Answered by: Michael Laskow
Dear Michael,

Could you shed a little light on the screening process, particularly as pertains to the Broadjam submissions. I received four non-forwards today, all sent within the same moment. Did the screener really review at least four tunes in less than 60 seconds?

I know there are some tunes that are clearly not acceptable or appropriate, and obvious in 10 seconds, but I question whether that's typically true.

Sour grapes? No, I've been forwarded a reasonable percentage. I just want to know how it works. Few tunes do much developing in 15 seconds, especially those intended for film.

At the Road Rally, we listened until the chorus, or a section shift. Seems reasonable. Is that happening here? What is happening here?

Jonathan Stratman

Hi Jonathan,

And THANK YOU for asking that question!! It never dawned on me that having our servers do BATCH sends of the forward and not-forwarded e-mails might lead people to think that we're only listening to 10 seconds of music. You'll be relieved to know that we insist that all songs are listened to at LEAST as far as the bridge, so the A&R person can speak intelligently on all aspects of the song.

I can't tell you how glad I am that you asked!!!



For particular genres (ex. Hip-Hop or heavy Rock), is placement more likely with a song that has edited or cleaned-up lyrics? Does it depend on the company looking for submissions, or is it first considered by the TAXI screeners? I know forwarding is usually based on total package songwise, but I still wonder if it affects the decision. There isn't a category on the critique sheets that addresses this issue. Thanks for your help, I really enjoy my membership and feedback.

Eric Allain

Hi Eric,

My feeling is that for label pitches, the more R-rated stuff is probably okay, as they're used to hearing it. But for film and TV pitches, I would have to guess that the cleaned-up version might increase your chances of getting a placement (and then, making it past the censors). ;-)

Warm regards,


Is there a kind of publishing deal that doesn't require you to also become performer? For instance: I have just under a hundred songs, and I would like to publish them and make some money off of them. I would also like to be able to send in any new stuff I write and have it be marketed. Is there anything out there for the person who doesn't want to be the artist, just write the songs?

Paul Ruoff

Dear Paul,

I think you're confusing record deals with publishing deals. A publisher pushes your songs to artists who need them, and movies and TV shows that want them.

I've always been a huge advocate of being a songwriter versus a performer for a couple of reasons.

Age and physical appearance don't matter when you're the songwriter, but they DO matter when you're trying to get signed as an artist.

Typically, songwriters make more money! Sure, if you have a quadruple platinum album every couple of years, you'll make a bundle of bucks, but if you only sell a half million CDs, chances are the songwriters will make more than the artist. Why? The artist has to pay back all the money the label advanced him/her to make the record, go on tour, fly on planes, eat in restaurants, etc. If the songwriter owns all of his or her own publishing, and the song is a hit, he/she can make a boatload of dough.

There's a lot more to this, but I don't have room to do a whole chapter here. I strongly recommend that you read the books by John Braheny, Donald Passman, and Todd and Jeff Braebec on our recommended reading list. These books are the best I've read on the subject, and I think you'll be delighted at what you're going to learn.

Here's a link to check them out!

Hope this helps,


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