5 Music Industry Schemes That Still Exploit Artists

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Let me start by saying that this article is going to piss a lot of people off.  Especially those in the music industry.

But if you’re one of the millions (yes millions) of independent artists/producers out there trying to make something of yourself, you’re going to love what I’m about to tell you.  If you’re one of the shady opportunists still trying to “hustle” your way into a quick buck, you’re going to hate me.

I must be totally unapologetic about this.  Because I don’t care either.

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 sides of their careers.  However, it’s 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 this: 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.
•    fail to accept that there are NO shortcuts to fame and fortune.
•    think their talent is at a higher level than what it actually is.
•    think people will help them for free.
•    are easily manipulated and deceived.
•    make critical decisions based off their emotions and “energy,” instead of facts, data, and 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

Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes
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Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes
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Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes

Before I even get to why this company Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes 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&Rs 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.

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Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes Rules and Conditions

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.

Pay to Open Up for a Major Artist

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This scheme has been around for quite some time.  The danger with this one is that there appears to be legitimacy attached to it.  After all, you’re getting the opportunity to open for a major artist.

I decided to include this company, Artist Auditions, into the article after a close and very smart friend of mine asked what I thought of it.  The premise is that you straight up pay them a fee of anywhere from $1,000 – $3,000, in exchange for stage time as an opener for a major artist.

There are so many things wrong with this scenario that I can’t even think of where to begin.

I’ve been booked to open for major acts before, and I have GOTTEN PAID for those shows, not the opposite.  Please understand that most of the audience is there to see the headliner, not you.  Besides that, chances are that they will be too drunk to even remember who you were.

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Sean Healy Presents is another company running a similar operation.  They actually have one of my favorite artists, Eric Bellinger, listed on their homepage.  I doubt he knows that he’s even on their homepage, but I’m sure he’d be pissed if he knew. This is their desperate attempt to associate with legitimacy, but all they are delivering is a false promise.

I have a friend who actually did use their service and paid $1,500 cash to open for a major artist.  Not only did he end up getting way less stage time than he was promised, but he was forced to perform when it was super early and most of the full audience wasn’t even there yet.  Imagine why so many artists are frustrated and discouraged, because they’re paying almost 2k to perform for a damn near empty room.


The Ex Big-Wig

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For sake of not bashing anyone’s personal brand, I’ve decided to be a good sport and blur out this guy’s name and picture.  Also because my network is decently vast and chances are that someone knows him.  But for the purpose of spreading knowledge, I’ve included a screenshot of the landing page on his website.  Yes, this is a real life example.

The premise here is that he will use his connects from past relationships to get you a meeting with a major record label executive.  Gosh, where do I begin.  I’m not discrediting his career.  If you do some basic research, you can see that he’s had success wearing various hats in the music industry.  What I want you to focus on though, is the use of very specific language.  If you read through the verbiage, the word “hire” is the key.

Sadly though, you’ll be paying a lot of money for zero to little R.O.I (return on investment).

What will happen is he will evaluate what type of an artist you are, pretend like he’s interested in your music, might even ask for a press kit, etc.  Then he will ask you what your budget is.  Budget with regard to, how much are you prepared to pay for a meeting just to have some label A&R with no real decision making power tell you that your songs are “cool” but you need more development?

The truth is that nobody ever gets signed from these “meetings.”  There’s no such thing as getting “discovered” or “put on.”  The only artists who get noticed are the ones who aren’t looking for a short cut.  The ones who aren’t paying for fake views and fake followers.  The ones who are creating substantial content and backing it up with the right marketing strategy.

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Produkt is a friend of mine.  He’s a hip-hop artist from the Bronx (repping my hood!)  He’s an example of an artist who gets it.  His music is meaningful, videos are super high quality, and the overall marketing strategy is really focused on inspiring people through his music.  He’s passionate about his message and it definitely resonates with his audience.  Browse through his social profiles and check out his music to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.  I bet if I asked him how he got to where he’s at, he wouldn’t say because of a “meeting” that he had to pay for.


