Feel Music

review of ReverbNation

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Be sure to check out my updated and more complete review of ReverbNation.

Let me put that another way: Don’t read this page. I do highly recommend reading the comments below this post, though. They are great indicators of why I wrote a “better” review of RN. The review here is old and has not been validated since 2012. The review you want to read is here.

This is another in my series of reviews of tools/services for independent musicians to perform digital direct sales of songs. I asked for input from other musicians and got it on this blog, on Twitter and in person. In previous reviews, I’ve covered CreateSpace and TuneCore/SmashSongs/RootMusic. I’m looking for your ongoing, honest responses to these services and my particular take on them. Please feel free to comment below. Now, on with this review…

There’s something really attractive about the idea that the independent musician could go to one place, have a great control panel (or ControlRoom in this case), and do all the configuring, marketing and sales without having to integrate a bunch of other tools as well. This is what ReverbNation (RN) tries to do. How well have they done? In any case, you should go to the ReverbNation web site and check out all the options. RN offers everything from email lists and web hosting to a jukebox and storefront.

There are such a myriad of options, apps and services at ReverbNation, that I almost hesitate to mention any of them. In fact, I think overwhelm is one of the biggest down-sides of their approach: there may be something for everyone, but at what cost? The ControlRoom interface is case in point. It’s often difficult to find the specific tool or feature I’m looking for. I find the artist and fan interface to be cluttered. While I understand that part of this is the shear number of tools available, I would recommend a more tiered approach where the artist (and fan) can go deeper into a more limited number of grouped features rather than trying to have so many of them present on the initial page. There are 14 categories in the web version of the artist Control Room. It would be interesting to know how many musicians use all fourteen.

The other thing that becomes complex quickly on RN are their fees. As an example, check out the digital distribution FAQ page that includes royalties and fees. Fortunately, the direct song (and CD) sales are simple enough. Right now, CD On Demand (COD) costs (the amount that goes to RN) is $5.49 and direct digital song downloads are $.30. In other words, if I create a CD that is $12.99, I’ll get $7.50 after the ReverbNation fee. On a $.99 song, I’ll get $.69. Fees are subject to change, so be sure to find out what they are currently on the ReverbNation web site.

The RN store has some nice features. In addition to the COD, you can also create merchandise on demand that includes T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, mugs, drink bottles and possibly more. Upload your artwork, set up the design, and the item is created when someone orders it. Nice!

You can send listeners (buyers!) to the store in six ways:

  1. As a direct link that shows your store items.
  2. You can embed the store in your own site (using an iframe, so make sure your platform supports this — most will).
  3. As a widget that supports several Social Media and blogging platforms. (The WordPress widget is missing from the ReverbNation site, but is available via the WordPress plug-in dashboard.)
  4. As an individual store item “buy” button. This is great if you want to build your own store on your web site and just let buyers click through to the RN store.
  5. The store is a component of the RN FaceBook Page App if you choose to install that on your Facebook Page.
  6. As a separate tool for your FaceBook Page (for use without the RN App installed).

In spite of all of these features, the feedback I got from other independent musicians was almost universally that ReverbNation is only one of several tools that they use. Me? Yes, I’ll be using ReverbNation, but alongside other services. So, what are we using as primary digital distribution and direct sales tools? Keep coming back to this blog and you’ll find out.

I’m interested to know — as either an artist or a listener — what do you think of ReverbNation? Does the layout work for you? Please leave your comment below.

Playful blessings,
Stan

A review of the ability of indie musicians to sell digital songs through ReverbNation -- which is not solely focused on this service.
ReverbNation digital direct sales
Date Published: 03/01/2012
This review of ReverbNation is rather reserved since RN has a very broad focus and this series of reviews is focused solely on direct sales of digital downloads.
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75 comments

  1. Hi Stan, nice review and I agree with you about ReverbNation ~ too much stuff, and there is a learning curve to figuring it all out. Of course there is a learning curve with anything, but your point is well taken – they could benefit by streamlining the widgets and fan interaction segments to focus on only the ones with the greatest value to indie musicians. It seems they have everything under the sun, just so they can say they have it ALL.
    My biggest complaint is that while they offer the ability to have your own “buy” link on individual songs, they want to force you into using their store. The store box on our profile is empty, yet I can’t seem to get rid of it on the profile. So if people only click on the store, not on my buy links, it looks like I have nothing for sale. My point is if I already have a site, and a store on CDBaby, why can’t I just embed that on ReverbNation? It seems they are forcing me to set up their store in addition to the one I have at CDBaby… I don’t know if I want to take the time to do that. mmmm still figuring it out.
    Thanks for great blog, great interaction on Twitter, you rule.
    Trace

    1. Trace,
      I really appreciate your insight regarding the ReverbNation store and lack of ability to embed other “buy” buttons. Excellent information that other indies need to know before they commit to one platform.

      Kudos on your great blog and best wishes with your new release from Trace Relations band!

      CDBaby review coming soon…
      Playful blessings,
      Stan

    2. You actually can put in your own “buy” link, and it’ll replace the store one if you don’t want to use their store.

  2. Stan, I am in harmony with you as well as Trace. I lack a lot of pc skills, and certainly see a downside to the amount of options in the control room panel. Reverbnation does have some incredible resources, some which I’ve been very blessed to have really benefitted from(ie- the submissions to various opportunities, links sent to select artists, etc..) but, when it comes down to communication with artists, or fans- its a bit sensory overload. The fan reach pro- nice idea- may be very valuable tool, but I personally use google analytics. Among the reasons: $! Not very many artists have the money to pay for all the nuances that the site offers, but you feel your missing out on important info if you don’t subscribe!!
    I’ve wrangled with reverbnation, had the press kits, pro packages- etc.. and found that these resources are readily available (albeit not all in one place) throughout the web.
    My main site is hosted by bandzoogle through Reverbnation, I haven’t used the store much, but to do like that you can upload new songs, YouTube videos, what have you, and get feedback.
    The opportunities are really cool, had some success with them, but again, to many peripheral things to purchase in order to do so.
    It’s a good place to use, it’s got many valuable resources and industry interest(they DO pay attention to your charts!) but, as we seem to agree, to jumbled. Apologize for perhaps being sporadic or unclear- just wrote what came to mind immediately.
    (::)PEACE(::)
    Mike V

    1. Mike,

      Thanks for your continued input! Thanks for the bandzoogle note. Heard about that one from another artist recently, so I’ll have to check it out. Unfortunately, it won’t be in this round of reviews (but maybe there will have to be a round two!).

      Best wishes with your Buttons and Threads release!

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

  3. Guys, i’m just getting started with an indie label. Do you find that you’re getting visibility with RN? I see some guys on there with only 12 song plays and wonder if it’s an issue of poor music or is it all about plugging your links. The bottomline for me is that i want to get new gigs for my artists and sell downloads. Are you finding success with that on RN?

    1. I don’t know that I’d see ReverbNation as the way to get visibility. I’d see it as a way of connecting with fans once you’ve gotten the visibility. That’s a whole subject itself — too much for a comment. Suffice it to say, I’d use live gigs, Social Media, etc. to connect initially. Then, point people to whichever distributions you choose. By now, you know that my preference for direct sales is VibeDeck and I like CD Baby for digital distribution (iTunes, Amazon, etc.).

      Let us know what your experience is.

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

  4. One observation I would like to make is that, RN does an interesting thing for VENUES that you don’t see anywhere else yet. And that is, if the artist playing your venue HAS a RN profile, it will display their AVATAR and featured song ON the calender, without the venue even needing to ADD them, that is, if they post he gig, RN will seek out the Venue account and if enabled it will add the show instantly to said Venues calender. So , suppose the venue EMBEDS their calender on their website. People, without even needing to GO over to RN , can just see who’s playing , when, and quickly sample them to see if they want to go to that type of music…I like that. But I also agree the overly complex interface is limiting in it’s scope. Seems built more to IMPRESS and less to FUNCTION. But in the end it does….so….anyway, VENUE accounts rock. But only if the acts have a RN account, otherwise it’s a default avatar with no sample of course.

