The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent
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This Month: Invite 100 Musicians to Join Music Xray and Receive $1000

Posted by Mike McCready | July 19th, 2011 | No responses

1. Receive ongoing affiliate fees for every musician you invite who opens a free account on Music Xray. Invite 100 or more musicians who open free accounts and receive an additional $1000. Click here to find out how to do it.

2. Are you new to Music Xray? Click here to get the musician’s guide to Music Xray.

3. Over 3500 songs and acts selected for opportunities since February! Understand one of the reasons Music Xray works by clicking here.

 

One of the Reasons Music Xray Works: Submission Fees

Posted by Mike McCready | July 19th, 2011 | 3 Responses

 

Since February alone, more than 3500 songs and acts have been selected for opportunities on Music Xray. From my understanding, the ratio of submissions to deals is more than 10 times better than at online submission sites. Music Xray distinguishes itself by being an A&R platform – a site dedicated to finding the most appropriate songs & acts for each opportunity and to helping the industry bring its A&R efforts into the 21st century.

Sure, the great deal ratio is due in large part to the great A&R tools Music Xray provides to industry professionals to help them quickly and easily identify the music they are seeking but it’s also partially due to Music Xray’s modest submission fees.

What?

Yes, it’s true. Submission fees, as small as they are, require musicians to filter their own music and submit only the songs they believe are the best for each opportunity. When musicians don’t over-submit, the industry professionals are less overwhelmed and the quality of what they hear on Music Xray is significantly higher than almost anywhere else. That keeps the industry professionals more engaged on Music Xray.

Less competition:

Then, there are the musicians who have not yet understood how the changes in the music industry of the past decade have changed the A&R process. Many do not believe – based purely on principle – that they should have to pay anything at all to have their music considered by the industry. They do not realize that even the ways of the past that seemed free were not free and did not come with guarantees their music would be heard and considered.

Those later adopters, who remove themselves from the equation, create a smaller pool of competition for the early adopters – and therefore more deals.

Greater competition outside of Music Xray:

If 3500 deals were done on Music Xray, it stands to reason that there were 3500 fewer deals available outside of Music Xray – meaning that it’s getting increasingly difficult to find deals elsewhere and that’s to say nothing of the increasing challenge of breaking through the noise and clutter to distinguish yourself and your music.

Remember, there are literally millions of emerging musicians and millions of new songs created and posted online every year. There is no way the industry can filter through all that music to find what they are seeking “out there in the wild”. That’s why Music Xray is changing the game and small submission fees are one of the reasons it works.

Nashville begins to open it’s doors to independent acts and songwriters everywhere!

Posted by Mike McCready | July 14th, 2011 | No responses

 

Nashville Music City

Nashville Music City

Greetings from Music City,

 

This past week we left our New York digs and spent some time in Nashville, which for generations has been relatively closed to non-local songwriters and acts.

That is, until now.

At Music Xray, we have been focussing our efforts on your behalf to ease open the doors of Music City. This is something not even the songwriters’ associations have been able to achieve for their members on a regular basis. In some ways, the opening of these Nashville doors is historic for this industry.

Today’s newsletter will have a special emphasis on Nashville.

The Music Xray Team

 

The Ins & Outs of Submission Fees on Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | July 5th, 2011 | 4 Responses

The music business has changed in countless ways over the past decade. It’s only natural that the A&R / professional-talent-discovery process would change as well. None of what is written here is theory. It is working in practice and thousands of songs and acts are selected for opportunities.
Let’s remember for a moment what it used to be like for industry professionals:

A&R professionals limited their intake of new music to trusted contacts and their referrals. Even so, they listened to large amounts of music. They had to keep track of who submitted what, deal with overflowing and sluggish email accounts and/or stacks of CDs. Often, they were relentlessly pursued, hounded, called, emailed, ambushed and otherwise hunted down by almost everyone from whom they’d received music for their consideration. These and other issues involving legal concerns were precisely what led so many companies to actually close their doors to submissions from people with whom they didn’t already have working relationships. These inefficiencies and policies of not accepting unsolicited material shut out countless independent musicians, deprived the industry and audiences of some very worthwhile music, and created a community that operated, to a large degree, based on who you knew or could get access to.

The Music Xray Way

Music Xray has implemented a way that enables over 1200 music industry professionals (and growing) to open the doors of opportunity to independent musicians everywhere. Submission fees are an integral part of it but they do not exist as a significant revenue stream for any industry professional. In fact, many of them direct their fees to various charities. You can read more about that here.
The submission fees serve as a barrier to avoid submission overflow. The industry professionals on Music Xray can raise or lower the fees as needed to speed up or slow down the rate at which they are receiving submissions. Music Xray requires the professionals to listen to and attend to every submission. If they fall too far behind, we suspend their account and they loose the ability to use the highly useful A&R tools provided on our site. Due to the fact that they must attend to every submission, they cannot afford to receive so many songs that they can’t keep up. The fee-barrier helps them keep things manageable.