The Online Service

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This one is probably the most complicated of the bunch.  Music X-Ray is a platform that promises you “placements” of your music in feature films, TV commercials, and other licensing opportunities.  They require you to fill out a profile, and then register and submit your music to “A&R’s” or a “music supervisor” who will review your music and decide if it can be placed or not.
The first thing you should ALWAYS do if you’re considering one of these services is search the company’s name in Google followed by the word “scam.”


Here’s what I found for Music X-Ray:

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Well it seems the proof is in the pudding for this one.  There happens to be thousands of complaints about them online.  What I can tell you from my experience after being in the music game for almost 10 years, is I have never heard of a truly valid success story coming from one of these platforms.  Nobody has ever gotten a groundbreaking placement or publishing deal, etc.  My final word of advice is to steer clear of Music X-Ray, along with any other similar services like them.

The Pay for Feedback

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This is a new phenomenon that is really mind blowing. Meet Blazetrak, a service that allows you to submit your music for a fee of course, and then a music industry professional will send you a personal video that gives you feedback on your song.  What a concept.  Here’s what’s wrong with it.

Independent artists should be getting feedback primarily from their FANS, not these folks who don’t care about you!

A busy producer who is getting paid to give you feedback is not going to be the answer to your prayers.  He/she is likely going to give you some VERY generic pointers and keep it moving.  Transaction complete.

If you want real feedback you should be collecting data behind your music. There’s tons of things you can do:

•    Send a Mailchimp survey to your email list.
•    Create a questionnaire with Survey Monkey or Google Forms
•    Invite your fans to the studio for a listening/feedback session
•    Check your YouTube analytics to see which videos are getting the best engagement.

Here’s a snapshot of my actual YouTube Analytics:

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The analytics above are reporting the average view duration for all of my YouTube videos in 2015.  On average, my videos are viewed for 1:27.  However, my music video for Terrible Truth outperformed all of the other videos by almost double the amount of time.  So the insight is that people are more engaged with my original music videos than videos of my cover performances.  Looks like I’ll need to make more original music videos soon!

The point is that you should be using data and measurable stats to determine how to plan your career.  Taking opinionated advice from someone who probably doesn’t care about you is not the way to go.  Oh and remember, you had to pay for that advice too.


Listen folks.  If you’ve read this far, I hope you learned something.  There are no shortcuts.  You can’t pay your way to success. Build genuine relationships with people.  Attract influencers organically.  Keep making great music.  Continue to develop your craft.  This is really what it takes if you want to make something happen.

I’m tired of seeing people getting used and abused.  The reason I published this article is to educate the independent artist community on what is happening out there.  There are very smart people that get manipulated all the time.  It happens every day.  These schemes are very strategic in how they present themselves with temptation of your emotions.  Don’t let it be you.  Be realistic, be honest, do your research, and use common sense.  If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.


Gaetano is a NYC based Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Guitarist that has worked with some of the biggest names in music. After releasing 2 EPs and producing records for major artists, Gaetano has been documenting his music industry experiences via his blog.

To get in touch with Gaetano, follow him on Instagram: @official_gaetano.


76 Responses

  1. Troglite

    I’m glad this article was written. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. For a very long time niw, I have felt that the industry actively promotes the myth that artists are plucked from obscurity to become stars thanks to some benevolent music industry executive. These stories are obviously designed to play on the heart in order to draw in new listeners. But, I truly believe that this bullshit is also promoted in order to convince musicians they are at the mercy of what the all powerful music industry decides. This discourages musicians from taking the actions that could lead to independent success and of course, independent success also lends leverage in any negotiations that may occur

    • Gaetano

      @troglite – Thanks for reading! Yeah, I totally agree. It sucks that musicians are at the mercy of these “industry” tactics. I had to write about it because it was really bugging me for a long time, and I’ve seen WAY too many people get taken advantage of.

      • Jane

        Yes, very much agree too. Say you’ve made a recording & are getting major label interest, just make sure (as simplistic as this sounds) get legal advice. If someone major wants to sign you or is seemingly interested in licensing your recording, get cash up front. Don’t buy this ‘we like your stuff, but have no cash’ crap.

