ReverbNation

Review of ReverbNation #Musician Services

Some time ago, when I was looking for a way to share and sell my recorded songs, I did a brief review of ReverbNation for song sales that got some great comments. RN did not then and as you’ll see, still doesn’t get high marks with me.ReverbNation

ReverbNation looks like it could be a one-stop-shop for bands. On the surface, they provide a cross-section of indie musician tools that include mailing list management; web site integrations; social media integrations and push streams; “fan” funnel and management (but read on for the real story); gig management; song player; digital distribution to iTunes and other sales channels; charity add-ons from song sales; a storefront with plug-ins for major social networks and web sites; and licensing opportunities. Are the tools useable? Yes. Are they scalable? Probably not. Are they really geared to drive fans to the musical acts? No. They are geared to drive more musicians (and wannabe musicians) to ReverbNation.

There are at least three major flaws with ReverbNation’s infrastructure as it currently stands:

  1. There is nothing (that I can see) to attract fans to RN. It is currently only attracting acts (musicians and spammers who also want to sell products to indies). And having a bunch of other musicians can be a nice ego boost, but you need fans who are not doing the same work as you, too. (Thus, the “I’m #1 on ReverbNation” becomes “I was able to get enough other bands to like my RN page, that I’m #1 there.”) It’s great to connect with other musicians, but there are plenty of resources for this.
  2. Everyone who is driven to your RN page, is flooded with ads for RN. In other words, ReverbNation — not the musical act — gets more advertising every time RN gets another indie musician to set up a page and share it on social media, web sites, and so on. Using the RN tools will only slow you down from the momentum you could obtain using better tools that focus on you and your fans (even if they cost more).
  3. Musicians can easily get lost in the myriad of options, upgrades, tools, etc. on RN and miss out on time that could be spent focusing on music and dedicated tools for making connections to gigs and fans.ReverbNation myriad of options

So, is the free ReverbNation okay for musicians/bands who can’t afford to purchase other more costly solutions for all of these potentially helpful tools? In the end: no. Being on ReverbNation waters down any attempt to attract and keep fans. Ads, sales, etc. are all tagged with ReverbNation logos. While they may create some minimal impact, none of the ads that I’ve paid for at ReverbNation have ever brought someone to a gig or to purchase one of my songs. There are lots of other options for licensing and digital distribution. Use one or more of them, instead.

In theory, it sounds like a good idea to find a single vendor who can provide all the tools we need to be indie musicians. At least at ReverbNation, the implementation leaves too much to be desired. Find individual tools that do the job better and allow the focus to be on you, the music, your fans and your songs. For more reviews and musician resources, check out my biz of the muz category.

Whether you agree, disagree or somewhere in between, your comments are welcome here!

Playful blessings,
Stan

An updated review of ReverbNation.
ReverbNation services
Date Published: 11/07/2013
The RN tools distract from the indie musician with all the ReverbNation branding and the tools are not as good as some of the specialized ones.
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38 comments

  1. You have nailed it. I use Reverbnation for a few free tools (which are GREAT) but as a site it leaves a lot to be desired and is not user-friendly to a general music fan.

    1. Yes. I’m thinking that at this point my RN will just be a tombstone. In case people find it they can at least get pointers to where I’m really updating.

      Thanks for dropping by, Darius! Your music and your style totally rock!

      Best,
      Stan

    2. Reverbnation scam
      A bad investment Artists First ReverbNation added this slogan after they got caught adding unauthorized charges to artist account and then locking those accounts that reported the theft telling them that their accounts could be unlocked if they accepted the fraudulent charges and withdrew their complaints and later in very poor taste added the slogan “Artist First”.

  2. Right on the mark again Stan.. I totally agree, its a “feel good” deal and yes, my music is there, but I have had similar experience and impression as yours.

    Great post my friend.

    all the best,
    Trace

    1. Hey, Trace!

      I appreciate the confirmation, my friend!
      Good luck with your other avenues. Hope they are working OK (or better) for you.

      Playful blessings,
      Stan

  3. What about GooglePlay, I’ve considering uploading my music there to see if I can make some $$$. Have you reviewed that option?

    Take care

    1. I haven’t. Let me know if you find a review or even hear of any indies using GooglePlay successfully. (I have not)

      Thanks for the question!

  4. I agree! The term “indie musician” is plain wrong. A real musician is always independent at heart, but a better phrase or title is just “musician.” A singer can be rightfully called a vocal artist and musicians can often sing and play an instrument(s). So in the end, if you use just “musician” your covering it all. If you want to refer to a musician independently managing and promoting their own music, simply state they are SPAMM (Self Promoted And Managed Musician) 😉

  5. When I fan someone back on Reverb Nation–I take the time to actually listen to their songs–many times all their songs. I also make a point to buy a download at least once a month. What I don’t understand is why my ratings and band equity can go much higher and YET I don’t see that much more plays on my page. To me, it’s like lying to fan someone back and never bother to listen to their tunes–we all need to support each other. Peace, Starla

  6. always thought RN not a great avenue to promote your music. never receive email from a fans outside a fellow musicians. we all wants the same opportunity as a musicians. but in order to succeed we needs support from outsider.

  7. Hi! Thanks for this useful article! Is there another site you can recommend for musicians just starting to find an online site to share their music and have a website to present themselves?

    All the best,
    Li:ve 🙂

      1. Thanks, Milo! Soundcloud is useful for sharing songs and instrumentals. However, it doesn’t allow for any personal branding (“a website to present themselves”) or purchase of your tunes. (Soundcloud is in the process of creating sales opportunities.) BandCamp does all that and more.

    1. I’ve tried many sites but my favorite is N1M (numberonemusic.com). I have gained many real music fans worldwide–many from the UK, Australia, Canada and USA. Some people think they’re bogus, but I can tell you they’re not. I have been with them for over 4 years and they just updated their site and it’s better than ever. Peace, Starla

      1. Interesting. I’ve never received a personal reply or a click on a link from any of the “fans” on N1M. All of my other email list sends result in actual replies and clicks. Glad you’ve had better luck with them.

  8. As one on RN and paying someone to jump through the hoops to have my ‘ratings look good’ – I was wondering if this platform was really serving what I want to do? It takes my friend a LOT of time to keep a large fan base, and they’re all just other musicians, not someone who will really make a difference with my goals to get the music out….really OUT. I don’t play live, I’m a recording artist, so I’m not looking for venue advertisement and you have answered my question about my spending time and money paying my friend to accumulate fans and keep ratings high. I’m not into feeding my ego, I’m into getting the music heard by people that aren’t doing what I’m working at doing. Thank you!

  9. ReverbNation removes yet another perk.
    “As of June 30th, 2015, we will no longer offer the ability for you to share proceeds of your music sales with Oxfam America through the Music For Good program.

    This does not change your ability to sell your music directly to your fans through ReverbNation using your profile’s eCommerce option—more information on that process can be found in the FAQ below.

    We launched our Music for Good program in 2013 to give Artists a way to give back through their music. As a result of this program, Artists like you have donated proceeds from your music to more than a dozen charities around the world. After taking a hard look at the program, we do not believe Music for Good is continuing to meet our primary goal of connecting Artists with charitable causes in a meaningful way.

    We appreciate your participation in Music for Good, and hope that it has allowed you and your fans to support both great music and a great cause.”

  10. In response to my “leaving ReverbNation” email, I got several queries and replies. Here’s my favorite so far:
    “No, I think it’s pretty worthless. I keep it up because I figure it’s still a way to reach a few people. My biggest gripe is how misleading it is. All of the “FREE” promos that are only free is you’re a paying member. I don’t mind them charging for (so called) premium services, but they should lead people in by calling it free. The other thing I don’t like is when you purchase $25 in advertising, they leave about $7 unspent, in order to prompt you into buying more. Then there’s the never ending spam, though I just send all RN e-mails to my spam folder.”

  11. I must admit, although I don’t use the messaging feature frequently, reverbnation is my go to for band information & easy to browse samples of their music. I do find communication much easier through Twitter, but RN has its distinct utility for some of us, no matter how archaic it may seem. Just saying…

    1. OK. I get that their system works for you. What about all the bands/acts that have decided not to use ReverbNation? Are they out of luck with your radio? I’ve joined those ranks, so I’m very curious about your answer.

      1. RN is not my exclusive source. It is my 1st “go to”site. I use other sources as well for discovery & investigation. I am not an Apple fan, nor do I like to purchase tracks from any digital source. Being a former small label owner, I appreciate the value of buying direct from artist, preferably at a venue. Garrison Keilor said it best when talking about mp3s in this day and age: you have to make money the old fashioned way, get out & perform. Unfortunately for many of us, there is too much trash to wade through when looking for the next song to play/enjoy. You can have the most amazing song/talent, but if nobody knows about it, it’s still a secret…

  12. Reverbnation is a sneaky f**k. Signed up for a month of free membership. All crap news you receive to your email, BUT EXPIRATION OF FREE MEMBERSHIP they don’t send to make sure they charge you.

  13. Hi I am one of the new breed of RN musicians, coming in 3 weeks ago…some years after the bad times of unauthorized charge. so far so good. In three weeks I have 500 plays, which is almost triple the plays I got on my youtube video compilation in four years. I signed up for the free trial of 9.95 a month basic and now I am about to drop down to the free service after they did in fact email that the charge was coming up. I don’t use anything in the BASIC tier to warrant ten bucks a month. what I did invest in however is business cards….promo cards is a better word. I designed cards vertically laid out (so they look different that typical accountant cards, etc.) with a photo, logo and my reverbnation and facebook page addresses. I plan to hand theseout when they arrive and traxk my results. I’m hopingputting something in peoples hands wherever I go and whenvwr feasible —- paying for drinks, restaurant servers, clerks, friends, coworkers…will drive traffic to my songs better then just net outreach alone…which gets lost in the flood of content online. I have so far uploaded four videos and over 30 songs as well as dozens of pics, works of art, and lyric sheets. The player is nice but takes a bit to load on my slower-than-gamer-tier speed internet. Have been pitched endlessly but not scammed yet. Friends and family are very impressed. And as a scatterbrain, I love having my music easily accessable forever. My RN page is viewable at reverbnation.com/bifani

    1. Thanks, Christopher!
      If it’s working for you, that’s great. I was so burned when I left RN (in 2013 as you can see), that it would take a lot to lure me back.
      Even with a FB and RN page, I’d still recommend having your own web site. It gives you a home on the web even if one of these other platforms changes or removes their service.
      And again, the most important thing is to find what works for you. Seems like you’re doing that, so cool…
      Playful blessings,
      Stan

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