TuneCore fan review (?) experience

whymark

New member
Good Day All, a quick recap of my experience.....I paid to have a piece reviewed by a group recruited by TuneCore.com for such purposes. The report comprised several parts including potential marketability (given as a % of who knows what), Overall track rating, Song Element Analysis (Vocals, Lyrics, Production, Instrumentation, Track and Commerciality) and a short review written by each reviewer; graded on a scale of 0 - 10. OK, I asked for it and wasn't disappointed in my poor reviews. In fact, agreed with a lot of them and gratefully accepted the criticisms. What surprised me was that in the Song Element Analysis; Lyrics and Vocals came in just under 30% (% of WHAT remains a mystery). The problem here is that there were NO lyrics or vocals!!..With the exception of some Boogie-Woogie pieces,.my projects are more cinematic/new age/alternative (whatever) and definitely NOT meant for dancing. I am NOT a writer of lyrics. While most of the reviewer-written reviews seemed sincere albeit non-flattering, at least two mentioned vocals and lyrics??!!! I sent TuneCore an email suggesting that either their Quality Assurance protocols needed work OR this whole fan review process is a scam. So far there's been no response. This is only FYI. Still looking for a trustworthy review system.

Y'all take care now,
Mark
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
I tried a similar service, Crowd Review, on ReverNation. I'm pretty sure it was legit because people who used capitals and punctuation liked the song better than those who wrote in text-speak. I doubt the computer could match writing styles to my expectations so well, and some of the writing was so bad they had to be humans doing it.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
I don't know why anyone would PAY to have their songs reviewed by a bunch of undetermined strangers. Plenty of strangers around who will review your stuff for free!
 

Greg_L

Banned
I don't know why anyone would PAY to have their songs reviewed by a bunch of undetermined strangers. Plenty of strangers around who will review your stuff for free!

This is true, and like with anything else, you have to consider the source. What makes anyone qualified to review anything? If a peer says you're good or bad, so what? They're a nothing nobody just like you are. Get an opinion from someone that matters and/or understands where you're coming from.
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
I don't know why anyone would PAY to have their songs reviewed by a bunch of undetermined strangers. Plenty of strangers around who will review your stuff for free!

Because your audience is a bunch of undetermined strangers. (Or one would hope because otherwise your audience is probably your mom or your girlfriend.) It's a way of getting a larger number of opinions. Making the whole thing anonymous lets the reviewers express themselves freely, which you don't get asking people in person. I found ReverbNation's Crowd Review quite helpful, mostly confirming most of my own suspicions about how our stuff would be received (audience will mostly be limited to boomers and Xers, with some interest among younger vinyl buying crowd).

If you're making music purely for fun then none of this matters. But if you're selling your recordings or trying to book good gigs you need to know beforehand who's going to like you and who won't so you can focus your efforts.
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
If you're making music purely for fun then none of this matters. But if you're selling your recordings or trying to book good gigs you need to know beforehand who's going to like you and who won't so you can focus your efforts.

True, but how do you know those 'reviewers' are in your demographic, and not just bots - like in Whymark's OP, comments on lyrics/vocals for songs that don't have them?
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
True, but how do you know those 'reviewers' are in your demographic, and not just bots - like in Whymark's OP, comments on lyrics/vocals for songs that don't have them?

Nobody's going to program a bot to match its writing peculiarities to my preconceptions. I expected the song to do poorly with millennials, and the least impressed reviewers for the most part didn't bother with capitalization, punctuation or spelling. The most favorable reviews were better written, or at least had errors that were common before US public education was thrown under the self esteem bus. In general the criticisms were pretty accurate, and most reviews mentioned things too specific to be programmed.
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
Here are four reviews.

“This song starts with a great guitar riff and some good vocals from multiple singers. The womans voice is very good and has
great lyrics, making this something I enjoy to listen to and is that slow alternative rock type of music I grew up on and
appreciate.”

“I love the guitar in the beginning of this song. I love all the factors off this band they make me want to sing along with them.
The girl singing has a nice and empowering sound. I actually adore it and she gives me chills. I love the beat change towards a
minute in to the song.”

“this is a rock and roll song. the track is bad not something that i would recommend. the rhythm is off and the voices are
merged but that 's just my opinion.not a very good song you cant really hear whats being said in the song. but not me or my
friends bad track.”

“a rock song with an upbeat tune singing to the gods. a female singer.uses electric guitar and is slow and speeds up. the song
is great and the lyrics could be redone to be better. so over all its pretty good. has good rhythm. and keeps on beat. happy
song and draws attention and has great content. no swear words or bad language. the song has a nice tune to it. the song
has ups and downs every so often leading it to a crazy finish. over all this song is pretty good a little bland. also this song is
not quite my type of song.”
 

mjbphotos

What?!?
Here are four reviews.

“This song starts with a great guitar riff and some good vocals from multiple singers. The womans voice is very good and has
great lyrics, making this something I enjoy to listen to and is that slow alternative rock type of music I grew up on and
appreciate.”

“I love the guitar in the beginning of this song. I love all the factors off this band they make me want to sing along with them.
The girl singing has a nice and empowering sound. I actually adore it and she gives me chills. I love the beat change towards a
minute in to the song.”

“this is a rock and roll song. the track is bad not something that i would recommend. the rhythm is off and the voices are
merged but that 's just my opinion.not a very good song you cant really hear whats being said in the song. but not me or my
friends bad track.”