        Of course a smaller label may not have much financially to offer but an advance of some sort is an act of good faith. It’s very easy for a label just to sit on your stuff. Lastly, just be careful of how any contract is worded.

        • Don Jaymor

          I have paid almost $800 on many of these various services and they truly don’t work the way they promote it. We all know the possibility of becoming incredibly successful from these sites is rare, but at least give artists valuable support. These schemes unfortunately aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s easy for them to make a living off of our dreams, and hopes for a big break.

        • Kim Smith

          Wow I just seen a very interesting post on this topic on a Instagram page by a man name @JazzyManagement I’ve been following this man for years he’s been schooling people for along time and it’s still artists falling for this shit…. West Coast artists think still don’t get it

      • Prof Blue

        Yes Sir I have taught music Bus in schools for 30 yrs.
        The scam is always there.
        Make true relationships and work hard to bring out your talent. Always be aware of opportunity knocking.
        Prof. Blue UTUBE-perf1st

      • Anonymous

        Do you know about this company called who wants to make it I know they out here scamming telling artist they will perform BET awards weekend smh with no solid info on sites or live footage from past winners or anything

        • 5H1780X

          Hey Anon: my son just applied & (of course) was accepted to ‘Who Wants To Make It’ & theeee FIRST thing I asked him was, “Is this legit?” So I’ve been trying to research this just like you. I’m a super-WIZ at research, so if in fact there IS something out there on this particular show, like legit show footage, ppl who actually win the BET performance & who might’ve actually been signed to a label, I will surely get back you again, here, in a bit. Also, my son will STILL perform for this venue, & I’m going, so I’ll try to sneak some vid & take mental notes of the treatment of all their guest performers. We Shall See. & to you, bruv, best of luck & break-a-leg & all that! Cheers! 😀

        • 5H1780X

          Look what I found (if you haven’t) https://www.whowantstomakeit.com 404.946.8660 is their phone number. Of course you’ll get a recorded message; I did. Didn’t leave a msg tho. But if you get thru or someone calls your vm back, pepper them w/ questions, questions, questions. Like, “I know this if free, but can I get a good performance slot?” And see if they say yes, but for a fee. Then you know it’s scammafied!

        • Rahmeik “Meikazoid” Venable

          I’m looking for the same thing, Im a new contestant that was chosen but I have to sale at least 10 tickets for $10 each….

      • Kalo Banz

        So what about this dreams2reality tour is that a scam to?

    • Kim Smith

      I so appreciate this post I’ve been following a page on Instagram this guy by the name of
      @Jazzymanagement is no joke He’s constantly educating us on this crazy music industry

  2. Jr

    Thank you for writing this!

    I am shocked that you have so few comments, I guess you need to be more controversial in your headlines and perhaps mention Spotify to get any reaction. This is actually rather telling of the business today as well. This makes sense = no interest.

    This is a great start on the road to what I have been calling music middleware. The growth sector in music is all these scam and scam like services that promise to do a lot and deliver nothing. In truth many of the technology offerings are solid, but they are not tools that really apply to the selling of music.

    I work with a a wide assortment of musicians from those that can sell out a premium tour and headline EDC to some just starting out and I will make this a required reading of all who hit me up for advice.

  3. Lanear

    @Gaetano Enjoyed the post! Good info for all to beware of. How do you feel about TAXI? They’ve been around for some time. Seems like a similar model to MusicXRay. I’ve read a lot of back and forth about it online.

      • Ricardo

        Michael you own the company TAXI. You are everywhere defending your own scam. You charge people a membership fee then you charge people to submit songs that are supposedly forwarded to decision makers. When songwriters pay all that money and find out that a lot of the listings are bogus they will realize they are wasting their money. You are busy getting rich while starving artists suffer. No one even knows who your A&R people are that review the material for $5 each song. You publish a list of people that may or may not even work there. There is no proof. If the music gets selected where does it go? To WHO? You never say what companies you are working with at all. Why all the secrecy? Why charge a membership fee? Why not just charge $5 per submission? If you are that worried about people submitting too many songs that your crappy A&R people can’t handle the incoming amount. You may show some successes for the real listings you do provide. But so many of the listings are copied and pasted over and over again from month to month, its pretty obvious to see that they are fake.

