See Things Differently
Since I work with a lot of developing musicians and labels, I get to understand first-hand their challenges, aspirations and nightmares. Number One question of course, is how to make money through digital. To which my reply is, you can’t through downloads alone. The next is, so how do we make money? To which my reply is, same way as before – write great tracks, be interesting, gig a lot and use online to build a fanbase.
Now, most bands aspire to be independent since we have all read the experts agree it’s madness for an artist to sign a deal with a Major (although, of course, when they get the chance most still do). So they set out to distribute their music themselves, followed by getting gigs. And this is where they find out the Live industry makes the Recording industry look like NASA in it’s adoption of new technology.
To simplify things – On one side you have artists. On the other, venues. In between, booking agents & promoters.
Artists want to play live, build a fanbase and ideally, get paid. Venues want to be sold out and ideally pay as little as possible. Booking agents have to balance the two. Only, from what I hear, do it the same way they’ve always done it.
From Day One, the Internet was about squeezing out the middleman, and here, SonicBids is attempting to do just that by bringing artists and venues closer together and cutting out the inefficiencies and risk, i.e. can the band play and do they have a fanbase who will show up?
Artists can sign up to an ‘Artist Account’ and create an online Electronic Press Kit to attract promoters. Venues can create a ‘Promoters’ account and list opportunities to play and how much they’re prepared to pay. Artists can submit their EPK, and promoters can approach artists they like. And booking agents find their role diminished due to artist and venue working together.
It’s an idea we have long harboured, and indeed, were told about SonicBids when we told someone about our great idea. The site suffers from poor design and appears ‘old fashioned’, i.e. it’s, like, sooo 2006. It also allows promoters to charge a submission fee, which when everything is done electronically, seems like a nod to the old school way of doing things. I understand a fee may be necessary for quality control purposes but surely there is a better way than to charge artists to click on a ‘Submit’ button? However, the size of the SonicBids team is testament to the fact they have developed an actual BUSINESS, as opposed to idea, so we have to assume artists and promoters are comfortable with this arrangement.
It’s a US site but we understand from our sources, their are plenty of UK and European promoters, so happy bidding!