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Should musicians pay to submit music to the industry? That may be the wrong question.

Posted by Mike McCready | November 14th, 2012 | 8 Responses

It’s ironic we receive this question because Music Xray has created something musicians have been requesting forever, a level playing field, but that isn’t always immediately apparent. As soon as it becomes apparent, the real question follows.

The real question: Should musicians pay for the convenience of playing on a level field?

The answer to that question is probably “yes”, but it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. You can probably do for free what we charge you for. People have been doing it successfully the hard way for a long time. Just like you can get most places by walking. Why spend money on a car or an airline ticket? Because doing so saves you time and money. It’s the same with Music Xray.

How? You can spend all your time on LinkedIn networking with industry professionals, finding out where the opportunities are, finagling your way in, cashing in favors to get people to listen to your tracks, being the person following up, hoping you don’t become a nuisance, following up again and then maybe getting an answer. While you do that you have to feed yourself and pay rent. It can be time-consuming and cumbersome. What’s more, it doesn’t really increase your odds of getting a deal because the industry professional with whom you’re in touch won’t do a deal with you if they find music or talent elsewhere that fits better with their opportunity.

That’s where Music Xray comes in. We’ve harnessed new technologies and the Internet to build a set of tools that the industry is increasingly adopting to help identify high potential songs and talent. In our model, artists pay a small fee to make a submission. In exchange for that small fee, you essentially jump to the front of the line. Your song is heard by the industry professional on the other end and you receive a response within a limited timeframe. If the response is that your song or band has been selected, a relationship begins and Music Xray steps away. We do not take a cut of any deal that results from that introduction. If the response is that your song or band is placed on hold or rejected, you learn that too. After a few submissions, we even tell you how the professionals are rating your track in private, which may not be what they tell you to your face. That’s information you probably can’t get anywhere else at any price.

There’s nothing else to it.

It is what it seems.

Music Xray saves you time and money by finding the opportunities and ensuring the decision-makers behind the opportunities are available to anyone.

How can we do that when no one else can? We make the best tools that have ever been built for helping industry professionals manage their submissions, attract the type and quality of submissions they seek, identify high-potential tracks, leverage the ears of 1400 other industry professionals and much more. We make Music Xray a tool they can’t live without.

Isn’t paying to submit kind of like buying a lottery ticket?

A lottery is a game of chance in which winners are randomly drawn from a hat. A decision to license a song or sign a band is based on the music, the talent, the market appeal, and skill. Your submission is always going to have to compete against other songs and bands under consideration. The existence of Music Xray doesn’t alter that one way or another. Music Xray is simply able to guarantee that you and your music are among those that do receive consideration.

Click here if you’ve ever wondered how many submissions industry professionals receive.

How do you know Music Xray is real and not too good to be true?

We’re asked that a lot too.

But keep in mind that we’re not promising success to anyone. We only promise to get you into the conversation. We ensure that you and your music are considered. After that, it’s up to what you bring to the table.

Music Xray is backed by serious investors who only invest in real companies. Music Xray leads the industry in providing tools for song and talent discovery for professionals and backs it up with recent achievements and a number of industry endorsements.

Additionally, Harvard Business School did a case study on our founders’ previous company when they first began introducing technolog-based solutions to talent discovery for the industry. It was called Polyphonic HMI: Mixing music and math. IESE is a sister school of Harvard and this case study is a follow-on to the original case study. Both are currently taught at top business schools around the world like Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, UCLA, IESE, Columbia, and London School of Economics.

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: