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Musicians land deals they don’t even pursue… A new kind of Music Xray success story.

Posted by Mike McCready | January 3rd, 2012 | No responses

 

As Music Xray’s new search engine and collective A&R system kick in (where we show your highly rated songs to even more industry professionals), we’re starting to hear from more musicians who are being selected for deals they did not even pursue. Check out this example from Zaccheri Gray who writes…

 

My song “Lullabyes Baby” was recently selected for the upcoming Errand Boys Movie.

I have also been nominated for “Best Singer/Songwriter and Best Solo Artist” by the All Indie Music Awards.

Again my song “Lullabyes Baby” was selected for the Hurricane Relief Project.

Also I got this incredible feedback from Wayne Thompson: who wrote…
“…an amazing talent. One of the brightest I have heard in a long time.”
Wayne Thompson (former manager of Harry Belafonte, Tanya Tucker and The Nylons)

So far I am very happy with my progress on Music Xray and thought I would share!

Thanks.

 

Read more success stories here.

 

Music Xray gets closer to a new search engine for music industry professionals to find your music. Make sure all your music is uploaded to the site.

Posted by Mike McCready | December 28th, 2011 | 1 Response

 

Music Xray has released a next generation music search engine for industry professionals.

Please log in to your account, edit your songs and click the button that says “edit search related info”. Fill in as much of the requested information as you can.

It is also very helpful if you also add your lyrics since many professional seek music based on key phrases or song topics. All in all, the more complete your tracks’ profiles the better impression you make.

See the video for an overview of how Music Xray works.

 

Log in here to get started.

 

Why Aren’t People Listening To My Music?

Posted by Mike McCready | December 27th, 2011 | No responses

 


If you’re an indie artist wondering why your career is not moving in the direction you had envisioned then it is time to take on a personal inventory of yourself and your approach to the industry.

I started out in the music business in 1998 and decided to embrace the internet as my partner in leading me down the path of success. In many ways it has done just that. The Worldwide Web was a doorway to the unknown, and it still is, however it does allow you complete freedom to pick and choose what road you would like to travel. It takes years of hard work and a lot of trial and error to find what works sometimes but there is no excuse for ignorance nor is there a lack of information in these times to help you find your way.

I want to share some of my experiences working with artists and hopefully shed some light on the keys to being successful or a failure in marketing your music. I understand how much time and effort goes into making music and most folks that are in the indie music industry have day jobs just like me and the music is a sideline that you hope someday will become more than that.

The one aspect that is most important is how you use the time available to you. This is where many artists are spinning their wheels and getting absolutely nowhere. I cannot tell you how baffled I am at the blatant ignorance and arrogance people have. Artists seem to be allergic to reading what is right in front of them and following specific directions that are given to actually help them. That is not to say there is a minority out there that have their act together, have a plan, and then know how to use the tools available to get that plan into action. There should be a lot more people out there that operate this way. The excuse of not having the resources available or in some cases the capital, just does not cut it anymore. There is tons of free information out there and sites that let you create profiles and give you the ability to upload tracks including the most useful and popular ones such as Facebook and Twitter. Regardless of this plethora of choices some artists are stuck in a rut and cannot seem to get out, and this mind you is because they have not paid attention, taken good advice, made the wrong choices, were told they did and pushed ahead anyway without any direction thus ending up right back where they started every time.

The one thing people forget about is targeting the right audience and people in the media. I run different events online and I recently started a free event for artists to submit their tracks for consideration to be my Prog Rock Featured Artist on my blog dedicated to that genre. Within a matter of weeks I have close to 600 submittals and around 10 of them are actually progressive rock! I clearly stated PROGRESSIVE ROCK ONLY but yet the majority has decided to submit their tracks anyway and to totally ignore that guideline. I have rap, hip hop, blues, all kinds of genres and I am not going to waste my time and listen to any of the submissions. Some folks have even labeled their music prog-rock in hopes that I would listen. The mindset is “Why not submit, it’s free and maybe they will listen”. That could not be further from the truth, it just annoys the hell out of me and forced me to change the end date of the event prematurely. Even on events that I put a price tag on, people insist on submitting outside the targeted genres. So where does this get you? Nowhere. So now not only are you wasting your time, other people’s time, and worst yet wasting your hard earned cash. How ill-advised is that? And to top it off some of the artists react like children when they are rejected, just like a two year old that does not get their toy they want and goes stomping and screaming out of the store.

