Social Network Tsū Video Contest To Reward Indie Songwriters $22K

Today’s blog is a follow-up to a feature written back in 2014, just one month after the launch of Tsū [pronounced “Sue”], a platform that turned the social networking paradigm on it’s head. Highlighted in ‘Tsū, A New Social Network Pays Indie Authors To Promote Their Work,’ I covered the benefits this network offered self-publishing… [Read More]

Social Network Tsū Video Contest To Reward Indie Songwriters $22K

TsūToday’s blog is a follow-up to a feature written back in 2014, just one month after the launch of Tsū [pronounced "Sue"], a platform that turned the social networking paradigm on it’s head. Highlighted in ‘Tsū, A New Social Network Pays Indie Authors To Promote Their Work,' I covered the benefits this network offered self-publishing writers.  Today we explore how that same network can also benefit indie songwriters.

oetry Set to Music

Songwriters who resonate with their fans require a lot of technical skill, as well as a vivid imagination, artistic intuition, and at times literary genius.  There’s nothing more emotive and gratifying for a listener than a poignant and moving lyric that also rings true with philosophical and/or literary allusions.  Like the Jefferson Airplane’s psychedelic descent of their ‘White Rabbit’ down Lewis Carroll’s rabbit hole, or Sting’s nod to Nabokov’s Lolita in ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me,’ songwriters are poets who know how to enhance their poetry with music.

Leonard Cohen’s career started as a poet where he garnered just as much respect within literary circles as he did in the music industry.  His most popular and widely covered song, 'Hallelujah',  is a melodic gospel-accompanied dirge with pointed biblical references.  While he’s just one example of adding music to poetry, Cohen’s songwriting abilities made him one of the most poetic, literate and well-read wordsmiths of our day.

Tsū, the Social Network for Creators of Original Content

TsūThe New York-based firm Tsū, which is somewhat similar to Facebook at first blush, “only takes 10 percent of the advertising revenue it generates, passing the other 90 percent onto its users, in the form of a royalty-based annuity,” according to founder Sebastian Sobczak.  This innovative ‘shared economy’ business model distributes equitably and algorithmically, based on how many organic views, likes, comments and shares members’ uploaded posts acquire throughout a 24-hour period.  On Tsū, engagement equates to more daily earnings added to one’s daily bank.

Songwriting Networkers 

Out of the network’s short 18-month lifespan, its growing appeal has attracted 5 million users—and in that mix a good number of songwriters.


Andrew Fromm

Andrew Fromm is a prominent Tsūvian [an affectionate term used to designate Tsū users) who resides in Nashville and has written music for some of the music industry’s heavyweights, including the Backstreet Boys, Selena Gomez, Marc Antony and NSync.

While Tsū doesn’t bring in the big bucks for Fromm, it appears to have become his go-to network for communicating with his audience and attracting new artists to the fold.  Since one of the central tenets of Tsū’s network-building is based on inviting others into their tent, Fromm has recruited young inspiring artists like Kimberly Henderson, who according to one report has earned as much as $157 in one days’ time on the platform.


In addition to those starting out and trying to make a name in the industry, Tsū has also attracted established songwriters into their ranks.  Curtis Jackson [aka 50 Cent], the well-known rapper joined the network at its launch back in October 2014.  Today, he continues to remain active, where his posts often feature and promote his new releases, such as 'The Kanan Tape’ which debuted in December, 2015.  That album was accompanied by other songwriting artists that included Young Buck, Sonny Digital and The Alchemist, among others.

Video Feature Coming Tsū-oon to Desktops & Smartphones

On March 20, 2016, Tsū will unveil it’s new video feature which in addition being open to the entire network will become the vehicle for submitting videos to the network’s first-time songwriting and performance contest.

Hashtagged #originalOne, the competition will focus on Tsū’s core belief that original content shared on the Internet should be rewarded.  In this case, in addition to users earning daily royalties from their posts, this new feature will provide songwriters the additional opportunity of winning cash prizes, totaling $22,000 dollars.

TsūIn interviewing Sobczak today, he reemphasized how important creators were for his social network and how that distinguishes Tsū from other social ecosystems: “Tsū is about giving value to creators. In the past 16 years, platforms have sprouted that have done really one thing - they have captured the value created by others. Tsū is one of the only platforms today that repairs that value dislocation - where content owners and creators earn the value for their work.”

When asked why he chose the singer/songwriters demographic to be the first group of users to test the site’s new video feature, he noted, “by focusing on singer/songwriters and writers/performers we are assisting the most damaged content creation industry and perhaps the most beloved—music.”

The contest allows us to grant numerous artists funds towards their art, it allows them to engage with their audiences via a social platform, it allows for the discovery of amazing talent that not only writes music but performs it, it allows artists to monetize their image, likeness, face, brand and music, finally, and it creates something that hopefully people will understand does not exist almost anywhere else on the Internet."

Eligibility & Submission Guidelines


[Click on image for a detailed description of the contest's FAQs]

All songwriters, 18+ years (or of legal ag in their country) who have a registered and email-confirmed Tsū user account with a profile picture can enter.  Registering is an easy process for anyone who’s signed up for other social networks.  This invitation can kickstart the process for you.

