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The Key To Understanding Music Xray is Understanding “Diagnostics”

Posted by Mike McCready | October 26th, 2015 | No responses

 

Music Xray’s primary job is to find the needles in the haystack. A needle is any song or act deserving of being selected for any opportunity throughout the industry. Diagnostics insures we gather the information to enable us to do our best.

What is Diagnostics? Diagnostics is a one-time per song purchase that costs $10 and must be purchased for each song that is submitted directly to any opportunity or any industry professional on the site. Once Diagnostics has been purchased for a song it becomes “Diagnostics Exempt” and may be submitted to an unlimited number of opportunities without ever being required to purchase Diagnostics again.

Diagnostics serves two purposes:

1. It tells you where your music stands compared to other music that may be competing for similar opportunities. It generates recommended next steps based on the industry and fan reaction. And perhaps most importantly, it shows you the likelihood your music will be selected for an opportunity via the site, assuming you employ a best-practices submission strategy.

2. It tells the industry where your music stands and how to find it. Because Diagnostics enables us to gather enough information about your music to make it easily searchable for industry professionals in our industry-only search & discovery engine called Needlestack. This increases the chances your music has of being discovered by industry professionals who conduct searches for music with specific characteristics, such as high production quality, interesting hooks, mood, topic, etc.

We cover both purposes in detail below.

Purpose 1: To tell you where your music stands…

See the key for each item below the graphic:

A. The number of professionals who have heard and rated this song (at least 5 professionals rate the song upon your first submission – serious professionals from among our over 1500 professional users currently seeking songs and talent, so if the song blows one of them away, a deal or relationship may ensue and often does).

B. The average of the ratings received from industry professionals.

C. Where the song stands among all other songs that have been rated on Music Xray (hundreds of thousands).

D. The percentage of potential fans who after hearing the song for the first time became a direct fan (which provides that fan’s email address and Facebook profile link to the musician). As part of your first transaction with us, we send the song to a pool of 20 potential fans we’ve identified based on the fan’s music taste. We have a pool of tens of thousands of fans (and growing fast) who have signed up on Music Xray to discover new bands and songs.

E. Typically, we target potential fans from that pool for you (when there’s a match between the song and the fan’s taste profile) for $0.33 per fan. If 100% of those fans convert to direct fans of yours, the cost per acquired fan would be $0.33, but at a 35% conversion rate, that cost is $0.92 per acquired fan. A 35% conversion rate is not bad at all! The cost reflected here is what real contactable fans will likely cost you if you were to continue targeting fans on Music Xray. It’s up to you to decide what is acceptable to pay per acquired fan, based on your ability to monetize their fan base.

F. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we tell you the likelihood your song will be selected for an opportunity on the site. To reach this result, Music Xray uses machine learning algorithms and statistical probability calculations. It also requires the artist to employ a “best practices submission strategy”. To learn what that is and how we calculate the results, click here.

G. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we provide recommended next steps for submissions to opportunities and the industry professionals behind them. If the results are not encouraging, we recommend not to submit the song to further opportunities and sometimes we recommend you get song help improving the song. We make many top industry professionals on the site available to offer song critiques and career coaching.

H. Based on the information in A. B. C. D. & E., we provide recommended next steps for fan acquisition. If the data is not encouraging, we often recommend not continuing using the song to acquire fans.

I. This is the song activity chart that tells you what is happening with your song on the site at any time. Did you acquire a new fan? Was your song heard by an industry professional? Was your song displayed in a search result etc.

Purpose 2: To make your music searchable for the industry…

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 usually do this by first seeking certain characteristics such as mood or a certain lyric phrase, or bpm – which are things you enter as meta data for your song. But then they filter for quality, so they look for songs that at least a few industry professionals have heard and that obtain good ratings on things like composition, productions, and hit potential. Each professional can decide which attributes are important and adjust the filters accordingly to find they songs that match their criteria.

Most professionals set the filters in Needlestack to display only the songs that have been heard by at least 5 industry professionals.

