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Leaked Email Reveals How Artists Pay Their Way to the Top

The electronic music generation is constantly evolving at a quick rate and as blogs and media outlets gain power next to prominent (electronic) record labels, new tastemakers have emerged with fresh ears and hungry budgets. Many aspiring DJ/producers have found a way to get exposure from one of the biggest outlets (with approval) by way of a “Slingshot” program. A leaked email from the website has struck a mean chord with some purist music fans by a legitimate fear: many artists are paying their way into the top of Mt. Soundcloud.

With over 1 million Facebook likes and various channels on Soundcloud with hundreds of thousands of followers, their network is one of the most active in the scene and very attractive to up and coming artists. Thump is responsible for a well-versed report that targets their marketing tactics and how to get a track uploaded with PR assistance (upon approval from an editorial team).

The email below explains how a young DJ sends out his track and receives the following info: his track will cost $600 to promote for a full “Slingshot” push and up to $1,000 for shares on their social media platforms.


Also Read: Best Time To Send Email Campaign

Thump points out that responded to their article (which was titled “Leaked Email from May Reveal How Paying For Coverage Has Flooded Us With Mediocre Music”) via CEO Ethan Baer. His rebuttal stated that is “a very public service” and stressed that the pricing has been “advertised and promoted publicly.”

Thump points out that “each week's Slingshot playlist makes it clear that (it's) sponsored content is debatable.”

Music journalist and editor Michael Abernathy (from Complex/Do Androids Dancequestioned the Slingshot service last year claiming it's practice was a “secret payment in return for the promotion of a product or service.” Since, he has predicted that this service caused a “flood of incredibly average records” with “massive play numbers without coverage from credible news outlets.” He also points out that these numbers helped book artists that would not otherwise get booked. called Abernathy a “disgruntled employee” email and described the Slingshot service as “entirely optional” in an email response.

Read the full story from Thump.

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