s Under the Radar show – he is a wonderful guy and a true music lover as well 🙂 great presenter too!


  16. Great stuff Tom your a gem.

  17. haha, I enjoyed the last part Tom. Very good read. Looks like I’ll be back in a few months with my next selection of tracks 😉


  18. Hello, apologies for submitting my track “the Wolf” two weeks in a row. I actually wasn’t sure I’d properly submitted it the first time! Anyway, thank you for the kind comments you left on my track “Ride Grim Reaper Ride” now already, yikes, two years ago!

  19. Louis Le Couteur

    Hi Tom,
    I accidentally uploaded two tracks. I clicked on the wrong one the first time so thought if i clicked on the right one it would replace it. ‘The Question’ should have been the track. Sorry about that, ignore the other one. We finally have DAB in Guernsey so really enjoying listening to R6 on the go!

    Thank you.
    Tantale Guernsey.

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