Why We Created Diagnostics & Why It’s A Required Purchase With Each Song’s First Submission

Posted by Mike McCready | March 31st, 2013 | 2 Responses

Some users have asked why we created Diagnostics and especially why we require the purchase of Diagnostics with the first submission of any song to an opportunity on Music Xray. These questions deserve a thoughtful and transparent answer so here it is…

Why Music Xray was incomplete before we introduced Diagnostics.

Let’s be honest with each other. We all know that the world is full of companies that promise to get your music to the ears of industry professionals. Many of them are a little sketchy. Not all of those companies start out taking advantage of the aspirations of musicians (some do) but it turns out this is a hard business and by not fulfilling their promises those companies have left plenty of jaded artists in their wake.

We got into this business to be a solution to that problem. We’re a venture-capital-backed company with reputable investors and some clever (and quite expensive) technology behind us. We’ve made significant investments in order to bring this service to market. Obviously, we’re here to build a real business that provides a valuable service. But not everyone knows that or realizes that upon first impression.

Frequently, artists approach Music Xray with a healthy dose of skepticism. After their first rejection or two, that skepticism is often cemented and artists go away frustrated, disappointed, and feeling like someone just pulled the wool over their eyes… again! Some even wonder if their song was actually heard by the professional they submitted to or if was all just one big sham.

Statistically speaking, artists are more likely to get a rejection the first few times they submit (that’s just the way the world works, both online and offline) so frequently, our service was more likely to create dissatisfaction than it was to create a happy user. No company should sell a service that is likely to leave its customers unhappy and skeptical and that’s what we were doing quite often. Additionally, many artists with excellent music and high potential would stop submitting after a couple rejections, just before they were statistically likely to get a deal!

That served no one.

Why was Diagnostics a solution?

We created Diagnostics as a way to add more transparency to the process. Upon your purchase of Diagnostics, the first thing that happens is your song is sent to 5 industry professionals who work in your song’s genre. Within the first few days after you buy Diagnostics, those 5 professionals hear and rate your track across several different criteria. Your song is also sent to a pool of potential fans, targeted for their taste in music.

If any of those professionals like your song enough to contact you and offer you a deal, they can. The fans can “fan you” and when they do, you get their contact info. And it’s important to keep in mind that if we were charging our lowest normal prices to get your song to 5 professionals and 20 potential fans, it would cost around $60, so at $10 Diagnostics is actually quite a bargain.

The initial feedback we get (and you get) from those professionals and fans enables us to benchmark your song and tell you how well your song is doing vs all the other songs on the site. It also enables us to tell you how many submissions were made by similar songs before they were selected for a deal on the site.

If your song isn’t getting good feedback and ratings, we basically tell you, “hey, you should think twice before spending more money on submissions. Maybe you should get some help improving your music or perhaps you should try another song.” If your ratings are high we tell you, “hey, even thought you may have been rejected a time or two, your song is good, it’s getting good ratings and it’s acquiring fans pretty readily. You should keep submitting.

Additionally, if your ratings are good, your song is very likely to be spotted by other industry professionals when they go in to the collective ratings section of the site and start browsing songs that were not submitted directly to them but that are receiving positive ratings.

Be sure you understand this about Diagnostics. If your song doesn’t have a lot of potential, Diagnostics tells you after you’ve spent only $10 and a few days waiting for the results. If it’s great, we’re showing it to 5 industry professionals and then to many more via collective ratings… for $10!

Our conclusion:

We understand that there are musicians out there who do not need this kind of service and guidance and maybe they don’t want it. But, we’ve been able to price it at $10 and even with that extra charge, paid once per song, Music Xray is still BY FAR the cheapest and least time consuming way to get your music a guaranteed listen and response from the professionals you submit to.

We don’t philosophically believe in charging more than we have to in order to provide a good service and we would NEVER just look for an excuse to charge more money. Companies should provide products and services at the lowest price possible that enables the business to operate. That’s what we do. In fact, you would probably be surprised if you knew how lean we operate. But we decided to simply refuse to sell a service that doesn’t provide and show the full value of Music Xray. We hope that after reading our explanation you understand why we did this and how it is meant to help.

