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Is Music Xray a Scam? Is it Legit? What the heck is this thing?

Posted by admin | July 23rd, 2012 | 20 Responses



I’m going to delve into a topic we hear about from time to time. It’s when a potential user objects to using Music Xray because they suspect it’s a scam of some sort, or that Music Xray takes advantage of the aspirations of millions of musicians by charging them to take a shot at something they have almost no chance of achieving.

 

I could go on about all the obvious evidence to the contrary (and I will below this paragraph), but I want to start by saying that the only way you’re going to know with 100% certainty that Music Xray performs as advertised is to give it a try (for free, of course). When you open a free account as an artist, we give you a $4 credit, which enables you to get a free submission. There are many submission opportunities on the site that only cost $4. If you click here and scroll down you can see many of them. At the time of this writing, there appear to be about eighty opportunities of this type. When they say “free”, it means there is no submission fee and you only pay the transaction fee of $4. When you apply your $4 credit that we give you when you open the account, you pay nothing, so you can see for yourself if this thing really works. We’re also giving you a samplefree Fan Match campaign, so you can test our other service out too. If you decide you don’t like them, don’t use them again. No strings. No catches. Really.

 

So, now let’s address head-on the subject of Music Xray’s legitimacy.

 

Before Music Xray, getting to a decision maker in the music industry required knowing someone or gaining access to someone, usually through a painstaking networking process that could take weeks or months to pan out. When you did finally get your music into the hands of the decision maker, you frequently had to be the guy or gal following up, calling, asking, “Have you listened yet? What did you think?” Then, in the best of cases, you could only do that so often. It’s not like you had five opportunities like that lined up every day, right?

 

Sure, there were tip sheets but even after you sent in your CD, bio, pics, etc., you still rarely even received acknowledgement they had been received, let alone received a response in return. That process was also very expensive because while you did all that work, you had to pay rent and feed yourself, not to mention sacrifice time and energy you could have spent doing what you do best; make music.

 

So, Music Xray has created an online set of tools that A&R professionals, talent buyers, agents, managers, program directors, publishers, music supervisors, and music podcasters use to identify opportunity-appropriate and high potential songs and talent. Once we could demonstrate it was working, we achieved the engagement of a sizable part of the industry; then slowly, we opened the doors to independent musicians everywhere. If you’re just hearing about us, welcome. We’ve been here for a couple years, proving ourselves, getting ready for the big time.

 

Sure, Music Xray charges a few bucks and we don’t apologize for that. We get a result for you that, via any other means, costs you a lot more time and money. There’s no mystery to it. We are simply able to reduce the time and money it costs by combining some new technology with the efficiencies and capabilities of the Internet. We don’t create the opportunities. We don’t create the music. So, we don’t get paid when a deal between you and an industry professional gets done. Your deals are yours.

Our job is to find the opportunities and bring the industry professionals and decision makers to the table. To do that, we provide them with a compelling set of online tools that helps them do their job more effectively and efficiently – to the extent that professionals who are not using Music Xray are finding themselves at a professional disadvantage vs. those who are. We keep the industry professionals engaged with a great product. The platform we’ve built (and continue to build) is complex and expensive. So is keeping the lights on while providing a second-to-none user support team. Even so, we’re able to keep your costs very low. Due to Music Xray, you can pursue many more opportunities simultaneously and at a lower cost.

 

We have created a system for musicians via which getting to a decision maker is no longer about who-you-know. Isn’t a level playing field exactly what independent musicians had been demanding for decades? Doesn’t everyone want a sure-fire way of getting their music to the ears of the professionals who matter?

 

Being able to reach them immediately, at the click of a button, and for a few dollars sure beats the old way. If you don’t think so, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to stop doing it the old way in order to give Music Xray a try. One day, doing it the old way will seem as strange to people as an accountant in today’s world still using an abacus to calculate their clients’ taxes. Those guys either switched over to new technology or they were long ago outcompeted by accountants using calculators and computers.

 

If Music Xray doesn’t save you time and money, we’re doing it wrong. Our service is one that reduces inefficiency and creates transparency in an industry that historically has been murky and sometimes completely opaque. Industry professionals and musicians alike are finding Music Xray refreshing. Check for yourself. Do a live Twitter search for musicxray.

 

If you have questions about Music Xray’s business model, the submission fees, or just think you should never pay anyone to hear your music, click here.

 

If you have questions about what exactly happens when you submit a song via Music Xray click here.