“a rock song with an upbeat tune singing to the gods. a female singer.uses electric guitar and is slow and speeds up. the song
is great and the lyrics could be redone to be better. so over all its pretty good. has good rhythm. and keeps on beat. happy
song and draws attention and has great content. no swear words or bad language. the song has a nice tune to it. the song
has ups and downs every so often leading it to a crazy finish. over all this song is pretty good a little bland. also this song is
not quite my type of song.”


Kind of proves my point - why would you pay for such "reviews"?
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
Kind of proves my point - why would you pay for such "reviews"?

Market research. Even if it just confirms my preconceptions it's useful information that will help me book the right gigs and promote the band. There's sort of a catch 22 for new gigging bands. When you're trying to book a band a lot of the clubs ask how big your draw is, but new bands don't have a draw so it's hard to get booked. If I can tell them I've done market research and the music does well with certain groups and not so well with others it gives me leverage to push for Friday/Saturday opening slots with bigger bands that have compatible audiences instead of Tuesday in a lineup of crappy beginner bands. Basically it's a foot in the door tactic.

And I posted those particular reviews to illustrate the demographic information they offer and the non-bot-ness, not to show how great they were. We can use the really positive ones as testimonials if we want, not that I see a big need to do that.
 

whymark

New member
peer revoew [;ease

OK Mike and Greg.....You're on!!
 

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jonnie cook

New member
Just now joined home recording due to a google search on this subject. I did the same thing, through Tunecore. Got the same <30% result as you. I saw that 78% of the demographic I reached was aged 18-24, the remaining bracket were evenly split.

That's flag #1.

This work is contracted to Soundout.com, which is then contracted out to slicethepie.com, which pays reviewers. It claims 23M reviews have been done, 2.7 million paid out... do the math :p But here's a key excerpt from Slicethepie's FAQ page...

Can I change the genres I scout?

It's not possible to change genre preferences on the site, but this may be possible in future. Genre preferences won't affect the tracks that you are asked to review at this point as tracks are fed randomly. Can I change the genres I scout?

It's not possible to change genre preferences on the site, but this may be possible in future. Genre preferences won't affect the tracks that you are asked to review at this point as tracks are fed randomly.


There's flag #2.

Draw your own conclusions. Mine is that the demographic reviewing songs is exponentially loaded towards 18-year-olds (and those posing as 18). For $0.11 per review, these people have nothing better to do. So let's be brutally honest... I fell for it :p

If curious, please check out my Soundcloud page, I always appreciate that :)
 

charmedbymusic

New member
I discovered this forum the same way that Jonnie above me did. I was dumb and didn't think to search for anyone else's experience with TuneCore until after paying them and waiting for the results, since I had been recommended to it by a podcaster I liked. Naturally, reading this thread had me really worried.

However, my results varied DRASTICALLY from what this thread has reported, and I think that's due to the type of music I make. It's poppier and appeals to 16-24 year olds evidently, as we scored an 80% on one song and 51% on another (this track was much less poppy, was a ballad, and was occasionally classified as "boring" by some of the younger audience but praised highly by older listeners, similar to the other two posters on this thread).

While there were plenty of people just explaining what they heard sound for sound and giving it somewhat empty praise, there were more than a few reviews that gave suggestions that were helpful, such as saying they wanted the singer to be louder in the mix, indicating whether they thought the song should be longer or shorter, stating their favorite part of the song (really helpful for promo teaser clips), etc. My band mate and I still received the occasional troll comment ("this sucks, I want to die listening to this and I'm not going to tell you what about the song makes me feel that way"), but TuneCore also gives you a weighted score based on how relevant the review is and the reviewer's rating history, apparently, so it helps even the score out if you end up getting troll reviews. Either way, at least in our case, it was abundantly clear that the reviewers were talking about our specific songs.

My disappointment was in the lack of data. The only really useful demographic they give you is age range, but they don't say anything about race, geographic location, or even the listener's favorite genre of music or other artists they like. Also, the age ranges are a little wide on the lower end: 25-34 and 35-44 seem fine, but 16-24 seems too distant, especially when 70% of the reviews come from that age range. That and the fact that you probably couldn't even pay 24 year old me to listen to anything I liked when I was 16.

Overall, the reviews were really useful and we've already started using some of the verbage in the comments to describe our music to others - press, potential gigs, potential fans, you name it - sometimes it's helpful to have an outsider opinion. Where we look at our work and say "there's no possible way to fit this into one box!", others can listen and immediately check off where they think it fits. I was freaked out after reading about the lyrics comment from OP (that is really messed up), but luckily we didn't have any of those issues. Probably wouldn't splurge for a higher tier of listeners, but if $15 is all I have to pay for marketing research then I'll take it.
 

damianhk

Member
Concentrate on making music that you want to make. Many artists will say that you will write alot of shitty songs and a few good ones. Just get your music out there, and the feedback will happen. I'd concentrate on your vision and being as genuine as possible. Are you making music for reviewers or yourself? Don't pay for that stuff, don't the reviewers get paid? How genuine can that be? I'm guessing that many reviewers just make stuff up, especially after reviewing many songs. A while back, I remember earning a few pennies for listening and reviewing, and that's exactly what i did. After a while, I just tried to write something that didn't sound like my previous reviews, because the bots would catch it. Spend your time elsewhere. Get back behind the recorder and monitors, and leave that stuff alone.
 
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