The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent
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What The Music Industry Said About Music Xray This Week

Posted by Mike McCready | January 25th, 2015 | No responses




Joe Budden Instagrams How He Takes Submissions Via Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | January 16th, 2015 | No responses


From now on, send ALL music submissions to: http://smarturl.it/BuddenSubmissions.

A photo posted by joebudden (@joebudden) on


Music Xray Transaction Fee To Increase From $4 to $5 on January 15th

Posted by Mike McCready | January 9th, 2015 | 28 Responses


We are very excited about some new site features which will launch on Thursday of next week (January 15th) but we won’t spoil the surprise for you here. Just be sure to log in next week to see and experience them!


Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 6.17.32 PM But we don’t think it would be fair to surprise you with a price hike. So, as much as we hate to do it, we’re increasing the $4 Transaction fee on Music Xray to $5 effective on January 15th.

We know this isn’t going to be popular. Music Xray has maintained the $4 transaction fee for over three years. In the meantime, a lot of our costs have increased. You’ve probably noticed a lot more top tier accounts on Music Xray and a lot more sophistication on the site itself. This has required Music Xray to make investments and to incur costs.

Before taking the decision to increase this transaction fee, we’ve thought long and hard and we’ve made other decisions in the past year to delay this increase for as long as possible.

We hope you will continue to work with us and to trust that we would not make a decision like this frivolously.

We are a company that runs very lean and we take very seriously our jobs of creating a better way for you to reach the decision makers of the industry. Even with this price increase, Music Xray will remain far-and-away the best and least costly way of getting your music to the ears of the industry.

Two for One (or Four for Two) Submissions Extended Through Midnight December 30th, 2014

Posted by Mike McCready | December 30th, 2014 | No responses


To celebrate the arrival of 2015 we’re extending yesterday’s special offer through midnight tonight.



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Forward this page to your musician friends so they can get in on this special day too.

What’s the point of Diagnostics?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 24th, 2014 | 4 Responses


One of the most interesting aspects of Music Xray is how all its parts work in unison to maximize the likelihood your songs will be discovered by the industry.

As you know, before a song can be submitted to an industry professional on Music Xray, it is required that users purchase Diagnostics. Some users of Music Xray have suggested that perhaps this requirement is frivolous and simply a way for Music Xray to capture more revenue from users than they would normally spend.

But what is often misunderstood about Diagnostics is that it helps the industry discover your songs.

Music Xray offers industry professionals access to a sophisticated search engine called Needlestack Music Search.

Every day professionals use this search engine to find the best new music on the site. They do this by looking at the ratings a song has been awarded by other industry professionals. However, there would be way too much music to listen to if every industry professional didn’t have intelligent ways to filter.

So, most professionals set the filters in Needlestack to display only the songs that have average high ratings by 5 or more industry professionals.

In other words, if your song hasn’t accumulated at least 5 industry ratings, it is unlikely to be found. That’s why Diagnostics gets your song 5 industry ratings immediately, upon your first transaction on the site. In fact, each month an increasing number of deals occur due to songs having been found by professionals using Needlestack.

Below is an image of Needlestack. Notice the search criteria settings. This particular search is showing the industry professionals:

All the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that in the past month have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals and that have received average ratings of at least 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria (composition, productions, arrangement, performance, and hit potential.


Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.

Show me all the energetic pop songs sung by females with a BPM range between 10 and 300 that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals in the past week and that get an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on all criteria.


Even including the modest cost of Diagnostics, Music Xray remains the most transparent, affordable, and straight-forward way of getting your music to industry professionals with the guarantee of a listen and response. Remember, Music Xray charges no membership fees. There are no hidden costs. There is no competitor who can even come close to providing the value we provide for a lower (or even a comparable) cost.


Will Music Xray Stop Charging Submission Fees Anytime Soon?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 18th, 2014 | 5 Responses


Music Xray’s business model is counter-intuitive so we get asked a lot why submissions aren’t free. Some even go as far as to suggest that there is something improper about Music Xray charging submission fees. We’ve decided to address it in this blog post.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 4.22.33 PMIt’s important to understand that Music Xray provides a service.

We get artist’s music to the front of the line and we guarantee a listen and a response from the industry professional to whom the song was submitted.

Music Xray does NOT increase your chances of success unless you count enabling you to submit your music to all the right opportunities. In that sense, it does increase your odds because if your music isn’t being heard by the industry you’ve got no odds at all. But the music business is tough and highly competitive. Even the best music gets rejected more often than not. Music Xray doesn’t change that. We simply make sure that a particular musician’s music is, at the very least, considered for the opportunity in question.