Here is my point, if you want to be taken seriously by industry professionals then act like one, fake it until you make it if you have to. Even if everything is smoke and mirrors for a while that can change once you stake your claim to your own slice of the pie in cyberspace, create a following and build a solid reputation. None of this can be accomplished by going at it half-baked and merely hoping for the best results.

One of the biggest mistakes I see artists making is not having their own website; they are opting for a Myspace page or something similar, which is becoming less and less relevant every day. Using Facebook for your homepage is a big mistake. It’s a social network and people want attention so they post things on your wall, how does that help people focus on your music? Use Facebook and Twitter for announcements, reviews, and anything else related to your music that is linked at your Homepage. This way the people who are really interested in your music will be clicking on the links and going to your site. It is likely that many of your so called “friends” are people that want to post on your wall and talk about themselves or could care less about you or your music! It is a great way to create a buzz about something but remember they are tools to get people to go to your website!

Social Networking needs to be part of your strategy to reach an audience, however it should be an add-on to your main site. Use Twitter, Facebook, Reverb Nation etc. to bring attention to your music and your home base, your own website, where everything can be found in one place by potential fans or industry professionals. Another thing that blows me away is how hard it is to find a simple email address or how to purchase music on an artist site. How are people supposed to communicate with you and offer you opportunities if you are making it impossible for them to find any basic information about you? These are simple no-brainer things that are being discarded or forgotten. How does that happen? We are living in a world of instant gratification and you will lose fans and professionals alike if you do not get your ducks in a row and implement these simple procedures to afford your music exposure and the right opportunities. Remember if a web surfer does not see what they want on your homepage they are gone in a matter of seconds, so make it obvious what you want them to pay attention to!

The entire point of this article is to help artists focus on the basic steps first. It is ok to look at the big picture but you have to hook up the horse to the cart before it moves. If you are genuinely serious about your music and want to go somewhere with it then you need a plan, discipline, and most of all an understanding of how the internet really works and what your audience wants.

 

By: Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

http://www.musicxray.com/profiles/860

 

Will they find your music? We’ll do our part. You do yours. It’s important.

Posted by Mike McCready | December 13th, 2011 | 6 Responses

Industry professionals log in to Music Xray every day with one sole objective: to find great music

Music Xray is preparing to launch a new music search engine to enable industry professionals to find your music via proactive searches – and everyone knows Music Xray is the only site where thousands of music industry professionals have active profiles and hundreds of them log in every day!

As we get closer to launch date, we’ll provide all the details regarding the new search engine.

In the meantime, it’s time to start sprucing up your profiles and your songs.

 

 

Enter your meta data for Music Xray’s new search engine

See the short video explaining how to enter your song data.

 

Please log in to your account, edit your songs and click the button that says “edit search related info“. Fill in as much of the requested information as you can.

It is also very helpful if you also add your lyrics since many professional seek music based on key phrases or song topics. All in all, the more complete your tracks’ profiles the better impression you make.

Log in here to get started.

 

Sharpening your music business skills – when to negotiate and when to sign on the dotted line

Posted by Mike McCready | December 7th, 2011 | No responses


Frequently, we receive inquiries from musicians who have had their song(s) selected for opportunities on Music Xray and who have questions about contract terms they’re being offered by the industry professionals.

One of the most frustrating occurrences is when an industry professional sends you a contract for license deal, you have some doubts and questions about the contract so you send your questions to the professional and then you never hear back. It’s like the deal just disappeared.

Why does this happen?

The hard reality is that while the license deal may be your first (or at least not the sort of thing you deal with every day), that’s not the case for many industry professionals. Many of them do license deals multiple times per week and many of them have successfully been using a similar contract template for years. It has been sufficient and deemed fair by many musicians who have gone before you so, for the professional, the contract is not a point of negotiation. Going back and forth on a standard contract is, in their minds, a waste of time. That’s why sometimes you may never hear back when you try to negotiate it. It’s just seen as too much hassle to discuss the finer points of a straightforward deal and it’s easier to move on and find alternative music.

 

Believe it or not, some industry professionals simply do not accept unsolicited material simply because they consider it to be too much effort to deal with artists who don’t demonstrate business competence. That is one of the primary reasons you should have a team that includes a manager. Seek one here (scroll to view all managers seeking to expand their rosters).

We’re not telling you to sign every deal put in front of you. Heavens no! You are right to have some healthy skepticism. We all know the reputation this business has earned. However, the web has made business a lot more transparent and it is getting a lot harder for anyone who is not ethical to hide their bad reputation. We urge you to check people out and do some reasonable research. We also urge you to negotiate the points of large complex agreements. You can also have a professional such as Desha Jackson review contracts for you at a very reasonable rate. But be careful not to become your own worst enemy when completing a deal.

The best next piece of good advice we can give you is to never stop learning how this evolving business works. As part of that endeavor, subscribe to our blog.

 

Dave’s Music Corner – Be Ready For Success

Posted by Mike McCready | December 6th, 2011 | No responses

 

Music Xray Blog #2
“Dave’s Music Corner”
Be Ready For Success

 

1) Have additional material ready and organized.

2) Record rough demos of songs even if you do not have perfect demos.

3) Know how to talk about your music and style, don’t sound confused.

 

Hello members.

 

This is David Snow, producer and owner of Little Hipster Music.

Today’s subject of discussion is called “Be Ready For Success”.

 

Many artists who have not had deals etc., have indeed had momentary contact with music industry professionals. They have had industry professionals interested and then LOST their chance.

This would be an example of an artist not being prepared for success and dropping the ball when their small moment of opportunity came by.

You get a “bite” from a producer or A&R man. And they ask for MORE material.

Are you ready for that? You’d be surprised how many are NOT.

 

1) Is your song catalog ORGANIZED?

You will be surprised of how many artists I get into discussions with, only to hear that they have to go find, round up, resurrect, etc. a 2nd, 3rd and 4th song they want me to hear.

They tell me they would like to have me produce a song. Of course, I then want to make sure I am producing an artists’ BEST song.

So I ask for other songs, even rough demos, to hear what an artist has been up to and to make sure I am being asked to produce the BEST song.

And the artist suddenly sounds confused, unsure of where songs are, which version to send to me, etc.

EXPECT TO BE ASKED FOR MORE MATERIAL.

Have it ready. Have it categorized.

So, if you have not done so, start rounding up ALL of your songs NOW. Don’t rely on the one or three songs you send to an A&R guy or a producer. Of course, you have led off with your best song, that’s great! Now, get the acoustic version together if you have it. Or… know where the 3 other songs are that came before the song you pitched and HAVE THEM READY.

When a producer or A&R guy contacts you, the ball is already rolling. It is a terrible waste of energy to slow it down by not being ready. I have seen weeks go by. I have seen artists disappear, never to be heard from again! This can be annoying to the producer or A&R guy and you don’t want that.

When asked, “do you have something else I can listen to” have a lightening quick answer, ” Yes, I have ———–, how would you like me to get it to you?”

Ok you say, “But what if I don’t have a 2nd song demoed and professionally recorded Mr. Smarty pants”? Lol…

Ok….

 

2) Round up your up and coming rough drafts of songs.

Put them on a tape recorder, record them into your lap top, or go to radio shack or a guitar center and buy a cheap recorder.

The producer or A&R guy wants to know where you are headed.

If your first demo got an A&R guy’s interest, many will be willing to listen to rougher up and coming material.

They already have an idea of your best potential from the first demo so, if you explain that the next songs are roughs to get an idea of other written material, that should be ok.

Having new, up and coming material has been the biggest slow down of all with past artists I have dealt with. I get interested, I want to know if we should re-produce the demo I got interested in or is there a “GEM” the guy has just finished that would be BETTER to produce.

And the artist says- “Let me get that together for you and call you back”.

Three weeks later, I am too busy to take the call, or there is no call. Energy wasted, opportunity lost.

 

3) Know how to talk about your music.

You’d be surprised how many artists stumble when asked “what is your music like?”

This might sound silly but, practice explaining your music with yourself. Tape yourself and listen back. Do you sound clear, does your explanation create interest? Or do you sound unsure and a bit confused or boring? Have a little script by the phone if needed.

Reference it when you CONFIDENTLY, (yet nicely), tell the producer or A&R guy about your style of music.

Remember, the producer or A&R guy is kind of watching the “YOU” show. He’s listening, wanting to know. Be smooth, confident and friendly. When you explain it, it needs to sound like something that will make a person want to hear more.

Think this is too obvious? Ok, I’ll make a deal with you. Tape yourself and listen back. Let me know how your first explanations sounded? Lol…

 

So be READY for success. Get organized. Expect questions about your current, past and future songs. Have that stuff ready ok?

Great!

Hope that helps, stay tuned for more blogs.

I look forward to hearing from you all.

 

Please feel free to submit your music to: http://www.musicxray.com/interactions/2682/submissions/new

 

 

Good luck to you all,
David Snow

 

Music Xray’s policy regarding industry professional account suspension

Posted by Mike McCready | November 29th, 2011 | 2 Responses

I’ll just say it. Music Xray is hands down, far-and-away, no contest the best early stage song and talent discovery platform for music industry professionals. It’s not even close. If you are an industry professionals genuinely seeking to discover new, high-potential songs and talent and you aren’t using Music Xray to help you do it, you’re at a competitive disadvantage to all those who are using it to its fullest capabilities.

What’s more, it’s free. The only thing we require from our industry professional users is that you attend to every submission you receive within 30 days of receiving it. If you fall behind and submissions languish unattended in your drop box for 45 days or more, we’ll likely be suspending (shutting down) your account and locking you out.

It doesn’t have to happen. We give you the tools to regulate the pace of submissions. If you’re getting so many that you can’t keep up, you can raise your submission fee. If you’re getting too few, you can decrease it.

We will make exceptions. For example, if you’re going on an extended vacation or if you’re on maternity leave, we’ll work with you. You can also deactivate your drop box without having your account suspended. To do that, just attend to all the pending submissions and then set your drop box to expire on today’s date or any date you desire. That will mean that you will not receive any more submissions until you re-open the drop box (or create a new one) and your account will remain open.

Music Xray’s musician and songwriter users depend on the fact that every submission they make will be heard and attended to by the people to whom they submit their music. If you aren’t keeping up, we must remove you and cut off your access to our A&R tools.

Unattended open drop boxes on Music Xray are not allowed.

How much should you spend submitting your tracks via Music Xray? As little as possible.

Posted by Mike McCready | November 27th, 2011 | 5 Responses

That’s right. I don’t think you should spend any more than it absolutely takes to achieve your goals (land the sort of deals you’re pursing). The shorter we can make the path and the more we can reduce costs, the more invaluable Music Xray will be to our community of musicians. Ultimately, we care most about building the best set of tools we possibly can.

So, I want to be clear about this. You should not spend a penny more than the value Music Xray provides to your career.


As you know, each time one of your tracks has been rated by five industry professionals (which requires that you submit the track at least five times) we show you the average of the ratings. We don’t delay showing you the ratings as part of some strategy to get you to submit each song five times. It’s just that the average of any number of ratings below five is not statistically significant and doesn’t provide reliable information.

We can’t show you each individual rating. If we did, the ratings would be less sincere because the professionals who rate the songs would know that their individual ratings are public. As much as we’d like that fact to not influence the scores, it does.