    1. Hey, Crafton,

      If I understand what you’re saying: if you purchase the Venues option on ReverbNation and the venue also uses Venues, your avatar will pop up on the venue’s calendar. Did I get that right?
      If so, that is cool. As I understand it, FanBridge has a similar feature, but again, both the indie musician/band and the venue must be using compatible software. Too bad there isn’t an open standard for fan calendars so that any artist calendar could feed any venue (or maybe even visa versa). For example, iCal was a valiant attempt to create such a standard. It just hasn’t been widely enough adopted.

      Speaking of who rocks: your guy, Eric Gales, sounds great.

      Keep rockin’,
      Stan

  5. Hey muz4now, just stumbled on this blog. Thanks for your insights! I’ll be reading your reviews of the other companies, too. Haven’t delved into the nooks and crannies of ReverbNation yet.
    There’s so much to learn about the digital music business world. The sheer volume of necessary tasks and setups is overwhelming, such as getting songs technically ready, dealing with UPC and ISRC codes, finding ways to promote a drop or two of music into the ocean of other musicians’ drops, and all the other technological concerns.
    Right now I’ve got a couple of CDs on bandcamp and have a nonfunctioning website. I keep finding out more and more details that call for attention. Thanks for clearing up some of my confusion.

    1. Thanks for dropping by and for your kind words, Henry.

      Good luck with all of your digital music endeavors!

      playful blessings,
      Stan

  6. Great review. I’ve been using RN for some time. I like the concept and ideas behind it. We us the Digital RPK and and the Facebook apps and some of the widgets are also on our website such as show dates etc….

    My biggest problem with RN is that 90% of our “fans” are just other musicians with RN profiles or other musicians from Myspace (which by all accounts is dead).

    I enjoy discovering new music and sharing with fellow musicians but I don’t think this was the point of creating a RN account.

    I would be interested in other services that connect musicians with non musician fans. We use twitter, Youtube, Facebook, myspace, our own website and RN so far.

    Just my two cents.

    1. Excellent point! There are a few services that have tried to be just what you mention, but I haven’t seen any of them really take off in the indie camp. (For example, http://rateyourmusic.com/ is really only working for big name bands and acts.) If you find a good service like that, let me know!

      I agree about RN now that I’ve been there a while: it’s just indie artists “fanning” each other which will only get us so far. On the other hand, RN does have a plethora of tools that can help get the word out. Just not sure that they’re always best-of-breed. So far, I’m still picking and choosing with many different services.

      It looks like your site is a RN-based one, so it seems like you’ve benefitted from their tools. Have you had to shift to other services for some of the stuff you need?

      Have fun making music,
      Stan

    2. You need to put your music on any website that provides music traffic to send people to your links–here are some good ones–N1M numberonemusic.com, songvault.fm, last.fm

  7. Hi there Stan: I too stumbled across your site looking for reviews of RN and have enjoyed reading here. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog.

    I’ve had an RN site for a few years now but don’t use it much. I use my own website, Facebook and Youtube mostly to keep in touch with fans. I’m on the road so much these days (I’ve just released a new CD) I find it difficult to keep up with everything, there are so many options.

    I have have been thinking of using the RPK though so I can submit for the performance opportunities. I’m not a fan of Sonicbids and wonder what the differences are. I am forced to use Sonicbids because most of the festivals I apply for use them for their submissions. RN’s service seems to be a pretty good one from what what I’ve read so far. Just wondering if anyone has had much luck with it.

    I also use Onlinegigs.com and find it really useful. It keeps track of advancing shows, tour books, contracts, and has an automatic press release, newsletter and tour date widgets I can put on my sites. I used to be able to post my tour dates from this site to all my others but now Sonicbids and RN are in competition and don’t allow them anymore so it takes a bit more work to enter my show info.

    I use Hostbaby for my website and newsletter. Their newsletter function is great and has allows at least 10,000 fans at no extra cost, something that RN charges for after a certain point. They also have a good store feature and is really easy to use. I find it’s a good service. I also use CD Baby and all it’s subsidiaries too.

    I think also that Barrelhouse Poet has a great point and you addressed it also. That’s exactly why I use Facebook, etc. to connect with fans, it seems the RN folks are pretty much all other artists which is great too, but I’m hoping to reach people who are seeking out music to listen to, attend shows and hopefully buy music.

    Thanks for a great blog!