Think of Music Xray like you would an airline. On a business trip, an airline gets paid to take you to your destination. The airline has no control over how your meetings go once you get there. The airline has no control over whether you’re good at business or not. The airline provided the service for which they get paid.

It’s the same with Music Xray. We have no control over the quality of your music. We have no control over how you conduct yourself once conversations with a music company begin. And frankly, it’s none of our business. In the scenario above, the businessperson must decide whether or not the airline trip is worthwhile. If it’s not, they shouldn’t buy the ticket.

Submission fees on Music Xray aren’t only about keeping the lights on in our office. The fees serve to protect the industry professionals from having to hear hours upon hours of substandard music. They also protect the serious artists from being drowned out by the non-serious.

Even if we were to modify our business model we would not do away with the submission fee component. It works as a filter. It puts many musicians in the position of either continuing to pay for rejection or to leave the site. That may be discouraging to a lot of musicians but the industry thanks us for it. It’s why they stick around and remain engaged on Music Xray.

It would not help the industry for Music Xray to keep thousands upon thousands of musicians on the site submitting subpar music. They would hate us for that.
We don’t want good musicians to get discouraged too early because all good music will see some rejection. But we don’t want musicians to over submit either. That’s why we provide recommended next steps in Diagnostics and we provide a graph that shows how long it took for similar songs to be picked up for a deal on the site. These tools are meant to help musicians evaluate and measure their engagement on Music Xray.

It’s tempting to blame the messenger

Occasionally, we get this criticism when a musician or their song is rejected by an industry professional to whom they’ve paid to submit. But getting upset with Music Xray at that point is akin to blaming the telephone company when someone calls with bad news. It’s important to remember that Music Xray can’t change the nature of the music business. The site is just a platform that gets you in the door. The chips fall where they may.

We hope this explanation helps.


GAIN Talk

Posted by Mike McCready | December 12th, 2014 | No responses

This is where I talk to members of GAIN.

How Does Needlestack Work?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 7th, 2014 | No responses

Credibility Matters: Is Music Xray Too Good To Be True?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 4th, 2014 | 7 Responses

Occasionally, someone points us to a blog or a social media post where people are questioning whether or not Music Xray is real, whether the opportunities listed on the site are legitimate, and whether the accounts are actually attended by the professionals listed.
We understand. The music business is full of companies, past and present, that make a lot of promises. On the surface, some of them appear to be very similar to Music Xray. Some of them prey upon the hopes and dreams of upstart musicians. It’s natural that questions are asked. But it’s important to know that Music Xray is an above-board company with wide industry adoption that operates with integrity and transparency.
We have written a lot about Music Xray’s business model, the technology behind the scenes and so forth. We won’t re-hash that here but we will include some useful links at the bottom of this post in case you want to check them out.
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Music Xray has been around now for a few years and we have plenty of references you can check.
Music Xray has an A+ rating with The Better Business Bureau. Check it out here.
Reputable investors, who would never invest in a company that doesn’t operate completely above board, back Music Xray. See who they are here.
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Music Xray hosts profiles of top level industry professionals who would not associate themselves with anything less than a reputable company. For example:
Atlantic Records US,  Atlantic Records UK,  Sony UK, Parlophone UK, Sire RecordsAsylum RecordsRay JBridget KellyJ.U.S.T.I.C.E LeagueGlassnoteWind Up.
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All these accounts are attended by A&R executives at these companies (not interns), and the celebrity artists attend their own accounts personally.
Music Xray verifies the identities of all the professionals who join the site and monitors all professional accounts to insure compliance with Music Xray’s Terms of Service. This includes no abuse of Music Xray’s submission fee policies. None whatsoever, of any type. We police the site continuously and we insure no one is simply trying to generate submissions so more fees are collected. More on that here.
Music Xray enables all artist users to rate the professionals they interact with and to comment on their profiles.
Music Xray offers excellent customer support. If you have any questions or concerns, you can write to support@musicxray.com
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There’s a book out there called Maximizing Music Xray written by Norman Dolph. It will be out in late December. We’ll post a link to it here as soon as it is released.
If you EVER have any questions about Music Xray and how it works, don’t hesitate to send an email to support@musicxray.com
For answers about fees and our business model click here.
For answers about the back end technology click here.
For success stories click here.
Other stuff:

Music Xray co-founder & CEO Mike McCready interviewed by Malcolm Gladwell.

Business School Case study on Music Xray’s business model.

Music Xray featured in Businessweek.

Diagnostics & Fees Explained

Posted by Mike McCready | November 30th, 2014 | No responses