Music business

Xposure aims to open a “new gateway” to the music industry

When up-and-coming artists vie for the attention of A&R, producers and managers, it often means being ignored and discouraged, while music industry professionals find themselves inundated with DMs and emails that it is nearly impossible to organize and sift through.

Enter: Xposure Music, a Montreal-based start-up whose goal is to open a “new gateway” to the music industry by providing a platform that benefits both musicians and hopefuls. discover them.

“We see our mission as not just streamlining access, but also enabling serendipity,” said Xposure co-founder Gregory Walfish. Variety. “We wanted to compress what could take months of outreach or thousands of dollars to get to the right place at the right time, into an engaging interaction for artists and professionals. We want to help people find that moment of escape.

Walfish and Ryan Garber, both 22, founded Xposure with a “dream of giving all artists in the industry the opportunity to put their music in the hands of any high-level executive that they can imagine”.

How it works? Artists can join the platform and submit their music to a range of industry insiders, who determine their own prices for various services. Artists can pay for written or video commentary, as well as a live call with an executive. Or, they can submit their music for free with no guaranteed response. This system helps artists prioritize their time and money when it comes to outreach and self-promotion, and it helps executives curate music submissions with specific filters related to genre, engagement, streams, whether the track is a song or a beat, and whether it’s released or unreleased.

Xposure players include Polo Molina, founder of Grassroots Music and manager of the Black Eyed Peas; Nick Jarjour, Global Head of Song Management at Hipgnosis; Kate Loesch, A&R director at Capitol Records; and Steve Aoki’s team. Xposure takes no share of artists’ future revenue – only 25% of transactions made on the platform.

“I want to find the next superstar, listen to more artists, and help kickstart artists’ journeys,” says Molina. “Xposure has the tools to do just that. Without Xposure, streamlining listening to and discovering music from new artists has been a difficult process. We receive thousands of DMs and emails. Xposure makes it easy and enjoyable for my team and I to screen and listen to these talented artists.

Rap and alt-rock artist Fayz adds, “This is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to have a more experienced ear that gives me a different perspective. I want an impartial opinion to tell me if the song is worth it. The idea of ​​being able to send my music to executives and other professionals and hear honest feedback has changed the way I create and make music.

Fayz received comments from Loesch, Spencer LeBoff (A&R director at BMG) and Jake Broido (A&R at Atlantic Records), among others. Walfish cites Fayz as an example of Xposure’s goal of “accelerating artist journeys and connecting pros and artists.”

Garber adds, “It’s so rewarding to already witness the positive interactions happening on the platform. We’re truly building the future of access to the music industry, and there’s nothing more exciting than seeing these connections happen in our Xposure ecosystem.

While not the first platform to connect artists with music professionals, Xposure differentiates itself by focusing on the individual experience.

“Other platforms limit you to a certain number of characters and do little to prevent reviewers from posting unnecessary or even hurtful comments,” says Walfish. “Others have a low price, but large-scale feedback, which is also not helpful. We wanted to make sure that artists received accurate and detailed answers that could help them improve their art and advance their careers. For example, an executive at UMG A&R gave one of our artist beta testers a five-minute video full of advice.

If the varying prices make getting professional advice feel transactional, at least the artists on the platform can guarantee they’ll get their money’s worth.

“We need more gateways for artists, where everyone walks in with their eyes open and knows what’s going on. Introducing the monetary aspect provides the interaction with just enough structure to be task-focused, but without excess or exploitation,” says Matt McLernon, Senior Manager of the Artist Relations Team at YouTube and Xposure Advisor.

At a time when online virality can propel an artist to stardom, Xposure also aims to level the playing field and provide the same – um — exposure to creatives at all levels.

“Xposure offers artists the opportunity to gain the same access as a TikTok viral hit,” notes Jarjour. “It’s about challenging the idea of ​​algorithms determining whether an artist is heard by top music executives and space leaders. You skip the line at the office.

He continues: “The next Adele or Michael Jackson might not be good at social media. They may be talented in other ways. They deserve to be heard. »