Sonicbids & Electronic Press Kits (EPKs): the Good, the Bad, the Ugly


Clare Reynolds

Clare Reynolds

 

Sonicbids more or less introduced the world (and independent artists) to EPKs – Electronic Press Kits. EPKs provide a cost effective way for musicians to submit their music to potential booking agents, venues, festivals, reviewers, radio stations…etc. 

An EPK allows artist to post, a bio, pictures, press, upcoming shows, audio, video, and even sound requirements for gigs.  You could easily use a sonicbids as your website. But keep in mind sonicsbids is not for fans. It exists to get you gigs and publicity.   Here’s a really excellent looking EPK by Australain artist Clare Reynolds.

Here are Sonicbids essential facts…

 

The Good
Sonicbids exposes artist to thousand of opportunities every year. Sonicbids sends opportunities straight to your mailbox, making you aware of…

  • Regional listings:  festivals and venues in your area that are currently accepting EPKs for upcoming concerts.
  • Music Licensing: agencies that line up music-for-tv, music-for- movies, music-for-commercials…etc
  • Labels/Agencies: looking for fresh talent to manage
  • New Magazines/Podcasts: accepting new music for possible review and radio play
  • the list goes on and on.

Sonicbids also makes information about opportunities available on its website. You can only try for these opportunities with a subscription.

 

The Bad
Sonicbids charges $5.95 per month for artists to subscribe (I think they charge you in 1-year incriments but I could be wrong).  Depending on who you are and how much $ you have, $5.95 might not be much. But keep this in mind, for every opportunity the Sonicbids emails you about…if you choose to submit your epk to it, Sonicbids will charge you an additional $5-$10 additional.  For example

  • 1.) Sonicbids sends an email saying ABC Magazine is accepting submissions from brand new irish-pop artists. You decide to submit to ABC Magazine. It cost $5 to submit.
  • 2.) Sonicbids sends another email saying the SXSW (South by Southwest) festival is also looking for irish-pop artists to play on their mainstage.  It costs $10 to submit.

In total, you have spent $15 submitting to these opportunities.  This does not gaurantee that you’ll get a review, or the opportunity to play on the mainstage. It simply means your EPK will be reviewed.  This is the #1 reason I am not a fan of Sonicbids.  Indie artists can end up spending hundreds of dollars a year on sonicbids submissions. This is the ugly part if you’re broke and don’t win out on any of the things you bid for (That’s why it’s called Sonicbids).

At the same time, you never know what will happen.  You might just get that SXSW gig and gain thousands of new fans instantly.  Sonicbids is great when it pays off, but realistically it does not always pay off considering that there are possibly hundreds/thousands of people submitting to the same event, podcast…etc. 

 

A Loophole that sometimes works
Just because an opportunity has been sent to your inbox via Sonicbids, does not mean you have to spend that $5 or $10 to submit through Sonicbids website.  Try this: if ABC Magazine is looking for new music to review, go to ABC Magazine’s website and try submitting on your own!  Some submission are exclusively through Sonicbids.  But you’d be surprised at how many gigs you can try to secure without having to pay extra $$$.  Think of Sonicbids emails simply as a way to make you aware of existing opportunities.

 

And Don’t Forget Hard Copies
Keep in mind that you can’t always use an EPK.  Some bookers (outside of the Sonicbids abyss) prefer  to have hard copies.  Why? Because its more tangible and it also shows that you are willing to make the extra effort…not just point someone to a link.  Don’t be afraid to spend money to mail an occasional hard copy of your press kit.  See the How to Score Reviews of Your CD post for more on this.

 

I’m interested in any additional comments you all have about Sonicbids. Have you had good/bad experiences?
If you’re interested in using Sonicbids, head to the website, and familiarize yourself with everything it has to offer.

 ***Subscribe to Grassrootsy

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Explore posts in the same categories: Finding/Getting Bookings, Getting Reviews, Internet, press kits, sonicbids

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One Comment on “Sonicbids & Electronic Press Kits (EPKs): the Good, the Bad, the Ugly”

  1. leyla Says:

    Thank you for this post. Well written, concise and informative. I am trying to decide between Sonic Bids & Gig Salad and I think Gig Salad is better for my client


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