The Pros and Cons of Song Contests
Song contests are a great way for a songwriter to take a step forward in getting their songs heard, especially for songwriters who are caught in the trap of having their songs gathering digital dust somewhere on a hard drive instead of getting heard by industry professionals.
If you are considering entering a song contest, here are a few things to consider:
The Pros of Song Contests
- Easy – Submitting a song to a song contest takes about 5 minutes.
- Inexpensive – Most song contests range between $25 to $50.
- Hands Off – Once you submit your song, you just go about life as normal and wait for the results to come in.
- Ego Booster – After the contest is over, you’ll know if you won, placed in the top 10, or didn’t place at all.
- Quality Judges – Most song contests have reputable judges, such as producers, major artists, record label executives, publishers, etc, for the initial screening and weeding out of the lower quality songs and the ranking of the higher quality ones. Rest assured that Joe Schmoe in accounting isn’t the one determining your song’s quality.
- Prizes and Publicity – If you place high or win your song’s category, you will usually win some pretty sweet stuff, such as recording gear, cash, or other prizes. More importantly, you will start to build a name for yourself as a songwriter, get noticed by the music community, and may even get your song placed with artists/record labels as a result of your publicity.
The Cons of Song Contests
- Easy Way Out – Getting your songs to market takes a lot of work, so don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that all you have to do is submit songs to contests to have success.
- Prices Add Up – Sure, one song may only cost $25-50 to submit, but if you submit multiple songs, the price can add up quickly.
- No Reasoning for Results – Since song contests get so many entries, you likely won’t receive any feedback as to why your song did or did not place. You may be left forever wondering what the judges thought of your song.
- Not Definitive Analysis – Just because your song didn’t place doesn’t mean it is a bad song or that it won’t be a hit one day. A few judges’ opinions don’t qualify as a strong enough sample size to provide you a final stamp of approval or rejection.
- Potential Judges’ Bias – Let’s face it, every judge has personal preferences, so even if the entire world would love your song, if one judge doesn’t like it, it won’t place in the top rankings.