If you’re a regular user of Musicbed, or an artist familiar with our browse page, you may have noticed a small change today.
Yes it’s true. We removed the ability to sort the catalog by top downloads.
Some of you, filmmakers and artists alike, are probably asking why we’re writing about it — you may have never used that function in your life. We change things all the time, so to specifically call out the removal of top downloads may seem odd.
Allow us to explain.
We work very hard here at Musicbed to make sure that you can find the music you need for any given project. We are very intentional about the way we tag music, the algorithms we use to sort music, the types of marketing and features we use to promote and share music with you. It’s all very calculated to make sure you’re hearing the best when you visit Musicbed. By defining and adding search options, we’re serving the best match.
Top downloads serves the opposite purpose of everything Musicbed stands for. Music to us is not an afterthought for film. It’s not a filler. It conveys a tremendous amount of emotional responsibility, both in its power and the way its used. And it’s typically non-negotiable. Scenes call for certain types of music, characteristics, moods and feels. So why would a filmmaker intentionally handicap him or herself by not figuring out what their scene is calling for? At the risk of getting a few angry emails, I’ll say (and I believe) that choosing music based solely on top downloads is lazy. But we’re the ones who enabled the feature, so the blame truly lies with us.
There is no doubt about it — the most downloaded songs on Musicbed are amazing songs that can fit in a wide variety of projects. But there are thousands of other tracks that never get a fair shake when top downloads is the go-to sort function.
Let’s be clear. Filmmakers aren’t the only ones to fall into the top downloads trap. Artists can be just as guilty, using the feature to crack the code, so to speak, using it as a crutch to create music instead of embracing what’s different about themselves because they’re afraid it won’t sell. There is a fine line, I’m well aware, between artistic integrity and paying bills, for both filmmakers and musicians. I’m not saying they can’t cross over, but we tell artists all the time — the best music we can get is the music that artists are excited to make.
Just because you can’t sort by top downloads doesn’t mean we won’t be showing you the most popular songs on Musicbed. Our browse algorithm is an ever-changing beauty. It shows a mix of top downloads, internal staff picks, and the best recently added tracks. Everyone gets a good mix of best and new. More importantly, however, with the removal of top downloads, you get to use the browse functionality! Find the song that really is the best fit. Dig into the catalog and get into those deep cuts that will let your film stand apart. Artists, don’t be afraid step out into some uncomfortable territory. There’s a reason you were hand picked to be a part of the Musicbed family.
Music is too important to be bound by the restriction of top downloads. We’ll curate the catalog. You go find the perfect track.
— Nic Carfa, Musicbed VP of A&R
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