    Cheers
    Linda McRae

    1. Thanks, Linda! Serious best wishes on your CD tour!

      I’ll definitely check out onlinegigs.com. Sounds interesting. Sad to hear that the other services won’t cooperate with their data any more.

      Glad to see that RN and other services are working for you. I don’t personally know anyone using the RPK. However, seems like the RPK may not be the perfect solution if you have to keep SonicBids due to their connections with the venues you use. Let me know if you go for the RPK and — if you do — how it works for you.

      Also seems like you keep a good fan connection. That’s awesome! I’m sure you know to use FaceBook with care since nothing there is “yours” (e.g., your fan list). As I read their statement of service, they own everything you put on FaceBook.

      Again, have a great tour!

      playful blessings,
      Stan

  8. Just wanted to provide an alternative to RN. Backstage Vibe launched just shy of a month ago but offers so much more for so much less than RN. Think of a blend of RN, iTunes, and FB and you’ve got Backstage Vibe. I don’t want to sound too salesy (and yes, full disclosure, I work on the development and marketing teams), but… Backstage Vibe offers a personal profile, music uploads with artist and album/song pages, collaboration through video chat and member groups that allow sharing of any file type, an individual store on your profile for merchandise & digital downloads that feeds into the larger public store, a community Vibe, fee-free sales beyond the Paypal payment processing fees, monthly and annual membership subscription options, list events, sell event tickets, raise money for a cause, instant chat, post your news to the Backstage Vibe music news page viewable by the public, banner ads, share videos, share music, link your FB and Twitter accounts to your Backstage Vibe account for one-stop updating, import SoundCloud files…And those are just the highlights 🙂 And Backstage Vibe will be included in the Official Grammy’s 55th Annual Souvenir Book — which automatically gives our artists more visibility! Check us out at http://www.backstagevibe.com and please contact me if you have questions or comments. Backstage Vibe was built to propel talented artists into the spotlight and we take that mission very seriously. We are a dedicated group of folks who are personally on the site daily interacting with our VIBERZ.
    ~~> Backstage Vibe screenname: DKate; email: mel@backstagevibe.com

    1. Looks like you’ve attracted quite a few sign ups. Congrats. Since you don’t provide any musician/artist services to the free accounts, it’s not possible for me to assess your system without purchasing a monthly subscription.

      It will be interesting to read some reviews of your site once some musicians have had a chance to assess your services. Let me know if there are any reviews already out there.

      Best wishes,
      Stan

      1. Hi Stan,

        I just sent you a message through BSV mail. We’re upgrading artists to a 6-month FREE Platinum membership right now to try things out and get their VIBE on. I’ll let you know when your upgrade is complete. Should be a little later today 🙂

        Vibe On!

        DKate

        1. BTW…when you are logged into Backstage Vibe, go to Profile, Apps, Add Apps, and you’ll see the cool features we’ve got for you!

          1. Your upgrade is complete and waiting for you! We give upgrades because we’re confident that after trying out our services, you won’t want to leave 🙂 Take us for a test drive and see what you think.

  9. Hey Muz4now,

    Im the co-founder of a newly developed social network for musicians. I always like to browse music blogs to hear the challenges facing todays indie musicians so that I can incorporate them into our platform if we have not already addressed them . I found your blog to be very informational.
    I would love feedback from you about what my company is doing and possibly a review of our site once we launch. We are approx. six weeks out from launch but I would love to invite you to send you a private beta invite as we move closer to our launch date. You can reach me at the email address associated with this blog. Looking forward to your response and keep up the awesome work with this blog.

  10. Too kind with your review of the Reverbnation site. I have used to site for sometime now 3 years and the old site was outstanding it was quick, fun to nav, it was all about the artist and the visitor, the downloads and the listener. The new Revernation is about the new Reverbnation look the new site is impossible, large fonts, drag on you system,java issues, track movements, 3 to 4 more nav clicks to see what you once viewed on one page. very poor concept have not found the value in the new design..

    Just being real..
    The Real Beats Wizard

    1. Yes, I totally agree. It’s really very disappointing. I used to be a great fan & advocate of RN, but along with many other musicians I know now feel obliged to look elsewhere, the new RN is about 100 steps backwards, and for just the reasons you mentioned. The dashboard, which used to be fantastic, comprehensive & straightforward, is now a waste of time. and they’ve started that irritating descent into spam and big-buttoned/simpleton-friendly layout at the expense of the data you actually want to see. Soundcloud and particularly Bandcamp both look interesting.

