As of now (3PM EDT on Friday August 4), Music Xray has been experiencing a server issues for the past 12 hours. We are working on solving the issue and we expect to be back online shortly. We will post further updates over the course of the day today, here.
As a member of the initial screening team (ratings only) Music Industry Professionals (MIPs) receive $0.50 per song they hear and rate.
MIPs offering professional song critiques and career coaching will receive 70% of the submission fee they set.
MIPs posting opportunities for which they will either Select, Reject, or Hold the submitted songs can earn UP TO 70% of the submission fee they set. But in order to earn the full 70% they must follow the site best practices and demonstrate periodically they are filling opportunities with Music Xray songs and acts.
For each attended song the MIP sees a digital receipt like this one. See key below the image:
A. The submission was attended and the MIP earned the 10% of the submission fee.
B. The opportunity was posted exclusively on Music Xray and the MIP earned an additional 20% of the submission fee.
C. The MIP attended the submission within 72 hours of it arriving in their account and earned an additional 10% of the submission fee.
D. The MIP did not have a profile video and did not earn the potential 10% of the submission fee.
E. The MIP is not linking back to Music Xray from their own website or promoting their opportunity on social media and did not earn the potential 10% of the submission fee.
F. The MIP rated the song after listening and earned the potential 10% of the submission fee.
G. This is the sub total of the potential earnings and the actual earnings up to this point.
H. The MIP has not recently filled an opportunity with a Music Xray song or act so the sub total of actual earnings is multiplied by 20%, reducing by -$4.00 what the MIP will be paid in this example. If the industry professional goes for several months without filling an opportunity with Music Xray songs & acts, they will not be allowed to post further opportunity listings on the site. The MIP may still be a member of the initial screening team (ratings pool) and offer professional song critiques and career coaching.
I. This line shows the potential earnings the MIP could have had for attending this song ($7.00) and the actual earnings ($1.00).
For a more detailed look and an explanation for these policies please read below. For the purpose of round numbers, let’s continue to use as an example a submission fee set by the industry professional of $10.00
Attend the submission: The MIP will receive 10% of the submission fee just for attending the submission (listening and either selecting, rejecting or placing the song on hold). Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive $1.00 for this action.
Attend submissions within 3 days: The MIP will receive an additional 10% of the submission fee if they attend the song within 72 hours of it arriving in their inbox. To be reminded MIPs can go to “settings” to adjust the alerts they receive when submissions arrive and how often they want to be reminded. Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive an additional $1.00 for this action.
Rate each song: The MIP will receive an additional 10% of the submission fee when they sincerely rate each song. They do not need to worry about the submitter seeing the rating. Submitters only see the average of all the ratings they’ve received from multiple professionals. This enables MIPs to rate sincerely without fear of being flamed on social media or elsewhere. Sincere feedback is important to the integrity of the community and to Music Xray’s filtering process. Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive an additional $1.00 for this action.
Create a video for your profile: If an MIP has created video for their profile (like this one) they will receive an additional 10% of the submission fee for each song they attend. A profile video builds trust among the community. Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive an additional $1.00 for this action.
Post the opportunity exclusively on Music Xray: You will receive an additional 20% of the submission fee if the opportunity you post is exclusively on Music Xray. Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive an additional $2.00 for this action.
Link back to Music Xray: You will earn an additional 10% of the submission fee for each song if you are linking back to Music Xray from your own site and / or occasionally promote your opportunities on Music Xray via your social media channels etc. If you already have an industry professional account, log in and click here for details on how to automatically create a link-back. Assuming a submission fee of $10.00 the MIP would receive an additional $1.00 for this action.
That would bring the compensation for each song attended to 70% of the submission fee paid by the artist. In this example that assumes a submission fee of $10.00 set by the MIP, the potential earning is $7.00
However, if the industry professional has not demonstrated a recently filled opportunity with a Music Xray song or act, the potential earning would be multiplied by 20%.
For clarity, this means that an MIP could be following all of the best practices listed above and in theory be entitled to 70% of the submission fee paid by the submitter but only receive 20% (of that 70%) if they have not demonstrated a recently filled opportunity. In this example that assumes a submission fee of $10.00 set by the MIP, the potential earning is $7.00 if all best practices are followed but the MIP would receive only $1.40 if they have not demonstrated a recently filled opportunity.
This is to insure that all professionals on the site are here to fill opportunities. It’s how Music Xray insures that it is not worth it to a professional to simply take submissions but not actively create value for submitters.
This video explains how great music bubbles to the top and gets the attention of the industry on Music Xray. It begins with a brief history of how Music Xray evolved from a pay-to-submit site into a sophisticated filter for the industry and an indispensable tool for artists.
In the second half of last year we introduced Selection Prediction Scores as part of our service to musicians. That is, we tell musicians the probability their songs will be selected for an opportunity on Music Xray provided they submit them to at least 20 appropriate opportunities. We use a complex system of music analysis software, the crowdsourcing of industry professionals, and all the past history of songs that have been selected and rejected on the site, the number & type of all the available opportunities for each genre and we put all of that data into Amazon’s machine learning platform to make these predictions. In the real world our predictions have turned out to be over 90% accurate as has been evidenced in the beta trials of our Artist Investment Program.
