Monday, October 3, 2011

Music Clout. Seriously?

Wow. Same junk, new name: Taxi. Sonicbids. Reverb Nation. G2.fm. Music Clout. Companies preying on gullible artists, asking them to pay for exposure or concerts or song placement or whatever. Will Music Clout succeed? My guess is yes. Why? Because most artists are looking for a pipe dream: the easy way to musical success. Don't get me wrong: I'm tempted by the same things.

This Music Clout-sort of a business model works on numbers: get enough artists to sign up (IE: "buy in") and, for every submission from every artist, the company makes bank. The only cost to the company is the up-front cost in convincing songwriters and bands of the illusion that *their* organization can *truly* "make" a band - make them lots of money - with one of their "opportunities".

Songwriters and bands, listen up:

NEVER PAY SOMEBODY UP FRONT FOR A CHANCE TO GET HEARD BY A PARTICULAR PERSON, AGENCY, VENUE, OR LABEL.

It's been said that anything worth having takes work to get. It's true. 99.99% of the time, these companies will steal your money and leave you in the same place you started: nowhere. You can't build a music career simply by submitting innumerable entries to virtual businesses. You need to be *there*, in person, pounding the *pavement*. Physical. Work. Sweat.

Wow. Venting. Seriously.

38 comments:

  1. You are so wrong, Jay, I have made thousands from submitting songs on sites such as music clout. I have not yet used music clout, but am considering. Taxi I have had no success with, but others similar to them, I have. Actually, it is a good deal to get a song directly to the music rep for an average fee of $5 a pitch. The only option before this method was to put your $10 CD in a $1 padded envelope, use up $2 of gas and time driving to the post office, and then spending $2 to mail it, and then hope it gets there in one piece and even at all. I'll take the online pitch, and the occasional song placement, of which I have had at least 6 in the past couple years.

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    1. Which sites have you had success with Pete?

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    2. Yeah Pete, please so tell.

      I will say, Taxi is legit. The only problem with Taxi is it's very crowded, overrun, lots of competition. Some people live for making their submissions perfect for Taxi only. What does that mean? They do get placed and get forwards, but most musicians don't have that kind of money, time and resources.

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    3. I only use music clout for information but I have yet to see it work out for me or anybody in my music publishing world. I refuse to pay to be heard or not even heard. you'll never know. Pete won't answer because quite frankly there is no answer.

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    4. Hey Pete,

      May I ask which sites you have had success with?

      Thank You,

      Kris

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    5. I was with Taxi and learned my lesson from them. "Vocals are not good enough," "Music is too noisy" WELL IT'S INDIE-FUCKING ROCK!!! I'm waiting to sign with an actual agency that pitches to films and takes their 10%.
      I haven't gotten on film or tv(yet), but I've made more money just using Tunecore and self-promoting the hell out of myself.
      By the way, check out The Bubblegum Complex

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    6. Dont listen to petes complete BS. He refuses to name websites and of course he wont name any of his so-called "successful syncs" LOL. Thanks Pete, or should I say, owner of Music Clout ;-)

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  2. while some of what is written may be true there IS ALOT of play to pay etc out there..I have used Music Clout and have gotten several REAL opportunities.Artists just have to be careful, give them a try if nothing happens move on to the next.I have used some of the previous sites with little or no results.This business is hit or miss you just have to use all your sweat and grind and have to be thick skinned. Mush love and luck to you all.keep believing in yourselves.

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  3. hi I am a musician on music clout and it has had a nice gentleman call me about opportunities as well as the fact they are better business bureau A plus rated which I checked out also. I found out that if I join then I don't have to pay submission fees. I am just a new musician and well when I record my music sounds worse then it does live.

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  4. Can't speak for Musicclout, as i have some doubts about them myself, but i can personally tell you Taxi.com most definitely is not a scam. They are not "preying" on artists at all and their listings are 100% real. Additionally a lot is being done to not only present opportunities but also educate their members about all the ins and outs of the music licensing business, music production, songwriting, etc. So, yes, artists should be really careful who to deal with or pay but don't lump every company in the same category. Taxi has been in business for 20 years and is real as can be.

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  5. What I don't appreciate about MusicClout is I noticed they have HUNDREDS of Twitter accts. They name them all something to do with music (and the indie artist -- trying to lure them in) and then connect it all back to them. It may be 'savvy' marketing in some ways, but as a seasoned indie musician, I find it to be like scamming behavior. It has turned me off and as I am finding out, is turning many off like me. They need to re-think their gorilla marketing. Not cool.

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    1. Maybe some complaints to Twitter would do something about that.
      I have clicked on a lot of those only to find out its music clout.

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    2. Agreed! Also, what would it take to get at least a rejection email?

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    3. I've questioned (on Twitter) both @filmtvplacement along with @musicclout about their strapline: "We Love Musicians", and the fact that if it were really the case they wouldn't be asking hard up, independent, musicians to pay for (alleged) opportunities. I've asked why they simply don't take a cut once the music is placed. Amongst other things, do they have 'quality control' over their music listings and if not, how we're guaranteed that anybody offering these opportunities takes the time to trawl through the musician listings/ listens to music. These and questions by others have gone unanswered.

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  6. I can't speak to the "opportunities" offered at musicclout but I can tell you I signed up and wasted two days trying to upload and create content there. It was so annoying and frustrating that I just threw my hands in the air and said "to hell with it". The site refuses to "remember me" so ID and password is a requirement everytime no matter if you click the "remember me" box or not. The site refuses to retain information such as what country I'm from. After spending much time creating bio information specifically for my musicclout account, I clicked "saved" and nothing was save. I lost it all. So I deleted my songs and photos and went off to find the page that allows me to delete the account but where that was, I have no idea. After coming to the conclusion that once you sign up for an account you can't delete it I just sent a message through their "contact" link asking them if they would delete it for me. Anyhoo, that's my musicclout story. It may work better for others but for me it was a waste of time and a source of frustration.

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    1. Did they actually delete your account? Cause Im having the same issue and I really want to delete my account

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  7. I've had no luck with Music Clout. I would never pay their ongoing fee. I just keep an eye on things that come up, every now and then there is one worth pursuing. You can at least see their "opportunities" for free.

    The one thing that really pissed me off was when I realized a lot of their 'opportunities' can be found outside of Music Clout. In many of their listings they say something like "Client only accepts Music Clout submissions, please don't contact them directly". This almost always means you can just to a search for the clients and, in fact, find they do take submission directly. Music Clout may be useful for film placements, but never for blogs, magazines, radio shows, and podcasts. These almost always take direct submissions, so don't waste your money.

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    1. You wrote exactly what I would have written! I do think that Music Clout aggregates a lot of information, e.g. possible publishing companies to approach, all in one place thus saving a lot of research time. But like you, I went ahead and checked out the companies I was considering submitting to and found that in every case that Music Clout said submissions had to go through them, it wasn't true. Do these companies pay more attention to submissions that come via Music Clout? I have no idea and don't see how it would be possible to find this out.

      It is also hard to know whether or not their film opportunities are genuine or just made-up bait. I would think they could not be the latter as this is pretty serious fraud. Though it would seem that lying about submissions needing to go through them is fraud too. Hmmm. I do not pay their monthly membership but used up a free submission and paid one 5 buck fee to film licensing opportunities just to see if anything would happen. Nothing did.

      The problem is that without a publisher or management, how IS the independent songwriter supposed to get access to legit industry tip sheets? It's really a major issue. On the other hand, from the industry's p.o.v., it must really suck these days now that something like 80% of all people seem to believe that they are artists worthy of having entertainment careers! Can you imagine the mountains of crap that talent scouts would have to sort through if there wasn't some kind of gate-keeping mechanism in place?

      I weep when I hear about how easy it was to get into the business 50 years ago. I mean, girls hung around outside Motown offering to do the handclaps and ended up with record deals.

      It's really too bad there isn't some genuine publication, either online or print, that would be like the music biz equivalent of Variety for the film biz. Many of my friends got their careers in film off the ground from reading the listings of projects in pre-production in the back pages. But I don't know of any such thing for music. Taxi seems to be the closest but I have a huge aversion to their business model - and fees - and will never ever join.

      Sigh....

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  8. I'm glad i found this blog post about music clout.I was considering joining, but after reading some of the post I will do some more investigating.Thank you so very much!

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  9. Yes Thank you everyone for your insight.

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  10. Well, I've had absolutely no problem editing my profile, Wheezer MacDonald, it's even very simple, not like MySpace, for example. About the fact that most of the opportunities can be found outside Music Clout without having to pay... one thing you can do is just using the page as a 'opportunities search' (which osund pretty good for me, living in Europe) and then submitting to the places without using Music Clout.

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    1. Ok but have you had any luck doing that ?

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  11. Thank you so much Jay, for your insight about MusicClout. I am always leery when companies want to "help" musicians with "free sign-ups" then want to start hitting you up for fees to actually use their services, (can you say bandfriend?) It is unfortunate, the number of companies that prey on the limited resources of musicians. I will continue to network for real opportunities and i'm grateful to find an honest review that doesn't target struggling artist with yet another pipe dream. Thank you so much.

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  12. I had a friend who joined Taxi and submitted about 10 songs. TheY keeped writing back saying they didn't know what genre to put him in ?
    To me they were easy listening to country.
    He never did get any leads.
    What's up whith that...?

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    1. I joined TAXI twice, don't ask me why I guess I had some luck with the first go around but the 2nd time around was the worse. They never forwarded any of my music and always had negative feedback.

