Music Scams- GLightFirm & Afton

3:16 AM Posted by GloryBug

Music ScamsFirst of all, I should clarify why I am calling these companies scams. They may have valid services, but the way they market or approach people is, in my opinion, scammy.

This week, poor VvonV was contacted on his Sparklejet Band's FaceBook and MySpace pages with two different solicitations.

The first one was from a company called 'Afton'. They sent a note from a woman who claimed she gets paid to 'browse' MySpace for bands. She states that she liked the music and thought the band would be a good fit for a gig set up for Feb 19 at some venue (named the venue, but not the town or state). I got deja vu, because a couple of years ago I got contacted by someone with almost the same wording regarding my band.

That kind of perked my ears up, because while it's true that I used to have a band, and I had pictures posted on my MySpace, I did not have any links to my actual music. So I knew that whoever wrote it was scamming, because they couldn't possibly have listened to my music and thought it would fit in with some show. Turns out THAT company turned into what is now Afton. I don't like the misleading comments they send in their notes. I don't believe for a second that anyone from their company listened to Sparklejet's music at all. Researching brought up many google pages titled 'Afton Music Scam'. Apparently, many musicians feel that whatever setup Afton has regarding ticket sales and payment is a scam. Thankfully, we don't personally know, because we did not sign on with them. Check them out carefully before you decide to.

The second music scam solicitation he got was from a company called GLightFirm, and it also was presented as a note from someone trying to make it sound like they were a recording or publishing company. After checking out their website, it becomes apparent they are nothing of the sort. What they are is someone who 'qualifies artists through production evaluation'. WTF? I read the whole site, and as far as I can tell, it's just some people who want your band to pay them to critique you. I'll do that for $5!

What's interesting is that one of their tabs gives information about their 'referral' program. Yep, an affiliate program. So the person who sent VvonV that misleading note most likely doesn't even work for GLightFirm, and was just throwing out random notes to every band they could find on MySpace for the sleazy affiliate link money.

That's the problem I have with these companies, and why I call them scams- because they are not up front or honest about what they are, what they do, what they cost... or even whether or not they've even really listened to your music. I have nothing against affiliate links- I use them myself. But I do not solicit people I don't even know in a misleading manner just to make a sale. That's sleazy.

Please, bands, especially young ones, be very wary when approached by anyone about your music. It's flattering, but 99/100 times it is some shark wanting to make money off of your desire to produce music, not by helping you produce, market or sell your music.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Glorybug,

    Glightfirm IS NOT a scam. Many bands have had success with us. You seem to have missunderstood our referral program...to clarify, we work with Management companies and sometimes managers are uncomfortable working with new agencies. This is specifically for them and states so.

    I understand that you may be skeptical but we work with many artists who have success. call us today if you have any questions 615-285-3050

  2. GloryBug said...

    Please note that I did not claim that Glightfirm is a scam. I said that the solicitation we got from an affiliate was 'scammy'. When you offer incentives to affiliates, you can't always be sure they won't be spammy in trying to get your affiliate money. Also, your 'referral' program did not state that you only allow managers to become affiliates. If so, one of those 'managers' is sending out what I deem to be 'spammy' solicitations- in that they do not state specifically what they are trying to sell, and they actually mislead what they are selling.
    I don't have a problem with people making money off of musicians for what is essentially a consulting service- but I do have a problem with it if it is being marketed as something that appears to be a record label or agent or something like that. When you've been in the business a while, you can see the differences, but the solicitation appeared to be targeted towards 'new' musicians who wouldn't know the difference. That's scammy. I'll leave your comment and info up because although as a musician I would never waste my money on your services, some musicians might, and although I think your affiliate's solicitation was scammy, that doesn't mean that your business is, other than that you allow affiliates to send out scammy solicitations.

  3. GloryBug said...

    ETA- you should also note that I provided a link to your company in my post, so that people can check out for themselves whether they are interested in your service. I'd appreciate anyone who does to post their comments here as well.

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