      1. Thanks for speaking up, Mark!

        I agree that SoundCloud and BandCamp look good. At the same time, they don’t offer nearly as broad a set of tools as ReverbNation does, so indies will have to pull together the other tools (e.g., digital distribution, fan and event databases, etc.) from other sources. Let us know if you settle on your preferred resource providers, who they are and why. Meanwhile, have fun making music!

  11. VERY interesting information trail here! I am just now venturing into the world of individual music distribution. I have a new single, and simply want to make it available for purchase on iTunes. What is the best way to do this? Thoughts?
    thanks

    1. For a single song, I’d probably try CD Baby or TuneCore. I think each of them have pricing on one song. I’ve had good luck with CD Baby, but YMMV (as you can read in the comments on most of these services!).

      Best wishes,
      Stan

  12. Why is it every time there is a FREE offer to submit music, the last window requires credit card info.

    1. At first I laughed when I read your comment (because it’s so ironic and true). The same thing just happened to me, so I know your frustration.

  13. My biggest problem with Reverb Nation is that they have over 2.6 MILLION artists and I can’t find any information as to how many listeners they have—think of this, I’m with N1M who has 85,000 artists and about 3 million listeners and I get an average of 900 listens a day–far, far cry from RN. The only reason I stay with them is for my widget that I post on My Space and on my personal website—AND as for the RN store, they don’t offer PayPal as a payment option and they often have technical difficulties.

    1. Yes, low listener sign-ups and no PayPal are popular criticisms of RN.

      I don’t know N1M. Can you tell us more? Cost? Features? Experiences? How are you affiliated with them?

      Thanks for joining the dialogue!

  14. So I decided to post here as well! I actually gave reverbnation’s pro bundle year sub ($200) a try and I can say I won’t be renewing here’s why.

    – Reverbnation’s Distribution is off a bit. The iTunes previews are just the beginning of the songs oddly enough. That’s the main point of it as you get 2 credits a year. Which if you like annual stuff then it’s good I personally don’t but there’s more top it than that!

    – The Mega Song storage is cool. I will be buying that most likely once my pro bundle has expired. It allows you to give 320 kbps songs with unlimited downloads! Then again soundcloud can do this too but is less “fan friendly” but I guess this is up for debate.

    – The Fanreach thing is kind of cool but you have to have an address at the bottom and that is off putting to me. But really as far as reverbnation is concerned it’s just artists joining who never open them! Personally Bandzoogle offers this too for my site so I say use Reverb’s free email service.

    – The pro widgets are cool but they have a branding and that just annoys me. Soundcloud’s players do the job better and look more professional. Once the sub. is up I’ll just use soundcloud or just anything else really.

    – The mobile app is a nice touch but really does anyone use those? A few use mine but it’s probably just reverb artist making my numbers go up.

    – Their support is pretty fast. I wish I could reach them by phone but they are pretty fast with email and the support forum so goon on ’em I guess.

    honestly I’d say just use Reverb’s free stuff as it is a good tool. But the pro stuff is unnecessary and was great at first until I found cheaper more convenient services that flat out outperform them. As for distribution I tried it as I was re releasing my 2 albums. And honestly CD Baby is more for me as annual distribution is weird and Reverb’s tools just don’t justify that $200 cost.

    1. Thanks so much, Brian. It’s really great to hear from someone who has experienced the pro package and to get your recommendation to skip it.

      Best wishes in your music-making!

  15. I tried using Soundcloud’s widget but I could only get a widget for one song at a time–has anybody gotten more at a time? That’s why I have to pay ReverbNation for their widget because not only can I put as many songs as I want but it will automatically start playing and it will shuffle the songs which is very important to me since I have many different genres of songs and fans.

      1. Bran and Starla,

        You can also share your entire SC collection, but I don’t see any way to set it to shuffle. Auto-play is available in the widget settings.