      I've toured all over the country and have had a lot of personal success and never have I found that any of these sites are helpful in connecting with the right people. You can't pay someone to care about your music.

      I've been on reverbnation.com for quite some time and I feel that their site offers more than just opportunities - I can link up my calendar, sell my music, put unlimited songs, videos, photos on my page and so much more. I haven't had a lot of luck with their opportunity section because there are way too many artists vying for the same gig and the venues can't possibly listen to all of their submissions. I joined festivalnet.com and have had lots of success with that site, it gives you all of the information you need to contact festivals and outside concert series coordinators directly. Join that one - it's worth the $!

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  13. thanks for all of your knowledge.. I have joined singer express...mainly for vocalist and have placed some independent work as well as opportunites such as the Taco Bell commercials, Old Spice,etc.,etc. lol..but at the end of the day its always good to find someone who believes in your music and can get things rolling... I used to leak my music to build somewhat of a brand... and usually people hit me up with real opportunites..just always do research on the person hitting you up.. if you cant find any info on them...then its probably not worth your time..but there are companies out there looking for music and talent.. so just brand yourself as much as possible..and if your music is as good as your marketing then there will be no need to look for stuff..people will look for you

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  14. Your 100% right. Anything you want takes work, a lot of work! It's best if you have a team working for you. Try http://www.immitter.com we help you determing and distribute your best tracks through crowdsourcing. The people are never wrong! It's a great way to develop yoru sound. And in regards to music clout,the technology is there, i guess it's all in how you use it for your advantage.

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  15. The brillance behind the Music Clout scam is like any other internet scam. They offer you opportunities for your songs to be placed in movies, TV shows and to have access to a wide variety of "music users" without ever telling you who they are. You send them your music along with $5.95 (or whatever it is) and they never, ever, ever, EVER get back to you about it. And their lame excuse of , "Well, because of the volume of submissions we get get we couldn't possibly have the time to respond to everyone". No, but they certainly have the time to collect everyone's payment of $5.95 (or whatweve it is). It's a scam. It's a good one but it's STILL a scam.

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  16. Musicclout user. I decided to check things out in hindsight. Here's what I've been thru. Taxi is totally CRAP. Period. Got our money back.
    Bad gate keepers with a mood lottery. Fail.

    I've been picked approx 5 or 6 times "your music has been selected"

    two were managers, one was a blog/podcast etc and
    one dude seemed to want us to produce on our end. BUT
    nothing has come of Any of it.
    one such manager said...
    "we're calling you at 4 on Wed, don't miss the appt its your one and only shot' Then called
    back the next day saying that they have to cancel
    and they will call back. and didn't.

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  17. *added, meant picked up 5 or 6 times with Music clout. no money made as of yet.

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  18. Just found this. Read!
    http://www.scamadviser.com/check-website/musicclout.com

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  19. Taxi placements are around 6% of artists that pay them to submit.
    Your songs are listened to by paid interns.
    Scam is a bit strong but if you are cool with those odds, try it out.

    I always try to do some research from people that have worked at the company before you give them your money.

    Don't know about Music Clout but am curious.

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  20. Scam might be a bit strong but Taxi placements are around 6% due to limited opportunities and saturation of artists.
    Your music is being screen by 1st tier paid interns of varying quality.
    If you are cool with those odds, try it out and see if it works for you.

    I always try to do some reading from people that have worked for the company before I give them my money. It's the only way to get an inside look at what is really going on.

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  21. I don't get why people aren't talking about reverberation. It is a platform to post and distribute music from samples loops clips stems to demos and fully polished and mastered records. You pay a monthly fee for a personal URL and a blog and video bandwidth. You then have numerous FREE submissions like local GIGS which is where you still make your money and get exposure… And Yes you can Pay to submit to huge festivals record labels etc. Also a great way to network with industry peeps and fellow musicians. I can say that it is better and cheaper than sonicbids. But I have gotten gig offers by promoters who look at EPKS on Sonicbids. Bottom line.. Make good music.. then choose the best way to get the word out.. Not the other way around.

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  22. Haha... looks like "Pete" has no success at all, only anger and frustration OR he's the wolf in a sheep coat.

    NEVER TRUST THESE SITES!!! Pay = guaranteed service NOT "chance" to get heard... and by the way guys, you pay them money AND bring new customers to their sites, thousands a day!!!
    Only trust who invests in your talent, so you make sure they share your dream.

    Cheers
    Bob Spring

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  23. All of the sites are scams... Especially Music-Xray, I advise nobody to deal with them...

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  24. Music Clout seems like a total scam. A lot of the opportunities have disclaimers "Do not contact directly, submissions are accepted through Music Clout ONLY." But in most cases you just have to find the company's site to see that they usually have a special page for FREE submissions. So yeah, outright lies.

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