I recently signed up to a site called "Submithub" and thought I would sum up my experience here.
For those that don't know, Submithub is a site where artists / bands can go and submit their music (at a cost) in order for it to be sent to bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, radio stations, music reviewers etc etc.
I paid for a significant amount of credits. You then use these credits to get your music sent to various individuals of your choosing. You filter by genre to find the best people placed to promote the style of music your song is, at which point, you can then submit your tune to them.
You use your credits you have purchased to submit the music to a variety of people. Some may have, for example, very established Spotify playlists with a large number of followers or a Youtube channel with hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
The site itself is a brilliant idea in principal. You submit your tune, you control who the tune gets sent to and who listens to it all with the hope that your song will get some juicy promotion. Maybe it will get featured on their Youtube channel and help promote you?, Perhaps you will end up on a big Spotify playlist with thousands of listeners.
Sounds great right? - but here's the thing - You are paying out money with no guarantee your music will get anything at all. You could be throwing money at this platform relentlessly and still get nowhere.
The issue is that music is subjective. My latest single "Heartbeat" has so far been rejected by about 40 of the 100 people I sent it to. I am not bitter about it, we all have personal tastes and you do get some valuable feedback in some cases. In others though, you are just left feeling like your work is shit.
These people are rated on the site. Submithub has got your back in that they let you know how good these people are at responding to submissions, how fast they respond, the ratio between songs they decline and approve, what their website / Spotify / Youtube engagement is like, if their traffic is consistent and legitimate etc etc.
This is a brilliant tool because you don;t waste your time sending your music, lets say a dance track, to somebody who enjoys country music. It also ensures you have some semblance of power as to the selection process.
The premise itself is brilliant,but I am not convinced. These people are getting paid to listen to your song, consider it for addition to their playlist / channel / website or for review and provide some feedback (if that sort of thing is important to you).
Some of the people take their role more seriously than others and provide reasonable and fair critique and feedback, the sort of stuff that has value in and of itself. Suggestions on how to improve moving forward ect but some don't have much to say and are clearly just in it for the money. People do often rate the feedback they get though and you can make your submission choices based on if they give good feedback or not because Submithub makes it public.
I mentioned earlier that music is subjective and I have certainly found that to be the case here, I think this is why you need to take the feedback with a pinch of salt and not take their words too seriously. People often contradict each other because, you know, we are all humans with different brains and ears and minds and we know what we like and what we don't like and thats all good. However, I do think it would drive you mad if you because obsessive about their feedback.
For example, some will say;
"This is a brilliantly clean mix", while others say "The mix sounds too muddy"
"I don't like the vocals, they are too processed and have too many effects on them", while others state, "I really like what you have done with the vocal effects"
"The vocals feel very forced" while others say "The flow of the vocals are very natural and sit well in a mix"
None of the above are right or wrong, it's just peoples opinions.
Personally, I don't mind people criticising my music constructively but you do have to remember that that is just one persons opinion. Good or bad - there will always be people who like what you do, your style and how you mix, manipulate and create your tracks. There will always also be people that think everything you do is horrible or sounds messy, muddy, the mix is all over the place, the vocals don't sit right, the vocals aren't loud enough or are too loud, the drums should be louder, the drums are too loud, there are transients in the mix.
There is no "Set" way to make music. No rules. I left my University course because they tried to make me do things in a certain way. Use certain softwares. Mix and master in a certain way. I didn't like or need that. I have got to the stage I am at on my own and have taught myself how to make, write, record, mix and master music from scratch and write songs too.
So, if you do use Submithub. Take it with a pinch of salt as I am doing.
It's disheartening having rejection after rejection of your song you worked hard on and love which is why I won't be using their service again unfortunately.
I hope this provides some insight into what it's like promoting your music for struggling musicians such as myself. It always costs money and bares little fruit in return.
Here are some examples of the feedback I got on "Heartbeat". Quite a variety here, some useful and generally very nice, some I could have done without. But you live and you learn.
Here is the video / song if you haven't heard it so you can make up your own mind: