Friday, July 28, 2006

Scams and traps to avoid in the online music world.

Beware of music scams .

Ok, we know the net can be a great place to promote your music and actually get some kind of payment for your efforts.

Yes I must admit it is exciting to get an email from someone who is interested in promoting your material, but before you eagerly send off that CD, take a good deep breath and think for a moment....
I'm not too proud to say that on one occasion when I was starting out I have been taken in (at other times I have seen the ploy).

One thing I must point out (though to many it will be obvious) is that there ARE scammers out there looking for unsuspecting artists.

One of the hazards of having an online presence (ie a website with contact details including email) is that you will attract attention that is unwanted.
Don't let this discourage you from building a website or posting samples of your music, just be aware.
Here are examples of scams.

The first email I ever received regarding music was from a guy in Asia or India (I can't remember exactly) simply asking for my music for free because his "church music team" was unable to afford to pay.

On first view I thought maybe this was legitimate (being kind hearted perhaps I may have sent him a copy). However I had to ask myself why he was asking for my music which is instrumental - and not church style at all. also if he was so broke what was he doing with a computer and connected to the net?
I suspect he was just using religious reasons to cover up his real intentions - to get free CD's and I doubt he had anything to do with a church.

The second email was from a radio station in Russia (the station existed) however the DJ did not and again I suspect this guy was using this as a screen.

I understand that in both the above incidents (and confirming this after talking to a good friend of mine at a legitimate radio station) both Asia and Russia have a reputation for piracy of music and the CD you send could be copied and sold on the black market (while you never see a cent for all your hard work).

The third incident (though not what I would exactly call a scam but a little on the grey side) was through a record company in the US.
I even spoke to these guys on the phone a number of times and was about to consider the possibility of moving to the States as a career move.
Once again these people had contacted me first (perhaps you could go so far as to say that I was spammed) they had even critiqued my music, there were forms and questionaires and even phone interviews - the whole thing was professionally done.

Why I'm saying that this was a little on the grey side was the fact that they really wanted a cut of the action - I would have to record my material through them and organise touring etc to pay off production fees etc, (which seemed ridiculous since I already had two albums out and my own recording facility).
Guys if at all possible do avoid debts of this kind (they are more likely to break than make you).
I have come to the conclusion that it is better to build your own music business than sell out to a contract unless you know exactly what you are doing.

So friends do be careful.
If you know of anything that seems to be a scam or a little grey, let me know and I'll check it out and post my findings.
I want to help prevent unsuspecting musicians and artists from being ripped off.

Remember sell your music - not your soul.

No comments: