EXCLUSIVE: Responding to member requests, today Sonicbids unveiled a new system that replaces submission fees for most gig opportunities with tokens offered free as part to their membership plans.
Last Fall, a Musician's Friend sponsorship made some Sonicbids listings free. But starting today, 60% of all opportunities become part of the tokens program with that number expected to grow to 90% within a few months.
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Starting to today, members at the basic Sonic level get 10 Musician's Friend Tokens per month and Supersonic premium members receive 25. Tokens renew each month, but are provided on a “use it or lose it” basis. Some "premium" opportunities like CMJ and SXSW will still require a submission fee.
Since testing began on no fee listings in September, 14,000 gigs have been booked and user engagement jumped three-fold, according Panay; who added that "half the artists that submit to multiple Sonicbids opportunities get at least one gig a month".
A growing number of respected venues and promoters are also getting involved with Sonicbids' token program including NYC's Knitting Factory, LA's Whiskey and Chicago's Double Door. But 10 to 25 tokens submitted monthly to an average of 2-3000 gig listings by tens of thousands of Sonicbids members could get overwhelming. So the site is experimenting with new filters that will go live within weeks, according to Panay, designed to help both promoters and artists make more informed choices.
In this video, Sonicbids' Panos Panay explains their new Musician's Friend Tokens program: