Music 101, Platinum Articles

Attention #ChicagoMusic-How to get your music encoded via SoundScan

Hey Y’all!
It’s Your Gyrl, Ms. Carmen aka Platinum Voice PR bringing another relevant topic to you!

If you’re an artist of any sort or genre this is a must read all music that’s created by you the artist should be encoded with Nielsen BDS (Broadcast Data system) known as SoundScan or MediaBase. They are the leading providers for airplay tracking for example your single/ song is on main stream radio and its getting played by a Dj or On-Air Personality the only way that record companies know how many spins or how long you been in rotation is by pulling up the BDS or MediaBase.

Nielson Broadcasting is best known as the company that rates the popularity of television programs. In addition to T.V., the company is also diversified in several music entertainment properties, and is the owner of Billboard magazine, as well as SoundScan.
SoundScan is an online service that tracks the sale of music and video releases. Any music product that carries a barcode is eligible to be tracked by SoundScan, if the retailer elects to report their sales to SoundScan. Although this is no longer the case, Newbury Comics elected NOT to report their sales to SoundScan for years as they thought that their competitors could use the information and negatively affect their own sales. Almost all the major independent stores, as well as the chains and big-box retailers report their sales to SoundScan. The service reports sales every Tuesday morning. Anytime you hear information about the top-selling records or top-selling singles at any time, you can be sure that SoundScan provided this information. In addition to sales produced by retail outlets, touring artists can also report their venue sales themselves to the service by faxing in reporting documents.

BDS/SoundScan is a great tool for the music marketer. The service segments sales out in a number of ways to help marketers decide where to put their marketing dollars, including: independent/chain sales, online vs. physical sales, and most importantly, geography.
At a label, the first thing the marketing department does on Tuesday morning is check Soundscan, and then talk about the past weeks sales in their marketing meeting Tuesday afternoon. Marketing can then see how specific campaigns or visibility like a radio appearance, press hit, or live show has affected sales by region. Because all music marketing plans are fluid documents, if the marketing team sees an unexpected spike in sales in a particular area, they can dedicate more resources there to ‘keep the wheel spinning.’

For independent artists, SoundScan can be used for the same marketing purposes. But over and above any marketing information it offers, SoundScan sales can become part of the artists overall story. If any artist is interested in gaining the attention of a distributor or record label, a great SoundScan sales story is a valuable tool. Labels LOVE the idea of signing bands that have momentum, and can prove that they have a dedicated following in certain areas.

The Following Radio Stations use BDS/Soundscan
Adult Contemporary WILV Chicago, IL REWIND 100.3
Adult Contemporary WLIT Chicago, IL THE LITE 93.9
Adult Contemporary WTMX Chicago, IL 101.9 FM THE MIX
Christian WJKL Chicago, IL K‐LOVE
Christian WMBI Chicago, IL MOODY RADIO
Christian WONU Chicago, IL SHINE.FM 89.7
Gospel WGRB‐AM Chicago, IL INSPIRATION 1390 AM
Mainstream Rock WIIL Chicago, IL 95 WIIL ROCK
Mainstream Rock WLUP Chicago, IL THE LOOP
Top Forty WBBM Chicago, IL B96
Top Forty WKSC Chicago, IL KISS FM 103.5
Triple A WXRT Chicago, IL 93 XRT
Urban/Urban AC WGCI Chicago, IL 107.5 WGCI
Urban/Urban AC WPWX Chicago, IL POWER 92
Urban/Urban AC WSRB Chicago, IL SOUL 106.3
Urban/Urban AC WVAZ Chicago, IL V‐103
Video BET Video‐Cable USA BET
Video BETJ Video‐Cable USA CENTRIC
Video FUSE Video‐Cable USA FUSE
Video MTV2 Video‐Cable USA M2
Video MTV3 Video‐Cable USA MTV TR3S
Video MTVH Video‐Cable USA MTV HITS
Video MTVJ Video‐Cable USA MTV JAMZ
Video VH1 Video‐Cable USA VH1
Video VHSL Video‐Cable USA VH1 SOUL

If your music is not encoded, the major labels will not know how many spins you’re getting so don’t submit music to Radio stations without going thru this process 1st. BDS has a digital pattern recognition technology, Nielsen BDS captures in excess of hundred million song detection annually on more than sixteen hundred radio stations, satellite radio and cable music channels in over a hundred & forty markets in the U.S. (including PR) & thirty Canadian markets. Read to see how to submit your music….

Nielsen BDS How to Submit Music
Submit CD’s and MP3’s free of charge, electronically through their secure Virtual Encode website.
Virtual Encode Access:
Please send an email with “Virtual Encode” as the subject to our Client Services Department at for a username and password.
PLEASE include the following information in the body of your email:
• Your Full Name
• Company or Label Name
• Contact Number
• Primary Email Address
• Any Additional Contact Information
You will then receive login information and instructions via email for the Virtual Encode website
to upload your music.
Register Music by Mail:
Send all mixes of your single releases (preferably on CD) to:
8100 N.W. 101st Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64153
Attn: Encoding Department
Click to fill out and email them the Media Information Form or include the following information with your media:
• Your Full Name
• Company or Label Name
• Contact Number
• Primary Email Address
For each piece of media submitted include
• Artist Name
• Song titles with specific mix names, if applicable

To encode your Music with MediaBase:
Send new music to:
MediaBase Research
Attn: Encoding Department
15260 Ventura Blvd., Ste 400
Sherman Oaks, CA, 91403
or email MP3 file to:

NOTE: It is very helpful to include as much information as possible, e.g., the name of the track(s) you are working at radio, the format(s), contact name at the label, phone number, e-mail address, etc. You can submit song information through the MediaBase New Music Notification form.

Have Questions? Check out Frequently Asked Questions

Please keep in mind that Nielsen BDS & Media Base are two different encoding system /companies.

You never know where I may be bringing you the events of Chicago, so make sure you follow this blog and Follow me on Twitter, @PlatinumVoicePR! If you need your name and craft to buzz out here, go to Until next time, See ya later Babies!
(PlatinumVoicePR is the source for the events and has no legal bindings with associated parties)


2 thoughts on “Attention #ChicagoMusic-How to get your music encoded via SoundScan

  1. Pingback: #ChicagoMusic- The $2K Chicago Talent Search « Platinum Voice PR

  2. Pingback: How to Submit Your Video to MTV and Others « This is #ChicagoMusic!

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