KCRW introduces digital music submission system


The public radio station in LA has created its own system to encourage submissions from independent artists. KCRW-FM calls it “MALCOLM,” an online music submission system that assists indie artists in submitting their work to the station. Proud to be one of few radio stations that still accepts and listens to demos and unsolicited music, KCRW is making an effort to better serve the up and coming artists that have built the foundation for KCRW’s groundbreaking music programming.

“Independent artists are more important than ever and we want to champion as many as we can, yet the volume of submissions we receive has grown exponentially. We were asking ourselves how we can better serve these musicians and we came up with MALCOLM,” said Anne Litt, Music Program Director.  “It’s fast, easy, and allows KCRW to do what we do best – support and share artist’s work.”

The interactive website will allow artists to easily submit their music to KCRW’s tastemaking DJs for potential airplay and will become a hub for DJs to share music with each other internally as well.

“Not only is this an environmentally-friendly move forward, but will help us discover great new music faster,” said KCRW DJ and Music Librarian Eric J Lawrence. “KCRW has been instrumental in helping start the careers of a wide range of musicians, from Beck to more recent bands such as Fitz and the Tantrums and Quadron. In many cases, the music was sent to us out of the blue and we pledge to continue this tradition by listening to as many submissions as possible.”

More About MALCOLM:

·    Artists can create their own profile – with a bio, photo and links to social media sites — and submit their best 3 tracks to KCRW’s secure and private server.

·    They can designate which DJs/shows the music is best suited for.

·    Artists will be notified via email when a comment or rating has been added to their profile.

·    Instead of chasing each other down in the hallways of KCRW’s basement studios, DJs can share music with each other via this system.

RBR-TVBR observation: Another first for this iconic radio station. Talk about breaking new music before anyplace else and keeping music discovery for listeners on the radio dial, rather than on Pandora. If more stations were open to breaking Indie artists that they knew were good enough to play now–rather than wait until they’re on some chart–we’d have more people listening to the radio and radio station streams.


  1. To save stations the expense of creating their own indie artist submission system, Audio Graphics began offering independent artists to radio stations in 2003 at RRadioMusic.com (http://www.RRadioMusic.com).

    All artists sign royalty waivers, giving stations permission to use their work in exchange for exposure. All listed artists go through a pre-screening for quality, with the best inserted into our “Intro to Indie Artist” program series.

    Country, Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop & Rap, Pop, and Rock genres are covered – and all songs (and programs) are free for stations. “Intro” Programs come in 5, 3, & 2 song lengths.

    To date, 471 different programs have been requested by 178 radio stations.

    Over 1,200 invidual songs have been requested by 170 stations.

    Go here for more information on “Intro to Indie Artist” – http://www.audiographics.com/landing_page/intro_to_indie_artists-full_page.htm

    Or, visit RRadioMusic.com

  2. Carl, just wanted to thank you for posting this info. As an independent artist who, like many others, seeks opportunities to get music played in the traditional radio medium, it is encouraging to know that there are stations and DJs out there who embrace new music with open arms (or at least open a door through which we can at least have a fair chance to be heard.) Thank you again.

  3. Yes any form of effort to get your music out there is good.
    But you have to be able to keep track
    of your music and where it coming from.
    Ben Krahne

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