        As far as I can tell, Bandcamp and Root Music/BandPage are similar: you can create a widget for all of your songs or an album, but I don’t see a way to randomize the first one to play or the order. Let me know if you find out otherwise.

    1. I understand what you’re saying.
      Other players will do what you describe. Bandcamp and Root Music come to mind, though there may be others. I’m not 100% sure about the shuffle feature on those other sites, so I’ll have to test that when I get back to my computer.
      Thanks for the great dialogue!

  16. Woah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You realize, a lot of individuals are looking around for this info, you can aid them greatly.

  17. These A holes took $20 from me for Reverb Plus. What a scam. I got nothing for it and they drafted my account. Reverbnation is a joke. Do not waste a dollar on it!

  18. Yes, I get so sick of the maggots trying to make money off struggling musicians through promises of promotion, money and success. It sucks that a huge majority of the 2.6 million listeners on RN are just a bunch of musicians fanning each other back and forth. Hitting #1 rank in your city–so–what the hell does that mean? I pay to use RN because the widget is important to me and I can’t find one anywhere else, but other than that!!!!–and what about the great “opportunities” RN offers–so a million artists are submitting to these “opportunities”–wouldn’t winning the lotto be easier?

    And don’t even get me going on TAXI–I had a long talk with a music publisher whom they offered to hire as a listener to decide which submissions would be forwarded from TAXI. Just because if by some miracle your song does get “forwarded” to an opportunity–all it does is sit there with a hundred other submissions from sources other than TAXI. Also, you have to pay $5.00 for every song you submit to TAXI for the rare chance your song will be forwarded.

    Think about it–RN and places like TAXI are making a fortune off of people’s dreams as they enjoy the limo ride to the bank!!

  19. Hello, I log on to your blog regularly. Your humoristic style is awesome,
    keep up the good work!

  20. Totally agree with most of the comments above. I would also Like to add that the inbox “email” system is cumbersome. Need an archive button and a folder system to organize the fans and comments, ect. The site has tons of potential and Ive been enjoying using it so far overall. Check out my new single, “As I Breathe”

    1. Thanks for connecting, Moscato!

      There is an archive/delete option in the mailbox. Just pull down the “Action” button and it will display these options. I agree that there’s no way to organize the mailbox or fans. RN tries to be a lot of things and the result is that some of them end up only having very basic functionality.

  21. I think ReverbNation is pretty cool in concept and somewhat in execution but I find it pretty hard to move up the ranks without spending ridiculous amounts of money on advertising, which is expected, but then its absolutely futile to be accepted on any of their “opportunities” unless you are a top ten artist in your category.

    IMO Its more geared towards artist already making some moves with at least 1000 fans or more, but wont necessarily help you reach that point.

    I think they for the most part are just pretending that they want to help you and mostly are concerned with filling there own pockets.

    1. Thanks, Tone! Yeah, RN is not for everyone, but they sure try to be.
      I hope to have a new review in the next month or two that covers more of the RN features.

    1. Four songs is a great start. Way to go!

      Depends on a lot of factors. I recommend that you read my updated reviews of BandCamp and ReverbNation to start. Then…

      How’s your fan list. I mean the one you control (not on facebook or twitter, though you want those followings, too).
      If you have a large email list, start with BandCamp.com.
      If not, start collecting emails via BandCamp, ReverbNation, SoundCloud, and anywhere else you can set up shop without breaking your bank (free is good).

      If you want a one-stop shop, I would recommend

      • BandCamp if you only want to sell CD and digital formats direct or
      • CDBaby if you want various digital distribution and sync licensing in one package with CD and download sales.

      Not every service provides what every musician/artist needs, however. Check them out for yourself and report back on your thoughts and experiences.

      Best wishes,
      Stan

  22. I probably should keep my gig calendar updated, send messages to “fans” etc, on Reverbnation, but for the most part it just replicates what I am already doing on my website and through digital distribution (that doesn’t charge as much)

    Two things I dislike the most is the constant begging for your money (promote this show!!, c’mon!!) AND the fact that it’s become as incestuous as MySpace, with bands “fanning” each other in order to inflate their fan numbers.

    Also, they have so many services and widgets, and they don’t really explain up front what they do.

    Bottom line is, I have enough work to do as a indy blues artist/ small business owner. I would rather spend my time on the sites and services that I know work than spend lots of time on ReverbNation.

