Upcoming Changes at SongU.com

  1. Our Commitment To Education
    When Sara Light, Martin Bell, and I started developing SongU.com in 2000, we were the only site attempting to educate songwriters online. For many of our naysayers (and there were many), online education was considered a non-starter. But for us, education was precisely where it all started. It is also what is in our collective hearts.

    One of our members who recently emailed to congratulate us on 20 years mentioned that SongU.com was the first out of the gate -- the site that others had to follow. We did manage to beat Berklee online to launch by one month to become the first completely oneline educational platform dedicated to songwriters. Over the years, several other websites have tried to follow our model, some more successfully than others. I think what makes SongU.com unique is that we are, first and foremost, educators. We did not develop SongU.com to make money off the backs of aspiring songwriters. I personally know other websites with a philosophy that goes like this (because they've told me) -- "if people are willing to pay $500 or $1000 to write with so-and-so, why shouldn't we charge that much?"

    We do things differently around here (read our business code of ethics). Our financial model is to operate with transparency, charge our members an affordable price, pay our amazing instructors, coaches, and staff fairly, and then distribute any monies left over among the three of us (which is not much). To this day, Martin and I still maintain our full-time college teaching jobs.

    Website Enhancements For An Improved Experience
    Here are some of the changes and upgrades headed your way:

    • Pitching - For a few years, Martin, Sara, and I have thought our pitching area needed some revamping. The pitching area has grown from 2 to 3 pitch opportunities a month in 2006 to sometimes twenty or more each month. Giving every Platinum member (2) pitches for every opportunity no longer makes sense from the member perspective or ours. Suppose you have (4) songs that you think would be competitive pitches for George Strait but (0) songs for a retro sync pitch. It would make more sense to submit (4) pitches for George Strait and none for the sync pitch. And, currently if the pitch gets extended, and you've already used up your (2) pitches for George Strait, you have to pay for more. Additionally, on the administrative/financial side, our pitching model also handcuffs us from growing this area with more opportunities. Sara wants to continue to add more sync opportunities and other diverse outlets for those members writing competitive songs. However, since we pay every Street Pitch guest for every song submitted, it only takes a little math to determine we're losing money on most memberships every month (and we have been for a while).

      The great news about our Pitching Opportunities is that beginning with the rollout, you will no longer be limited to how many pitches you submit to each listing. Instead, every month Platinum Members will receive a "bucket" of (10) Street Pitches to use however you want during the month. When a new month starts, your bucket resets to (10) Street Pitches. You can still purchase additional Street Pitches if needed (8 credits). Even better, Fast-Track pitches will no longer have any quantity limitations or cost.
    • Idea-Generator Creativity Toolâ„¢ (Platinum Members) - We're adding a new cool tool to help jumpstart your creativity or assist when you hit a roadblock. It can generate lists of rhymes, synonyms, or ideas to help spark your creativity.
    • New Dedicated Server - We'll be on a newer, faster server with more storage. That in turn will allow us to increase the upload size limit on any MP3s.
    • Improvements to Layout, Design, and Mobile-Responsiveness - We've improved the navigation and changed hundreds of pages to be more user-friendly and mobile-friendly. We've also made an effort to make the site more accessible to screen-readers since we have some members with visual impairments.
    • And much more to come...

    Our Coaches Are Long Overdue For A Raise
    Our dedicated and hard-working SongU.com Coaches consistently go above and beyond in providing you with helpful, written song evaluations. They have been operating at the same pay rate for over seven years, so we'd like them to have a small increase. With our new rollout, prices for song evaluations will increase (+2) credits on Quickies/Rewrites and (+3) on Standard (now called "Comprehensive").

    Monthly/Quarterly Membership Costs Are Increasing, BUT NOT FOR CURRENT MEMBERS.
    Once we switch over to the new site, our public view chart will show a small increase in membership fees for both new Lite and Platinum Members. This is our first pricing increase in membership fees since 2003. If you're a current member, your membership rates will not increase. Your current monthly/quarterly membership rate will remain the same. Note - if you do leave SongU.com and return, or change your membership from Platinum to Lite (or vice-versa), you will be under the new fees starting August 1st.

    When Are These Changes Happening?
    We expect to roll out the new design, features, and pitching changes at the end of July (currently targeted for July 27th). I will update you as we get closer since we'll likely have to be down for maintenance for a couple of hours while we change to our newer, faster, dedicated server.

    Thank You
    A community like SongU.com is largely a reflection of its members and staff. I'd like to thank Benn, our faculty, our coaches, and especially you for helping to create such a great environment here. Despite the physical distances, songwriters from many continents around the globe, all with a common love of songwriting, have helped to create this little virtual campus that feels like a real community filled with family and friends.

    I'll be in touch soon with more details. See you "on campus" :-)


    Back to top