So I got a message via LinkedIn from a bloke promoting his website, thebeathaven.com. It’s one of those sites where musicians can post their tracks and invite others to add parts to the arrangement. If your contribution is used and the track earns some money, you can get your slice of the pie. All very cool. This is the kind of idea that allows people from all over the world a crack at earning some money using their musicianship, composition and arranging skills. The company claims it is in a position to sell music for profit, to get musicians and composers opportunities to work with successful artists and help gain greater recognition in the world of professional music-making.
Sounds great, right?
Except for one thing – if you find a track that you’d like to contribute to, you have to pay $4.99 (I guess US dollars) to download it. Oh…
Seeing the charge just made me think that this is just another attempt to rip musicians off. Beathaven wants me to employ my hard earned skill, my time and my expensive professional recording gear based on the possibility I might be able to share some royalties or session fees. OK, I might have a punt at such a proposition. But if they really thought they were able to make some money selling tracks, why try to hustle for money on top of asking me to do speculative work? It’s like being charged a fee to attend a job interview.
When I explained my reservations to the guy who contacted me, he did’t like it at all. He seemed to think he was offering me an opportunity rather than just trying to get me to buy some music at $4.99 a track. But it seemed to me that he was just making a sales pitch. I guess some business people can get caught up in their own “propaganda”.
I understand that some of my fellow musicians would like to have a go using a site like this and I hope there are real opportunities to make some money for people who choose gamble their $4.99 per track. But to me Beathaven looks like another olden-days hustle where the suits are doing whatever they can to get a few bucks off people struggling to find paid work.
Addendum: The guy from Beathaven was upset that I didn’t mention the fact that he’d offered me some free tracks after I gave him the feedback he requested. I declined the offer. I don’t think this changes anything relating to my review but you can be the judge (if anyone even reads this, I have no idea).