As a music promoter/publicist, I’m always building my contact lists. It’s a constant process. I work with new publications and freelance writers all the time. So, when I see new companies or individuals providing new information and contact lists, I tend to test them out and see what they have on offer. The most recent contacts package I purchased is called “The Musician’s Secret Weapon“, and I think it’s the responsible thing to do here to expose them as a legitimate scam and warn any musician against paying the $47 price tag for their “product”.
On their website they claim their product is used by Universal Music Group, Sony/BMG, Capital Records, Warner Brothers, Motown, etc…pretty much the who’s who of the major label world, but folks, this is a common tactic used by scammers. I’ll prove to you why this is a lie. Let’s start here. The Musician’s Secret Weapon essentially promises to deliver contact lists/documents with thousands of relevant and labelled email, name, and company contacts for industry professionals, blogs, magazines, radio, etc. I purchased the package and was shocked at what I found in the excel documents.
First of all, most of the documents were improperly labelled, containing only a list of random emails that seemed to be snatched up by an email harvesting software. Much worse than that though, I’m going to copy and paste some of the emails contained in their “secret weapon” contact list that they advertise as being a major boon to musicians.
It would be mundane to go on, but these go on in the thousands. The original list can be provided upon request.
Do you think for one second that major record labels would be using this list?
Giberrish, sex sites, and of course, some music contacts thrown in there for good measure. Do I really need to say anything else? I pointed this out to them and immediately requested a refund, as it specifies on their website, www.musicianssecretweapon.com, that they will provide refunds to any unhappy customers. Funny enough, I never received a response to any of my 5 follow ups.
Now, luckily, this article will show up in Google’s search results for this company, run by Mark Ronald, who are quite obviously taking unsigned artist’s money and providing them with this. Ronald does not have a social media presence, just the single website and a gmail address, and this is likely for quick takedown as the scam inevitably becomes more public. Then he can always set up shop under an altered company name.
I have no issue with charging for a quality service that delivers. This internet cowboy mentality when it comes to taking advantage of unsigned artists, though, has to stop and we can collectively put an end to it if we simply inform each other. Stay away, folks!