        • MEANGIRL

          So happy I’m reading this. Was considering joining taxi but had reservations. This post is so old but with such a recent comment, I’m taking that as a clear sign save my money and time. Thank you ?

  4. Versus

    Yes, it’s true.
    This is the old scam of “selling the dream”.
    It happens in other industries as well which trade on the dreams of the young (or not so young) and naive, like modeling and acting.

    There’s lots of other types of exploitation, of course, like ad-funded piracy sites, offers to use your music in a visual medium for “exposure” instead of pay, promoter scams, etc. etc.

  5. indie dude

    I’ve been saying for years..there’s the music business (record companies etc.) and then there’s “the music business” which is touched on here…you can throw songwriting contests in here as well as a company mentioned in the comments above…reverbnation too..but there’s SO much more…I recently saw a music supervisor charging to review songs..(ugh) – I’ve been making music for about 25 years with some success and have watched “the music business” grow and evolve..back in the day I was wary of a lot what was mentioned in the article but if I was coming up today I might fall prey..there’s just so much of this going on and the internet makes the dream seem so much closer…these people should go out and get real jobs like most of us musicians have too..it’s pretty horrible..I know I couldn’t look myself in the mirror If I ran or even worked for one of these companies..

    • jay

      I had a music placement agent try and re-register my songs with p.r.o.’s listing herself as a writer with slightly altered titles.

  6. Saint Bernard

    Several points i want to make here about this article

    1. Your authenticity. I checked your website and there are no mentions of the “biggest names in music” that you mention here. That is totally fabricated and i’ve struggled to take you seriously because of that.

    2. This website digital music news actively promotes things like Sonic Bids and the other schill who writes on here Ari – ‘bitter failed musician’ Herstad actively promotes track smarts where you pay to have people review your music. He earns money promoting them.

    You seem like a nice enough guy so please don’t waste your time writing articles on here like the other washed up musicians do. It’s so easy to lay into websites for click bait. It’s REAL easy to get something printed on this website because it has no journalistic integrity. Ari has amassed an audience of a few hundred other failed musicians who can read his blog and point the blame at someone else but themselves, but they won’t buy his music because it’s unlistenable. You will not build a fanbase this way.

    Your music is at least 100x better than Ari’s limp dick offering. But you don’t want to be washed up mid 30s function fodder like he is. Save yourself. And stop laying into companies for the sake of clicks. While i agree with some points, negativity just breeds negativity.

    • John

      Name calling, ALL CAPS, emotion filled insults – These are all the warning signs of a person standing in a weak position. Good article Gaetano.

  7. Electronica2015

    In the film world there are legit professionals who will read your screenplay and provide you with coverage, a detailed report of several pages of diagnostics and analysis that is usually tremendously helpful since they can see things you can’t and they know what the studios are looking for, what they are currently buying. Shame that there isn’t a comparable type of legit feedback available in the music world, would love for someone to review my tracks before I release them to the public. I’m not saying that my tracks suck but if they do I’d rather know it before I release them than after.

  8. Amy Knox

    There is no substitute for hard work, Jasper Sawyer is one of my favorite artists and he is slowly rising, funding everything on his own. Shortcuts in the music industry and in life generally are always the longest way.

  9. Princess

    I hate schemes like this! I’m a musician myself and have fallen victim to some of these. Jasper Sawyer is another example of an Indie artist doing it the hard way and he is slowly rising so it can be done. Macklemore is one of the greatest examples of how you have to grind for the long haul to make something happen.

  10. John

    I personally see nothing wrong with paying 15-25 bucks for a personal feedback, review or submission to or from an industry veteran. Pay your producer 20 bucks less and Voila!

    • PissedProducer

      Pieces of shit like you are the problem in the music industry…pay the producer less!?. Beat leases are already going for $20-$50… do you even know how much effort and creativity goes into one GOOD beat? Producers need to start demanding at least $75 per lease and all exclusive beats should come with a royalties contract. Cheap ass, broke ass wannabe artists don’t even deserve good beats.

  11. Shay Leonia

    So happy to see you out these thieves! Too many people fall for this crap and it’s insulting when we get approached by these scam artists. Thank you, G!

  12. Matthew Montfort

    This is how I feel about Sonicbids. I call them Sonicscams because they allow concert presenters to charge you for checking out your demo. I have a database of over 4000 concert presenters, and unfortunately, quite a few of them have gravitated to using Sonicbids to raise money from their booking process. This even includes city sponsored events, most likely due to budget cutbacks. I always write to presenters and complain when they use Sonicbids. I tell them that we don’t participate in pay-to-play schemes. It is very important that other artists and agents also write to presenters asking them stop using Sonicbids.

    • David E

      @Matthew Montfort…YES I agree! I used Sonics Bids years ago because NACA forced you to submit to play showcases through them…but I stopped using Sonic Bids when I realized they were manipulating my stats in my account. They show when your profile has been viewed…but I noticed that months after I had stopped submitting to “opportunities” that I was mysteriously getting hits and profile views. There is absolutely no reason why this would happen. People don’t “browse” artists on sonic bids…they look at the profiles of people who submit to their opportunities…that’s the way the platform works. I am soooo sick of these kinds of scams!

  13. dreaadoe

    All i can say is thank you someone finally giving me the truth im not going say i having been scammed by most of those people but its really hard to tell real from fake i just keep having faith in God and my music that one day my dream will come true.

  14. FP

    The first thing I tell developing artists is to hire an attorney. Not a friend or relative that has a law degree; a real entertainment attorney. It’s not cheap, but if an artist is serious about their career the cost is nothing compared to what they have to lose.

    Secondly, there are no shortcuts. If you want to be successful, it takes hard work & dedication. Having a job as a CPA by day and being an artist by night generally will not work out. It can happen, but the odds are stacked in the wrong direction. Even the most talented artists limit their potential if they don’t totally immerse themselves in their craft.

    Talent is paramount. Just because someone wants to be a star doesn’t mean they have the chops to make it happen. Artists should NEVER let someone tell them how great they are & then talk them into paying to get you heard. If the artist doesn’t understand how record companies operate or how publishing works, they’ll get screwed every time. Guaranteed.

    If an artist can find someone to teach them how the most important facets of the industry work, do it. Not someone that’ll promise to get them signed or put them on shows; just someone that’ll help them understand the inner workings of the industry. There have been unscrupulous people taking advantage of artists since humans stopped banging on logs, so the more the artist knows about the business end the more protected they’ll be.

  15. P.

    I’ve always said that independent artists are the biggest hoes in the music industry because there are thousands of desperate artists out hoping to achieve the dream so these companies prey on that.

    I’ve feel for the pay for perform before and I promise I would never do it again. I paid for my artist to open up for an artist at the time who had a hot song out. I had to work so I didn’t get a chance to go to the actual show but I secured one of the 4 slots for the show (my artist had a hot song on the radio at the time). My artist tells me the next day that not only did he NOT perform BUT she took off with the door money so the big name artist didn’t perform either (the artist actually apologized to the crowd for the situation as well as 1/2 of the promo team who booked the show)

  16. Terry

    Coast 2 Coast has actually gotten people signed.. that are now touring and earning a nice performance fees… so Im not sure why Coast 2 Coast is accused of being scummy.. a good example of an independent artist getting signed after performing for coast 2 coast is scrill white. Bigga Rankins (a reputable name in the hip hop industry) found scrill at a coast 2 coast event, and now scrill is getting paid to perform.. Scummy organizations don’t benefit artists… coast 2 coast has..

