ReverbNation To Indie Artists: We’ll Pay You To Give Away Your Music


New Sponsored Songs Program Also Offers Brands A Unique Opportunity To Connect With Elusive Indie Music Fans

ReverbNation today announced that about 1000 of its almost 400,000 artist members will be eligible to participate in a new revenue generating Sponsored Songs program.  The initiative makes it possible to tap into the kind of major brand relationships that have typically been elusive for unsigned and indie talent.

“Traditionally the music business has been synonymous with the record
business where the lion’s share of revenue came from selling music.
With reduced emphasis on music sales, the music business must develop
new revenue streams that leverage the artist as a brand,” Michael
Doernberg, CEO of ReverbNation said in a statement. ReverbNation will pay participating musicians $.50 per free download with each track incorporating a small section of branded messaging within the digital cover art displayed every time the song is played.

The downloads, which the company confirmed to Hypebot will be in the MP3 and M4A formats, will be offered to fans on a set of branded landing pages. When a fan initiates a download, patent pending technology…

merges the brand's message into the digital cover art and songs are tracked as they are passed from fan to fan. Much of the value to the advertiser is that their message continues to spread along with the track as it is shared virally from directly fan to fan and via P2P.

The first Sponsored Songs campaign will begin mid June and last 90 days. ReverbNation’s Band Equity Score and the Artists’ fan demographic profiles will be used to determine which are invited to participate. Accepted artists will provide songs and also use ReverbNation’s marketing tools to promote the downloads.

Hypebot expects to be able to be able to be the first to share  details of this program within about two weeks. For more information about this program now send an email to sponsoredsongs[at]reverbnation.com

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  1. Ah, music. A deep and primal experience, a glimpse of the ineffable. Precisely the context in which I want to be advertised at. Yes, sign me up!

  2. Instead ReverbNation should pay registered users to pay for downloads. i know that sounds strange in the first place, but free downloads definately also make bands/musicians look like they don”t think their own music is of any value, too.
    if i want something, then i will pay for it.
    if i don’t want something, then i need to get paid to even worry about it.

  3. This is not true. Reverbnation is offering $50.0 to $150.0 bucks share for the full rights of the band´s track, and they can use the track in whatever they want to. So, if this track scores a synchro making a couple of thousand bucks to the 20´000s or 30´000 the indie act still will make 50 to 150 bucks only. This is a scam and a robbery to young kinds who are trying to make a living from their original music.

  4. Agreed. Robbery.
    Although the language “the initiative makes it possible to tap into the kind of major brand relationships that have typically been elusive for unsigned and indie talent” at the beginning kind of gives that away.

  5. I can totally appreciate the cynical flavor of the last two comments. Lots of companies out there make a living taking advantage of Artists, but we are not one of them.
    Adri and Mr. B are incorrect about our intentions with the music supplied by Artists for this pilot program.
    We will not use the track for anything other then applying the sponsor’s advertisement to the artwork during the term of the campaign and providing the mechanism (and promotional tools) to give it away to fans during the campaign. I will re-look at the exact terms and conditions and make sure that they are specific to that end, if they are not already.
    Anyone who knows ReverbNation knows that we are the good guys. We operate under an ‘Artist First’ philosophy and are not looking to take advantage of ANY Artist. Quite the contrary. We spend all of our time trying to find new revenue streams for Artists from all walks of life. This pilot program will allow us to compensate Artists from $50 – $5,000 for the downloads taken by fans during the campaign. In total, participating Artists will receive $125,000 for their downloads, and have a sponsor spending their own money promoting the Artists and music involved.
    That said, the program isn’t for everyone. Some Artists may not want to receive payment for giving away music to fans with adverts in the album cover art, and may not want a tier-1 brand to spend money promoting them to the public. But, that’s why the program is optional for Artists that want the opportunity.
    We are NOT taking ownership of the music in any way, and we are requiring the minimum rights we need in order to add the advertising to the album cover art and carry out the program.
    If anyone has any additional questions about the program, please direct them to sponsoredsongs@reverbnation.com
    Jed Carlson
    Co-Founder and COO

  6. I applaud Reverbnation for at least trying to find new ways to get artists paid for the their music. Will this program ultimately succeed? Who knows? If anyone finds this sponsorship program objectionable please, please develop a better model for getting artists paid and roll it out immediately.
    I’ll support any opt in program where artists get paid for their music and retain all their rights. Hopefully someone will actually figure out a successful revenue model for talented indie artists in the near future.
    I take Jed at his word when he states that Reverbnation is not taking ownership of the artist’s music as part of this program.

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