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Industry professionals’ tough ratings may be offset by better-than-average artists

Posted by Mike McCready | August 8th, 2013 | 2 Responses

Some users have recently written in regarding the integrity of the industry professional ratings on Music Xray. We especially hear from users when they get lower ratings than they are expecting based on past feedback they’ve received on their song.

The question users have is, “Are the professionals rating songs more harshly on Music Xray than they would elsewhere?”.

While we don’t have a definitive answer to that, our instinct would tell us they are. After all, it’s on Music Xray where they are actually thinking about the music from a commercial point of view. That doesn’t mean they’re benchmarking music against the Top 40 nor that they are always judging for mass appeal. It just means they are evaluating the commercial potential of the music and that may not be the perspective from which others were hearing the music previously.

By the same token, we would expect music submitted via Music Xray to be slightly above the mean in terms of quality and musicianship. After all, it requires a certain level of professionalism to invest in a pathway to success. Those who are unwilling to do so don’t frequent Music Xray.

Those two phenomena probably cancel each other out on the site. Tougher ratings criteria may be offset by a better-than-average user base.

As expected, the most frequent rating is “average”. Roughly 40% of songs receive a 3 star rating on at least one attribute, which is what we’d expect to see. While we can always make improvements to data collection and normalization, we’re pretty confident in the integrity of the data itself.

P.S. Even though Music Xray gives songs with high ratings more visibility to industry professionals, we observe many many songs with 2 star and 3 star ratings get selected for deals on the site. In judging the ratings you received on your song, be sure to pay attention to this portion (the one circled in red to the left) of the song’s Diagnostics.

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: