Posted tagged ‘sonicbids’

Incredible Resources You’ve Never Heard About #1

April 13, 2009

In the last month, some new and interesting websites have been passed on to me so I thought I’d do a post on new and underrated music resources for independent artists. If you are aware of other resources please post them in comments…and give Grassrootsy readers a short description of what the they’re all about it.  If they’re really great, I’ll do a more extensive post on your suggestions in the future. Here goes…
What an incredible idea! is a website specifically created for independent artist who want to license their music for commercialas, movies, and any/all types of media. How it works: Visit the website to create a free acount.  Upload your music (up to 10 songs). You are given the freedom to sell your songs at whatever amount you like.  YouLicense takes only %9 percent commission.

For example: Lets say you have a techno-pop song on your page.  A new sneaker company needs some music to use in a commercial they’re making to advertise their shoes.  You list on your page that you are willing to license your song for $2,000.  If they agree to this, YouLicense allows them to pay you through the site in exchange for the song and takes $180.  You keep the rest ($1,820). 

Companies can also post “Opportunities” which are brief detailed descriptions of the type of music they are looking for.  You can then respond to them with your song. Its a more proactive approach.

YouLicense is an incredible resource b/c producers are always looking for material for training videos, podcasts, movies…etc.  Its also been very difficult for independent artist to get into the licensing industry and this makes things so much easier.  Not to mention the fact that you get paid for your work and your music will potentially reach a much larger audiences.  Love it!

Thanks to Jim Dispirito of Rusted Roots for letting me know about this.  There is so much more to YL, but I still need to do more research.  If you end up using YouLicense, please post a comment and let us know how it worked for you.
ArtistData is all about making life easier thru data management. In short ArtistData takes information about your upcoming gigs and sends it to all of your networking sites.  How it works: Visit the website to create an account.  Type in information about your upcoming shows.  ArtistData will then send that information to Myspace, Facebook, Eventful, Twitter, LastFM, PureVolume, Showclix, Sonicbids…etc.  The list goes on.   

ArtistData is still a very new site from what I’m told but the concept is genius and its web layout is clean and easy to use. Thanks to Brooke Annibale for the word on this. 


Again, If you’re aware of other resources please post them in comments…and give Grassrootsy readers a short description of what the they’re all about it. 

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More On College Booking

April 1, 2009


The Jungle
The Jungle


    • Quick Note: You can catch   me today (Wednesday, April 1st) on Pittsburgh Business Radio, 3-4pm EST.  I’ll be talking about persuing music as a business.  Listen online @

 Read the first post in this series: “Getting into the College Market

Other than NACA and Student-Led Organizatons…
Other than NACA and student-led organizatons, most colleges have an Event Coordination Office.  For example, University of Pennsylvania calls it SPEC: Social Planning & Events Committee.  In their recent planning of UPenn’s Spring Fling, they simply sent out a “Call for Artists” via Sonicbids.  If you’re visiting a University, be sure to contact the school’s events department to see what their booking process is.

Keep in mind that the busiest time for college booking is the Fall (plenty of semester kick-off events for organization) and the Spring (plenty of events to celebrate the end of the year).   Some events aren’t planned months in advance, but many are.  So here are some tips for college booking.

  • 1.] Call Now:  Before the Spring semester winds down, reach out to the University.  Look into various organization and the schools event coordination office to learn more about how they book.  When Fall comes around you’ll be ahead of the game.
  • 2.] Be Aware: Know when the Fall semester begins.  Make sure you know the dates of the first week of classes and plan to do a “Back to School” concert on campus that Friday or Saturday.

The Advantages of Doing College Shows
Here are few things that make college gigs worth persuing

  • 1.] financial compensation: There’s a rumor that colleges can pay a musician better than any other type of gig. I think its true (yes, that’s where your tuition went).  Be sure to ask your contact at the school if there is compensation. You won’t always get paid but  it never hurts to ask. Monday’s blog will deal with how to ask for money so check back.
  •  2.] Getting to open for larger acts: It may take some time (or it might never happen), but every once in a while you’ll get a bone thrown your way. Pittsburgh Funk/Rock group, The Jungle, has had many such opportunities…including opening for Gaving Degraw at University of Pittburgh’s Bigelow Bash.
  • 3.] Great way to spread your name:  Most University events are free for students and well marketed. Students are great with word-of-mouth…largely due to facebook and their lips 🙂


Feel free to add your comments, suggestions, and tips.

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Where, When & How to Send Your Press Release

February 11, 2009 has an excellent article called “When Should I Send Out my Press Release.” It gives very helpful ideas…some of which I’ll repeat in this post.

Before You Write the PR
Even before you have your PR written (see “Writing a Press Release – PR 101” post), put together a list of contacts you want to target. Don’t be afraid to cold call or email. And ask them how far in advance before an event they like to receive information.  Some people will say a few weeks. Some will say a few months. Brainstorming a list of contacts before you write the press release will also help you to decide what information should be included in the PR. Tomorrow’s post will touch on who to send a press release to.

Where to send the PR
Aside from including a release in your press kit, make sure to post it online. There are tons of free PR services. My favorite is PRCompass.   Here’s a link to a press release I posted several months back. Its good to have your PR available online to reach out to a larger audience. You never know who’s reading and PRCompass will keep track of how many people have read your release.  Make sure to have a link to the pr from your website. Or just put the PR right on your site(s) including Sonicbids

When & How to send out the PR
Based on the answer you get from the media you call/email, this will let you know when is most appropriate to send a release. If at all possible, do not mass-mail your PR to a whole bunch of people.  And don’t send it out blindly.  Make sure you know the name of the person whose inbox you want the release to reach.  Send the release via email.  Don’t send an attachment.  Simply include the PR in the body of the email or provide a link where the recipient can go get more info. Or you can do both. Something like this:


Dear So&So,
My name is Jane Smith and I’m writing to make you aware of a CD Release I will be having inMarch. When we talked on the phone a few days ago, you mentioned you like to receive PRs at least two months in advance.  Please consider the below Press Release and let me know if I can send additional information.

