Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Slicethepie.com - A Wasted Oportunity

Slicethpie in theory is an excellent idea although I still can't see how it is financially maintainable. It's fairly convoluted so I will try to be brief and precise in how it works...

It is a website where new bands can post music they have recorded for amateur music lovers to review and rate. Reviewers can earn money from reviewing provided their reviews are successful. A short written review with constructive criticism and a scoring out of 10 is required to fulfil the criteria. Success is dependent on how accurate your scores are compared to others, your use of the full spectrum of scores (1-10) and the quality (and quantity) of the writing. Tracks are selected at random across all genres and you must listen to a minimum of 60 seconds of the track to review.

Once you've started earning you can withdraw money after you have reached £5.00 payout threshold (into a Paypal account) or you can also invest in a band that you think may be successful. Reviewers have a star rating that increases as their success does. If you are a one star reviewer you receive vouchers per review to invest in artists. Two stars plus you can earn cash (2= 5p, 3= 6p, 4= 7p, 5 = 10p).

From the bands perspective, if they get enough positive reviews they are put forward to the 'showcase' where people can invest in them using vouchers or cash. If you reach an investment of £15,000.00 you get a recording contract.

It's a fascinating idea but in practice, at least from the reviewers point of view, it doesn't quite work as it is incredibly frustrating. I've been a member for a month now so didn't experience the glory days when it was fun and profitable but it appears that they have enforced so many regulations now that make it very difficult.

The first problem is the accuracy, as you are not rating music for it's quality but trying to predict what others will think. Therefore any act that is on the margins or mildly avant-garde will never be successful, even if musically they are very good. This is a shame because the site is populated with alot of fairly bland music that you have to rate highly in anticipation that others will. Fine if it's an X Factor kind of process but it's not billed as one.

The 'spread' system is also incredibly annoying. You must use the spectrum of ratings in order to succeed or you lose stars. This leads to alot of lying. Many times I have voted honestly and inexplicably lost stars despite my high accuracy. This has led me to giving the most tedious and mediocre trite a high score simply because I have to. By nature, alot of the music is not great but palatable so naturally scoring should reflect this and the standouts should be rewarded. This doesn't happen with this system and I think it's harder to separate quality because of it... exactly the opposite of their intentions.

It was a nice idea but too many restrictions have made it a frustrating experience. I'm sure this is due to improper use in it's early days which they had to counter and the measures are understandable but put you off being involved. I have all but stopped altogether now.

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