ED Magedson – Founder
Song of the Year (songwriting contest) This is not a legitimate contest. The contest shows a pattern with several red flags being raised Internet
I want to first preface that I am the 2014 (1st contest) winner for the rock category. After not receiving any response from the contest after multiple emails attempts on their website (with no email address listed anywhere on their website) and per their timeline to receive a “personal” contact, I started to wonder and research. I reached out to another 1st place winner of the contest I was in and he didn’t receive any emails or calls either, also after sending a few emails to question why. I should have noticed the smaller things before entering the contest but this was the first time entering and I thought I would give it a shot.
This contest promised the grand prize winner 30,000 in cash and about another 30,000 worth of merchandise/prizes (as of current 2014 contest). The 2nd overall winner receives 10,000 in case and about 2,000 in prizes.
The 3rd overall prize gets 100 cash.
This should have been the first tipoff. This contest boasts 4 contests/quarterly a year. For a grand prize place, the company would be giving 120,000 a year and 40,000 for second place. Contests of notoriety only have one contest per year and the grand prize is anywhere between 30,000 – 50,000 in cash AND prizes. (see the USA Songwriting Competition/ songwriting.net or International Songwriting Competition/ songwritingcompetition.com ) – red flag #1
So after seeing a few complaints online, I started picking apart the website to verify its validity. It claims that the sponsors pay out the prizes (as common in the other songwriting competitions) so I sent both Yamaha and Guitar Center an email asking if they were sponsoring this program. Both responded that they weren’t. Yamaha also claimed that the model keyboard in question had been discontinued for over a year. Guitar center made the comment that its possible some purchased a 4,000 gift card but reaffirmed they weren’t sponsoring the contest. – red flag #2
Then I started searching all the winners of the previous years. Before I had entered, I had listened to several of the winners before to see what type of style and songs were submitted. I then started to notice a pattern. Every year (dating from 2014 – 2011 [when they started posting the grand prize results…] I noticed the lyric category placing overall 2nd every contest and the instrumental also placing 1st more often. Here are my findings and I encourage you to take a look at the site for yourself to verify:
2011 (1st contest) - Diane L. Foster - Melody Of My Soul (Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2012 (1st contest) - Steven Reed - Innocence Gone (Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2012 (2nd contest) – results not listed
2012 (3rd contest) – Jeff King - When You Were Mine(Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2012 (4th contest) - Kelly Nichols - No Apologies(Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2013 (1st contest) - Bradley Watson - Love Me In The Silence (instrumental only) – grand prize
2013 (2nd contest) - Carmen Torres - Graveyard Of Empires(Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2013 (3rd contest) - Eric Morris - This Heart's Obsession(Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
2013 (4th contest) - Tracy Hickman - Beyond(Lyric Only Category) – overall 2nd
Now in a songwriting writing contest, 3 big things are usually judged when it comes to a grand prize finalist: the music, melody, and lyrics. There are other factors that are included but these are usually the top 3 looked at. It’s unusual for a grand prize finalist to be a lyric or an instrumental since it would be missing the 2 other main elements of a song. It’s highly unlikely that a contest would choose one of these two as a grand finalist two years in a row. It’s absurd and fraudulent that a contest would choose lyrics for 2nd place every single year. – red flag # 3
I was never communicated with through email or phone about receiving the form that was needed to be filled out so my song could be passed to industry execs. Checked multiple times a day and every day with my email, looking in spam as well - Nothing. After emails following up during and after the time period specified that everyone would won would be contacted, I then searched and found the reports and complaints of this contest being fraud. – red flag #4
I then sent a FB message to one of the other 1st place winner’s to congratulate and see if they received any communications from the contest. Surprisingly, I was the one that actually broke the news to him he won. After a few email follow ups from his end – no response and no emails from the contest. – red flag #5
Im currently in the process of reaching out to previous grand prize winners to see their results with the contest but at this point, I think there is plenty of evidence to support a fraudulent contest based on my own research and personal experience.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/17/2014 08:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Song-of-the-Year/internet/Song-of-the-Year-songwriting-contest-This-is-not-a-legitimate-contest-The-contest-show-1162768. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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