Thank you for your time.



Local Artist to Release Debut CD at Hard Rock Cafe”

Cincinnati, OH – February 9, 2009 –  Hard Rock Cafe might not be prepared for the CD release of Cincinnati artist Jane Smith on April 1st (7pm). The multi-talented guitarist, pianist, and trombone player is a one-woman wonder who has taken Ohio by storm and will likely do the same on the 1st.

In just 5 years, the folk-experimental artist has impressed her way into the hearts of the independent music scene. Smith’s music has been called an experimental, progressive, and edgy combination of retro folk with the occasional acoustic sentiment. In a recent write-up,  the New York Times is quoted as saying, [see full PR at]


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

January 26, 2009
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.

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Reader Comments & Suggestions #1

January 23, 2009

MCTill & Wonderbrown = The Kings of Tradgedy
Both use humor in emails ewsletters (and videos) to keep their readers engaged.


I thought I would put this blog up because alot of you have posted some really great comments in response to past blogs.  Some people might never see these comments so why not put them all in one post. Below are my favorite 5. Please continue to comment anytime you have something meaninful and helpful to say to the people who visit this blog! Special thanks to KleerStream Entertainment who has consistently given some great tips to aspiring singersongwriters and bands.


1.] Posted by Samual Lewis in response to Email Marketing – Making Sure People Read What You Write
“Make sure to provide value in every email, even a good laugh will work. You want to engage your audience and earn their trust. Also frequency of sends is extremely important. During this recession, many companies are turning to more cost effective means of marketing, and email should definitely be one of them.”

  • Samual makes such a great point!  Here is something my friend MC Till put in his last email.  It’s personal, its hilarious, and I’m sure  it definitely made people visit his website.  Chances are, you will too…
  • “ps- don’t check out my new website… It won’t be worth it. For real. Don’t even think about it. Okay, are you thinking about it? Stop. Well, uhm, I guess if you are still thinking about it then just copy and paste into your browser, hit enter, then get ready to ‘X’ out. Okay, if you really want to, check out the video or the quotes or blog or whatever, I’m saying, its whatever you want to do. Really, I’m not trying to promote it or anything. I mean, its just a website that promotes what I do. So, really, don’t even bother….unless of course…you really want to. Then, go ahead.

2.] Posted by KleerStream Entertainment in response toTake Advantage of the Holiday – Make Some Dough, Yo!
I totally disagree with you about CD Baby, especially for Indie Artist that want more exposure. The global exposure you get on CD Baby is well worth the $4 / CD they take for selling your CD. New artist need all the exposure they can get & CD Baby is but one way to gain more exposure. New artist are always told to go play for nothing to gain exposure, so, why are we worried about CD Baby taking $4 for each CD they sell? 

We recommend artist sell CD’s any place they can….if you are selling on 5 sites you are generating revenue & revenue is one of the main driving forces that keeps a artist / band playing & touring. As long as you get $2.50 – $3.00 / CD you are still making money & in the music business every dollar earned is a plus in our book. One of the worst things you can do in the music business is to ‘limit’ yourself. I would never recommend one of our artist to turn down global exposure for $4 a CD. Don’t assume all the sales you gain from any site will be pick up on another site, because they will not. 

    • In response to this post about CD Baby, Kleerstream has made an excellent point.  I think its great to have your music on CDBaby as well as on your own site.  You may make more money by selling the CD through paypal but CD Baby does in fact provide excellent connections that sometimes pan out.


3.] Posted by Teed Rockwell in response to Take Advantage of the Holiday – Make Some Dough, Yo!
CD Baby is worth the money. Don’t forget that if you do your own shipping, you have to pay for postage, packaging, take time to go the store to buy the packaging materials, and do the labor of packaging, labeling, and dropping packages off at the post office. CDbaby also prepares your inventory, which makes it easier at tax time. I hired somebody to do this before the internet existed, and it cost me a lot more than four dollars a CD. in fact, I had to quit using that person because it was too expensive. CDbaby does it cheaper because they have it automated. They also are heavily linked in. I got the best paying gig in my life from somebody who saw my CDbaby page.

    • Ya, its true that you have to handle shipping if your using a service like paypal. But if you don’t mind, then do it!  Handling my shipping allows me to be more personal with fans.  I usually leave notes in the package like “Hey, thanks for buying a CD!” or “Hope to see you at next week’s show!”


4.] Posted by Cling in response to Tips & Tricks for the Holiday and Any Day
Why not send an EPK?

    • Having an EPK through Sonicbids is a great idea.  EPK = Electronic Press Kit.  I talk regularly about having a press kit which basically includes a bio, press photo, demo (or CD), press release, and any other relevant information.  Sonicbids offers a way to create a press kit online. Saves paper, saves money, saves time.  Check out Sonicbids to learn more about creating one.  But also realize that some people like to have hard copies. I think its important to have hard copies on hand.  On Monday, I’ll talk more about Sonicbids…the good and the bad. 


5.] Posted by KleerStream Entertainment in response to Helping Yourself #3
We always tell artists, their networking / building a true fan base is much like someone campaigning for President of the USA. Artist are the ones that must meet, greet, shake hands, hand out business cards, etc. They must take advantage of any time they are out in public, whether it be in a grocery store, club, coffee house, etc. You never know who you might be shaking hand with….so network like your career depending on it, because, it really does.


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