Some more musician endorsements of Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | March 29th, 2013 | No responses

We are thrilled to share some more of these awesome recent musician endorsements with you:

Music Xray has been a great platform for showcasing our music. We’ve gotten our songs on various internet radio stations, our music has been reviewed and featured by a number of popular music blogs, and Music Xray has made it possible for us to book a few different gigs.”- Broken Fences

They say their “experience has been great. Music Xray has helped us bridge the gap between Canada and the United States which in turn has advanced our career. We have a small but growing following in LA based solely on the indie radio plays we received through the company.”- The Brilliancy

I found Music Xray years ago through a buddy of mine who had a family friend, that I believe was involved in starting it or something. I’ve hardly had any negative experiences, and I’ve been selected for some cool stuff and gotten to communicate with some great people – (legendary producer Ron Nevison and I had some brief correspondence over the fact that he produced my cousin, Bill Leverty’s band, Firehouse’s, amazing third album). I think Music Xray has the best opportunities for someone like me; whether it’s music placements for “New Girl” [TV show] or major label, and management roster considerations. Because of this, it’s also extremely addicting, and I go on massive sprees a lot submitting to tons of stuff..- Jim Ivins Band

Sites like Music Xray form a crucial part of the new music industry model where artists have the power to be truly independent and cut out the ‘middle-man’; you guys connect us directly with the opportunities that matter. The traditional way of doing things is no longer viable. Online A&R is a perfect description for what you do – and it clearly works! The new analytics are impressive and a really neat way to gauge the potential success for new songs.- Nick Balcombe

I hit Google pretty hard in January trying to put together a list of good ways to start pushing my music. I eventually wound up at Music Xray and haven’t looked back. My experience has been great – the Fan Match [product] has been, hands down, the best use of resources for me. Nothing has so quickly helped me establish a broader fan base and mailing list. Frankly, it seems too good to be true – but it’s not. I look forward to using it each month and the opportunities I’ve found are amazing. I may completely shift my focus away from Sonicbids and onto Music Xray from here on out. – Jeromy Darling

I’ve only been using Music Xray for 2 months now, and its been a wonderful experience. Not only is it amazing to have the ears of industry pros and Grammy-winning producers, but the replies are timely, professional and helpful. I’m thrilled with the service provided by Music Xray. Worth every ounce of effort and resources.. – Adam Avery

I think that this site is the BEST in giving Indie Artists the opportunity to be heard and signed by professionals in the music industry. One of my songs was selected by a communications company and so and I am looking forward to very successful 2012. I was also signed by Marie Braden and I expect to have a Great 2012 of success with her also. She is also promoting my music for various opportunities with the music professionals that she works with. In closing, I would like to thank everyone involved in promoting my music. You are all Awesome!!” –Rene Saucier

I’ve been a member of Taxi, off and on, since they opened their doors. Your business model is superior to their lazy “not right for this listing” typical response. I just got started with your service but I’m happy knowing that my submissions will at least be heard and considered by the people who made the request for the material. –Anthony Adams

Thank you MusicXray! My song “That Girl” has been selected for airplay in north Germany and international online streaming worldwide! I knew I had landed at the correct place right from the beginning. I thank you for your good work. You’re just amazing. –Henry Gaye

In the few months I’ve been a member, I have made several industry connections and signed contracts on two of my songs. What sets music xray apart is the ability to form and maintain relationships. I’ve had multiple people ask to keep my songs on their radar for future projects, even if they couldn’t be used for a current project. My experience with music xray has far exceeded that of other similar services where membership is required. Thanks! –Marissa DiBlasio

Once again, Music Xray helped with my career! I was able to have a meeting with with Viacom Media and I shared one of my songs and was asked for a EPK. I gave my Music Xray one. Viacom licensed ALL the songs plus the instrumental versions! The first song used was on the VH1 show MOBWIVES. Just this week, I had another song played on JERSEY SHORE! Thanks again for all you do! Can’t wait to report my next big success story as they have been coming in on a regular basis. –Cliff Audretch, Sr. Director A&R / Staff Producer – Show Dog (Universal Music Group).

I am the drummer for Eric Paul. Last year, through Music Xray, we were put in touch with a LA licencing firm who got us a song placement in the movie “Friends With Benefits”. The song “Paradise Dreaming (Frozen Miles)” was featured in the film four times. Soon after the film’s release Shaun White was on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno to promote FWB. The clip they showed had “Paradise Dreaming” playing in the background, and last week we released our sophomore album “Fifteen of Fame”. Can’t wait to see what the future holds. Thank you Music Xray for all you do for unknown artists. – Troy Mariman

I submitted my song “Southern Girl,” which I like to call a “tween country” song to a listing for Southern Soul Records, who were looking for songs that will be shopped to artists for the use of making a video. Knowing this song would probably fit a 12-15 y/o female looking to do a catchy pop-country song, I submitted, although at the time I did not know what kind of up and coming artists they had. Needless to say, 6 months later, up and coming 12 y/o artist Savanna Grace just dropped her first single and it’s “Southern Girl.” Thank YOU Music Xray. -Evan McGill

