Music Xray is about transparency and we know there are some tough questions users and potential users want to know the answers to. So we thought we’d sit ourselves down in the hot seat and address these issues head on.

When people think of innovation they tend to think only of technology innovations, and Music Xray brings many technology innovations to the table. But Music Xray also innovates with its business model (who pays, who gets paid, and what for).

Business model innovation generates a lot of questions because it creates a way of doing business that is different from what has gone before. It can even feel counter-intuitive. We recognize that and we try to address these concerns transparently. In fact, Music Xray is the subject of a business school case study by Harvard sister school IESE, the highest ranked business school in the world outside the US. See it here.

Rather than create a long essay, this post seeks to level the harshest misunderstandings about Music Xray and answer them head-on. So, here we go…

The question:

Music Xray charges uninformed artists who have no chance of making it and preys upon their aspirations, taking money from them as often as possible.

The answer:

In fact, Music Xray saves artists time and money while providing them with a fast low-cost reality check.

Music Xray provides the artist with a real assessment of their potential and the likelihood they will be successful with their music upon the artist’s first $10 transaction. The company’s goal is to set the artist’s expectations and to never encourage continued submissions of the music if success isn’t likely. Music Xray achieves this with its product called Diagnostics (see here).

Furthermore, we are aware that many musicians who are just getting started do not know the quality of music and performance that is required to get a deal or be signed to a label. Of course, it varies widely. With Diagnostics, Music Xray provides an very quick and very cheap reality check. Artists typically spend months (if not years) trying to reach the ears of people who can give them the kind of honest feedback Music Xray can help them get for $10 in just a few days.

The question:

The musicians are the ones who can least afford to pay. Why do musicians pay and not the professionals?

The answer:

Musicians already pay much more than Music Xray charges in the pursuit of the same results Music Xray provides (see above about saving money). As tough as it may be to hear, the reality is that Music Xray’s model simply reflects the laws of supply and demand.

Musicians need something that is scarce: the attention of industry decision-makers. The industry has no shortage of sources for new music. The laws of supply and demand require the platform to work this way or it simply wouldn’t work at all.

To illustrate this, keep in mind that companies that make products often spend more money creating awareness and getting their products into the hands of their potential buyers than they do creating the product itself. In the music business the music is a product. The same rules apply. Only after a buyer identifies a great product does the stream of money reverse and flow toward the creator. But it is the responsibility of the creator to insure their music reaches the right ears so that business can begin.

The question:

Music Xray shares fees with the industry professionals, professionals who in many cases are also paid a salary to find songs and talent. This double dipping is unethical.

The answer:

It’s not double dipping. The professionals are doing work that goes beyond the scope of listening to the music.

The professionals’ collective efforts create a valuable and highly-filtered database of great music and that ultimately rewards the artists with the best music by enabling Music Xray to highlight the songs and acts that have been highly-rated by multiple professionals. It is primarily for this work that industry professionals are paid on Music Xray.

Remember, professionals have a choice of which music they pay attention to each day. By providing a small payment to them (or to their favorite charity) Music Xray insures the music gets heard and classified and that results in deals that often come about when the professionals search the filtered database they help create, not just when they listen to the music directly submitted to them.

The question:

There are bogus industry professionals on Music Xray.

The answer:

Industry professionals on Music Xray are on the site via invitation only or via approval after they apply for an account. We can’t vouch for the way each of them conducts their own business, the contract terms they offer, or their responsiveness once a relationship with an artist begins but we do investigate complaints. We have removed professionals from the site who are the subject of repeated complaints or the subject of one substantial and well-founded complaint.

Professionals and their companies must represent themselves truthfully and transparently and we strive to monitor this with the help of our you, our users.

All accounts are attended to by the professional or company listed.

We provide tools for community policing. You can leave ratings and comments on the profile page of each industry professional. We encourage our users to hold us to a high standard but to also recognize that one of the most effective way to police the site is to ask our users to help. Please don’t judge us by the shortcomings you detect. Judge us by how we react to them once they are brought to our attention.

The question:

All these sites are scams. It’s just pay to play.

The answer:

Music Xray does not allow accounts that simply take submission fees and then select every artist who applies. If you see something like that on the site, alert us and we’ll remove it. Occasionally, industry professionals make changes to their policies or to their Music Xray strategy after their account has been approved. We don’t always detect that the moment it happens but if our attention is called to it, we act.

Music Xray is a venture capital backed company. That means we have investors who protect their reputations and do not invest in companies that operate shady businesses. Music Xray offers our services in a way meant to be transparent, fair, clean, and completely legitimate.

Music Xray gets you to the table. What comes after that is up to your music.