Posted by:  Tinderbox Music


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Tinderbox Music is a Minneapolis based promotions firm which specializes in independent and label opportunities for music. Their dedicated staff have been working deep inside music for well over a decade. Tinderbox Music pursues press, tour support, music licensing and distribution for hundreds of acts each year. Fundamentally however, the company services and tracks airplay on over five hundred college and community radio stations. National airplay solicits typically last eight weeks and are fully supported throughout the campaign. Additionally, the company acts as a liaison to, and as a charter service for, many independent labels and digital music aggregators.

Tinderbox is preeminently hired to service the music directors captaining radio stations with music (a CD, yes still) that they’ll embrace. Their goal is to find the three best acts for each weekly radio station “Add” and represent them to both college and community radio. With the merging of corporate commercial radio there are not a lot of choices for independent artists anymore. Factor in that even the majors now aggressively service (CMJ) stations and it’s quite crowded. That’s where enlisting Tinderbox’s help makes a lot of sense. Why does airplay matter for burgeoning artists? Because “story” and “buzz” matter. Thanks to technology the number of people making broadcast quality music has swelled. Heck, the entire business of music is booming. But it’s the sale of the CD (coincidently where the major’s hang their hat) that’s waning. That means with everyone offering up bytes of their music - the better acts need to build awareness like never before. A national radio campaign can take a regional band from Denver, Chicago or Charlotte and make them ‘appear’ to be breaking nationally. Thus this buzz can open doors for a publicist to garner press ‘nationally’ on an act.

Additionally, Tinderbox Music has placed nearly five hundred songs in the past seven years to the television industry. It is much easier to pitch the TV and film folks for licensing when there’s a story. Music supervisors at reality TV for example are trying to use music that’s “breaking” and “affordable”. A simple “Hotsheet” like the example available below conveys this quickly and effectively. That said, even a successful radio campaign can be little more than fluff without proper vision. Tinderbox’s staff uniquely looks at each of its acts individually and strives to build opportunities beyond radio play. Is the act ready for NACA representation, perhaps even tour support or do they simply need their first booking agent? What level of distribution does a particular CD qualify for? Would the act prefer to build a starter press blitz themselves or speak to some qualified publicists? Is it a record label, a producer, a publisher, a performing rights organization? Becoming a good connector of people, resources and music is why and how Tinderbox opened its doors.

Our submission policy via Sonicbids.

Tinderbox’s submission fee is $10.00.

Why? We want quality music that’s ready for what we do. You’d prefer timely feedback of your music and strategies to make it successful. Respectfully, when you pay a little to get noticed, you deserve just that. We are committed to listening to your music as a staff and offering you a reply usually within seven days. That’s a lot faster than mailing us a kit to throw on the pile monster.


Jon and Everyone at Tinderbox Music

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