The Music Xray Blog
technology enhanced identification of high potential songs & talent

Why You Shouldn’t Hide Your Songs Under a Bush

Posted by Mike McCready | May 29th, 2010 | No responses


We’ve all heard the old stories about the artist who submitted their song to someone in the music business and never heard back. Then, at some point in

the future they heard their song on the radio as a smash hit recorded by someone else and the whole thing ended up in a contentious lawsuit or simply

never got resolved. These days, some artists believe that when they put their songs “out there” they run the risk of it spreading virally and millions of

people will end up listening to the song but the artist never will never see a dime.

As in every industry, the music industry has its share of unscrupulous people so I’ll never go as far as to say that this won’t ever happen again but in my

opinion, the potential rewards of getting your songs heard far outweigh the risks. Here are four points that illustrate why:

  • There are now over a million songs being created and digitally distributed EACH YEAR. There is no lack of great music and smash hits out there and an

    industry professional would rather do legitimate business with a willing artist than to steal a song. There’s just too much hassle involved in stealing a song

    and in today’s digital age. It’s pretty easy for an artist to prove a song is theirs.

  • If you don’t get your song in front of the right people you have no shot. There are plenty of artists out there who understand that hiding their music is

    only going to lead to never getting a deal. In other words, competition is robust and if you don’t get your songs in front of the right people there are

    plenty of other artists who will.

  • Right or wrong, most music business professionals believe that there is no song or artist that can’t be replaced. That is to say, no matter how good you

    are or no matter how good your song is it really doesn’t make sense for a music business professional to try to “steal” it from you. Why get embroiled in

    contention with an artist and damage your own reputation in the business when it’s so easy to find artists with great songs willing to do deals?

  • Mass exposure gives you a better chance of achieving fame or reaching a deal than obscurity does. That is to say, if you are lucky enough to put a song

    out there and to have it take off virally you will do really well. The currency of the digital age is attention. If you get people’s attention you have a better

    chance of converting it into income than if you languish in obscurity. Unless you are a writer of hit songs with a proven track record, a network of

    contacts waiting for your next creation and top artists beating down your door for your songs you need to do whatever you can to establish yourself.

    Having one of your songs go viral will help you establish that.

There is one last issue you should understand. Most music professionals and companies will not accept music submissions if the music they receive is not publicly visible and streamable somewhere. There are a lot of complex legal issues surrounding this but explained briefly; industry professionals and their companies do not want to be put in the position of perhaps being the only people to have ever heard your music. If they were and someone were to copy your music, they could be liable. Industry professionals would prefer to never hear your music than to be put in that position. Therefore, one of the requirements of submitting music via Music Xray is that the music is streamable from the site. This is explained clearly in our terms of service. If you’re not comfortable with it, please don’t use Music Xray.

But again, there are lots of other reasons (see above) why making your music available is in your best interest.

Tip of the week – How To Make It As an Artists in the New Music Business

Posted by Mike McCready | May 19th, 2010 | No responses

Check out this article on The Huffington Post:

It covers some of the new opportunities and paths to success now open to artists in the emerging new music business landscape.

“… after years of drought, we may now be moving into the best time to be a musical act in decades, if not ever. A time when there is less incentive than ever before for any business person to prey upon the aspirations and naivety of artists and a time when artists can hire their own business teams and be off to the races.

“I am certain that we will see some very creative ways in which artists will become famous. There will be more paths to success than we’ve ever seen. I don’t claim to foresee them all but here’s one replicable way I think it can be done.”

Subscribe to the new Song Cat A&R Podcast to hear great Music Xray songs and discussion about the music business.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

How do I set up the Next Big Sound Artists Statistics Module on my Music Xray?

Posted by Mike McCready | May 16th, 2010 | No responses

For those of you who have not activated it, the Artist Statistics module displays all sorts of data about the artist and help you see your traction and

progress at a glance.

However, YOURS MAY CONTAIN NO DATA and instead of seeing cool and informative graphs you

may only be seeing a message that says, “Could not locate any information for the artist name supplied.”

But you can change that

and we HIGHLY recommend you do, especially if you are submitting songs to industry professionals or have some of your songs pending review. Any

changes you make now will still be seen by professionals even though you’ve already submitted!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Click here (if that link does not work, copy and paste the following link into your browser: and set up an account at Next Big Sound (requires only email address and a password of your choice).

  2. After that, you should be taken to a screen asking you for the “artist’s name”. If not, go back to the link provided above once you’ve opened

    an account and are signed in.

  3. Enter the artist’s name. It will have to appear identically in the artist name field on your Music Xray song info module so if

    you have not entered your artist name and song title in your song presentation packs you have to do that too before the graphs will appear properly.

  4. Then enter the URLs to all the pages it requests such as your MySpace page, your Facebook page, Twitter url etc…
  5. Once that is finished your Artist Statistics module on your Music Xray should work just fine. Let us know if you have any questions.

Having trouble entering your artist name and song title in your Song Presentation pack?

It could be because you never claimed it after you uploaded it during the submission process.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Find an email you were sent right after you uploaded your song from Check your spam folder too.
  2. Click on the link that is provided in the email and then follow the instructions. You should be able to log in and make changes to your song

    presentation pack at that point.

  3. Let us know if you have any questions by getting in touch with us via the contact page:

Tip of the week – How To Best Use Music Xray

Posted by Mike McCready | May 11th, 2010 | No responses

1. Get feedback on your songs from qualified industry professionals.

2. Submit your songs for roster consideration, song placements and much more.

3. Use your song presentation packs to promote your songs across the web while putting their best foot forward.

Subscribe to the new Song Cat A&R Podcast to hear great Music Xray songs and discussion about the music business.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – The Nature of Unsolicited Material

Posted by Mike McCready | April 27th, 2010 | No responses

You’ve probably seen or been told that most music companies don’t accept unsolicited material (i.e. music they did not request be sent to them). There are many reasons for this but Music Xray is helping music companies solve the problems typically associated with unsolicited music. That is why you are seeing more and more of the traditional music companies joining Music Xray.

