If you came here looking for a scam confirmation, sorry to disappoint you. But I must say I was highly disappointed as well. This is not a #scamstory, but I was so certain of it I was caught short-handed and felt like writing about it. As a musician myself, my songs are all over the internet. Years of exposure, band after band, it’s only natural that, to some extent, so is my contact information. That has led me to receive many scam attempts, which led me to many interesting interactions. Magroove was one of those that dropped me a suspicious email, and as you may know, I love going through scams as far as I can. Push it, fake it, see how far they go. In most cases, I can smell a scam miles away. But this time, guys, I have to admit I was wrong.
The Magroove quest
It was a cold morning when the email popped up, Magroove offered me to join their “new platform”. For more info, I had to click the link. Naturally, I made a thorough search on them but nothing suspicious came out of it. The link they sent me shared the same domain what appears on Google (magroove.com), it is fairly popular (according to Alexa and Ahrefs) and their own platform shows up in the first place when I search for “Magroove” on Google, which is always a good sign. More specifically, “Magroove For Artists” (artists.magroove.com), which happens to be exactly the link on the invitation. Also, all E-mkt security registers (DKIM, SPF, DMARC) were OK, so I shielded up and dove in.
Entering the twilight zone
In the end, I found out it’s an independent music distributor, digital-only. Nothing fancy about it, but quite a modern website. But hey, I had to go deeper, right? I reached for my old external hard drive and grabbed a few crappy songs that no man alive deserves to hear. Signed up. Only social media login. Perfect, I wouldn’t give them my email anyway.
I logged in with a fake account and found out it was an unnecessarily complete and well-maintained platform for an everyday scam. And by complete I mean that they had functional sections of the profile, earnings, stats and store (apparently they give you personal e-commerce with band merch when you distribute with them). Taking merch and marketing out of the musician’s hand is something I’ve been talking a lot recently and it centred a very nice discussion on Paul’s podcast last week. One thing was certain: they were professionals. Either from crime or from high tech music industry.
Luckily, it was the latter. I went ahead and prepared a release. Picked a random hi-res picture and uploaded the album. In fact, the upload form was incredibly short. Almost no paperwork, got through in less than 5 minutes.
The foe reveals itself as a friend
Long story short, I finished the upload, the fake account’s email got a confirmation and, amazingly, a few days later the release was up. I couldn’t believe! (And Magroove didn’t ask for anything close to my credit card number)
As a final test, I reached for Magroove’s support email and asked for an edit on a song name. It was boring. All I got was a courteous response and a confirmation that the name would be altered.
So yeah, BZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Red light for me.
No scam this time.
Magroove as a real platform
Now my crappy songs are now distributed to dozens of platforms and I have no idea what to do with them. Apparently they won’t take down either. Mangrove monetizes by taking 5 dollars a year from my release’s revenue, which I will obviously never reach. But they claim not to take the songs down even if you reach that… so yeah.
So yeah, I got that weird feeling right now that I feel they offer a good service and a very good deal. In a quick figure, I would spend a decent amount of beers fewer than I currently am, only to have my songs uploaded. I’m seriously thinking about dropping my Tunecore albums and moving there. No annual fee feels hot.
On another topic, the other service Magroove offers to seem quite fun. It’s a music discovery service, which reminds me a lot of Tinder. But instead of a date, you get to find new songs. They claim to be powered by an AI, but hey, even the fax machine in my office says that. Nevertheless, when searching for my songs there I was quite impressed with the results. I was recommended some songs I never heard of, and I could hear the musical elements that were grabbed and that may have made the “AI” pick those. Bwery Busical Inbeeb.
Magroove after a while
Honestly, after a week or so, thinking backwards, the only thing that led me suspicious was the way I got to them (Or they got to me). But looking at it now, Magroove seems like a platform I’d recommend and use. And in terms of trends and evolution of the music market, they seem quite ahead in a handful of them. Small forms, quick service, no buzz. The store thing seems like a nice deal even though I’ll never use for the current songs I uploaded. Getting rid of the business or the promotion routines won’t ever happen for the artist, but freeing the musician a little so he/she can focus more of his time in producing and making music is surely the way to go.