So, here’s the thing: we’ve been collecting song ratings from industry professionals for years and we reflect those results back to the community of professionals. More on how that works here. We simply decided that it might be useful to you if we showed those ratings to you.
So, we worked out a way that we could do that without singling out any individual professional who rated a song. We don’t charge you anything additional to see the ratings. Consider it a bit of a bonus.

But then we realized that the ratings themselves are predictive in nature. That is, we can observe that most songs that receive high ratings do end up landing the type of deal they’re pursuing sooner or later. Often, it’s just a matter of persistence and having a good submissions strategy – which most often just means not submitting to opportunities that aren’t a good fit for your music. I don’t think anyone should submit solely for the purpose of acquiring a rating (unless you’re submitting specifically to get some career coaching or a song critique – in which case, getting the feedback is the whole purpose of the submission).

Given that the scores are predictive, we realized that one of the best ways to use Music Xray is to actually submit all the music you have to as many opportunities as it takes to accumulate five ratings for each song. In the process, you may get a deal for a few of those songs right away. It happens all the time. But if not, you can use the ratings you get back to decide which songs you want to continue submitting and which songs are probably not worthy of your continued investment.

Either way, you and your team have to decide how much you should invest in getting your career to the next level. At what point is it not worth it? You also music consider the fact that every deal you don’t land, someone else does. Competition is tough and in order to not be out-competed in the new music business, you have to use tools, like those provided by Music Xray, in a way that increases your chances and gives you an edge.

 

New Feature is like a GPS for your Music Career; are you getting closer to success or are you moving further away?

Posted by Mike McCready | November 23rd, 2011 | No responses

We’re very excited that today we have launched a new feature. The feature itself is just a small change to how Music Xray has always worked but it changes the game for musicians and songwriters everywhere because it provides you feedback as you execute your submission strategy.

It’s like a GPS system to tell you if you’re getting closer or further away from getting a deal for your music or your band.

 

It also creates a new, very effective way to use Music Xray to advance your music career.


When musicians submit tracks to industry professionals for their consideration, the professionals are asked to rate them. Many of them do. They give the songs one to five stars on each of the following criteria: composition, production, performance, arrangement, and hit potential.

As of today, Music Xray shows you your track’s average ratings once your track has been rated at least five times. Why is that important?

 

Simply put: high ratings indicate a high probability your song or act will eventually be successful securing the type of deals you’re pursuing. Low scores mean it’s not likely to happen.

By showing you the average of several ratings, we’re not singling out any one of the professionals who rated. Their individual ratings are private. Therefore, they’re sincere. The knowledge you get from seeing these average ratings, previously cost months or even years to acquire.

You should learn the ratings of all your songs so that you know which ones gain traction for you and which ones may be holding you back.

Additionally, your songs that are receiving high ratings will continue to get pushed to the top of the statistics section, which is seen by dozens of industry professionals each day and it’s where they can hear top rated songs that have not been submitted directly to them but that are getting positive ratings from other industry professionals.

This eco-system that provides you feedback while you execute your submission strategy means the best way to use Music Xray is as follows:

1. Submit all your songs to at least 5 industry professionals (here’s a list of a few who ALWAYS rate the songs they receive.

2. Step one may result in your song getting a deal; in which case, misson accomplished. If not, once you have your 5 ratings for each song, you may regard it as a prediction of your eventual success.

3. Continue submitting the tracks that are receiving high ratings. Cease investing in your weaker songs and/or get professional song critiques and/or career coaching. After tweaking your music and/or your submissions strategy, go back to step one.

 

A focus group and a $4 credit for every new artist account

Posted by Mike McCready | November 17th, 2011 | No responses

Invite the musicians you know before someone else does!


You probably already know about Music Xray’s referral program where we pay you when people you refer to Music Xray conduct transactions.

Music Xray is growing quickly. Refer the musicians you know before someone else does.

Sign-up to receive this music industry opportunity email each week

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