You participate in the A&R process:

The fee also requires the musicians to participate in the A&R process. If you see an opportunity on the site in which you are interested and you feel like your song is up to par, you will likely make the submission. However, if you weigh the cost of the submission versus the strength of your song and decide not to make the submission, you are in fact helping the industry pre-screen by taking your song out of consideration. If you don’t feel your song is strong enough, it’s likely the A&R professional would agree with you. By not submitting, you are increasing the chances of those who do submit, decreasing the amount of inappropriate music the professional must hear and making the A&R process more efficient.
By the same token, the fee helps the songs you do submit not be drowned in a sea of songs that other musicians have opted not to submit. The fees are a very useful tool in the pre-screening process.

What the fees are not:

Music Xray does not permit industry professional to use the fees as a significant revenue stream nor to pay for prizes in a contest-type scenario. Exceptions are made for professionals who use the fees to help offset the costs of screening and for industry professionals who are providing career coaching or song critiques. They should be paid for their time and expertise just as are attorneys, tax professionals and other types of consultants. We let them set their own price and we allow the market to determine if they are worth it.
Music Xray closes down accounts of professionals who are discovered to be hosting false opportunities. Our team vets each professional and each opportunity but we also rely on community policing. We enable our community of musicians to leave comments (positive and negative) on the profile pages of the industry professionals. It helps keep everyone on their best behavior.
Music Xray refunds money to submitters when too much time has gone by without a response (usually 45 days).

The responsibilities of the musicians in today’s music industry:

As companies have left the role of artist development, that responsibility is increasingly falling on the shoulders of the musicians themselves, their immediate business teams and their financial backers if they have them.
To be an artist (performer or songwriter or both) in today’s ecosystem requires you to think of yourself as a small business. When businesses spend money to develop new products and services they spend even more marketing and selling them. They make sure their customers get a taste. They spend money on advertising, they give away free samples, they spend money on trade shows, business trips, negotiations… In short, they spare no expense when it comes to getting the deals that generate the revenue and eventual profit.
Most musicians “get” that and they actually do those things. They just do them in the ways they’ve always been done – ways that seem free but actually have huge costs in time and effort which also translate to money.
Music Xray provides a place where you can get that done in a way that costs less in terms of both time and money. Music Xray is a money and time SAVER for you, not an additional cost. It should decrease the amount of money already spent trying to get deals and significantly increase the effectiveness of your efforts.

Circumvention of Music Xray’s platform

We understand that accepting submission fees is difficult for a process that seemed free in the past (but really wasn’t) so we know how desirable it can seem to want to avoid the fee and find another way to contact the industry professionals. Because this happens from time to time, some industry professionals on the site refuse to be identified. They get too many email submissions and it defeats the purpose of being able to use our great A&R tools that help them find what they are seeking and keep everything organized. Many of them just forward those submissions to us and we’ll contact you and suggest you use their Music Xray drop box and we will probably send you a link to this post (awkward!)
But it just doesn’t make sense to circumvent the system. Here’s why:
When you submit through Music Xray, you know the person on the other end is going to listen to the song and you’re not going to have to call-in a favor or pester someone to make sure that happens. Whenever you send an MP3 via email or a CD via the post you don’t really know for sure if they listen and then you find yourself either feeling crappy because you never hear back or feeling crappy because you have to call back and hound them about the song – and if you’re like us you probably hate being that person.
With Music Xray, you know that if they don’t listen, our community managers are just going to have to contact them to tell them we’re closing their account because they are not attending to their submissions. We have leverage you don’t.
So, if you are making submissions and not getting selected, you just have to live with the fact that your music isn’t grabbing their attention despite being listened to or you have to get better by maybe getting some professional critiques and some coaching – also available on the site.

This is not theory

None of this is theory. It is working in practice and due to Music Xray’s innovative A&R tools and platform, over 1200 industry professionals use Music Xray to conduct some or all of their A&R efforts and over 2500 songs and acts have been selected for opportunities  – and that’s just since February!

 

Music Xray to Automatically Match SoundCloud Users’ Songs to Music Industry Opportunities

Posted by Mike McCready | June 22nd, 2011 | No responses

Announces release of API to enable music sites everywhere to offer song-to-opportunity matching feature to their users

SoundCloud to manage all Music Xray audio

June, 22 2011 – New York / Berlin

Over 1200 music industry professionals use Music Xray to discover high-potential songs and emerging talent, a task referred to as A&R (artist and repertoire). The site’s 21st Century A&R™ tools have helped the industry select over 2200 songs and acts for opportunities just since February. Among these placements are major and indie label signings, major motion picture song placements, network television inclusions, the licensing of songs for advertising campaigns, radio play-listing and publishing deals.

