Information for Artists

What music does PlayBack accept?

Our PlayBack collection is inclusive and offers a broad variety of Seattle music. We welcome Seattle musicians of all backgrounds who are recording and performing in the Seattle area to submit your work. During the submission process, we will ask for your zip code and a statement on your relationship to the music scene in Seattle.

When can I submit my music?

We have one or two PlayBack submission periods per year. Each submission period is two to three weeks. Please watch for announcements from the Library about our submission periods. For the most up-to-date PlayBack news, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

  • Submission period closes July 31, 2018.
  • We take submissions online. You will find the link to submit on this page during submission periods.
  • We provide detailed submission instructions when we announce a submission period.

How often can I submit my music?

You can submit one album per musical act during each selection period. If you are in more than one musical act, you can submit one album for each musical act you are in. If your album is not accepted, please submit again during the next submission period.

What do I need to know before I submit?

  • You should submit one song that best represents your album.
  • Your album must have been produced in the last 5 years.
  • Your album should have a minimum of 10 minutes of music. (Albums typically include four
  • songs or more.)
  • Your submission’s audio quality should be a minimum of 256kbps.
  • If your submission includes song covers, the original song must be available in the public domain or used under a creative commons license; or you must have the legal right, in writing, to reproduce and perform the cover.
  • If you or your group is represented by a record label, your record label should confirm that you can submit to PlayBack.
  • We prefer to receive submissions in one of the following file types: FLAC, WAV and AIFF.
    • We will also accept MP3, AAC and Ogg Vorbis, but there is quality loss when these formats are transcoded for playback. The sound may not be as good as our preferred file types. If you have trouble selecting FLAC, AAC and Ogg files in Safari, please try dragging and dropping the files or use Chrome or Firefox instead.

How many albums does PlayBack accept into the collection?

We select up to 50 albums to add to our collection in each submission period. If your work is selected for PlayBack, you will sign a license agreement and receive an honorarium of $200 for sharing your music. You can choose a 5-year license term or a lifetime license term.

Who selects music for the PlayBack collection?

A jury made up of local music community leaders and Library staff selects the albums for PlayBack from the submissions we receive. Our jury helps us create a diverse and inclusive collection that provides exposure for new artists and reflects Seattle’s current music scene. Our jury members also help curate the PlayBack collection and promote it in their organizations and professional networks. We rotate our jury members so that we can collaborate with many different individuals and organizations.

We are excited to have the following music community members on the PlayBack jury:

  • Tim Lennon - Executive Director, Vera Project; City of Seattle Music Commissioner
  • Jonathan Zwickel - Senior Editor at City Arts
  • Liz Riley Tollefson - Founder and Contributor, Three Imaginary Girls
  • Sharlese Metcalf - Producer and host, KEXP's local music show Audioasis

Our jury also has members of The Seattle Public Library staff who share a passion for and background in music:

  • Abby Bass - Adult Librarian in Arts, Recreation, and Literature
  • Kathleen Morley - Selection Services Librarian for adult music
  • Cameron McCracken - Library Associate II, Music Enthusiast 

Explore PlayBack

PlayBack is our free, online local music collection that captures the diversity of Seattle’s music scene. The collection gives listeners a chance to hear great music, discover local artists and provides an opportunity for Seattle musicians to introduce their music to new audiences.

If you have a question or need help, Ask Us or call 206-386-4636.