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5 Music Industry Schemes That Exploit Indie Artists

    Why Do Schemes Exist?

    Let’s start by examining why these schemes work.  Artists by nature are not good business people, that’s why they get business managers and lawyers to manage the non-creative side of their career for them.  However, its not very realistic for most independent artists to have those types of resources available.  For that reason, schemers know they can exploit your hopes and dreams for their own profits.

    Ultimately, the cons exist because artists keep falling for it.  Artists keep falling for it because the schemes are strategically built upon foundations that tap into the EMOTIONAL sensory stimuli for every person in the world that wants to be a star.  What I mean by that, is they deceive you with false promises that will satisfy your emotional cravings.

    The Problem With Unsigned Artists

    Here’s the most common problems with most (not all) unsigned artists:

    •    They fail to realize that there are costs associated with every service. •    They fail to accept that there are NO shortcuts to fame and fortune. •    They think their talent is at a higher level than what it actually is. •    They think people will help them for free. •    They are easily manipulated & deceived.

    •    They make critical decisions based off their emotions and “energy” instead of facts, data, & logical reasoning.

    In fact, there are many more that I could list, but these are the main problems that I have seen throughout my years of experience in the biz, not only as an artist myself but also as a producer, songwriter, engineer, and digital marketer.

    Now that we know why the schemes exist, let’s take a look at a few of them shall we?

    The Classic: Pay to Perform


    Before I even get to why this company is so scummy, I want to point out the word SPONSORED at the top of their AD.  Yes, this is in fact an AD.  I did not ask for this to be a part of my timeline, but because Facebook targeted advertising allows them to geo-target my location and interests, they have successfully appeared in my timeline.  What’s even more disgusting, is that it works.  Look at the likes and comments.

    So lets get into the nuts and bolts of the pay to perform scam.  Ah, a classic, and one of my personal favorites.  The old “perform for celebrity judges!” trick.  Or even worse “A&R JOE BLOW FROM SONY WILL BE IN THE BUILDING.”

    What they don’t tell you, is that these A&R’s are paid to be there.  Yes, 99% of these folks are only there because they are getting paid.  Guess what?  Your performance fee is paying their salary.  Even if they did like you, these aren’t people that have any real decision making power.  The only way to grab the attention of real decision makers is to create a legit online buzz organically through creative grassroots digital marketing efforts.

    Now the real part I love is that they don’t tell you up-front that there are submission fees and costs associated with performing.  From the outside looking in, it sounds real exciting doesn’t it?  But, here’s the reality folks.


    Yep, there you have it. The other thing I forgot to mention is that these showcases often pack the performance schedule with 20+ artists or more to maximize the submission fee profits.  That means, you could end up going on stage to perform at 2am when everyone has already left.   Don’t let this happen to you.

    Read the entire article at DigitalMusicNews