Song pluggers based in Nashville promote songs to their contacts for a fee. Some charge upfront per song, some work for a percentage of royalties, some charge both.
Most Nashville pluggers primarily pitch country, Americana, Christian and bluegrass music. Songwriters who are not having success placing their songs with music publishers or who want more feedback than they receive from publishers tend to utilize their services.
Most pluggers primarily focus on placing songs in major label projects. When you’re paying thousands of dollars upfront or, as one plugger charges, $300 per month, you’re looking for a home run.
But beware, most traditional pluggers’ clients strike out and pay a lot of money for zero results.
For many songwriters, a better alternative is a subscription service such as Song Rocket. Based in the Nashville area, for a small monthly fee they provide a much broader range of plugging and song marketing services than traditional pluggers. No one strikes out. Everyone sees forward movement of their song catalog on a regular basis.
The Song Rocket service includes a traditional major-label-focused plugger who will work your catalog the same way a music publisher would but also submits for what they dub “secondary markets” songs needed for a local commercial or perhaps for a sound library- the list of secondary markets on their site is long.
But the reason they can guarantee all client’s songs will get exposure is because, in addition to regular services aimed at pitching to the elusive big time major label projects they have a creative team division that actually creates content, uses client’s songs in that content, then monetizes it. For example, they might create a video featuring a client’s song or songs, then post it on You Tube and promote it, with the revenue going to the songwriter(s).
We believe Song Rocket is a good choice for any songwriter looking for traditional plugging due to the low monthly cost. But it’s almost essential for instrumental music, lengthy songs, songs that don’t fit a specific radio format and other song properties that may well be viable in the marketplace but would never land a deal with a music publisher or major label.