Just wanted to stop in here and say… Amen. You guys got this one right. As a struggling songwriter who has searched, what feels like, the entire internet for a source like this; I gotta say that this one tops the others by a long shot. The only other notable service like this would be Taxi… but sorry, I don’t have $300+ to spend all at once off a whim to just become a member. Music Xray lets me join in on the fun for free, and when I was well and ready, I paid a small fee for opportunities that perfectly suited my music and needs. Thank you guys for for this. -Kyle Berardinelli, Kyle Berardinelli

Backstage at The Voice private auditions in NYC – brought to you by Music Xray, SoundCloud, & The Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase

Posted by Mike McCready | March 28th, 2013 | No responses

Music Xray invited about a dozen musicians to have a live, private audition with the casting directors for NBC’s The Voice here in NYC last month. This is what a few of them had to say.

Backstage at private auditions for The Voice in NYC. February 19th, 2013 from on Vimeo.

Communication to users who have opened an account on Music Xray but never uploaded music

Posted by Mike McCready | March 23rd, 2013 | 14 Responses

Communication to industry professionals

Posted by Mike McCready | March 22nd, 2013 | No responses

This month we want to tell you how to create one or more artist accounts under your industry professional account.

Why would you want one?

Well, it will enable you to manage your own catalog of music which you may be trying to place into license and sync deals, and you can also market test your music with a new set of features we developed called Diagnostics. There are already a few major labels using Diagnostics and they are finding that the results correlate closely to focus group and market testing they’re doing that costs them thousands of dollars – whereas with Diagnostics it only costs $10 per song and I’m going to show you a way to get it for free.

Another reason you may want to have one or more artist accounts is if you run a label with multiple artists or you manage multiple artists and you want to control their Music Xray accounts for them. Those artists would also be able to log into those accounts independently if you gave them the credentials. They would not have to log into your industry professional account to get to their own account.

Before we go any further, let me tell you about Diagnostics. Remember, this is the service that you can use to market test your own music. You’ll see how it appeals to other industry professionals and to a test pool of fans. Diagnostics is especially insightful when you get Diagnostics for two or more songs – like when you’re trying to decide which is your strongest single. You’ll be able to see which song acquires fans most easily.

(Link to diagnostics explained in email)

Also, with an artist account, you can submit music to other industry professionals. That music will be flagged to other professionals as having been submitted from a fellow professional. You won’t have to follow up, hound them, etc and you know it will be heard and that you will receive a response. Additionally, you can run fan targeting campaigns and thereby help your artists get started building a real fan base of real people. People you can contact and add to newsletters and other fan management programs.

To open an artist account, simply go to account and then to artist accounts. That opens a new page where you can click the green button to open an artist account and follow the instructions from there. Once you have one or more artist account created, you’ll see you’ll be able to toggle back and forth between your accounts in the upper left corner of the site.

Lastly, I mentioned you can get the services basically for free. Here’s how. You go back to artist accounts and simply transfer balance you’ve earned as an industry professional to the artist account where you want to spend that money. The artist account now has a balance it can use to buy Diagnostics, submissions, fan targeting campaigns etc.

If for nothing else but to see what the artist experience of Music Xray is, you should have an artist account.

Lastly… DO NOT FORGET about collective ratings. This is Music Xray’s killer feature for industry professionals.

Once you’ve attended to your submissions for the day, click “collective ratings”.

Once you’re there, adjust the filters as you please. I suggest setting them to see all the songs that have been heard and rated by at least 5 other industry professionals… in the past month (or day), and that are consistently getting an average of 4 out of 5 stars on all the criteria.

Then go over to the left and start listening. This is how you go in each day and scrape the cream off the top. It is replete with gems!!

Find something you like and want to contact the artist to do a deal? Just click “view EPK”. Then click the button to start a conversation with the artist.

Once your done, all communication with that artist can be found back on your dashboard in these folders called “new message” and Open conversations”.

When you’re done with each conversation, be sure to close each one. Otherwise it will be hard to keep track of them.

Communication to awareness team 03

Posted by Mike McCready | March 21st, 2013 | No responses

Hi awareness team,

If you’re getting this message, it’s because you’re still with us, so a big thank you to you for hanging out.

I’ve asked our team to credit each of your accounts with $10 so you can get Music Xray Diagnostics for one of your tracks. It will be in your account by Monday evening. However, we can only identify you if you are subscribed to the awareness team newsletter (the email address where you got this message) with the same email address that you use for your Music Xray account. If that’s not the case, you should unsubscribe from this newsletter and re-subscribe using the email address you use for your Music Xray account. You can do that here:

So here’s your next task.