 

Lastly, and only to drive the point home, you can see an extensive list of success stories here. Those success stories include major label signings, major motion picture placement, major and cable network television placement, contestants on The Voice who started at Music Xray and so on. Between 50 and 70 songs per day are selected for opportunities via Music Xray EACH DAY.

 

And if that’s still not enough to adequately answer the question, one can note some of our investors: They include Digital Assets Deployment, True Global Ventures / Dušan Stojanović / David Rose, Wharton Professor Josh Eliashberg, New York investor Hal Vogel and so on. Reputable investors examine companies carefully before investing. They do not invest in companies that are not providing true value or companies they fear may be exposed for operating less than 100% above board. If something like that were to happen, it would ruin their investment. In the meantime, the company would never reach profitability if it didn’t generate satisfied users who find value in the service. Reputable investors wouldn’t touch a company with a ten-foot pole if they suspected it of running a scam.

 

And that says nothing of the marquee brand name companies that work with Music Xray. MTV, RCA (Sony), Sire (Warner), Parlophone (EMI), The Voice, NBC’s Jimmy Lloyd Songwriting Showcase etc. These are not typically companies that would work with ill-reputed businesses. But they are companies that are forward-thinking and want to use the latest technologies to help them identify new songs and talent.

 

If you still have questions, get in touch with our team via support@musicxray.com and we’ll be happy to provide additional information. Bookmark this post and consider sharing it with fellow musicians. As a small company, we don’t have big PR budgets. Help us make sure all musicians know about a music tech company leveling the playing field by posting this to Facebook, Twitter, or just getting involved in our affiliate program and earning some money to offset your submission costs here on Music Xray.

 

Thanks,

 

Mike McCready

Co-founder & CEO

Music Xray



About StudioThemes

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 lectures at many of the top business schools around the world. He helps the music industry identify new songs and talent and helps musicians get deals, get fans, & get better: http://musicxray.com

  • Matt481

    Short timer on Xray, but I believe that the business model and most of the offerings are legit.  The only objection I have comes from that same model that doesn't require those seeking talent or music, to give a fuller explanation, when one's music is rejected.  Paying $10.00 + $4.00 service charge, to hear a short reply;  “Not what were looking for right now”!  is a pretty lame response.  Especially, when you the artist, took the time to make sure, that the song you submitted fit the request and paid to get some sort of note worthy feedback.  I know the refrain excuse;  We can't possibly critique hundreds of songs being submitted.  In reality, however, that is exactly what needs to happen on behalf of the artist, if that is what this business model's objective really is. The bottom line is;  Music Xray has an excellent model that allows the Indie artist to break down barriers, that in the past were unattainable, but at the same time, in today's digital world, we the artist, feel sometimes, like it's nothing more than just a new idea, based upon an old pound the payment, cattle call theme! Just my view, as a singer, songwriter and performer for over 40yrs.

  • Odee

    it thhink this rocks guyz ama send ma track soon watchout…odee

  • Big L

    I haven't tried musicxray yet, but I know first hand about going door to door at every major and indie label giving out demos. If they can do what they say,I'm willing to give them a shot. We're working on our project for Nakia Latrelle, a r&b singer. This will be our test run with musicxray.

  • Stephan'ChuckNors'Stenzel

    I Truly Believe Music Xray~You are here To help the New Artist~ That Has been singin' infront of the Jukebox at 9 years Old, Because His Daddy! Tossed him Quarters for 8 Songs! ea. The kid Thought he Was in heaven~ lol and Daddy Believed Very Strongly That his Son One Day Will be A Singer'/Recording Artist! Because Daddy Introduced him to the First Sony Reel To Reel Recorder and had us take turns then Sing! Try to sing Together~Little Did That Kid Know As his Daddy Did!, That The Kid Grew Up On A Farm! Only 30 Miles North and West of Where The Music*Died That Fateful Night!, Feb 3rd 1959, When the World Lost The The Wonderful Talents Of The Greats* ~Buddy Holly *Richie Valens! *J.P. the “Big Bopper” Richardson And The Pilot Roger Peterson!, Who All Just Left The Surf Ballroom at Clear Lake Iowa about 1:38 A.M. Only 12 Miles South of Mn State Line heading to Moore head Minnesota. The Crash Just Two Miles North of Clear lake Iowa,They Would Have Flown Nearly Strait Over Daniel B.Stenzel & Mother Beverly's~ & My Daddy's Farm Just One Mile East of Freeborn Minnesota! Where I Was Just Six Yrs Old at The Time, Ya That Boy That Stood Many Times infront of The Jukebox was Me~ Stephan aka'ChuckNors' Stenzel Singing With The Greats Like *Waylon Jennings *JohnnyCash *Hank Williams Jr *George Strait> Well That Came Much Later! lol And Also *Merle Haggard *Buck Owens *George Strait *RAY PRICE * Johnny Horton *Stonewall Jackson *Jim Reeves  *Porter Wagner *Furline Husky *Elvis Presley And Many More!, And How Greatful I am That My Daddy before he Passed Unexpectedly in 1968 took Me My Brother Mike/Mom and Her Cousin Richard Holleschau & Sue To A Live Concert, And Who Opened? but Hank Williams Jr.at only 16, Than The Lovely Voice of Ms Kitty Wells(Who We Just Lost this past Week)@ 93 To The Great Musical Stage High In the Heaven Above!, And At The Concert in Rochester,Mn In 1965 The Grand Finally Singing “One More Time(For The Good Times)” “Night Life” “Crazy Arms” “City Lights” “She's Got To Be An Angel” “Your The Best Thing That's Every Happened To Me!” Was The GREAT *RAY PRICE!, I Also Met and Heard Sing So Wonderful~lol and Many More! What A Wonderful Thing My Daddy Did for Me! God Bless Him! And ThankYou For Reading About A major Portion of My Life!* Sincerely, Stephan~ from a Shy humble Country Cowboy*of Southern Mn 2nd Child of 12(Twelve), Livin' My Daddy's Dreams*Since that Fateful Day Sept,1968. I Thank God I had My Best Friend My Daddy(Daniel Burnard) for My first 16 Yrs, Adios* Until We Meet Again! pls FAN Me in ReverbNation Profile Page! and Help Your Self In My Music*Store there! For Downloading Ringtones/and Individual Songs*Thanks “I'll Remember You” lol Thx Again! For Makin' Me #6. PS.If You'd Like A Rare New Recording of My Tributes to These Great Artists* Waylon Jennings *Johnny Cash* Hank Williams*Jr,Sr *George Strait *Merle Haggard *George JONES *Elvis Presley-2 CDs *And Makin' Final Cut on Trib.to Buck owens w/Several of Mr.RAY PRICE!,And Full CD Of My Tribute To *RAY PRICE w/Several of Ricky Nelson!, FAN Me and I'll Give You My DIRECT ORDERING INFO for Any of These CD's of 24+songs each! As I'm Only Recording a Limited Number of Each! and at Rock Bottom Discounts! Thank You! Your The Best Fans! the Best Always! ~ Stephan Patrick Stenzel (Born Wells,Mn). http://www.ReverbNation.Com/StephanChuckNorsStenzelSingerRecordingArtistCountryElvis  *(Contributions being Raised for “Wounded Warrior Projects” and Other True Charities! Since*1993). http://www.facebook.com/pages/

  • Trashville

    I have to say that the opportunities you've mailed me over so far have been completely inappropriate – so far removed from the style of music I'm making as to be a bit ridiculous I'm afraid.

  • Nerys

    I totally get Music Xray and how it works, and I believe in the system. However my one sore spot is after you submit and get a response, I have noticed that the answers from the industry professionals are always word for word the same, with the exception of Sweet Rosie Music who seem to write great individual responses. What is the system for response? Is it multiple choice answers? If so, then I think that this should be changed. It is not really helpful to get 'not quite what we are looking for' as a response. A more in depth answer should be given, even if it is one or two sentences, based on the individual submission.

    This is reflected in the focus groups and the way that people review songs, a subject I have commented on before. When I give a review to a song in my focus group inbox, I take time to answer the questions set by the submitter, because I am sensitive to how that person might feel if I made no effort to do this properly.

    I would like a response to this if possible. Music X-ray has great intentions. It would be a shame if the people getting paid for listening were not supporting this wholly. Without causing offence, my submission to jeff blue for consideration was less than impressive, he wrote two sentences about my submission and two paragraphs about himself. Was it even him answering? How do I know it is not his PA?

  • CowboySlim

    Mike, didn't you used to manufacture CDs?

  • musicxray

    Uhhh…  no. Why? Someone with my same name was?

  • musicxray

    Hi Nerys.  Pardon the late reply. I should check the reply thread more often.

    We would also like to get more out of many of the MIPs and we are always working to do that and come up with new ways to make it work. As it is though, no company has ever before been able to get even a fraction of what we already get – a guaranteed listen and response, as brief as it may be.

    I did write a more full repose to your question though here: http://blog.musicxray.com/subm

  • musicxray

    Hmmm…  we're always seeking to improve.