The following steps are necessary to prepare your submission for the contest:

  1. AUDIO version is the first step. Original songs [3.30 minutes max] need to be written by the entrant and submitted via .mp3, YouTube link or Soundcloud to ASAP.  Entries need to be identified with one of these six genres: HipHop/R&B, Electronic Dance, Jazz/Blues, Country/BlueGrass or Rock/Alt/Indie.  After a review by management, you will receive a confirmation within 3 business days if you qualified to move on.Tsū
  1. VIDEO version follows.  If your submission is approved, you will be sent a link to the Official Entry Form and you will now need to create a 3:30-minute video of yourself performing your song.  When complete, you will submit to Tsū, before midnight ET on May 20, 2016.
  1. Following the May 20th date, all eligible videos will be uploaded over a period of several weeks for head-to-head battles beginning May 23rd.  Videos will be randomly selected to compete against each other, one-on-one, within the same genre for 7 days at a time.


The winner of each head-to-head battle will be chosen based on the following criteria during this 7-day span: judges scoring (60% of the weight).  Judges will evaluate each video for a) songwriting and music composition, b) performance, c) production, d) uniqueness/creativity.

Popularity (40% of the weight): Each entry will receive 1 point for each “Like” and 10 points for each fan video endorsement received over the 7 day battle.  Fan video endorsements must be hashtagged with #originalOne and include the Tsū user name of the artist you are voting for with a tagged mention of their Tsū handle (e.g. @artistname).  These endorsements will be limited to one video per IP/user for each individual artist/entrant during any particular battle round.

Cash Prizes

The top songwriter/performers winners from the 6 music genres and their active Tsū parents (must have posted at least once during the contest period) will each win $1,000.   A second place winner and Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the top 6.  The second place winner will receive an additional $2,000 and the Grand Prize winner will receive an additional $8,000 [which in total adds up to that $22,000 cash awards.)

Submitting Songwriters



Songwriter/performer bwaySteve Baker joined Tsū specifically to enter the contest.  “The Tsū Social Network ‘originalOne contest is what drew me to this interesting community which I am in the process of becoming familiar with and which I will be using to share and promote my work and points of view with its growing number of participants.” noted Baker.

David Cassel, who goes by the moniker @TheUkuleleBandito has already written and downloaded the audio version of his original song, “A Summer Song” for the competition and submitted it last week.

“Now, all I have to do is to figure out how to pretty up my studio, so it comes across looking professional in my video,” stated Cassel.

Casting Call is Now Open

So the invitation for this casting call is now extended to all of my readers to submit your original songs.  Whether you’re a poet who knows music, a newbie to the music industry or a veteran still seeking that auspicious opportunity of being discovered—joining Tsū and this contest is a win-win situation.  Even if your submission doesn’t result in you taking home some of the cash prizes—you will still get paid on a daily basis for all of the other original content you lay down on that network—something you’re never going to be compensated for when you post on Facebook or tweet on Twitter.

Readers & Writers: I look forward to your feedback, comments and critiques, and please use as your resource to learn more about preparing, publishing and promoting self-published books. My blogs appear bi-weekly on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of each month.

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9 thoughts on “Social Network Tsū Video Contest To Reward Indie Songwriters $22K”

  1. I love everything about the Tsu community. I wish I had more time for it. This is a great example of how Tsuvians rally around original content creation.

    1. Profile photo of Ron Callari Ron Callari says:

      “Making more time for Tsū” seems to have become less and less of a concern with the number of social networkers who have migrated from Facebook to Tsū over the course of the last year. Suspect as this network scales pass 5 million users, you will see an exponential increase in new members, and existing users — like yourself David — becoming more active. Thanks for your feedback.

  2. Loup Dargent says:

    Shame I gave up trying to write songs a long time ago 🙁
    On the other hand, sharing this post will hopefully help budding songwriters follow their dreams and avoid making the same mistake I’ve made 🙂

    1. Profile photo of Ron Callari Ron Callari says:

      Loup, you know what they say . . . it’s never too late to rekindle that dream. I just start writing musical parodies myself -and have to say, the learning experience has proven to be exceedingly gratifying, as I’ve learned over time how to create poetry that works with music, versus being forced.

  3. I really wish I was a songwriter lol… regardless this is fantastic news. You really are killing two birds with one stone with Tsū Social Network. The fact you have the likes of Curtis Jackson in the mix, is amazing for the Songwriting Networkers! I’ll be sure to share this with my budding talented readers.

    1. Profile photo of Ron Callari Ron Callari says:

      True Gabriella, 50 Cent [aka Curtis Jackson] was not only an early adopter of Tsū, he’s also an investor – which lends additional credibility to the network, albeit his personal life isn’t always that squeaky clean. But then again, either is Jay Z’s or Koby Bryant’s, and they seemed to get past their negative publicity.

  4. Uttoran Sen says:

    Hey Ron,

    I had joined Tsu as soon as I could but haven’t been much active on it. I like this constantly giving attitude of the platform and their innovative new ways to do so.

    Hopefully they will come up with something for the article writers too in the future,

    I guess it is time to re-visit Tsu and start getting active on it,

    Uttoran Sen,

    1. Profile photo of Ron Callari Ron Callari says:

      Uttoran, you bring up a good point about joining Tsū and then going inactive – there’s a minority of folks that fall into that category and my only advice to them and you is that the network definitely pays users back not only literally and monetarily, but also in providing them with a valuable opportunity to engage with meaningful content — whether its in the arts, blogging, sports, charity, entertainment or in this instance songwriting. Yes, do give it ‘a go’ again as I think you will find the ecosystem has evolved, expanded and is a thriving social network unlike any other on the digital landscape to date.

  5. Erik says:

    Sounds great

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