Given how confident we are in our predictions, today we have launched another beta program we’re calling Music Xray’s Self-Accellerated Artist Investment Program. It’s a money-back guarantee on 20 submissions for qualifying songs.
To find out if your song qualifies, log in to your account. You will see a notification alerting you to which of your songs qualify and telling you how to find out if songs without Selection Prediction Scores can receive them.
This week we’ve seen another music discovery service acquired by one of the large music streaming services when Irish start-up Soundwave was acquired by Spotify. This is the second Spotify acquisition of a data analytics company it is using to help consumers find the best new music they are likely to love.
Recently, it seems like every big consumer-facing music streaming company has been shoring up its ability to stay ahead of consumer taste. Pandora acquired Next Big Sound, Apple acquired MusicMetric, and others are working on internal systems all in an effort to provide better discovery for listeners. Executives at the steaming services believe that it is key to their competitiveness to hook users into their service by helping them discover new music they love.
As thees capabilities improve, traditional music promotion by the music labels will become decreasingly effective. The streaming companies want to channel the best new music to their listeners regardless of whether the artists are signed to a label – although the big labels are employing various strategies to insure they aren’t outflanked – primarily shoring up their advantages in their licensing agreements with the streamers. Additionally, Universal Music hired Jay Frank in 2015 and appointed him Senior Vice President of Global Streaming Marketing, showing they understand that the ways to reach the ears of consumers is changing for everyone in the ecosystem.
This is of course all driven by market forces and consumer demand. But it signals that the labels, publishers and others in the ecosystem need to reinforce their early discovery efforts and capabilities if they want to stay ahead of the curve. After all, they only make money if they add value and they can only add value if they get in early enough to contribute to the music’s success.
This is why Music Xray has been building its own proprietary ecosystem for so long. We realized that you can only go so far with data generated out in the wild and it’s an arms race among those with access to the best data. When upstart musicians and their teams buy Facebook likes, YouTube streams, and other social markers they distort the field making it harder for legitimate players to stand out. By owning their own data analytics companies, Spotify and Pandora are essentially plugging in their own proprietary data they don’t necessarily share with others. But even so, they are using data generated by consumers which is so often influenced by factors that are hard to isolate and account for. Furthermore, there is little online activity surrounding songwriters and production teams who don’t have aspirations of making it as performers themselves. So much new material and talent continue to go undetected by many industry players.
As we’ve increased our ability to spot the successful music just before it lands its first industry deal, we’ve begun to make actual investments in the music – investments into music opportunities others can’t even begin to see. Together with our investment partner, Digital Daruma, we’re leveraging our predictive model and are starting to own revenue streams in the music itself.
Music Xray controls the quality of the data in our ecosystem and we use a combination of crowd-sourcing of industry ears, music analysis software, targeted fan reaction, and machine learning to make predictions in which we are 92% confident are accurate. You can hear a small fraction of the kind of music we’re uncovering by listening to our podcast each week.
Follow us here on the blog for updates over the next few weeks regarding the progress and status of our investment program and learn how we’re making it the focus of our business.
So, about once per week I click the link in one of the emails and I listen to the song. But it’s ALWAYS the same. A mediocre song (at best) with spoofed data. I only had to listen to 10 seconds to know there is no way that song legitimately got 2.1m plays. Note: I masked this artist’s identity because it’s not fair for me to call out a young musician who is just trying to make his way and who doesn’t know any better. But you get the point.
Most true artists would never do this. They would never spoof the data to make it look like the song or act has more traction than it really does because that’s the recipe for a bad reputation. It’s not professional.
But, there are many aspiring artists out there ‘hustling’ like that… to the point I can’t take any promo email seriously. I almost never click. And no one else in the industry takes them seriously either. And it’s the guys like this artist who ruin it for the deserving musicians like you probably are. Not only does he rip me off (my time) by lying to me about his song’s play-count just to get me to click, he rips off all the other aspiring talent who has music very deserving of attention because no one will click.
This happens in a lot of industries and people say a lot of things to get others to click. Everyone is desensitized. All those legitimate Nigerian princes can’t get a click because the fake ones are trying to take my money! 😉
So, to bring this around to how it relates to Music Xray, one can think of Music Xray’s submission fees as one would a freeway toll. It doesn’t only help pay for the upkeep of the road, it enables you to drive on one that isn’t congested with time-wasting traffic.
The tolls are just costly enough that guys like R***Y****6 will find it too expensive to stay on the road. He’ll be put in a position of either continuing to pay for rejection or to hit the exit ramps. While those who are getting great feedback from the industry and fans, are getting great Selection Prediction Scores, and are genuinely gaining traction, will find it very rewarding, will get heard, will get a shot with the knowledge that the professionals are listening.
Music Xray creates a similar environment for professionals, creating a competition among them for the top songs and talent while uncovering those ‘professionals’ who aren’t genuinely there to do real business and to truly find talent they want to work with. We remove those ‘professionals’ from the site if they happen to make it through our verification process in the first place, and we refund any artist who submitted to them.
