Music Xray: How It Works (Video) #SAtN

TThis is an interview with Mike McCready, a Co-Founder and CEO of Music Xray, a platform allowing artists to submit their music to industry professionals.

Mike explains how Music Xray works both for musicians and record labels, music supervisors, publishers, radio stations and influencers who post opportunities on the platform.

Watch below and read the full transcription of the interview beneath the video:

00:00:39 – What Music Xray is
00:01:18 – The different types of companies that post opportunities
00:01:50 – Music Xray success stories
00:02:41 – How many songs are picked out of total submissions?
00:03:25 – Managing artists’ expectations
00:03:56 – Blaming Music Xray in bad results
00:04:20 – Recommendations for artists going to submit music
00:05:07 – How music professionals can use feedback from others

Full transcription of the interview with Mike McCready:

I’m Mike McCready. I’m the co-founder and CEO of Music Xray in New York. Music Xray is an online platform that enables industry professionals and musicians to connect. We use a combination of quant metrics, analytics, and the collective screening power of about 1200 industry professionals to surface high-potential songs and talent … songs and talent that are used in advertising, film, television, movies, as well as artists being signed to publishing deals, to labels, both major and independent. Any commercial use for music can really be found on Music Xray.

The industry professionals that use Music Xray are fairly evenly distributed from music labels, music supervisors, publishers, radio stations. There are even influential podcasters and bloggers that feature music. It’s a fairly even distribution. If there is one type of industry professional I would say that uses the platform more than others, I would say it’s label A and R and music supervisors.

We have actually a lot of songs being selected for deals every day. In 2013 there were over 4,500 songs and bands selected for opportunities. Some of them were signed to major labels, major motion pictures. Others are smaller deals: ads to radio stations, spins on radio stations. We’ve gotten contestants on large television shows, like The Voice. On the website there’s a link at the top, called Success Stories, and it’s really just constantly being added to. So far, actually in April … Today is April 14th, and I just looked on the site earlier today … there have already been 205 songs selected for opportunities.

We get asked that a lot. What’s the batting average, or what’s the percentage of selections to submissions? I always think that that’s really not a good question, because it’s not a game of chance. Right? In fact, there’s a musician on Music Xray in just the past 12 months who has had 50 selections. There are other musicians who have submitted and never been selected. It’s always a matter of how good your music is, how appropriate it is for the opportunity. Obviously, those things increase your chances immeasurably for being selected. So, for some people, they’re selected more than 50% of the time that they submit.

One of the things that I think we do at Music Xray really well is manage the expectations of a musician. If a musician is submitting, and they’re not being selected for a deal, we’re showing them why. We’re showing them the ratings and the feedback that they’re getting from industry professionals. If it’s not positive, or if it’s not positive enough, we’re telling them the recommendation to not continue making the submissions for that song, to maybe try another song, or to maybe get some help or some coaching before going at it again.

Music Xray is a platform where we guarantee that when you submit a song to an industry professional, you receive a listen. The industry professional is guaranteed to listen and respond to you. When you get bad news from Music Xray and blame Music Xray, it’s like blaming the telephone company when someone calls you with bad news.

I think one of the interesting things that we see happen on Music Xray all the time is, artists don’t bother putting their best foot forward. They’ll submit the track, but they won’t upload an image, or they won’t include the lyrics, or they won’t include a bio, or they won’t include a personalized note to the industry professional that they’re submitting to. To me, oftentimes the music does speak for itself and it’s so appropriate for the opportunity that it’s successful anyway. It seems to me that if you’re not putting your best foot forward and really including everything … a link to a video you might have, for example … it’s almost like trying to make a best impression physically, but not dressing up for the occasion.

Oh, absolutely. That’s a big part of our platform. If a song is evaluated highly by an industry professional, but maybe they can’t use the song … They liked it, but it’s not appropriate for their opportunity … we’re showing that song to many other industry professionals. One of the most powerful tools on our platform, on Music Xray, is the ability for industry professionals to see the highly-rated songs that have not been directly submitted to them, that have been submitted to other industry professionals. We create a competitive environment, where the top songs and the top talent … If you don’t snatch them up, as an industry professional, someone else will. We really try to foster this quick-moving, fast-paced atmosphere on the site.