• Report: #1162768

Complaint Review: Song of the Year

  • Submitted: Thu, July 17, 2014
  • Updated: Thu, July 17, 2014

  • Reported By: Ferreri68407 — Nashville Tennessee
Song of the Year
Internet USA

Song of the Year (songwriting contest) This is not a legitimate contest. The contest shows a pattern with several red flags being raised Internet

*Author of original report: Response to last comment

*Consumer Comment: I also believe this contest is scam.

*Consumer Comment: I won the 2014 country category and share the story.

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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.

Prizes:

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

2011 (2nd contest) - Elizabeth Long - A Morning Sky (instrumental only) – grand prize /  Shannon Baker - Canvas (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

2014 (1st contest) - David Cruz - Matter Of Time - grand prize / Christopher Lewis - Beside Myself (instrumental only) – 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Response to last comment

AUTHOR: - ()

Song of the Year is definitely fraudulent.  I haven’t come across any other songwriting contests that acts as a pitching tool to labels/execs/etc either.  I generally enter songwriting.net each year ONLY because of the potential sponsored prizes.  The contest does nothing in terms of getting the songwriter recognized, even though they promote the contest as such.

I’ve noticed that big names (such as American Authors) were selected on songwriting.net as Grand Prize winners and the contest boasted (in very keen words) that the contest acquired American Authors fame after they won.  However, you will see upon further research that their cd came out (major label)before the contest even closed that year.  They have sent emails to entrants showing AA's success story and "what someone can do in a contest like this" but the truth is, they don’t do anything.  The sponsors are the ones that pay out the prizes, not the contest company.  I know this because I won Overall 2nd Grand Prize one year, Honorable Mention another year, and as a Finalist several years in a row. (makes you wonder if I truly have a gift for writing or they flub/exaggerate the number of people that enter each year). I only enter for the resume builder (if you could call it that) and to get some prizes.

If you are entering these contests in hopes to get your song in the hands of some executive that can do something with it, you're wasting money. All of these contests pocket the money and have the sponsors pay out the prizes.  I did receive about 6,000.00 worth of software the year I placed Overall 2nd Grand Prize so I can at least say songwriting.net is a legitimate contest in that sense but the payout was supposed to be 11,000.00 so they flubbed there too.  They put your song on a compellation cd that does nothing and gets to no one.  I took our winning song to ASCAP heads and they said the song was "eh".  Good but not great and needed to be re-worked.  That goes to show you that these contests boast names because big names may enter and its clout for companies like this to parade as if they had a hand in their success - but in reality they don’t do anything for the writer in terms of connections or songwriting.

 

Jonathan

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#2 Consumer Comment

I also believe this contest is scam.

AUTHOR: VAE - (Norway)

 Hi. I read the report about the Song of the Year songwriting contest and I've been suspecting that the contest is scam for a while now. I've entered the lyrics only category several times (have been semi-finalist, runner up and honorable mention). In addition to what the others mention, which I agree on, I would like to add the following: 1. When I enter more than one "song" at the same time, I only get this standard certificate they give out, for one of them (happened twice). Also it only says, your entry into the contest, not the category. 2. The website never seems to be updated with "success stories". When you read about Meghan Trainor (sorry if I spelled it wrong) there's a lot of contest mentions that she has placed in, but Song of the Year is not mentioned. 3. They write about a grand prize winner who has spent the money on a project he does. He exists and the project as well it seems, but there's no mention of winning the contest. 4. If you google the grand prize winners, you are likely to find famous people with that name, but they may be actors, sports people, singers in a totally different genre than their entry, even singers dead like 20 years ago. If you google the writers name together with the song title (or look on YouTube) you don't find it mentioned on other sites than the contest site. 5. When I entered the 4th contest of 2015 they had listed several very famous (and kind of unlikely) artists as judges, with photos, on the front page. These included Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys, The Edge from U2 and Steven Tyler, among others (wish I had taken a photo). Later these judges just disappeared from the site and it went back to looking the same as it has for years. 6. The photos they have on their site showing "winners" with artists are so blurry you can hardly see who it is. The picture where someone is holding this big check is also blurry so that you can't read the name, nor the amount on the check. And yes, paying out 80,000 dollars worth of prizes 4 times a year, when their "sponsors" say they don't sponsor them, just can't be true. The huge difference between the third place and the two top positions is kind of suspicious. My guess is that they don't pay out the 1st and 2nd place prizes, perhaps 3rd. The entry fee for this contest is 30(!) dollars per entry so if it's scam it's a total ripoff. These people prey on the dreams of songwriters to get rich themselves. The contest still runs and I think it is a major one. I've entered for the last time, that's for sure!

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#3 Consumer Comment

I won the 2014 country category and share the story.

AUTHOR: David H - (USA)

 I read your report and almost have the identical story. All the way down to being contacted by another contestant informing me I had won, which news to me? I won in 2014 and only found out today May 31st 2015? I would love to go after these guys and get them shutdown if it is a scam. Feel free to contact me to discuss further.

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