So, you're an indie musician and you have gigs you want your fans to know about. Do you want to update your event calendar in nine different places? I don't think so! I've had a look at two options for your gig calendar that I think have some decent features and would really like to get your input. And maybe you're a fan and you don't want to have to go searching for local gigs for the bands you already like to listen to. What do you think of Songkick and BandsInTown? Please add your comments.
Songkick (TourBox) was the first integrated event calendar I tried. I still really like it and may make it my choice for gigs. Sign-up is simple. Go to http://tourbox.songkick.com/ and fill in the form using FaceBook or your email address. Once verified, you can post your gigs. The cool thing is that once you have your gigs posted here, not only do they go out to the SongKick site, but they are also automatically pushed to YouTube, Spotify, FourSquare and more. There's a FaceBook integration that you can add to your band page (unless you've given up on FaceBook).
Next, add the SongKick gig calendar to your own website using a generic bit of web code or the WordPress keyword. (There's also a plug-in for SongKick, but I found that it was unnecessary.) It's also easy to add it to your BandCamp and SoundCloud sites. Just tell these two services about your SongKick account and (“tah-dah!”) your gigs will be listed there. You don't get to control how they are displayed in BC or SC.
Meanwhile, fans connect with your gigs either where you publish your calendar or because they already had a SongKick account that prompts them when songs in their music library connect them to a gig or when local venues have new listings. There is a slick iPhone and Android app for it as well. I have not seen a mobile app that allows to to create/revise your gigs.
There are a few other interesting places where SongKick has tie-ins:
- Presskit.to chose SongKick as it's gig calendar for your digital press kit. Pretty cool.
- If you're going with the ever-growing connections in BandPage, you'll find the SongKick integration easy.
- Many of the streaming services like Rdio and Spotify will connect a fan to upcoming concerts in SongKick.
- Labels can manage multiple acts or artists.
- Check the Songkick web site for lots more connections you'll make with this service
My friend Michelle Qureshi uses SongKick for her gig calendar. She says: “I really like this service. It's free, efficient, and flexible. I've been able to add venues to their database with ease. I also like how it updates to the sites you've connected — haven't caught any errors with that. I remember when I signed up that there is some kind of problem with YouTube that doesn't allow the feed, but other than that I send the concert info to my website, bandcamp, and facebook page.”
BandsInTown has the claim-to-fame of over 100,000 artists already using their service, 10's of thousands of venues and many of the large ticket sales agencies. Literally millions of fans are reported to use both SongKick and BandsInTown.
The mobile app for BandsInTown wants to scan my music library every time it starts which is a little annoying. Other than that, it's a slick, social-networking-focused way to connect with concerts and friends attending concerts. I learned about BandsInTown because of a band I wanted to see using them as a gig listing. I connected to the upcoming gig and found three friends (via social media) who also planned to attend so we could hang out together before and after the concert.
For the band/artist, there are integrations with all of your social networks, plus WordPress or standard web sites; streaming radio (Spotify, Last.fm, etc.) and song sales channels (Google Play, iTunes, etc.); “full FaceBook integration”; management of multiple artists for labels; and so on.
SongKick and BandsInTown: Choose and Conquer
Whether your band is set to take over the rock world or you just want to catch up with your favorite singer-songwriter, SongKick and BandsInTown are worth a look. Please be sure to add your comments as either a fan, an artist/band or both!