Newest Review: ... out of music to review if you only select a few and therefore ticking the lot! - I only selected about 4 genres and I am still getting pl... more
Pie in the Sky
Member Name: miwa
Date: 28/01/13, updated on 27/06/13 (175 review reads)
Advantages: Interesting website design, pays straight to Paypal, the referral feature
Disadvantages: Really bad music as standard, can take a really long time until you reach amount needed to withdraw
SliceThePie is a website based in Berkshire where musicians pay to have their music reviewed by the public. Despite being based in England they pay reviewers (i.e. us) in $$, presumably because it's cheaper than the GBP.
SliceThePie has a unique site configuration where reviewers enter "the scout room" as the default page, where you can listen to music, write a review and rate it after at least 90 seconds. The review is then evaluated by a computer for words like melody, tempo, beat, rhythm, and so on and, if it decides the rating is appropriate compared to the review and that it has enough musical terms in, it will assign the reviewer payment of (ostensibly) 5 cents to 25 cents. However, this payment as of 2013 is actually much lower, around 5 cents to 11 cents is the average, paid through Paypal once the reviewer hits $10 (£6.33).
The more you write, and the more detailed the review is, encompassing ideas for improvement, personal opinion and feelings about the track, the more money the reviewer gets.
The more songs reviewed, the higher the baserate payment, and the reviewer can achieve levels (I am currently level 31). These are shown on bars underneath the review/rating/song box in the middle of the page, which display your stats, including 'energy', which is how many songs you can rate before they stop you. For some reason SliceThePie frown upon doing many songs at once, and the site freezes you when your energy reaches 0, usually after an hour of reviewing songs. Usually your energy is restored after a night's rest, or several hours, at least. This seems beyond arbitrary and into the farcical, especially from a business point of view.
The site also has a tabbed area where you can review your past payments and copies of your reviews, your friends, any playlists you may have made, and your account details. You can also invite/refer friends from this area and see them on your friends list, including details such as the username they signed up with and what level they are on.
SliceThePie has an annoying feature where you must email support to change any of your details - including email, vital vis a vis Paypal - which can take a while. The annoyances don't stop there, as the music reviewed is pretty subpar, to say the least.
I convinced my friend to sign up with the promise of dollar-dollars, and as my referral I got 10% of what she earnt. This was such a huge boost to my earnings, even at 0.05 a time. We immediately started to laugh at how awful the music was. We had to listen to almost an album's worth of tawdry pseudo-ironic goth rock tracks called things like "Demons Are All Around You" and "Death, Death, Death" which we took great pleasure in tearing apart in our reviews.
However, for the most part, songs tend to be of a sort of average-badness. The more genres you sign up for at the start (ticking boxes like rock, opera, rap, rnb, indie, techno, and so on) the more music you will have to review, which is a good idea from one standpoint, but a bad one from another, as the music is seriously awful! Many of these bands are indie for a reason! Before my friend signed up I would spend a few minutes every night wishing I was deaf.
You can request Paypal after reaching $10 and it usually takes within 5 days to credit, with an email informing you of that fact.
Frankly, it's the low quality of the music, rather than the low payout, which means most people will give up, leaving SliceThePie as a pie in the sky. For 5 cents a pop for 100 words, it simply isn't worth the agony of awful music. If the songs were more like a radio, having professionally written and performed songs, I'm sure it would be kinder on the ears, but that isn't what the site was made for!
I don't really see how this site works for indie musicians, as I personally waffle most of my reviews (as some would say I do on here); I do try to be sincere but there is only so many ways to tell someone their music isn't good. I try and be whimsical and compare the music using similes and metaphor, as that tends to bring my payment up from the baseline.
It took me several weeks to get to the threshold of payment, even with my friend's contributions as a referral, and I decided to stick with it to keep her company until she withdraws. I personally don't think this is an excellent money-making scheme, or a great way to find new music, but it is entertaining for a while. Saying that, I won't be using this to supplement my income in the longterm, unless the payments go up to 25 cents a review again, as it is simply too little for too much earache.
Summary: A website where you can earn money for reviewing music