16 Ways ReverbNation is Changing the Digital Music Landscape
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you no doubt have heard about ReverbNation or at least stumbled across an artist using its tools and services. Simply put, no one is helping musicians out more in promoting their work then Reverb is, and here are 16 reasons they’re going about making it happen.
1. Ability to share high quality files, fast and cheap.
Trying to share those newly mastered tracks usually requires uploading them to file sharing services like Rapidshare, which can at times be a pain in the ass to wait to download. And unless you actually know how to set-up a torrent (not every musician is a techno-wiz), you have few other options. Upload your tracks to Reverb and copy/paste the download links for quick track sharing (and every download is tracked!)
2. Best Music Players. Period.
What do most bands do as soon as they have something for the world to listen to? They set up a MySpace page, because, that’s like the only place to stream music for free right? Wrong – ReverbNation has a ton of cool widget players that let you stream songs from anywhere on the ‘Net. And unlike MySpace’s crappy, bulky player, Reverb’s player streams in some of the highest quality sound found in a music player anywhere online.
3. Fan Contact Management
Are you still using the ole’ notebook to gather email addresses at shows, and firing off emails through Hotmail with a ridiculous looking copy and paste system? Get with the times if you really want to get the message across about that upcoming show – get an email solutions provider. And while the thought of that might seem daunting, ReverbNation let’s you set one up rather quickly and will have you sending out quality-looking emails that rival a major label’s efforts.
Yeah, we already mentioned the gnarly music players that you can copy and paste, but there’s a whole toolbox of different widgets you can paste into your website or MySpace page that offers all sorts of different content to your fans – touring schedule (complete with Yahoo Maps), Video widget, press widget, retail store links – pretty much anything you want to get across to someone stumbling over to your website.
5. Robust Stats
When an artist thinks of promotion, they’re used to thinking about making some cool posters and hanging them up all over town, getting their loser friends to come fill up space, and maybe getting a shout out on the local college radio station. Things is, you can’t track any of those things to see which worked better. With ReverbNation, all your actions using their different tools and services are tracked using big-boy web analytics that show you your progress, all in pretty charts and graphs that would get your hard-nosed businessman dad excited.
6. Be your own booking agent
With the ReverbNation GigFinder and RPK service, there’s no reason why you should have to play the same crappy bar night in and night out. Their database of thousands of venues across the land provide you with the ability to search within your area for places that book musical acts on a regular basis. Send them your RPK and let the venues check out your Reverb stats to decide if you’re the right fit or not.
7. Digital Distribution
Everyone and their mom uses iTunes and Rhapsody these days to discover and purchase new music, so how do you go about getting your own tunes on those services? If you don’t feel like filling out all the boring paperwork yourself, then you’re in luck – ReverbNation will do all the work for you for an annual fee, and provide you with stats much faster then some of the rival submission services.
8. Sell merch direct to fans
In addition to selling digital downloads directly from your ReverbNation account (through your profile or a Reverb Store widget), you can also set up an on-demand merch store through their partnership with Audiolife. Upload your custom art and images, set up pricing, and bam!, instant merch store with no overhead. You can even buy merch in bulk so you have some on hand to hawk at shows.
9. Artist resources
Need help setting up your Reverb profile? Looking for industry professionals to push your latest album release? Need health insurance? Reverb is constantly providing their members with information and guidance for all facets of a musicians career, holding their hands along the way to make sure they get the best opportunities available to boost their career.
10. Facebook Application
Whoa – what? Don’t I need to hire a $90 an hour programmer to build a Facebook app? Nah, son, ReverbNation has you covered. I know it seems I’m kissing their ass here a little, but when you factor in that their “My Band” app has over a million users (and it gets your tracks in front of your Facebook friend’s faces), it’s hard to not see how much that kicks ass.
11. Twitter integration
Being a musician is rough these days. Not only do you have the entire industry being turned upside down on its head with file sharing, labels dishing out less money to sign new talent, and a rush of so-called “musicians” to compete with, but you also have to keep in touch with your fans through new web fads like Twitter. Luckily, you can update your Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook status’ all at the same time through the ReverbNation control panel.
12. Hosted Banners
Most bands operate their Street Teams like this: email a bunch of friends some banners and ask them to post them to their MySpace pages. Who has the time to find a hosting service and to code that in their page? Cut out all the dirty work and provide you Street Team with the code already, and they’ll be much more inclined to just copy and paste it (plus it’s all tracked through the stats!)
13. Street Team Management
Speaking of street teams, actually MOTIVATING those supposed street teamers is a lot harder than you think it is. Why not try motivating them with a contest? Give away an autographed guitar to your top promoters, and track them all using the ReverbNation street team leaderboard. The one who does the most work will be noticed and given the top prize for his or her dedication.
14. Advertising Sharing and Opportunities
So yes, as most people believe, ReverbNation is also a social network with millions viewing their artists profiles every month. And yes, Reverb also runs ads on these pages just like any other network. What separates them from the competition? They split this ad revenue in HALF with each artist. Consider it extra beer money every month. Plus, they’ve been hooking artists up with some big advertisers for cross-promotions and plan on doing more in the near future.
15. Build your website for you
No need to understand HTML, use one of their hundreds of professional templates, and even get your own .com web address, all for a nominal monthly fee. Let’s be real, not every band is gonna be able to build their own site (even if I tell them how to a million times over). Dump the expensive flash site and update your site in a jiffy with their easy to use site builder tool.
16. Most of the shit is FREE!
That’s right – FREE! While some of the tools and services (site builder and RPK) do cost money, most are out of the box free to use. Some of the services (email and song storage) and free for new users who don’t need a ton of capabilities and can be upgraded at a later date to receive their full features. Their simply is no body else in the digital music space that offers as much value in their Free tools as ReverbNation does. If you’re not an artist using them, you’re probably a fool doing all the wrong things. And even if you’re not a musician, you should be visiting the site daily to discover new music (a lot of which is also FREE!)