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Number One Music is a scam

March 16, 2012 228 comments

Number One Music is a scam

Number One Music is a Scam

Try to keep your music ambitions based in reality

As an independent artist and label owner, I’m always looking for new avenues to share/promote/push my music, I am always keen on using various profile sites to spread the word. Years ago, I joined NumberOneMusic and created a profile. I also registered at LastFM, DMusic and iSound all around the same time so NumberOneMusic was pretty much lost in the shuffle. At that point, I think MySpace was the big site for musicians looking to gain fans and attention. I made a little bit of noise on LastFM, but noticed a sudden spike of activity on NumberOneMusic.

I started getting TONS of FANS every day. I also got a huge amount of comments and people sharing their email addresses with me. Nice! The only thing that concerned me is that my music was pretty much ‘underground’ and really shouldn’t be getting this much love from the masses. I may have been a dreamer back then, but I was also self-aware enough to know I made niche music.

I started to doubt my results when I didn’t see any traffic leaving the site to follow my links. I figured the people on NumberOneMusic STAYED on NumberOneMusic and didn’t migrate off site- even to follow an artist they are supposed to be a die-hard fan of.

Fast forward to 2010. I kept hearing about ReverbNation and decided to join up. Reverb has a section to link all your social networking sites- so I Googled myself to find all the hubs and drop them in one place. I found my NumberOneMusic profile and signed back in. I checked out my account. I found the first hints of a scam in progress, but didn’t think it could be true.

1. I saw that I had about 2,000 fan email addresses. Pretty much all of them were gathered during my free trial period and almost none after. I thought, maybe when you join, you get put on the front page so your exposure is greater.

2. I saw tons of music plays for that period and also a complete drop off after my trial ended. I figured they weren’t showing my profile on their genre-specific pages so I’m the one that’s lost in the shuffle now.

3. I paid around $15 bucks to reactivate my account for a month in order to get access to those email addresses. By then, I had my own newsletter service (the somewhat pricey Constant Contact) and wanted to export them to my own data bank. I did.

4. Upon reactivation, the attention exploded again: tons of emails, comments and attention. Wow. It seemed too good to be true. I checked out all the genre pages and didn’t see my stuff listed. I checked the front page…nope. I wondered how the hell everyone knew I was back to being active on their site again.

5. In a rash move, I signed up for six months (about $69.00USD). At this time I was doing other social networking campaigns so NumberOneMusic didn’t stick out in my mind so much. It was bothering me that all the other pitches had less activity, but you could trace the trail of bread crumbs back to my promotional campaign. I decided to look into NumberOneMusic more closely.

6. I sent an email blast to my new NumberOneMusic email list and checked the results. It was 80% bounced (no person or active email account at the other end) 18% SPAM and 2% who knows. I thought that was weird. Why would you sign up as a fan and suddenly go cold? Something smells fishy in Demark (Russia more like, but hold on a second).

7. After doing some web searches about their company, I found an address for an empty suite in Manhattan New York registered under the same Russian names listed as programmers on their site. I checked into their accounting and they were using 2CO (A business like Paypal so you understand), which I also use for some of my business transactions. I called and 2CO listed them as a new account so it seems every few months they switch money handlers. I’m not sure who they are with now, but their jumping around is not a good sign.

8. I did a plain Google search for reviews and feedback and found TONS of musicians echoing my experience. I would love to live off the hope that there is some chance that, oh 100s of musicians are wrong and I’m really a brilliant artist on this one website and I should keep u$ing it.

9. I sent NumberOneMusic a long letter explaining my concerns and wanted a refund for the six months. In 1 hour they deleted my account (never mind the 1 month trial that I was still in) and any reference to my artist name on their site. Ouch.

The reason this is all coming up now, is that on my ReverbNation site, which gets descent activity, has shown a spike in fan comments. Those comments are glowing and suggest that I use NumberOneMusic for more exposure. Wow. Here we go again. So apparently NumberOneMusic is up to their old tricks again. Musicians beware.

Let’s talk seriously and answer a few questions before you ask them.

How Good Are You?

As a musician you need to have a sobering view of your own music and understand your genre and fan base and the reality of how well your music is likely to be received. If you are out of touch with the world at large and choose to live inside your own head, where you are brilliant and talented and the rest of the world is just too dumb to realize your genius, I don’t know what to say.

