We’ve all heard the old stories about the artist who submitted their song to someone in the music business and never heard back. Then, at some point in the future they heard their song on the radio as a smash hit recorded by someone else and the whole thing ended up in a contentious lawsuit or simply never got resolved. These days, some artists believe that when they put their songs “out there” they run the risk of it spreading virally and millions of people will end up listening to the song but the artist never will never see a dime.
As in every industry, the music industry has its share of unscrupulous people so I’ll never go as far as to say that this won’t ever happen again but in my opinion, the potential rewards of getting your songs heard far outweigh the risks. Here are four points that illustrate why:
There are now over a million songs being created and digitally distributed EACH YEAR. There is no lack of great music and smash hits out there and an industry professional would rather do legitimate business with a willing artist than to steal a song. There’s just too much hassle involved in stealing a song and in today’s digital age it’s pretty easy for an artist to prove a song is theirs.
If you don’t get your song in front of the right people you have no shot. There are plenty of artists out there who understand that hiding their music is only going to lead to never getting a deal. In other words, competition is robust and if you don’t get your songs in front of the right people there are plenty of other artists who will.
Right or wrong, most music business professionals believe that there is no song or artist that can’t be replaced. That is to say, no matter how good you are or no matter how good your song is it really doesn’t make sense for a music business professional to try to “steal” it from you. Why get embroiled in contention with an artist and damage your own reputation in the business when it’s so easy to find artists with great songs willing to do deals?
Mass exposure gives you a better chance of achieving fame or reaching a deal than obscurity does. That is to say, if you are lucky enough to put a song out there and to have it take off virally you will do really well. The currency of the digital age is attention. If you get people’s attention you have a better chance of converting it into income than if you languish in obscurity. Unless you are a writer of hit songs with a proven track record, a network of contacts waiting for your next creation and top artists beating down your door for your songs you need to do whatever you can to establish yourself. Having one of your songs go viral will help you establish that.