Lots of things piss me off. Like people who slide their fork on their teeth when they eat. Or people who breathe loudly. Or people who chew their gum like it’s alive and they’re trying to kill it in their mouth. The list goes on and on and is continuously added to, but Friday I had to add something else to my list – MusicSUBMIT.
If you don’t know who MusicSUBMIT is, it’s not surprising. They apparently are fairly obscure. How do I know this? Because they asked MarsBands to participate in their scheme. Look, I’m not delusional. MarsBands isn’t exactly a household name. We have a small, dedicated group of followers, but to think we reach a large-scale audience is foolish. So for MusicSUBMIT to ask us to be a part of their network is simply absurd. So you’re probably asking yourself, what does this new enemy of MarsBands actually do?
The Scam Plan
MusicSUBMIT is building a network of blogs, various websites, podcasts, and radio stations that play and review Independent music. Their goal, so they claim, is to help get Independent musicians some attention.
musicSUBMIT started as an idea a little over 4 years ago. As a musician I was looking for ways to promote myself over the internet. I soon learned what a struggle it could be. So much time was needed to research and contact all the sites, and there were new sites being added all the time. It was quickly becoming obvious that promoting my music on the internet was a full time job.
It also occurred to me if I were to do all the work in finding places to submit my music, why should everyone else do the same thing all over again? I imagined a world full of musicians scouring the Internet looking for exposure, all of them duplicating each others work over and over again. What a waste of time!!
I created musicSUBMIT to help musicians get back to doing what they love to do most.. create their music. After all.. no one ever picked up a guitar, or sat down at a piano or banged out a kickin drum beat with the hopes and aspirations of one day being able to spend 40 hours a week promoting themselves on the internet.
I think you’ll agree that musicSUBMIT is a service that is much needed in todays ever changing world of online music. musicSUBMIT helps you maximize your time and gets you great results. That’s what were all about!
This is the process they will use: An Independent band or artist will come to MusicSUBMIT thinking they have someone in their corner who wants to help them get noticed. Once the band or artist is signed up, MusicSUBMIT will then send out an email to everyone in their network. The blogs and sites in the network will then decide if they want to write a review or otherwise promote the band or artist. Doesn’t sound all that bad, does it? Here’s where things start to get my blood boiling.
The Independent bands and artists who want to use MusicSUBMIT to get noticed will have to fork over some serious cash – and that pisses me off. This is another institution taking advantage of Independent music. Mainstream radio has already done their best to squelch the creativity of the Independent musician. Being an Independent musician is a tough life. They don’t have the money to promote themselves like mainstream radio can promote their puppets. And MusicSUBMIT knows just how big of a deal it is for an Independent musician to get promoted by a site or blog. To put it in terms you non-Independent musicians might understand, it would be like selling ice-cold lemonade to people in hell. You’d make a ton of money because if you’re in hell and someone offers you an ice-cold beverage, it would be pretty tough to turn it down, wouldn’t it?
And what pisses me off even more is that these Independent musicians are giving their hard earned money to MusicSUBMIT and there’s absolutely no guarantee that they’ll get a review. They could be spending money and getting absolutely nothing in return. Furthermore, they would be making money off of MarsBands and other blogs and sites who review music just by having us in their network. So not only are they taking advantage of the musicians, they are taking advantage of the reviewers as well! And our motivation to join their network? Free access to Independent music! As if I couldn’t find it anywhere else! We’ve featured nearly 300 bands and artists here on MarsBands this year without MusicSUBMIT, so obviously we don’t need them – THEY need US (and by us I mean reviewers and musicians).
All I need to do is focus on one line of the above quote from MusicSUBMIT:
“if I were to do all the work in finding places to submit my music, why should everyone else do the same thing all over again?”
That’s right. He’s banking on Independent musicians being lazy and not doing the work themselves and instead, giving him their money to MAYBE get reviewed by someone in his “system”. The obvious fault of his logic is that Independent musicians are anything but lazy. These are some of the hardest working people around! Example – look at The Oh Wells, Velcro Mary, No Island, and The Glass Child. They don’t have publicists. They don’t have tons of money floating around to hire one, much less pay MusicSUBMIT to maybe get them some reviews! Any money they make goes to making more music, getting to their next location to play a gig, buying food so they can actually eat, or paying rent, or paying for school.
This is what is wrong with today’s world. It is sites like MusicSUBMIT that make me so unbelievably angry. They are taking the mainstream business model and trying to apply it to the Independent Music Scene. Well I, for one, won’t let this happen. MarsBands may not be a super-important website, but I have plenty of contacts who are more than willing to help me spread the word about MusicSUBMIT and their “services”.
As a small sign of my support to Independent musicians, I got on Facebook and started sharing every page that MarsBands has Liked since we started Liking musicians on Facebook. It took me a while, but when I finished I felt pretty proud of myself. There isn’t much more that I can do other than Tweet about, Share, and feature music on MarsBands to help spread the word about Independent music. And I realize what we are trying to do here is possibly futile and insignificant. But it made me feel better. And I also still hold out the hope that maybe someone will hear a band they find on this site and tell a friend. And that friend will tell another friend, and another, and another. Hopefully MarsBands brings in millions of people a day. Not because we are fortune and fame seeking narcissists, but because the more people that come to our site means more people that are listening to the music we feature here. Every band or artist that we feature stands to benefit from people coming to our site.
Now I know what you might be thinking. MarsBands is just another middle-man like MusicSUBMIT. Without the bands and artists and their music, MarsBands wouldn’t exist. And that is very true.
But for those of you who may not know the background of this site, we started out as a Dropbox website called Music to my Ears. It was just me telling people about music I liked. And somewhat unbelievably, people actually paid attention. They actually wanted to see what new music I would introduce them to next. Not long after that, I opened my wallet and started spending real money on real hosting for a real site. We stayed true to our cause – helping the Independent musician spread their music.
And they didn’t have to pay us a thing.