By solving problems for music companies and other music industry professionals, Music Xray is able to solve problems for you, like “How do I stand out? How do get my music into the hands of the people who can help me?

Music Xray is a platform that enables you to interact directly with top music industry professionals and submit directly to be considered for revenue generating deals.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Accepting song submissions on Music Xray is easy

Posted by Mike McCready | April 23rd, 2010 | No responses

Accepting song submissions on Music Xray is easy

Whether you’re a Grammy-winning producer, a music blogger, a label or just a guy with a website, you can begin using Music Xray to accept song

submissions. With your free dropbox you have the following options:

  • Accept submissions completely free (100% free for you and your submitters).
  • Charge a submission fee.

  • Donate any percentage of your fee to charity.
  • Promote your opportunities/your dropbox on your own websites and through social networks.
  • We promote many of the new opportunities to thousands of artists (we make sure they’re real).

If you are posting songs you’ve received we have a couple different options. Like this or like this.

If you want to open a drop box click here and log in under Music Industry Professionals.

Tip of the week – Why We Use Third-Party Log-ins

Posted by Mike McCready | April 21st, 2010 | No responses

You’ve probably noticed that in order to log in to submit music we ask that you use a third-party account.

1. It is secure. When you log in using a third party account (your username and password from another service) you are not giving us your password. Essentially, you are logging-in to that third-party service and they send us a code telling us you are who you say you are. We never get to see your actual log-in details.

2. It’s fast and easy. By using a third-party log-in, you do not have to remember yet another username and password. When you change your password at Facebook (for example) that’s all you have to remember.

3. It’s the future. More and more sites are moving to this type of log-in. We don’t rule out re-introducing our own username and password system but you will start to see more and more sites around the Web moving to this type of login feature. Just look at a few of the sites around the Web that are using this system already.

One last note: Our song submission site and the song presentation packs are separate applications that require that you log in separately. We recommend that you use the same third-party account for both applications and there is even a feature in the presentation packs menu that shows you how to associate your old username and password that you’ve been using with us to a third-party account. For more information on this topic and to avoid confusion, click here.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – Getting Your Music Career to the Next Level

Posted by Mike McCready | April 13th, 2010 | No responses

Music Xray is focussed on two things.

1. Getting you and/or your songs signed.
2. Getting you the coaching / advice and feedback you can use to get to the next level.

If the first point isn’t happening for you, concentrate on the second point to learn why and then go back to trying to place your songs and get yourself signed to revenue generating deals. It’s that straight forward. There are no hidden secrets.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – Making submissions and not getting placements? We can help

Posted by Mike McCready | April 6th, 2010 | No responses

Music Xray is NOT a music placement company, a music library or a pre-screener.

Music Xray IS a platform that enables you to place your own music by facilitating direct interactions between song owners and industry decision makers.

But, if you’ve been submitting and you are not getting placements you should get some professional help. Music Xray also enables artists to interact directly with top producers, songwriters and other professionals who give feedback, advice and career coaching to help you understand why you may not be getting placements, how to improve and how to get your career to the next level no matter how successful you’ve been in the past.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.

Tip of the week – Don’t be a jaded artist – Music Xray is here to help

Posted by Mike McCready | March 30th, 2010 | No responses

Tip of the week – Don’t be a jaded artist – Music Xray is here to help

We get asked a lot how Music Xray is different from all the other services out there. We know what it’s like to be jaded. We started Music Xray to solve problems for artists. So, when we get asked how we’re different this is what we say:

Music Xray does not charge any membership fees.

We do not pre-screen – you submit directly to the people listed on the site. Music Xray does not take any cut of deals you do with industry professionals.

We go out to people in the industry who typically take song submissions and we ask them what problems we can help them solve that will make it worthwhile to give priority to submissions they receive via Music Xray. We give them an easy to use platform that makes receiving, managing, listening and providing feedback much easier than dealing with a stack of CDs or an inbox full of MP3’s. We also enable them to charge a submission fee. Sometimes they feel that’s necessary in order to keep submissions down to a manageable level. Sometimes it helps compensate them for their time and attention.

As our name suggests, We enable industry professionals to see inside your music. That’s why it’s important you fill out and display as many of the modules in your song presentation pack as possible.

Another difference is that we run a completely transparent platform – also as our name suggests. If you get bad service from a professional on our site or if they are unprofessional with you, you can go to their profile page on our site and rate them and leave comments for everyone to see.

Music Xray exists to reduce the time and money it would take most artists to connect directly with the people we make available at the click of the mouse and for a fraction of the cost. Our commitment to artists is on our site and reads:

In building Music Xray our intention has been, and it always will be, to solve marketplace problems for artists.
No dream vultures. We will not permit users of our Interaction Engine to peddle false hopes to artists.
We are incorporating numerous mechanisms to ensure transparency and to encourage artist feedback.
We believe we are democratizing the ability to reach the people that can either teach you something, and/or potentially help you gain access to mass-exposure opportunities.

If you find otherwise, contact us and we will fix the problem.

But don’t take our word for it. Join out Facebook group and ask other users about their experiences with Music Xray. There are >3,000 artists there. We’re nothing if not transparent. We’re not perfect and there are a lot of features we have yet to roll out but we’re working tirelessly to improve and to take all feedback into consideration to make a really great service.

Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn group for a more business focused angle on all things music.