Judgment day.

A little while back, I submitted a song to a service called soundout.com, which bills itself as “an online track testing and consumer insight and analytics service for artists, record companies and music industry professionals.”

Soundout.com works by taking $40 of your hard-earned cash to pay 80 reviewers around the world to listen to your song for at least 60 seconds and then fill out a review form. The results are compiled into a PowerPoint-worthy report that shows you how your song did overall and then dives deep into age brackets and other demographics.

Yesterday, the report arrived for my song Demons & Saints (to hear this song, use the player to the right!).

Now, I’ve worked in advertising for a long time, so I am comfortable scanning research reports and I know with utter certainty that more effort goes into making the report look good than filling it with high-quality information worth making a big bet on. Irregardless (one of my favorite words, by the way, because people who like to use often work in advertising in an attempt to sound super fucking smart), when my report arrived I zeroed in on my overall score.

I got “above average” which is below “good”, “very good” and “excellent”.

I was bummed, but honestly, I didn’t feel quite up to heading over the Golden Bridge to jump, so I read further, consoling myself with the knowledge that Demons & Saints was certainly never meant to be a hit song, just a good song. The details, I confess, were interesting:

- Men like my song more than women do.
- I do better with an older crowd.
- The song’s best quality is its production (Jaime Durr rocks).

There were also some interesting quotes, but the grammar is so bad in all of them, I don’t want to bother re-printing them. Actually, the lousy lingo of the quotes reveals that the listeners aren’t really taking that much time to think about what they’ve just heard. In fairness, though, that’s the breaks of the song market; you either hook ‘em in a few seconds or you don’t.

Will I submit more songs to soundout.com? Yes, in fact, I already submitted Here Comes the Weather (to hear this track, use the player on the right side of this blog), but I am NOT going to get obsessive about this service. As my friend Dave wrote me after I sent him my report, “Write for yourself, create for yourself… have faith.”

Good advice, I think.