MusikPitch is an online crowdsourced approach to matching buyers and sellers of custom music. The site is open to anyone who is in the market for custom music - be that for a web video, film, video game, commercial, album etc.

For those unfamiliar, here's how it works:

Buyers in the market for a piece of custom music use the MusikPitch platform to create an online contest, and then composers and songwriters compete for the project. Each contest begins with the buyer posting a description of the type of music that they're seeking, and the money they're willing to spend on it. Composers are then invited to submit a piece of music that matches that description.

The bidding period usually lasts about 14 days, and once that period expires, the buyer picks a winner out of the bunch. The winner takes home the money and the buyer obtains the music for their project. The default agreement also states that MusikPitch assumes the publishing and IP rights to the winning submission (I believe there may be some flexibility on this, but the agreement posted for the most recently completed contest shows this provision in place).

The idea of this site initially excited me. After all, in today's world of ubiquitous royalty free music libraries, custom music opportunities are increasingly scarce, and for someone just starting out, half the battle is knowing when and where people are in the market for original music. But after observing the site for a few months now, my excitement has dissipated. My disappointment has nothing to do with MusikPitch as a company or the idea behind the site, rather, it's the frustrating "buyer's market" conditions in the production music scene overall, of which MusikPitch is merely a microcosm.

Here's what I think composers need to know about crowdsourced online music competitions:

Limited Financial Rewards
The vast majority of contests are for a total prize of $250 to $500. Keep in mind that you're being asked to deliver a completed work product for the mere chance that you might get this small sum of money. In my experience, it takes at least two work days to conceptualize, write, record, engineer and master a quality short piece of music. And forget bringing in a professional session musician to realize your vision - your (potential) winnings alone might not even cover that cost. 

When you add it all up, the economics of this just don't make sense from the standpoint of being an actual working composer. I believe I can say confidently that nobody is making a living off their MusikPitch winnings.

If the prize were larger, like $5,000, I might be motivated to devote my time and talent on this gamble, but only if I thought it fell perfectly into my skill set. Or, if I had a piece of music "on the shelf" that was already written and had not yet been monetized, and the piece required little or no editing, then it might be worth considering submitting that. But even with a pre-existing track on hand, if the prize money is in the typical $500 or less range, you might still be better off selling that same music on stock music sites and recouping the money over time, possibly even earning more, while retaining your ownership of the material.

Few Opportunities
I was also disappointed in the low number of contests that are being generated. I don't know if it's just a case of not enough people knowing about the site, but new contests seem to only appear once or twice per quarter (at least since I've been following the site). I'm actually surprised by that, given that it's such a favorable deal for buyers.

Low Profile Projects
From what I've seen, there are few if any contests generated by organizations that might otherwise have substantial music budgets for other projects. You can sometimes justify taking a loss on a gig if it gets you an inroad with a large agency, production company, record label, etc, but I haven't yet seen evidence that these gigs have that kind of upside. This is not to say that winning a MusikPitch contest could never lead to other opportunities - anything's possible - but on the surface, these gigs do not seem to have a huge networking benefit. 

The Positives
While MusicPitch is problematic from the standpoint of someone trying to earn a living as a composer, I think it does offer a great opportunity for composers who are just getting started and don't yet feel any pressure to rely on composing for a living. It's a great exercise to get client specs and create something that suits their needs, and to get feedback on what is or isn't working about your music.

And like I said earlier, it really is a great deal for buyers. You can get a custom song for a very low cost. I've listened to the winning songs for some of the contests and the quality was pretty good overall - worth the money, at least.

Final Thoughts
For the serious composer looking to establish themself, it's my opinion that your time is much better spent doing personal networking with people who have access to real custom music budgets, rather than devoting your precious hours for the hope of a few hundred dollars.

With all that said, I think the site has potential if some larger opportunities were to surface there. I wish MusikPitch well with their venture, and I will continue to watch and see where they go!