    • DALLAS

      Let me tell you my friend, coast 2 Coast is a complete joke.
      Sure, ok, They may not be scummy, but they are definitely “scammy.”
      You can tell how seriously you take yourself as an artist when booking a show, and it usually can be
      determined by your first response or
      question you have when someone asks if you want to play a show.
      If your answer is anything other than, “sure, what’s your budget?”
      well, you get the idea….

      Back to coast 2 roast, I may not be a major artist, but I sure as sh*+ will not be Paying 300+$ or more to pay a ten minute slot, which typically equates to just a measley one or two songs.
      Winning that scam show comes down to votes.
      And if you have a big enough
      following to get you to actually win by vote count, then you probably should not have to be playing that kind of show in the first place.

      I guess the one small benefit I see in it, is teaching independent artists to market the efff out of themselves and promote promote promote. But that’s the other thing, is if it is actually supposed to benefit you as the artist, it should be a “feature” on a high volume platform where they plug you into their fan base and following.

      It’s essentially them saying, ok, sure yea, you can play our show, Rick in our stage, try out these “awesome exclusive features and live stream on Facebook and blah blah blah, it’ll be cool. Oh btw, pay me 300, heres 50 10$ tickets, oh look, you can keep 20 (aka 200$)IF You even manage to sell them all.
      You spend 500 just to play 2 songs?


  17. Shlomo

    Pretty accurate except you called out Sean Healy presents who is a reputable, established and successful promoter. The artist that get booked before the main artist have to sell an allotment of tickets. This in turn pays the headliner who in turn bring in fans. Not a bad deal and for non A list headliners, this is a commons practice for them to get booked and paid. This isn’t going away anytime soon.

    Even major label artists like Lady Gaga charged Jason derulo to tour initially and that blew his career up so you’re wrong about the SEAN Healy comment. Coast 2 coast also puts a lot of time and investment into their events. I agree with some of your points but their annual conference does get out decision makers

  18. Iza Déun

    Dear Gaetano, thank you for the information, i’v learned a lot from reading your article. I’m a singer/Songwriter, I’v not yet started my music business yet and i’ll be ashamed if i fill for these kinds of scammers! but my question is that, i’v already met and have a good loyal team of music related on my good side, such as award nominated music producers and music engineers and digital music distributers that is really legitimate based on my research and online reviews, but i’m more looking for ways to promote my music online and offline and looking for a legitimate company that i can hire for music campaigns and promotions. it would be a great help if you could point out a good company! Thank you

    • Helping Artist

      Google Alexa site traffic and see
      If they are getting enough traffic to
      Warrant you spending money for them
      To send traffic to your music or business.
      I did a search and they didn’t even have enough traffic for Alexa to report. Hope this helps.

  19. Kev Nolan

    Hi Gaetano

    Have you heard of Hip Video Promo?
    What do you know about their services?

    • Luke

      Kev, please let me know if you find out anything about this company and if it’s a scam or not!

    • Concerned

      I really need to know more about this Soul Central Magazine thing..they are having an awards show here in Vegas and a lot of people are starting to feel it’s a scam.. claiming to raise money for a nonprofit.. charging the nominees $150 for a ticket for the 3 day event..and let me tell you..the list if nominees is thru the roof..the CEO lives in London and he won’t be here..and the little Indians he has running it are known to be bad people in our industry..I’m concerned for all the people that are being pulled in.. anyone have any info on this company?..or whatever it is!

      • Norbert Quisenberry

        It has to be a scam; have you seen their “magazine?” Take a look at it. Horrible looking ads, promotions for people without any talent, no graphic design, half the ads are for “Soul Central this-that.” They are promoting it as a way to gain an audience, but ask yourself – who would read it? They are just trying to take your money.

    • Angela

      No Mr.Tac and Zone Platinum Entertainment are not scammers. Who ever wrote that fabricated story is either on drugs or desperate for si.e attention but Zone Platinum Entertainment and Mr.Tac are legit. Dont spread lies about good people, dont hate because there grind is now being noticed.