  23. Great gratitude for all this info! I am new the to music business. Married a wonderful man and talented musician. I am capable at marketing businesses but the music business is an entirely different animal! The info has been a great spring board for learning!

    Creating a website has been such a challenge. He is offering typical albums available as cds and we want to offer mp3 also. He also has a product that creates a personalized composition and will need to be sold like a product. The two are not a natural fit on the same web page but I am trying to avoid paying for two shopping carts. Any suggestions?

    I got a really beautiful marketing piece from Discmarker featuring CDbaby and hostbaby. Looked like a great combo! I thought I had the solution! Yikes! When I called Hostbaby they were more than snide when I asked if they had seen the marketing piece. He indicated no wasn’t complementary about CDbaby at all. Then as I dug further and asked about the shopping cart feature he informed me if I needed a shopping cart then they are not for me. All the while he was no outwardly bashing CDbaby but it was clear he wasn’t a fan. Ok! Im a bit slow! I called CDbaby and almost immediately I felt like I had walked into a family feud. She confirmed that there was no reason to see the two as a good combo. She also got snide with me, like some do when you are talking about a person they don’t like. I came away with the conclusion Im not stepping into that family feud!
    Any suggestions on a web site builder(low tech skills needed) that I could market the music and products?

    Thanks again for the class! 🙂

    1. Great to hear from you! How wonderful that you’re helping your husband market his music!

      First, check out my newer, more complete review of ReverbNation here.
      Second, I would recommend Bandcamp for your “shopping cart”. Great web site integrations. Sell CD’s or other physical items AND MP3’s. I think you could adapt their system to do the custom (commissioned?) compositions, too.
      Next, I’m really sad to hear about your experience with HostBaby. Not too surprising unfortunately. I’ve heard many comments like yours or worse.
      Finally, personally, I like WordPress. The integrations from dozens of resources are easy to add; the administrative interface is helpful; most hosting companies support it (some specialize in it); and you can add posts as frequently or infrequently as you like.

      Best wishes!
      Stan

  24. to Bazia–I have been with http://www.mymusicstream for over 4 years now–they offer a simple way to design your website and they host it for about 20.00 a month–you can sell your songs, set your prices and have a song widget (you can get one for free at Reverb Nation)

    1. As long as it works for you. I host multiple web sites for 1/4 of that price and use/recommend the (also free) bandcamp music player.

  25. I think Reverb Nation is a great tool to organize fanbases and artist pages; but I have a serious concern with how they do business. First of all, it’s really good at what it offers and connects. It does a good job at connecting everything an artist does onto a neat site and playlist combination. The facebook integration is a nice touch to anyone without a dedicated website but this is where it starts to get sticky.

    Their approach is an “F’ you pay me” structure that works for most individuals that have no clue as to what they are doing. They suggest things for people to do and why they are generally useful for their music, but everything costs money on this site. The hefty pricetag we pay on a yearly basis covers the basic functionality we need to integrate into most sites.

    The kicker is that this site offers services that most people should have as their soft skills; networking, talking to people face to face and looking for motivated talent. The industry is plagued with people that don’t care about the artist; they only care about the money being brought in. The point is that only well organized and hungry people benefit from this site; labels with too many people to manage face to face will benefit from this.

    That being said, we benefit from it only when the artist wants to shake and move. This site is useless to people that don’t want to work and want the label they are on to do all the work.

    I’m a part of the label I work with as much as the artists I collaborate with. We don’t own the talent and advertise ourselves as such. So from the bottom of my heart I let people know that the struggle is real for anyone trying to make a name out of themselves. The struggle is worse for those of us too lazy to make their own image or write their own songs.

    In conclusion, a group of artists pitching in on a single account will benefit from Reverbnation. It is economically unfeasible for any independent artist to completely absorb all aspects of this site. In other words; it’s like a label “shukin’ and jiving” for you with the same marketing strategies as everyone else. Remember artists, “we all we got”.

    1. Please read my updated review of RN (link is at the top of this post) where I note what I really think about it as a whole. I’m not that impressed as you’ll see.

      If it works for you, that’s great.

      Best regards,
      Stan

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