One of the key drivers of these selections is Music Xray’s Song-to-Opportunity Matching feature, called S2O:

Industry professionals upload songs that sound and feel like the type of music they’d like to have submitted to them. S2O analyzes the acoustic properties of those “seed” songs and matches them to available songs with similar characteristics that musicians have uploaded for free to Music Xray’s servers. Song owners are alerted any time a match is detected and given the opportunity to submit their music to be considered for the opportunity.

Today, Music Xray announces the release of two new apps in the SoundCloud App Gallery. Both apps will automatically match a SoundCloud user’s music to industry opportunities on Music Xray.

• The “Full” app enables SoundCloud users to use their existing SoundCloud account to login to Music Xray. Click here to use this function. For existing Music Xray and SoundCloud users they can link their SoundCloud account to Music Xray to receive opportunity alerts via email by clicking here.

• The “Lite” app will deliver the opportunity alerts to the comment section of the song that has been matched and does not require the SoundCloud user to create a Music Xray account until they decide to submit a song to an industry professional for consideration. It is best to use the full app but you can access the lite app here.

Additionally, Music Xray will also enable new users of the site to automatically link their pre-existing SoundCloud account to Music Xray and thereby avoid having to upload their music tracks yet again. This is the first phase of Music Xray’s shift to have SoundCloud manage all audio across its A&R platform.

Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud said, “Music Xray is an innovative company that is changing the game of how industry professionals identify new songs and talent. We’re excited to add another compelling app to our gallery and to make this service available to our five million sound creators.

SoundCloud has emerged as the de facto platform for anyone to create and share sound and is one of the most exciting companies in the world right now.” Added Mike McCready, co-founder and CEO of Music Xray, “This is a natural and very synergistic partnership that enables us to concentrate on what we do better than anyone else – connecting musicians with opportunities and professionals – while benefiting from what SoundCloud does better than anyone else – everything audio-related.

Release of Music Xray’s API

Music Xray is also announcing the release of its S2O API, which will enable any company to automatically match their users’ music to opportunities on Music Xray. Integrations with several partners are already underway and will be announced separately.

*****

About Music Xray
Music Xray is the world’s only dedicated online A&R platform. It emerged from beta in January of 2010 and is designed for music industry professionals to make the process of sourcing emerging musical talent and high-potential songs more efficient and less risky. At the same time, it enables the industry to open the doors of opportunity to independent musicians and songwriters everywhere. For more information, visit http://musicxray.com

About SoundCloud
SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, is an audio platform that enables anyone to create, record, promote and share their sounds on the web, in a simple, accessible and feature-rich way. SoundCloud allows sound creators to instantly record audio; upload large files; share them publicly and privately; embed sound across websites and blogs; receive detailed analytics, plus feedback from the community directly onto their waveform player. For more information go to: http://soundcloud.com

New RSS Feed for us with Affiliate Program

Posted by Mike McCready | June 16th, 2011 | 1 Response

Music Xray is building a database of music fans. When you invite fans, we pay you more for the focus groups in which you participate. We pay you even more again when those you invite actually sign-up with a fan account.

Just log in to your artist account and click the button that invites fans. Enter the email address (or import the addresses) of those you’d like to invite and click the button.

The more fans we collectively bring to the site, the richer the experience will be for everyone!

Along with the signup for the account you can also use your affiliate id with our rss feed. Just replace the MYAFID with your affiliate id that you will see in your account http://www.musicxray.com/artist/categories.rss?afid=MYAFID.

It is that simple and you will earn money for every artist, fan or music professional that signups on Music Xray due to clicking one of the links provided from the feed.

Log in to invite fans

Access to Capital: Introducing the First Music Investment Fund on Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | May 9th, 2011 | 2 Responses

 

Investors, such as Deer In Headlights Music Group, are taking notice that Music Xray’s 21st century A&R tools reduce risk and increase probability of high returns when it comes to making investments in music.

A new fund will be making small ($30k to $50k) investments over the coming months in bands & acts sourced and de-risked via Music Xray.

To be elegible for these funds, industry professionals must have sourced their project on Music Xray, present data (such as results from Music Xray’s stats page, Music Xray focus group results and other information) to support the potential of a viable business opportunity that will begin to generate returns within 6 months.

If you are an industry professional with an open dropbox on Music Xray
, have sourced your project via Music Xray and are interested in seeking funding for your project(s), please email us at musicinvestments@musicxray.com. Include a link to the act you are working with on Music Xray and a brief outline of the project. We will reply to further the conversation.