As you know, we’ve been great about bringing in great opportunities from a lot of high profile places, like Columbia Records, Interscope, Mercury, MTV etc. But Music Xray is also used by a lot of indie labels, radio stations, publishers etc.

We investigate and approve each professional account before it can go live on the site. But there are a lot of professionals out there that don’t yet know us. We’d like to reach more curators and taste-makers and have then open industry professional accounts on the site.

Many of you know local music journalists that are always looking for bands to write about. You know influential podcasters, influential music bloggers, local radio station programmers that offer slots to independent artists. You know people at small independent labels who are always seeking new songs and talent.

I want to ask you to take a minute or two and send out one or two emails to them to make them aware of Music Xray today. Can you do that? We’ll even give you some suggested text. Feel free to tweak it to make it your own voice, but it would go something like this:


I wanted to send you a quick note to suggest you check out Music Xray. It’s a site that uses some clever music analysis technology combined with the collective filtering power of over 1500 industry professionals to identify high potential (or opportunity-appropriate) songs and talent. You could use it to identify music and artists that you may be interested in featuring, playing, showcasing etc.

It’s being used by many of the major labels, MTV, radio stations, indie labels, publishers, radio program directors etc. About a dozen additional professionals apply for membership each day. You should check it out here:


Please be careful though. We do not allow professionals who are simply interested in reaching musicians so they can pitch their own services. These must be professional that have either commercial or exposure opportunities for music and artists.

Also, when you send them the link to the site, be sure it includes your affiliate code so you’ll get credit and on-going revenue.

Thanks guys. I’ll be in touch again soon. Remember to check your account after Monday evening to make sure you got your $10 credit!

Thanks and see your soon.

New teaser from the private auditions for The Voice, brought to you by Music Xray, SoundCloud, and The Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter Showcase

Posted by Mike McCready | March 16th, 2013 | No responses

Hello again from New York,

As you may know, Music Xray, SoundCloud, & The Jimmy Lloyd Songwriter showcase selected a number of artists to have private auditions for the NBC hit show, The Voice.

After the auditions, a few of the very talented vocalists stopped by the Music Xray offices here in New York to talk to us about their experience. Jimmy Lloyd himself was on hand to conduct the interviews. This is just a little teaser. More to come soon!

How to use your Music Xray affiliate code

Posted by Mike McCready | March 13th, 2013 | 17 Responses

If you have an account of any type on Music Xray, you have an affiliate code. Log in, go to your account settings and you will see your affiliate code on the right side of the page.

If you add your affiliate code to the end of any Music Xray URL, anyone who clicks on it will be tracked as having reached Music Xray through you. Even if they leave the site without signing up and then come back a month later, they will still be tagged as someone you referred. You get paid 15% of our margin for every transaction the person you referred conducts on Music Xray – FOREVER. Not just the first transaction but rather every transaction for as long as they have an account on the site.

Your earnings are reflected in your account balance which you’ll see on your dashboard when logged in.

If you don’t want to bother customizing an email and tacking your affiliate ID on the end of URLs, you can just click one of the buttons within your account to invite artists, fans or industry professionals and an email is automatically sent to them with your affiliate ID already included. BUT, if you want to do it, it works like this (see below for ideas on how to most effectively use affiliate ID’s):

Grab any URL from the site that you think someone might be interested in. For example, let’s say you know someone who might have a perfect song for Trace Adkins. At the time of this writing, Torrez Music Group is conducting a search for such a song and the drop box is found at this URL: HOWEVER, if you want to get credit for sending someone to that URL, you should tack your affiliate code onto the end of it and instead send them a URL that looks like this:

Be sure to use your own affiliate code and not mine or I’ll get the credit instead of you. Also, notice that between the end of the URL and your affiliate code you have to put “?afid=”. That’s just telling our system that the numbers that follow are the affiliate code and not something else. You can see how that’s explained on your settings page and in the image above.

Also, note that you do not have to send people long ugly URLs. You can simply embed that long URL into a link like in the following example:


Hey Bill, I saw that Trace Adkins is seeking music and I thought you might want to send him one of your songs. Click here.


You will notice that the link I embedded in the words “click here” includes my affiliate code.

Communication to Music Xray’s Awareness Team 02

Posted by Mike McCready | March 13th, 2013 | No responses

Hi there and welcome to day two of our communication with our awareness team. If you missed day 1, there’s a link in today’s email where you can see it. It’s important.

Ok. Today is where we raise the bar a little bit. Now, as I mentioned yesterday, we’re going to treat our awareness team like VIPs and offer all sorts of advantages that will make Music Xray a one of a kind experience for each of you. We want to make sure this is worth your time and effort to invest in this relationship.

