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.
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.
This is where I talk to members of GAIN.