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Moneyball for the Music Industry

Posted by Mike McCready | August 10th, 2013 | No responses

Collaborative Song-Screening Effort by Music Industry Enables Identification of High-Potential Music & Talent From Among the Millions of New Songs Created Each Year

Over 1,000 songs & acts per month (and roughly 21,000 to date) are selected for opportunities across the industry ranging from major label signings to placements in film & TV

By applying music-analyzing software and the collective screening efforts of 1500 industry professionals, Music Xray makes identifying high-potential music like finding a needle in a needlestack.

Millions of songs are created and released each year by aspiring musicians, bands, and songwriters. In fact, there are 11 hours of audio content uploaded to SoundCloud every minute. If only 0.01% of that music were of commercial interest that would equal 1 hour 35 minutes and 2 seconds of music the industry should discover everyday. And that’s just SoundCloud. Add in YouTube and every other destination for undiscovered music and the number grow significantly. But identifying that music is a daunting task and social traction surrounding most music only surfaces a small number of obvious hits leaving most music with commercial value buried in web obscurity.

In January 2010, Music Xray began inviting industry professionals and the record labels, publishers, radio stations, & film production companies they represent to register for an account. Now, with over 1500 industry professionals pitching in to screen music daily, over 1,000 songs & acts per month are singled out for various types of deals.

While remaining in competition with each other to identify valuable music for their needs, each professional essentially enters into a pact with all the other professionals on the site to listen to some new, unfiltered music each day (submitted by the song owners themselves) and rate the songs according to their attributes such as production, performance, and hit potential. If in the process of listening, they hear something they want to license or sign directly, they get first dibs.

Otherwise, the songs and their ratings go into a communal database where the professionals can see the collective ratings. Each song is heard and rated by at least five industry professionals so when consensus around a song begins to form it can be identified through the site’s advanced music search engine (see image below) or through alerts (like Google alerts) delivered to an industry professional when the site identifies a song that matches their alert criteria (e.g. energetic pop songs for a male performer with 120 to 130 beats per minute and high hit potential).

Additionally, Music Xray can alert individual musicians (from among the 130,000 who use the site) who have songs that sound and feel like music being sought by a particular professional. For example, a music supervisor for a Hollywood movie may wish they could license “Satisfaction” by Rolling Stones but simply doesn’t have the required budget. The supervisor can upload an MP3 of the original “Satisfaction” to their private dashboard. Music analysis software scans “Satisfaction” and compares it to the 1.3 million songs that have been uploaded by musicians into their own Music Xray accounts. Those who have similar sounding songs are alerted and directed to the interested professional.

“We strive to build remarkable tools for the industry and to apply new technology in innovative and practical ways; ways that solve real problems.” said Mike McCready, co-founder & CEO of Music Xray.

Professional Powered Music Search

The industry’s most powerful music search engine for undiscovered songs & talent

About Music Xray:

Since launching its online platform in January 2010, Music Xray has been helping the industry identify high-potential songs and talent through a combination of new technologies and crowd-sourcing techniques made possible by the Internet. The result is a rich database of information related to the characteristics and commercial potential of over 1.3 million songs by more than 130,000 bands & songwriters. More than 1500 invitation-only industry professionals contribute to the collective effort of filtering the vast sea of music created each year by musicians everywhere and to use the site to discover new music that matches current industry needs.

The site has been behind the selections of over 18,000 songs and acts including placements in major films, TV shows, advertisements, and webisodes. Songwriters and bands have singed major label deals, publishing agreements, management arrangements, and song placements with top artists. (

New York-based Music Xray is backed by Digital Assets Deployment, True Global Ventures, & individual angel investors.

Mike McCready is an entrepreneur at the crossroads of music and technology. He pioneered the introduction of Hit Song Science into the music industry and followed up with Music Xray, the company he co-founded and serves as CEO. His companies have been the subject of case studies at Harvard Business School, IESE and he frequently guest speaks at many of the top business schools around the world. He helps the music industry identify high potential songs and talent and helps musicians get deals, get fans, & get better: