Business Model Online "Competition"

Fraud suspected behind multiple new competition names


If you have been wondering about the rapid increase in online music competition during recent weeks, you are not alone. Multiple competition websites, all structured after the same model, are now online. Many of them are hosted by the same web company, but all of them have one thing in common: applicants are required to pay an entry fee, sometimes even multiple fees (separately for each round). The fee increases with the second round to raise the "virtual stakes“, and in order to raise revenue for the „organisers“, multiple instrument categories are advertised with every imaginable age category. 
A clear tell-tale sign of fraud is the contact section of these „competition“ websites- you will find anything but one e-mail address and nothing else. No name, no address, no phone number, no references. Where any link to reality was made- for example a „winners concert at Musikverein Vienna“, we checked with the Musikverein office- they had never heard of the competition in question.
There even is now a website declaring itself the „World Online Music Competitions Federation“. Do they have an address or a name behind it? Of course not, for obvious reasons.

virtual prizes has recently introduced a warning sign in their online competition listings:

read advisory note
This competition appears to include an online round that charges over €35. musicalchairs is concerned that the fee for online judging must be commensurate with the value offered to applicants whether they are successful or unsuccessful. Please therefore study the guidelines for this competition carefully:
Is the Jury for the online round published and are they widely respected musicians?
Does each Jury member listen to the submissions in full?
Do applicants receive detailed and considered feedback about their complete performance/score from the Jury?

While legal actions are being taken in at least two cases known to the federation, WFIMC will further investigate and discuss with its membership how to deal with the issue. Meanwhile, instrumentalists are asked to use extreme caution and doublecheck all aspects of an online competition before applying. Chances are, you will never hear from them again.


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