If you are not using Music Xray to conduct at least part of your A&R activities you are missing out on free use of the most advanced A&R tools ever assembled and now, access to capital.
Some facts and data about Music Xray:

First the facts:
  • Music Xray is the music industry’s only dedicated A&R platform.
  • It’s free for industry professionals to use.
  • The company is venture backed.
  • It harnesses the latest technology to the benefit of those who seek new songs & talent.
  • It enables the industry to open the doors of opportunity to artists everywhere while eliminating much of the hassle of separating the wheat from the chaff.
  • It’s transparent and fair – making the A&R process more about how good an artist is and less about whom they know (or who they can reach on their own or of whom they can request a favor). In other words, Music Xray is professional.
  • It guarantees artists get heard by those they submit to within a reasonable amount of time (unheard of in this business).

Now the data:
  • More than 1250 songs have been selected for real industry opportunities on Music Xray in the past 90 days alone!
  • These deals include placement in major Hollywood movie soundtracks, major TV network theme songs, major and cable network series placement, reality show auditions and placement, label deals, radio station playlist adds, magazine features, blog features, publishing deals, management deals, production deals and sample deals.
  • Over 1200 industry professionals now use Music Xray to conduct at least some of their A&R activities. Among these professionals are top Hollywood music supervisors, major & indie label A&Rs, radio stations, influential music bloggers…
  • The industry’s ONLY song to opportunity matching system (S2O) has created an effective way of delivering a high percentage of relevant music to the professionals’ in-box without restricting outliers and creative innovation from reaching their ears.
  • Music Xray’s back-end statistics (Collective A&R) has itself produced deals between artists and industry professionals by highlighting high-potential songs that have been well-rated by multiple industry professionals yet remained unsigned.

 

Music Xray is Re-defining the A&R Process. Here are The Facts and The Data:

Posted by Mike McCready | April 14th, 2011 | No responses

 

First the facts:

• Music Xray is the music industry’s only dedicated A&R platform.

• It’s free for industry professionals to use.

• The company is venture backed.

• It harnesses the latest technology to the benefit of those who seek new songs & talent.

• It enables the industry to open the doors of opportunity to artists everywhere while eliminating much of the hassle of separating the wheat from the chaff.

• It’s transparent and fair – making the A&R process more about how good an artist is and less about whom they know (or who they can reach on their own or of whom they can request a favor). In other words, Music Xray is professional.

· It guarantees artists get heard by those they submit to within a reasonable amount of time (unheard of in this business).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the data:

• More than 850 songs have been selected for real industry opportunities in the past 60 days alone!

These deals include placement in major Hollywood movie soundtracks, major TV network theme songs, major and cable network series placement, reality show auditions and placement, radio station playlist adds, label deals, magazine features, blog features, publishing deals, management deals, production deals and sample deals.

• Over 1200 industry professionals now use Music Xray to conduct at least some of their A&R activities. Among these professionals are top Hollywood music supervisors, major & indie label A&Rs, radio stations, influential music bloggers…

• The industry’s ONLY song to opportunity matching system (S2O) has created an effective way of delivering a high percentage of relevant music to the professionals’ in-box without restricting outliers and creative innovation from reaching their ears.

• Music Xray’s back-end statistics (Collective A&R) has itself produced deals between artists and industry professionals by highlighting high-potential songs that have been well-rated by multiple industry professionals yet remained unsigned. Here are a few examples:

 

Dear Diary – Mary Sarah (rated consistently high by 47 professionals)

Stop Messin With My Mind – written by Marissa DiBlassio (rated consistently high by 14 professionals)

• Tastes Like Sugar – The Strike Nineteens (rated consistently high by 11 professionals)

See You Tonight – Kotadama (rated consistently high by 16 professionals)

One in a Million – Amanda Blush (rated consistently high by 7 professionals)

 

Music Xray is featuring a submission and a free focus group when you open an account (which is also free, by the way).

Posted by Mike McCready | March 22nd, 2011 | No responses

When you open an account on Music Xray, you are automatically given a free credit (plus a free focus group worth $25 for your music).  Your credit makes any one of these submission opportunities completely free! Be sure to scroll all the way through. There are three pages of them.

We’ve developed a good service that brings top industry professionals to the table and enables them to open the doors of opportunity to independent musicians everywhere. While far from perfect, Music Xray is getting great feedback from artists and industry professionals alike and we’re continuously improving.

 

Check us out. It’s on us!

Music Xray at South by Southwest!

Posted by Mike McCready | March 18th, 2011 | No responses

 

Although our booth wasn’t blurry in real life, we were at South by Southwest (SxSW) this week introducing Music Xray to thousands of musicians and people from the interactive and music industries.
Music Xray at SxSw

We were even interviewed by a camera crew from a program that originates in Wales (UK) and we talked about Music Xray’s business model.

To see that video click here.