      • Josh

        I feel sorry for you. Good luck paying $45.00 to Tommy Wallace/Eddie Baker/Mr Tack/Chocolate/whatever he decides to call himself today. A friend of mine lost over 6 grand thanks to them and almost got evicted from his apartment, but thankfully we’ve reported the Craigslist ad and gave all the info to the FBI so they better run for some gypsy tribe far away and stay there. Karma’s a real bitch and they’ll get what’s coming to them.

      • Josh

        First they start out asking you for $45.00 and then over time they ask you for more money. The stupid thing is they’re dumb enough to do all this over Pay Pal where they can easily be traced. Whoever said they steal music and keep all the sales quite frankly is holding back because that isn’t even half of it. Tommy will start off by asking you for $45.00 up front claiming that’s all you’ll ever have to pay but then later on he sends you invoices via pay pal saying you have to pay this and that. It’s also written in the contract you only have to pay $45.00 one time so that’s another shred of proof that they don’t even follow their own contract you sign. A friend of mine signed a contract to be on their label, if you can even call it that, all that happened was over a period of almost a year his bank account got drained until there was nothing left. When Tommy asked for more money and my friend said he didn’t have any because the account was in the negative, Tommy insisted to go try and get the bank to approve those transactions. How the hell do you make money appear out of negative dollars? How can you give money when your account is less than 0? You’re an idiot if you think Zone Platinum Entertainment is legit and you deserve to lose all your money. That’s what happens when you’ve got more money than sense. Good luck with a negative bank balance and get to steppin on finding a homeless shelter to spend quite a bit of time there because that’s where your stupidity and obliviousness will take you.

    • Michael

      Why the hell is this person writing false and inaccurate information about Zone Platinum Entertainment. They are a great label who help independent artists like myself. I and other artists have been with the label for a few years and no of the situation that inspired these fake and ridiculous reviews on sites like (rip off report, scamion, etc) the person writing these reviews was retaliating because He got caught stealing from the label and was arrested. So for pay back he has posted a few ridiculous and nasty reviews about them. So do not believe this bull and there was never a Tommy Wallace working for them. And Mr.Tac is a great business man, artist and person. I am so mad that people will go so low to make others look bad. This world is crazy and online anyone can say anything anonymous.

  20. William Young

    Thank you for posting this. As an Independent artist I took on these “opportunities,” because I personally am horrible in regards to social skills and business. Taking music out of the situation I struggle to make friends and connect with people just on the regular. When I did these shows and things I did it more so for the exposure, but at the end of the day everyone left the venue and only came back right when the artist they came for would perform, so I would pay all this money then perform in front of basically no one, so I never got the chance to even find out if they would like me. I have had several people approach me at every show to tell me I am good and I have signed a few autographs, so that is some level of progress, but i’m not making enough to make a living, not connecting to enough people and I have no idea how to go about doing things. I stopped, because I couldn’t afford to keep paying for these things and pay my bills. This is good insight and great information to know for the future.

  21. ladyx

    I know someone who got signed by being in that coast 2 coast tour so I don’t believe you I also perform with them and have a meeting with Sony records next month because of them ?

  22. Chic

    This was the best article I’ve read on DMN thus far (no offense to other contributors). The genuine passion I read behind your article is nothing short of exhilarating. Thank you for keeping it 100! This is what I have been saying for years. It takes hard work, perseverance, faith, tenacity, resilience, money…more money and a strategic plan or two. There is no “quick” way to make it in this business, successfully. I am going to research you and check out your music. Good stuff!

  23. MIke

    As far as those companies that promises to get you licensing deals and placements etc,

    Anyone heard about broadjam Reviews??

