In the real music business, we pitch songs to artists, producers, managers and A&R people. That’s about it. We don’t pitch to publishers. Why? Because the job of a real publisher is to get songs cut for their company, not for you. So, if you pitch a song to a publisher for Beyoncé, there’s only one possible, but highly improbable good outcome. That one unlikely possibility is that the publisher says, “This song is better for Beyoncé than any other of the songs in my catalog, even the ones my writers wrote with Beyoncé – so I’m going to pitch it to Beyoncé and give this writer a single song contract.” How often do you think that happens? Not very often. Almost never. If you pitch a song through an online pitch service and you get an e-mail back from a publisher saying it’s “Perfect for Jessie J”, you’ve likely been scammed. You want pitch services that are pitching to artists, producers, managers and A&R people – not publishers. Of course if a publisher happens to hear your songs and like it, they can approach it and lead you to right people to hear your song but there is a fact that the publishers are already very busy with their own job and they barely will have any extra time to listen to the random songs which they receive hundreds of them each day!
Most artists are not continually looking for songs. It’s important to know when an artist is recording and when they finish their project. If an online pitch services is claiming they need songs for Katy Perry and you know that Katy just finished a new record, then you’re probably being scammed. The scammers count on you not knowing what is going on. That’s how they prey on you. Check some reliable pitch sheet online and find out when people are recording, but before trusting that pitch sheet, you must first make sure of the legitimacy of the platform you are relying on. See how the truth stacks up to the reports of people wanting to charge you to pitch your song. If they are looking for songs for projects that are finished, they just want your money.
People who really believe in your song won’t charge you to pitch it. Instead, they will want to get in business with you – sign you to a single song deal, develop you as a writer, or even just pitch it to help you out and develop a relationship with you. I pitch songs fairly often just to help people out. People who don’t believe in your song so much want money on the front end, because they know that’s all they’re likely to get. People who believe in you invest in you long term. People who scam you want a dollar right now before you figure out that they really can’t help you. There are independent song pluggers who pitch your whole catalog for a monthly retainer. If they are legit, then this can be a good deal. Otherwise, most of the “Pay to pitch” services just want your money. Sad, but true.
Check up on anyone you are going to pay to pitch your songs. Don’t go by their website or by what they tell you. If they are scammers they will lie to your face. Ask around to see if other people have been pleased with them and had success with them. Check to see how accurate and current their listings are.
Even with the legit services, like Taxi, you have to send them a song that fits the pitch perfectly. They can’t risk their reputation by sending a weak song that doesn’t fit the pitch on to the artist. The responsibility is on you to make sure you aren’t wasting your money by sending songs that aren’t ready to be pitched or that don’t fit the pitch. Of course, they already check your pitch before they pitch it on your behalf, and if they find it not the perfect fit, they will not pitch your song and your money here had just been wasted. It pays in the long run to get your songs evaluated by pros before you pitch them anywhere.
Don’t give the scammers your money. Educate yourself and make smart choices. You don’t want to be shark bait!
Hangi Tavakoli is our in-house established and professional music producer with 20 years of experience in songwriting, music production, mix and mastering. He has written and produced more than 5,000 published songs to-date, including some major hits in international scale.