To begin with, this awareness team has a 3 month life cycle. If you can make a commitment until June 15th to help us grow, we’ll make it worth your while. So we’re asking for a short window of your time.

But, we’re going to be very selective about who we enable to stay in this group and who will be removed. Eventually, we’re going to ask you to help us generate awareness for Music Xray among other musicians, the media and the public in general. We’ll request specific actions and we’ll ask for your ideas too. You won’t have to participate in each action to keep your good standing in our awareness team, but you will need to demonstrate a consistent level of activity, or it doesn’t make sense for us to reward you with perks and advantages and it wouldn’t be fair to you if we allow your fellow members of the awareness team to get a free ride while you’re working your tail off. So, I just want to be clear that this needs to be a reciprocal relationship. It’s not simply a VIP club where the only effort to belong is to sign up.

So, if you can already tell that this isn’t going to be for you, please click the unsubscribe link in the footer of the email you just received. You can remain a member of Music Xray of course, just not the awareness team.

So, here’s your two-step non-optional task to complete between today and the end of the day on Friday. By non-optional, I mean that not completing these tasks will result in your removal from the awareness team. Yesterday we gave you a promocode and on Saturday we’ll have something better for you, but we need to see who is serious about this and who isn’t.

1. learn how to use your Music Xray affiliate code. It’s easy. There’s a link in your email with complete instructions about how to do it. Having an affiliate code you use whenever you invite someone to Music Xray will enable us to track and credit your activity.

2. Invite one other musician to Music Xray and once they’re signed up, ask them to join the awareness team by having them enter their email address on the awareness team sign-up page, just like you did.

So, either invite them via the invite button on your settings page or send the, a link with your affiliate code included. Once they’re in, have the sign up to the awareness team.

Here’s the kicker, this is a pretty easy task and you’ve got 48 hours. So, our first weeding out phase will come on Saturday where we will simply remove anyone from the group who has not invited one new artist user.

Ok. The next time you’ll hear from me will be Saturday, and we’ll have a little perk for those of us who remain (and for the new people you invite).

I am really looking forward t working with you and to making some music tech start-up history with the only user awareness team in the business.

Mike McCready
Co-founder & CEO
Music Xray

Communication to Music Xray’s Awareness Team 01

Posted by Mike McCready | March 12th, 2013 | No responses

Hello from New York,

I’m Mike McCready, the co-founder & CEO of Music Xray and I’m so happy you signed up to be part of Music Xray’s awareness team. Pardon the mass email. Believe me, if it were possible, I’d be having coffee or sitting down for a meal with each one of you. You’re getting this email because you signed up to be part of Music Xray’s awareness team. I’m certain many of you signed up because we promised a Music Xray experience unlike any other, and that’s what we plan to do.

But more generally, you and I will be the foundation of what we will build into a larger awareness team. There are currently about 200 of us. The first thing we’re going to do is build this to a group of about 600. But I’ll come back to that in tomorrow’s message. Don’t worry, generally, you’ll hear from me no more than once per week and probably less, but here at the beginning, we’re going to work hard to make sure we have a real team and that together we can make some noise and shake some things up. Are you ready to help me do that?

By participating in this special group of users you will receive early access to opportunities and even special access to exclusive opportunities that will only be available to you. You will have a direct line of sorts right to me and you will be identified by our customer service team as a member of our awareness team. Think of it as sort of Music Xray VIP treatment.

You will be able to have input to shaping products, testing new features and helping us continue to make Music Xray the best in the business, the most useful to you and an important pillar of the new music industry. And in the meantime, we’ll do our part to help you get what you want out of this. Are you with me?

Before I sign off, let me tell you a little bit about me and what inspired Music Xray…

I grew up in a very small town in the middle of Nebraska, a state right in the middle of the country (for those non-Yankees on this team). To get to a larger town, you had to drive several hours. I’m talking remote. My family didn’t know anyone who knew anyone on either coast of the US. I played bass in a couple bands and we thought we were pretty good, but we had no way of accessing anyone who could help us. Music Xray would have been the answer to our wildest dreams. We would have certainly been rejected at first, but we would have learned from that experience and we would have come back better and better until we got a deal. Of that I am certain. We only needed access to an eco-system that would have helped us get deals, get fans, and get better.

Now, Music Xray is useful to musicians from all walks of life and circumstances, even established acts with a track record of success are using Music Xray as the best way to get their music to the right people without all the follow up hassle that usually goes with that. There are so many other reasons Music Xray makes sense. Stick with me over the next few days this week and we’ll get started.

Catch you tomorrow,