Transparency and site integrity are our core values.
Music Xray is a clean, transparent platform where our primary mission is to create the filtering mechanisms designed to identify commercially viable, high potential songs and talent for the industry.
Our mission is not to maximize the amount of money generated from artists who pay to submit music. In fact, our system is designed to create as much of a competition among industry professionals for the top songs and talent as there is a competition among musicians to land the best deals. It’s en efficient system that operates transparently and reputably, backed by legitimate music tech investors. And we’ve been able to achieve the adoption of so much of the industry based on this dedication to running a clean site.
Recently, there have been a slew of website cropping up with questionable reputations whose mission appears to be to maximize submission fee revenue from musicians without providing transparency for the artists, or any objective measures of an artist’s chances of getting a deal. Additionally, these sites pitch themselves to industry professionals as a way to make extra cash. And while Music Xray shares submission fees with the industry professionals who host the opportunities, our primary purpose is to help those professionals find the best music. If, as a professional, your goal on Music Xray is to make extra cash, you probably shouldn’t be on Music Xray.
The poor reputation of these other sites effects Music Xray and it makes the name brand companies reticent to have their brands listed on our site.
So effective immediately, we will be removing the profiles of industry professionals who also have profiles on certain other sites. It’s just too damaging to our reputation. We will of course offer a grace period to these professionals and we will contact them privately to notify them of this policy. But no further payouts will be made to those professionals for as long as their profile remains on the other sites – unless of course they provide evidence that their profile is on the offending sites against their will.
Additionally, there are legacy sites in this space, that have been around for years, but again those primary mission does not align with the transparent, efficient filtering system Music Xray is building. One of our challenges in the market has been to show musicians that Music Xray is different, and that our interests are aligned with the professionals and the musicians alike. There truly has not been anything like Music Xray.
We have invested much time, energy, money, and focus on insuring that Music Xray is not confused with these legacy sites and while we would not remove an industry professional from Music Xray for having their profiles on some of these other sites that we know to be legitimate, having those profiles there still creates confusion in the market, causing Music Xray to need to spend more resources to differentiate ourselves in the eyes of the musician community.
So also effective immediately, we will reduce by 30% the compensation offered to industry professionals on Music Xray who choose to not remain exclusive.
It’s important that I make the point that this is not an attempt by us to limit industry professionals in any way. It is simply the policy that makes most sense for our company to both preserve the top brands and most reputable players in the business who are genuinely interested in finding top songs and talent. Those are really the only type of professionals for whom Music Xray is meant.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can clarify this policy for you or if you’d like to discuss any aspect I may not have covered here.
As always, Music Xray is committed to being the very best at what we do and to maintaining the highest levels of trust and transparency in the ecosystem.
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.
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.
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.
As a user, you of course can decide how many industry submissions to make and to whom. However, keep the following in mind:
If you have great music, don’t give up too soon!
Music Xray’s Selection Prediction Indicates a song’s likelihood of being selected for by the industry an opportunity on Music Xray. It is based on the assumption that a song will be submitted to at least 20 opportunities.
Even the best music gets rejected multiple times before sync deals are landed.
You know that, and if you don’t, check out the rejection letters at the bottom of this post.
While Music Xray can optimize your chances of having a song selected or landing a deal for your band, Music Xray doesn’t necessarily change the nature of the music business. More often than not, music is rejected. The music that gets selected was also initially rejected. It’s true in nearly every case. It is simply unreasonable to expect your song or band to land the deal you’re seeking without giving that song a reasonable chance.
Many musicians, with music that is deserving of a deal get frustrated too early. One or two labels and a couple of supervisors turn them down and they give up. And while we would love to provide you with a prediction score based on only 5 to 6 submissions – the fact is only a small amount of music gets selected after so few industry professionals hearing it. In order to provide any predictive accuracy, our system assumes the song will be shown to at least 20 professionals. To understand more about how we come up with the predictions, click here.
Twenty submisions may seem like a lot, but it’s important to put it into perspective. Never before in the history of the music business could anyone get their music in front of 20 real opportunities for anywhere close to the cost on Music Xray – both in terms of time and money. Even the methods that to you may feel free (like networking on Facebook & LinkedIn to find the opportunities) is very costly those methods don’t get all the other added benefits of Music Xray. Click here for some more perspective on that. Click here to understand some of the full benefits of Music Xray.
Click here to understand the traditional costs of getting your music heard.
Music Xray is a music industry filter, and by helping the industry identify the needles in the haystack we’re providing the best service possible to emerging artists, songwriters, producers, and musicians in general. Because we focus on being the best filter, Music Xray has many many MANY times the industry engagement of all the other sites that claim to do for musicians what Music Xray does.
So use negative feedback, ratings and Selection Prediction scores to make adjustments to your music and your submissions strategy. But if the reaction is positive, don’t give up too soon.
A rejection letter sent to Madonna
A rejection letter sent to Paul Hewson (aka Bono of U2).