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How to Turn Your Songs into Opportunity Magnets – For Free

Those of you who know me probably know I’ve been working for years trying to solve the quality music filtering problem. There is just so much talent and so many songs already out there (and millions more being created each year) that it can’t all be evaluated for commercial deals the way it should be.

What I’ve learned is that nothing replaces the expert human ear when it comes to A&R. However, technology has emerged that can enhance the music industry’s human skills in much the same way a medical doctor’s skills are enhanced by the X-ray machine and other modernities. The X-ray machine doesn’t do the job of the doctor. It just gives the doctor additional information upon which better decisions can be made. Today, no one would consider seeing a doctor who doesn’t use state of the art technology.

So whether it has been using computers to help predict hit songs or developing an A&R platform that harnesses state-of-the-art technology to help the industry perform better, solving the music filtering problem has been my passion for a long time.

I’ve been thinking about a clever way to describe Music Xray’s new Song to Opportunity (S₂O) Matching system and the best way I’ve come up with (so far) is that:

It turns your songs into opportunity magnets.

Or maybe it’s the match.com for songs and opportunities to find each other.

Maybe it’s the Pandora for A&R…

However we describe it, I think it’s pretty cool. You upload your songs for free and then sit back and wait to be alerted when an industry professional is seeking a song like yours. Give it a shot. The more songs you upload the more alerts you will get.

Here’s how it works:

1. Some of the hundreds of music industry professionals who use Music Xray to find songs and acts have given us a few “seed” songs. That is, songs that have a musical style and sound similar to what they would like to have submitted to them. For example, if they are seeking a new single for Britney Spears they might give us a few of her songs plus an additional song in the style and sound they are seeking.

2. Music Xray uses software to analyze the acoustic properties and underlying mathematical patterns of the “seed” songs and compares them to those in songs that have been uploaded for free into the company’s system by artists and rights holders.

3. Music Xray notifies the artists when there is a match between what professionals are seeking and the artists’ songs.

We’re not making any formal announcements nor really talking much about this while the service is in beta. Nevertheless, we’re thrilled that Music Xray is pushing the envelope. It’s the first enhanced A&R platform in the world. It harnesses cutting edge technology to enable the industry to filter through large quantities of music to find the most appropriate songs for each opportunity.

This is A&R on steroids.

Click here for more information.

Song to Opportunity Matching


  1. Michael J June 5, 2010 Reply

    How can I get involved. I am always looking for a specific rhythm or sound that appeals to the senses.

    • Mike McCready June 6, 2010 Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Just log in as MIP and then you will see a new tab across the top menu that says “songs”. Just go in there, upload your seed songs and then once they are there just drag them over to the submission opportunity you want to associate them to. Let me know if you have any problems and I’ll help.


  2. Bill Nygren June 6, 2010 Reply

    Hi Mike,

    Have had an initial matching email from the beta version of S2O.

    And while I think S2O is an interesting idea and understand the value of incorporating the song anaylsis component into oportunity matching via “seed song” comparison, there appears to be one fly in the ointment.

    The opportunities sent our way, the result of the S2O matching analysyis were not oportunities. They were merely calls to avail ourselves of “critique” services.

    Now I am a fan of music xray, have submitted to various opportunities and have found real value in critiques that I deliberately sought and paid for from pro’s I felt would have a uniquely informed perspective. But for S2O to have real cred in my eyes?

    It will need to match songs with opportunities and opportunities alone…..not critique sellers.

    I hope this I merely a function of the system still being in beta testing.

  3. Mike McCready June 6, 2010 Reply

    That’s a good point Bill. I’m not sure what we’ll do in that regard. For now this is so new we’re just letting any industry professional give it a whirl. Industry professionals offering critiques might feel that they’re specialists in a particular kind of music and want to critique that kind.

    We’re learning and therefore I don’t have a stance on this, but it seems that as long as S2O is transparent and people can see what the matches are for they should be able to make their own decisions regarding whether or not to submit. Don’t you think?

  4. Bill Nygren June 7, 2010 Reply

    In this case no…..you have a valuable tool here…..I think it is far too easy for MiP’s to be tempted to use your new feature as a potential cash cow/ATM and ultimately hurt the music xray brand. Yes there is transparency in the beta model….but there is within the matching model, the idea that one is increasing one’s chance of success…..entirely appropriate for an opportunity…..but not as implied endorsement of a critiquing service.

    For example, one of our matches was with an MIP who does not operate in our genre….even remotely. And that is the danger…..the disconnect which music xray delivers with such a match, even though it did not set the conditions for the mismatch will ultimaty hurt your brand and the brand of the over reaching MIP. But that is the price of an mip who tries to cast too wide a net. It would be a shame if your brand was tarnished by someone else’s poor judgement.

    Kind of a jump the shark moment for you guys….. one you did not create but one I hope you won’t let detract from a great business model and service. And that’s part of the reason I am bothering to share this. First, I did want to express a disconnect experienced but I also wanted as a marketer to point out the wider implications to your brand.

    You take a lot of heat in these forums unfairly I believe from aspiring writers and musicians who don’t seem to understand the notion that chasing opportunity usually has a cost….and that paying for advice is the norm in every other business realm.

    Up until now their arguments have been passionate but ultimately baseless in accusation……I fear you may have a hole in your brand integrity now though somewhat akin to software flaw a hacker could drive a truck through.

    Time to patch it before it hurts you.

    I fear not limiting S2O to opportunities and opportunities alone

  5. Mike McCready June 7, 2010 Reply

    I think you have a good point and this is something we’ll discuss internally. I hope that during the beta period people will cut us some slack as we figure some of this stuff out. Thanks for the valuable feedback.

  6. Mike McCready June 7, 2010 Reply

    By the way Bill, S2O is not likely to reduce the number of submissions an opportunity receives. While the effect will be that the quality of the submission pool will increase for the MIP, it could essentially make the competition stiffer for each song since each song will be competing against other songs that were also close matches. How do you think that will be perceived? Thx.

  7. GEORGE SLADEK June 8, 2010 Reply


  8. Bill Nygren June 8, 2010 Reply

    Can’t see that being an issue….shopping your music as an unsigned/unknown quantity is a needle in a haystack proposition at the best of times….adding a degree of pre-qualifying will certainly offset the larger pool of choices.

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