How Should I Rate My Music and Potential?

This is an ongoing process that is reflected by other people’s reaction to your music. There must be SOME SORT of reaction you hoped to elicit- from joyous frolicking to thoughtful beard scratching to solemn brooding. The question is: does your music cause that? That’s the only gauge you need.

How Do I Get More Meaningful Fans?

Meaningful is the question since anyone can amass the things that ‘fans do’ without having actual fans doing it. That means LIKES on Facebook, friends on MySpace or followers on Twitter. All those stats and numbers sound great, but in reality you want SUPPORTERS, not fans. You want to attract people that HELP your music move forward. This is achieved by sharing an experience to create an experience.

I don’t lean on terms like ‘enjoy’ or ‘Good Music’ since it doesn’t really make a difference in the overall scheme of things. You want to foster a connection between your music and the people listening to it. Either they ‘feel it’ or they don’t. Either you put your feelings into your music or you don’t. I know many musicians/producers who hope to create a personal impression by using an impersonal technical approach. You can’t argue someone into liking a song, but you can aggressively share your music- as opposed to waiting to be discovered. That’s the side of the MUSIC Business most artists want to pretend doesn’t exist- or that they don’t need to worry about. Let the label handle that stuff.

This is how scam sites like NumberOneMusic.com stay in business. They prey on your inflated ego and know that you want to create an entire career off the merit of how good your artistry is. The real world doesn’t work that way. Never has and never will. In these times, flattery will still get you everywhere and the quickest way to an artists pocket is to tell them they are going to be a star. Number One Music is using bots, clever programming and cheap hired help to tell you that you are great. Don’t fall for it. Its okay (and even sensible) to pay for exposure. Among millions of artists, the difference between Musician A and Musician B might be the difference of who is the most $erious.

This means you are willing to INVEST in yourself. Just be aware that every penny spent, is not a penny sent wisely. Earn your accolades by truly being talented and expressing your creativity. Find out by sharing yourself with potential fans. Do your shows, make your appearances, hand out your CDs and talk to the people you encounter. Become who you hope to be and live an artistic life. Don’t hide behind a computer screen and bank on a viable career being something you can download.

Let the internet be a reflection of what you have accomplished in the real world. Count your fans as the number of people who have been inspired by you- to support your aims and goals as an artist.

Lastly, don’t be confused by a few “success” stories. Not everything is black or white. Many of these sites that sell beats or offer tons of exposure for cheap offer some true avenues for minimal success. If they can fool you, why can’t they fool someone who wants to use the service for legitimate reasons? Test your results and motivate you “fans” into action. If you can do that; you have an engine worth using.

Last thoughts are from the wise Griffin Avid:

Promotion is active.
Sharing is inactive.
Promoting means you are doing something MANY TIMES.
Sharing is doing something once.

Promotion means I have to say no to avoid your pitch.
Sharing means I have to say yes to hear your pitch.

Promotion = Click to Close
Sharing = Click to open

A true sales pitch is concerned with presenting the AD in front of an interested audience. You want some sort of filter. You want traffic that makes sense, not just numbers.
That’s why certain commercials come on at certain times, during certain shows. And the same company has different commercials for the same product. You (if you’re serious) would need to understand this and apply it to your own attempts.

It’s not easy to corral traffic, or basically create/develop a customer/subscriber list. Anyone who has done it monetizes or controls what their base sees. So you are never able to randomly pitch to them. So, you have to contact that blog owner, get in touch with that DJ/host, join or somehow reach out to the people that matter.

Ask yourself the serious question: Am I going after props or profit? Am I chasing Dreams or Dollars? Am I looking to be COMPENSATED for my artistry or looking for a short-cut? I say: if it’s easy to do, it probably aint worth doing.

Stay smart and productive.

UPDATE APRIL 2017 

And they are STILL up their old tricks, unless you believe this is a real person. And N1M is Soooo popular that ONLY on reverb nation do anonymous N1M members ask you to sign up for their service weekly, like clockwork. I guess their email server spams on Thursdays. Ask yourself. Why would ANY FAN of Music on N1M run around asking random artists to join? People (most likely their reps) often pop on my blog, insult me and say I’m a loser for missing out by not signing up. lol

NumberOneMusicJunkMail

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Long as we’re here, check out another post with some swarmy sites and You Tube stuck in the middle.