  • musicxray

    Hi there Stephan.  That is a great story. Thank you. I am originally from Nebraska, so it's good to meet a fellow midwesterner.

    All I can say is, kudos on writing that post. Capitalizing the first letter of every word has got to be cumbersome.

  • musicxray

    I hope it goes well. Please let us know.

  • musicxray

    Hi Matt.  I hear you. For deeper feedback, a lot of the professionals on the site will give you a critique or even career coaching. Look at the bottom of this page for those categories. They tend to cost a bit more but you get personalized interactions with the professionals.

    For details on what exactly happens when you submit a song, see here: http://blog.musicxray.com/subm

  • http://blog.norahaura.me/ Norah Shannon Medlin

    Mike, I can see how this type of system can sound a bit like bait and switch to an artist.  I would be careful to avoid this misunderstanding.  Also, you need more success stories, third party reviews and promotions by well-known MIPs and Artists. Please encourage your MIPs to refrain from canned responses to the artists as this will give you a bad name, by association. Also, follow-up on ALL feedback requests and comments and/or encourage your clients to submit feedback via your preferred feedback channel.  Otherwise, your product will continue to appear to be a scam to many, including myself, at first glance.  I am sure I don't have to tell you how important and lasting first impressions are. Continue to be genuine, that is the key to your success.  I hope you find this message helpful.

    *trots off to register as a listener and browse more opportunities… 

    Working together, we will achieve greatness within ourselves!

    Here's a banana hat cat for your enjoyment! (Courtesy of: http://cheezburger.com/3012664

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000274170657 David Bradbury

    Mike, I would like to hear from some of the professionals you refer to above. The ones I have selected in the past have left and do not have a good word for MXray. Please lets hear from them and not just you defending this service.
    David

  • Morfinn

    Hi, I am thinking of submitting a song on Music X-Ray but i dont know what hope there is of it getting to where it is supposed to be advertised ? For example , I have a song which is completely different to my normal genre. I see MXR are looking for songs for Kylie Minogue. I know my song would be good for that but whats the reality of it getting to her or anyone associated with her ?

  • http://twitter.com/AfroSamurEye J. Gray

    Interesting initial evals. I tried the service. Probably wont use it again because it seems to just duplicate a lot of stuff reverb nation does as far as opportunities with a lot of different glitz and glam. Im not saying its worthless but im an ndie artist and 90 percent of the people that like my music love it. If somebody who wont even give me specific feedback unless i give them more money and more money doesnt think its good what does getting less than 5 stars from them really mean? Trust me because i have an office job?More specifically it takes years to build a fan base and mentoring as most artist know is a process that takes many years for the apprentice to really learn anything.Change my style to sound like star search? I just dont see how these evaluations really matter unless youre making pop music. It seems to be geared towards that type of music. One of my songs that wasnt even produced by me and was produced by a well respected Bay artist got low eval marks as well. I just have to take all this with a grain of salt. If your music sucks the fans and producers on soundcloud who also buy music would prob tell you after 2000 plus comments on a song.2000 opinions are a lot more valuable than one opinion beause its varied and from across the globe. I think the industry is scrambling to lock indie artist that are good back in which is all they ever wanted probably. The rest of us who dont really fit into whatever category and dont have access to million dollar studios are just loose change to them so we might as well pay up for their valued opinions and time. Just my opinion. When im accepting my grammy award ill remember the low eval i got there. This site is def not for jazz artist or certain genres of music from what i can see. Peace and thanks.

  • RockOjest

    Well after much consideration I thought I would give Music Xray a try. I'd read the glowing reviews from people who could not back up their story with examples and also the all the “its a scam” blogs but decided the proof would be in the eating or in this case submitting even though the success stories page seemed incredibly underwhelming.

    It didn't start well. After uploading one of my demo tracks your system had done its thing and decided to send me opportunities that where in no way relevant. No idea why you use this system instead of allowing us to fill in some kind of check list. No point in trying to invent the wheel especially at the risk of just annoying us with what can only be called spam.

    I found a listing which I thought would suite my song. A lively up tempo track, with great hooks was required to pitch to an established female artist. I uploaded my track, paid the $8 drop box, $4 fee to xray and $10 diagnostics fee (really not happy about this fee, why not optional? Seems like just another backdoor charge as it is no use to me at all as just a songwriter producing demos) Anyway, I paid up, added a polite note to go along with it and pressed submit with that hopeful feeling mixed with the inevitable rejection we songwriters know well. In under 30 Mins I had my response (wow that was fast) – “NOT BEEN SELECTED”. Well fair enough I thought, rejection is part of the game until I scrolled down.

    The industry professional left you the following message (well this has got to be worth it at least, constructive criticism from someone respected)

    1, Production and vocals need to be fuller

    2, Not quite what we`re seeking

    REALLY, REALLY? This is it? The production and vocals of my DEMO track need to be fuller for something that is going to get re-recorded? Don't get me wrong I'm no stranger to bad sounding demos (I've made a few in the past) but there was nothing wrong with the production and the session singer on this track, it was more than “full” enough to convey the song and use for pitching and has already received great feedback from people who matter. Not quite what we`re seeking – another phrase from a drop down list?

    At this point i'm a little angry, not at the rejection as i'm pretty thick skinned and believe in what I do, I'm also not naive enough to think the business is that easy but more angry at the double slap in the face at the ridiculous drop down message left and the nagging feeling that the opportunity may never have existed in the first place. Music College day 1 teach you never to pay to have someone listen to your music, I was paying attention but sometimes you let your ambition get the better of you.

    Next day after licking my wounds and listing to my demo again a million times to make sure I was actually happy with it I decided to log back in and check out the diagnostics page I reluctantly paid $10 for. Immediately my rage returns. At the top of the page it says “SIMILAR SONGS WERE SELECTED AFTER 14 SUBMISSION” with a little counter showing 1 and saying I need to apply to more to get it to move. Really? Only 14? Just another $300 then? A little lower down it says I have received 2 professional ratings and it kindly gives me stars out of 5 for composition, production, arrangement, performance and hit potential. To be fair the rating was not terrible but who are these professionals?? Surely for this to be of any relevance we need to know this otherwise it is worthless. Andrew Lloyd Webber could be classed as an industry pro but I expect him to know squat about the music I am making.

    Overall I will never know for certain if the opportunity even existed and I do not know if Music Xray is a scam or not but I can tell with certainty that they and the “opportunities” are just dangling the golden egg in front of you and trying to get you to spend as much money as possible in pursuit of it. The so called transparency they tout does not exist. What good is a professional review that is anonymous? How can they tell me tracks like mine got selected after 14 tries when they can't even send me opportunities relevant to my track in the first place? Isn't it strange how there are so many people wanting songs for Rihanna, Beyonce etc? Will I be using them again, Ill let you decide. “If something is too good to be true…..”

    What am I gonna do and what should you do. Focus on your music, believe in what you do and try hard to get noticed via the old method. Spend the money you would waste on music xray on making your songs a better product (sessions singers, equipment whatever) In my opinion this is no better than sending your demos yourself. At least when you do it you know where they are going and its much much cheaper.

  • FP

    From what I have heard on the boards and here is that most artists may be blaming MusicXray (and other sites like Taxi) for the poor behavior of the music industry at large. I believe Taxi and MusicXray could take some responsibility for validating these so called industry professionals before allowing them on the site. As it stands, you can defend all you want but in the end your ability to gain and retain customers will deteriorate over time if you cannot offer assurances of TRUST and QUALITY in the authenticity of these professionals. They are the reason artist want to use the service in the first place and it is the key to making the business model work.

    Also, artists should realize that many professionals scouring these boards could be junior members of a record label, production company or other entertainment firm. This work is so time consuming that the real top dogs delegate the scouting to interns and junior staff. Hence, way some of the feedback from so called professionals seems off base, disconnected and meaningless. Maybe MusicXray could give artists a system to rank and rate the quality of each firm that creates opportunities. Those with a low rating would make artist think twice about submitting. This could keep the so called professional in check. It works very well for eBay.

    On the flip side, the music industry is like the lottery. You buy a ticket and hope to win. There are no guarantees, never were and never will be. The same goes for all the entertainment venues. Many don't really know what they are looking for until they here it.

    Final note. If an artist is looking for a time saving and more manageable means of submitting work to REAL and Authentic music decision makers, then these sites can save time and money. consider what it use to take to send out CDs to every contact you could dig up. Just be smart and use these services sparingly until you can assess for yourself whether the site has the protections and quality measure in place to deliver on their promises.

  • FP

    Just a follow up after reading RockOjest's comments again. My heart goes out to all that have fallen to the same fate. Please, just don't vent. I'm a BIG believer in online services that are fair and honest. If many of you feel you have been taken for a ride, do your part as a consumer and report such things to the Better Business Bureau and if really pissed, file a complaint with your state's or the site operators state Attorney General's office. They do investigate and often take operators to court if the operator can not prove the service delivers as promised or is not operating in the business model they advertise. Do us all a favor and help prevent others from bad businesses.