On April 8, DropTrack unveiled its new “Get Paid to Listen” feature. A&R reps, DJs, and bloggers who think, “If only I got paid a nickel for every demo I’ve listened to…” can now be compensated when they listen to songs through DropTrack. They can even set their own prices. There’s an upside for musicians, too: a money-back guarantee that their Premium Demos will be heard.
DropTrack Founder and CEO Paul Loeb believes industry professionals (recipients) should be rewarded for responsiveness. Not only does it make sure recipients’ time is valued, it also means higher-quality submissions from music performers, writers, and producers (submitters) believe in their songs enough to put their money where their music is.
“As an A&R person who listens to a lot of demos, I know time is valuable,” commented Loeb, who is also founder and CEO of No Ego Records. “Being able to filter through all those demo submissions and listening only to the cream of the crop cuts down on that time.” And DropTrack streamlines industry pros’ tasks by enabling them to take demo submissions (including “Get Paid to Listen” transactions) on their own websites or Facebook fan pages, with simple installation of DropTrack’s embeddable HTML widget.
Meanwhile, artists get what they want: professional ears and feedback. Submitters can choose to click on “guaranteed listen” and decide how much they are willing to pay. If their tracks aren’t heard and no feedback comes within seven days, they get that payment back. Loeb explained, “Artists can pay for exposure on other platforms and never know if anyone’s listening or if they’re throwing money down a black hole. They don’t know if they’re being stolen from. We’ve built accountability into the process.”
Feedback promised by DropTrack consists of a) knowing whether a recipient played or downloaded the track, b) getting a one-to-five-star rating, and/or c) getting the reviewer’s remarks. Comments are often something like this, from trance music producer Neos: “Nice tune, good intro, I love the breakdown, melodic & beautiful!” or this, from producer/DJ/artist BK Duke: “Will play this on my radio show PLAY IT LOUD (broadcasted on more than 20 stations).”
DropTrack’s variable pricing determined by users sets it apart from other platforms. Recipients set the value of their time—from one dollar to hundreds. Submitters can select their price range too, determining which recipients they can afford. DropTrack’s current listener roster has hundreds of the Internet’s most popular music-seeking blogs. Labels include Digital Empire Records, Adrenalin Room, and Suma records; and DJs include Tiesto, Dash Berlin, and George Acosta. The main question DropTrack’s 6500 users have to ask themselves is: “What’s it worth to us?”
“One of my goals with the ‘Get Paid to Listen’ strategy is to democratize the submission process,” explained Loeb, “to make this fair to music providers and industry experts who critically consider their work.” As a prolific producer and advocate for artists, he aims to empower music-makers to direct their own careers—which means making investment decisions. Rewards for listeners and worthy input for artists are just two more approaches to help DropTrack submitters stand out from the rest, get heard, and get deals.