Subject: Missing Info
Body: I have not yet received the info to setup your account at http://cid.adrev.net. If you own and control original music, our service can help generate new revenue for you.
At AdRev, we help musicians, labels, and composers make earnings from their recordings in YouTube. We simply find videos using your music, show ads, and pass the revenue down to you.
With artists signing up every day, we’d love to help you tap into this new revenue stream.
Drop a line if you have questions,
Pretty sneaky. You haven’t received the info because I didn’t send it. Or opt into this list. Or ask for information. And feel quite violated.
This, AdRev, to say the least feels very slimy. As someone who is very used to these unsolicited emails targeting DIY musicians, I’m fed up. I don’t like it from “promoters” offering me to pay to play, I don’t like it from “A&R” trying to get me to buy their overpriced services, and I don’t like it from you.
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With the number of partners AdRev boasts (Universal, Warner, BMG, Source Audio) and the number of videos they monetize (27.5 million) you’d think they would have the budget to target these musicians through ads. Spamming musicians via email not only diminishes their reputation, but showcases their lack of respect for the working DIY musician community. They are directly looking to prey on musicians’ ignorance.
Not to mention, this is ILLEGAL!
This practice of adding people (who did not ask to be added) to a list and then spamming them is against the Can-Spam Act of 2003. AdRev is using YourMailingListProvider and I’m pretty sure it’s against their terms of service as well. No mailing list provider, be it YMLP, MailChimp, FanBridge, ReverbNation, iContact or Constant Contact allows companies to add emails of people who did not opt in to their list.
The Can-Spam Act defines an offending email as: “any electronic mail message [where] the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service (including content on an Internet website operated for a commercial purpose).”
Yeah, sounds pretty spot on to me. The law also requires that “A legitimate physical address of the publisher and/or advertiser is present. PO Box addresses are acceptable in compliance with 16 C.F.R. 316.2(p) and if the email is sent by a third party, the legitimate physical address of the entity, whose products or services are promoted through the email should be visible.” Which it did not. The law also states that “A message cannot be sent to a harvested email address.” Which my emails definitely were.
Jesse Worstell, Manager of Artist Relations at AdRev, openly admitted to me that their interns scoured “Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation, Soundcloud, etc.” to find their new targets. Worstell mentioned in our correspondence, “We found your Facebook page and thought we’d reach out.” But this is all a bunch of crock! One of the emails they contacted is not listed on Facebook. Or anywhere! Actually pretty impressed that they found that email address… but a little freaked out as well.
AdRev, you’ve built pretty darn good relationships with other companies and have a pretty darn solid (albeit slimy) business model from what I hear, why stoop to this level? You manage the catalogs of three major publishers and many independents. Must you be so greedy that you need to conquer the DIY market as well? With this approach, you are alienating your current customers. They would not appreciate to hear that you use these illegal tactics.
Photo is by coniferconifer from Flickr and used with the Creative Commons License.
Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake