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June 26th 2024
Song Sharks Challenge Rules and Regulations
The contest is open to songwriters and musicians of all ages and nationalities.
Both solo artists and teams/groups are eligible to participate.
Use one entry form for each piece of music. Each will be assigned their own unique identifier.
All members are eligible for the Music Alliance YouTube Challenge
If you are not, or cease to be, a full member of Music Alliance your entry cannot move forward from the YouTube Challenge to the Analysts and Adjudicators for the main Song Sharks event.
The Four Categories for Entry
Under 21: If You Turn 21 the year you enter you are not eligible for the under 21-year-old category. If you are a minor (under 18) You must have a parent or guardian sign your entry documentation.
Emergent: If you are NOT under 21, a professional, or a team, then you are Emergent.
Professional: Entrants who make a significant part of their income from streaming and/or professional music placement with artists and synchronization placements. Have established social media followers. Had or currently have pro contracts. intentional in their pursuit of brand, fan base and music content for a number of years. Consistently released music for an extended period.
Bands/Teams: You are either an individual or a team. If every member of your team is under 21, you will enter that category.
This is not a contest it is an investor challenge. You are not trying to win a prize, you are trying to find an investor for your music. Generally original material is far more attractive than cover songs as the publishing rights can be lucrative. That does not mean never do a cover song, that is a strategic decision. The strength of a great cover song has been known to sell albums. Consider everything from the eyes of an investor. Understand how artists earn, what basic deals look like and how your brand fits that goal.
Submission Guidelines:
Each contestant/team may submit up to three original songs. Original songs only; no cover songs or previously released tracks are allowed.
You may reenter a song that was not selected. It will be treated as a new entry. But you must note this as a resubmission on the entry form and explain what has been improved or changed. (re-mix new tracks, different singer etc). This will count as one of your three

allowable submissions. Essentially you can improve and resubmit one song three times but that will max out your allowable entries
Submissions must be made in digital format (MP3, WAV) via the official contest webpage.
Each submission must include the song’s title, lyrics, and a brief description or inspiration behind the song.
Use one entry form for each piece of music. Each will be assigned their own unique identifier and posted and playlisted to the Music Alliance Youtube site under that name. Your song will remain anonymous to the public but we will send you a link to it.
There are multiple submission deadlines as there are six primary live adjudication events followed by two secondary and one final event. The projected schedule is below. Submissions are due 6 weeks in advance. The first deadline is September 30 for the Group One event in November. Future dates will be announced.

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Submissions received after the submission date will be directed to the next event, unless this was the final event, in which case the submission would be rejected.
If your material is presented on time but submission milestones have been exceeded your submission may be posted for the following event.
It is advisable for you to submit as early as possible to maximize your YouTube Challenge Results

Song Requirements:
Songs must be original and composed by the submitting artist(s).
Songs must not exceed five minutes in length.
Lyrics must be provided and should be clear, audible, and free of offensive language or content.
Song Sharks Adjudicated Criteria: Your Music, Your Presence, Your Work Ethic, Your Traction, Your Trajectory
Your music will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Originality and creativity
Lyrics and composition
Melodic and harmonic structure
Overall impact and performance
Your Presence, will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Your existing fan base
Your online and social media presence
Your Work Ethic, will be assessed based on the following criteria:
What you have built so far
What you have committed to succeed
Measurables and Tangibles so far
Strategic Action Plan(s)
Your Traction, will be assessed based on the following criteria:
Your existing catalogue of songs
Social Media Followers
Your Trajectory will be assessed based on the following criteria:
The recency of your activities/results
Recent growth that indicates growing momentum, sustained interest and increasing positive metrics

Voting and Selection Process:
All songs will be posted anonymously with lyrics, on the Music Alliance YouTube site , for public voting. Thumbs up, comments and view time will dictate leaders in this category. This information will be reviewed by analysts and investors. Entries will be submitted from June through selection of the 6th event participants.
A panel of analysts will review all submissions and select a shortlist These results will be weighted as one factor presented to analysts and investors in their assessment process. Qualifiers will be announced at the live event. So be present if your name is called as your song will be played and you will then answer questions from the analysts/investors about your career plan. This is a public event. For every participant chosen there is a matching wildcard to take your spot if you are not present.
Finalists will present to a panel of investors and pitch for a deal. Judges will be apprised of your background and youtube challenge results.
Investor Panel: This is NOT a Song Contest. This is an Investor Challenge. Investors are the final process. We will appoint appropriately skilled analysts to curate all entrants and select those most favorable to getting a deal. Those selected will take part in one of 6 live online events, which will each result in the selection of 3 primary and 3 wildcard entrants being selected. Wildcards draw in only if a primary is unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations. Your songs are totally relevant and a critical component but not the only component in Song Sharks
As of the starting date May 29th 2024) there will 13 months until the live finals in Las Vegas. Thus selecting Investors for the final is premature. We will invite 4-5 investors as we become aware of the music genre balance and the most eligible investors to suit those needs. The Analysts will be professionals who have experience in Artist and Repertoire (A&R), Music Production and Management.
Though there are reward packages. they are designed to support any offer you may receive from an investor and are often bundles of services such as Music Video production, mixing, mastering recording packages, travel costs to Las Vegas for the final and other promotional
rewards rewarded via Music Alliance from our affiliates. We have pegged the opening amount at 25,000 per category but expect this to grow significantly .
Rights and Usage:
By entering the contest, contestants grant the organizers the right to use their submitted songs for promotional purposes related to the contest. All Participants must grant permission for their entries to be used in promotional and informational materials of Digital Music Alliance inc.
Contestants retain all copyright and ownership of their original works. Notwithstanding what may be given for an Investor Deal. Music Alliance does not retain rights to any aspect of your work other than to talk about it, play it and otherwise promote it). However, the nature of an investor challenge is that investment will be made in exchange for something. This is what you will be negotiating should you make it to the finals. Typically, artists give up 50% of their publishing but this is not set in stone. Make sure you attend our pre-event workshops on these subjects.
The organizers will not use the songs for commercial purposes without the explicit consent of the artists.
Song Sharks AI Policy
Song Sharks has AI use parameters. Basically, we want songs developed by an artist, one that would presumably create an identifiable, replicable musical brand. But we love technology  and embrace the use of tools that give us pleasure and inspiration from lighting our creative fires. 
There are several tools shown to be effective for detecting Ai use. They will be deployed to screen entries chosen to move forward. We will not prescreen every entry as that then becomes an unnecessary onerous task and irrelevant at that point.
All artists selected to move forward in the Investor Challenge, will have their material submitted to devices that detect the usage of AI and if this is found to be excessive and not in the spirit of this competition, nor to the benefits of potential investors, or fair to other competitors, it will result in disqualification of that entry.
 Song Sharks AI Usage Limitations
AI Assistance Allowed: Participants may use AI tools for assistance in the songwriting or production process, but the core creative elements must be human driven.
Manual Composition: The melody, harmony, and lyrics must be primarily composed by human effort. AI can assist in fine-tuning or providing suggestions but cannot be the main creator.
Disclosure: Participants must disclose the extent of AI usage in their submission. A brief explanation (100-200 words) detailing how AI was used in the creation of their song must accompany such submissions.
Human Touch Required: The final mix and production should have a significant human touch, ensuring that the AI’s role is supportive rather than dominant.
 Not allowed: Software that impersonates real artists without their consent.
Contestants who violate the rules or engage in unethical behavior may be disqualified at the discretion of the organizers.
If you submit false or inaccurate information, you will be disqualified.
If you are found to have infringed on someone’s copyright or fail to submit additional information as required that may also cause you to be disqualified. Understand the rules and eligibility
Any form of plagiarism or submission of previously released songs will result in immediate disqualification.
Contestants who violate the rules or engage in unethical behavior may be disqualified at the discretion of the organizers.
Material is Obscene, Vulgar, or hateful.
Did not meet legal requirements as defined in rules and regulations
Applicant not eligible in category applied or is disqualified or does not meet criteria
Was not original content
The attached document detail the appeals process if your song or entry is rejected and you wish to appeal that decision
Acceptance of Rules:
By entering the contest, contestants agree to abide by all rules and regulations.
Contestants acknowledge the decisions of the analysts. Investors and organizers are final and binding.
Additional Rules:
The organizers reserve the right to modify or amend the rules as necessary to ensure the fairness and integrity of the contest.
Any changes to the rules will be communicated to contestants in a timely manner.
Contact Information:
For any inquiries or further information, please contact with Song Sharks in the subject line or visit

Eligibility: You Must be a full member of This means you are an Affiliate Plus, Pro or Elite Member. There is a special offer to help you get started on this page
Category: Please ensure you are clear on the category you are entering and the requirements for that category.
What You are To Submit: Unless asked to submit additional information, please submit only the required form along with your track and lyrics. Be familiar with the acceptable file formats and other standards required to properly submit any/all content.
Contact: Ensure you are able to receive communications from us. Make sure you can receive SMS and email from
Understand the Process Clearly: Nobody is perfect, but preparation is professionalism. So take the time to understand or ask questions. We have created a scenario of 6 pre-event workshops to help get you prepared.
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A committee of analysts will eliminate material that is clearly not suitable for moving forward.
The YouTube challenge upload and playlist all entrants’ songs anonymously. Lyrics may be posted if provided. No identifying data is allowed at this stage.  We will ensure control to ensure no unfair advantage is not gained. Winners will be based on thumbs up and view time. Thumbs down will be ignored. Prizes will be awarded to category winners. Most importantly if you make it to the finals a very positive outcome would reflect on your ability to generate fan support. Analysts/Investors will be provided this information. So get your submissions in early.   
Round One

Entries are listened to, in identical numbered batches by 3 preliminary analysts. Each analyst will choose a winning participant and one wildcard contestant. Where the same participant is chosen by more than one analyst, one of the wild card contestants will draw in, to ensure three contestants will move forward. Wildcards added in Round One, will also form a replacement pool. Should a finalist become  unavailable, a replacement candidate will be selected from this pool,  by the analysts by majority vote.
There are six Round One events. This means 18 candidates will move to round two. There will be three live online round two events, each consisting of 6 candidates.
Round Two   

18 candidates will move to round two. There will be three live online Round Two events, each consisting of 6 candidates. Each analyst will choose a winning participant and one wildcard contestant. Where the same participant is chosen by more than one analyst, one of the wild card contestants will draw in, to ensure three contestants will move forward. Wildcards added in Round One, will also form a replacement pool. Should a finalist become unavailable, a replacement candidate will be selected from this pool, by the analysts by majority vote.
9 participants will move forward to the final adjudication event. Wildcards added in Round two will form a replacement pool should a finalist withdraw or otherwise be unavailable. These candidates will be selected by Investors, as a majority vote.

Round Three

From the nine finalists, 4 contestants will be selected to present by the 4 Investors. This is NOT a majority vote. It is a selection only. The five not chosen will be in a replacement pool and replacement will be selected by majority vote as/if required. Investors will make offers or pass. Investors may partner and compete. All facts presented by participants will be reviewed prior to finalizing any deal. Participants have the right to make a 2-minute lifeline phone call for advice. The offer may change while that call is being made.
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