In other words, if your song hasn’t been heard by at least 5 professionals, it is unlikely to be found. That’s why Diagnostics obtains 5 industry ratings immediately for your song, upon your first transaction on the site. And this is showing results. About half the deals between artists and the industry on Music Xray occur due to Needlestack music search.

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

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, production, 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.

 

What Does A Record Producer Do?

Posted by Mike McCready | October 19th, 2015 | No responses

What does a record producer do?

Stuart Epps tells us.

According to Wikipedia, Stuart Epps is a British record producer and audio engineer.

Since 1967, he has worked with many artists, including: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Twisted Sister, Bill Wyman, Kiki Dee, George Harrison, Robbie Williams, Mark Owen, Paul Weller, Cliff Richard, Bad Company, Barry White and Chris Rea.

He has contributed to many records and has been associated with many popular hard rock records by such bands as Twisted Sister, Wishbone Ash, Bad Company, Vandenberg, The Firm, Jagged Edge UK and Shooting Star.

Besides his work with Led Zeppelin, Epps has been involved in other projects with their guitarist Jimmy Page as well as on many occasions with Rolling Stone member Bill Wyman.

He now dedicates his time to producing Independent artists and nurturing new talent.

How MIPs Compete For The Top Songs & Talent On Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | October 8th, 2015 | No responses

It’s understood that musicians compete on Music Xray for industry opportunities, but it’s not quite as intuitive to understand how industry professionals on Music Xray compete for the top songs and talent.

While all industry professionals can use Music Xray’s advanced search tools to find songs and talent for their opportunities, the only way to guarantee they will hear and consider a particular song is to submit it directly to them. That is also the industry’s preferred method of discovering music – they want it to come right to their ears via their Music Xray inbox.

As a result, Music Xray gets a lot of requests from industry professionals to feature their opportunities more prominently on the site, or to feature the opportunity in one of our email blasts, or to promote it via our social media channels. So, I thought it was a good time to explain how we decide which opportunities get the most visibility on Music Xray and the decision making process around it.

When determining which opportunities to feature, we consider four things:

1. Attractiveness of the opportunity. Opportunities with higher dollar payouts get more visibility than opportunities with lower payouts.

2. Proximity to the decision maker. We give higher visibility to opportunities where the industry professional who lists the opportunity is the decision maker, works on the decision maker’s team directly, or has some involvement in the final decision. If the industry professional will be pitching the selected songs and acts to someone else for consideration, the opportunity will get less visibility.

3. Past success with Music Xray artists. Industry professionals who can point to past success stories with Music Xray musicians will receive higher visibility for their opportunity listings on Music Xray.

4. Submission fee price. All else being equal, we give more visibility to opportunities with lower submission fees.

Here’s why.

Let’s say there are two nearly identical sync license opportunities listed on Music Xray. Let’s say both are looking for romantic love songs. Let’s say both are for big movies. Let’s say both have a $50,000 payout and let’s say both of the listing professionals are the final decision makers in the process. But opportunity A has a submission fee of $10 while opportunity B has a submission fee of $20.

Why is it better for Music Xray to give more visibility to opportunity A?

Keep in mind that Music Xray’s job is to be a filter for the industry. We help the industry find the needles in the haystack. But, we can only find the needles in the portion of the haystack we can access. With a $20 submission fee, fewer musicians will put their music into our system, meaning we might miss some great music. Or, perhaps the musician only had $20 to spend on Music Xray that week. From a filtering perspective, we would rather they be able to take two shots for that amount rather than one – and we’d prefer to have two songs come onto the platform rather than one.

Another way to look at it is that the industry professional with the $10 submission fee is essentially telling Music Xray that they are willing to do more screening at a lower cost than the professional with the $20 fee. All else being equal, both the musician and Music Xray are getting more value from the professional with the lower fee.

By creating an eco-system where competition on both sides is key, we’re able to keep costs low and efficiency high.