  24. Chris

    I performed for coast to coast I payed at least $600 to do a one and one with a record label but the day before they changed the address to some lil studio that wasn’t even the label then I also performed for a live show for only one song the crowd was big at first then it got to the point we’re it’s not even half full
    Was not worth the money only thing is that what made it sad other artist came from other states just to do this and not gain nothing is just sad even saw artist that saved up just for this hard work for what? Invest in yourself ! That’s the key, patience

  25. Joe

    Performed for coast to coast live Got one of the judges that was a producer that emailed me that he wanted to help me get more exposure but he asked me what my income and how much I got to pay he said he will help me if I pay him $500 if you really a producer that produced famous people songs why you asking for money ? Shouldn’t you already have enough and just willing to help indi artist cause of good heart if they were really interested they will help you for free your supposed to be getting paid not them

  26. Dissapointed and Broke

    I agree about Blazetrak. Specifically, Bryan Michael Cocks/Cox, took my money ($125 or so) and didn’t even give feedback.

  27. B

    The Coast 2 Coast info is incorrect to some measure. It is true that the judges are nobody special but the purpose of the competition is not for the JUDGES to help your career advancement. You only have to pay $300 and you are given 40 tickets to pass out. If you are smart, charge $10 a ticket, you will make your money you paid out back plus an
    additional $100. You are performing
    after all. Why not get paid for it? The purpose of the competition is
    exposure and if you place 1st, you are granted a spot to compete in the world finals in Miami, Fl. If you win the world finals, 1st place is awarded $50,000. Cash prizes extend to 5th place. I have two friends who
    were in the show 2018 and I
    attended both events. The money is the advancement for the artist.

  28. dvldvl

    I’ve just came on this article which by now is 3 years old.
    Very informative.
    I’m already looking into changing my strategy now.

    2 questions and a comment if anyone wishes to answer:
    1- Does anyone have an opinion about musicopps.com?
    They want a $15 submission fee to get you music on commercial free radio, such as siriusxm as well as other media.

    2- Does anyone have any opinion regarding taxi a & r?
    I’ve been with them for a number, but have never had any success with them.
    One thing did come out of it. I met a music attorney there and put her on retainer.

    This leads to my comment.
    I was able to get out of a bad deal because I had the attorney. But it cost more money than if I simple had the attorney look at agreement before I got into the deal in the first place..
    If you can afford it, it’s worth having an experienced music attorney review ANY agreement that’s offered to you before you sign anything.

    I may look into youtube more from now on.

  29. 5H1780X


    Hey Geatano: (Re: tech issue on leaving comments here) I left a reply to someone above about the question on “Who Wants To Make It”, but when I found more information & went back to his comment to add an additional reply, it does not show up, even after a site-refresh. Is this a glitch or do you only allow ONE comment/reply per person? Thanks for your help. (Sorry to bother you here.)

  30. Richie V

    Thanks for the article, Geatano. It seems to boil down to don’t pay to play.

  31. Godbox1

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve felt vic to a few of these for sure. After dealing with a company called musicfeedpro, I’m done dealing with any services where you have to pay money to submit to so called people with connections, etc. Its just sad that good people get taking advantage of.

  32. Sophando

    Great article..well here’s the thing my son registered for something called Showcase Tour he said Neo and Soulja Boy gave their approval via a promo clip on their website. He paid a registration fee to perform. There were supposed to be judges of some level (rappers) any way went tonight and I have never heard so much rubbish in my life! It was excruciating and painful to watch. I wondered how legitimate this organisation is – when they announced the winner it was hard to believe these even ‘judges’ they could be friends. Anyway came home and search them and found your post!

  33. Christiana

    Thank you for sharing. Reading this made me feel way less crazy for trusting my gut in these situations instead of buying into the bullshit. Namaste, my dude.

  34. Rosemary Neilson

    I have been considering signing up with Taxi for several years but didn’t think I had anything to offer them. Eight original songs (including an eleven page choral work) later and I have just come across your article. I thought there was something fishy about this group when I spoke personally with someone and, although he was careful to emphasize the 300 dollar membership fee, couldn’t quite answer anything else specifically. And all of their testimonials? Call me crazy. I’ve never heard of any of them. If they’re so great, how come they ain’t rich?

  35. Vox

    Thanks for de-bunking some commonly-held myths about “making it” in the music business and the willingness of scammers who exploit those myths.