Music Licensing Platform
Is SongTradr Fake or Real?
Why is SongTradr Likely Real?
SongTradr is an online music licensing platform which helps connect media organizations looking for licensed music with musicians who wish to earn by making their music available for commercial use.
As the complaints I have come across are by musicians who have signed up with SongTradr, this review is from the perspective of whether or not SongTradr is a legitimate option for musicians to make money by getting their music licensed through the platform.
Artists can sign up with SongTradr for free and there are subscriptions plans which provide benefits such as a bigger share of the royalties, more varied opportunities for monetization and in-depth analytics. By the looks of it, they are aiming to be a licensing platform for individuals as well as music labels.
A domain name lookup of the website shows that it was registered on 19th Jan 2014 in USA, under the name of Paul Whiltshire. The SongTradr website mentions Paul Whiltshire as the CEO and that the company has offices in USA, Europe and Asia.
On 27th Nov 2019, YouTube user Laptop Composer posted a video wherein he alleged that the SongTradr PRO subscription is a scam, since he has not seen any tangible benefits even after 6 months of paying for the service.
After contacting SongTradr support, he received a reply from their team which addressed his points and they cancelled his subscription as per his request. They assured him that the artist dashboard would be updated with detailed statistics soon and as of the writing of this article on 8th Jun 2020, it does seem that they have followed through with the promise.
Another YouTube user named Christian Robinson posted a series of videos in May 2019 alleging that SongTradr manipulates the search results to favour certain artists or songs, citing the example of a track by the company CEO Paul Whiltshire showing up as the first result for a specific term. The same issue was raised with the Better Business Bureau and a SongTradr representative replied saying that these claims are untrue. It is unknown whether the issue still persists as of June 2020 as search engine algorithms are updated periodically.
SongTradr also regularly addresses user complaints and issues refunds whenever necessary.
The company also has a GlassDoor profile and most of the reviews portray a positive work environment. Of course, it is possible to manipulate GlassDoor ratings as they are anonymous, but the fact that there are no obvious red flags pointed out by employees is a good sign.
I couldn’t find any relevant information about how much musicians successfully earn through the platform. In any case, the earning potential of any licensing platform varies for every creator and there is no reliable way to predict the numbers. Generally, the income range also varies widely and the only way for a creator to know whether the platform works for them is to actually use it. Understanding the terms and conditions regarding royalties is of utmost importance to avoid any confusion about how much you will actually earn.
It’s my conclusion that if you are a musician looking to monetize your work, SongTradr is a real option. The company does not misrepresent itself, responds to and acts on user feedback, issues payouts to musicians and has been known to refund the subscription if the user has had a negative experience. The platform has been active for 6 years and there does not seem to be a substantial volume of complaints against the company to label it as a scam. It does seem that the experience for artists is less than optimal in some cases, but it could also be due to negativity bias.
It might be a good idea to test the platform with the free plan to understand what kind of demand there is for your music and whether investing in a subscription would be feasible for you.
Remember: If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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