Sonicbids Continues Evolution With No Cost Gig Listings Courtesy Of Musician’s Friend

(UPDATED)image from www.dallassongwriters.org image from img3.musiciansfriend.comSonicbids has added no cost gig opportunities for its members courtesy of a new partnership with catalog and online music gear retailer Musician's Friend. The listings will be introduced gradually over the next few months eventually reaching the thousands. A broader roll-out is planned for the Fall. 

In the past, some have been critical of Sonicbid's pay to submit model. But that has not stopped the site from attracting and retaining an impressive 245,000 paying members who use its electronic press kit to book live performances. To further strengthen its offering, Sonicbids recently acquired  music info delivery platform ArtistData and added former Monster.com and Yahoo executives to its team.

CEO Panos Panay Talks About Sonicbid's Evolution

Paid submissions will still be offered on for SXSW, CMJ, Popkomm, Eurosonic, MIDEM and others. But over time Sonicbids is clearly shifting how it serves its musician members.  Sonicbids delivered almost 71,000 gigs and other opportunities worth more than $10 million last year, according to Sonicbids CEO Panos Panay. “But for the past ten years, we've charged fees for nearly every listing bands applied for," he told Hypebot during an interview on Friday.  "While I still believe and think that we've proven that paying to submit is an effective filter,  we're always looking for ways to better serve our members." 

“We know that it takes on average, about 10-11 submissions for a band to get their first gig on Sonicbids," Panay to Hypebot in an interview Friday. "After that, they get the hang of it. We feel that this move  to no-cost listings will encourage artists to experiment more and ultimately land more gigs." Over the summer, Sonicbids will also be testing other ways to help guide musicians to the most appropriate opportunities.

Since Musican's Friend serves millions of musicians, the partnership also creates a much broader community. "By partnering with Sonicbids, we’re making it easier for musicians to achieve their dreams of playing live," Craig Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, Musician’s Friend said in the statement announcing the deal.

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  1. I’m Confused.
    Does this mean that Musicians Friend will be picking up the tab on submissions to all of the small festivals and opportunities so that the Artists doesn’t have to pay?
    Or does this mean that Musicians Friend is starting up a series of new gigs that they won’t be charging anything to submit to? If so, what kind of gigs? Where?

  2. Interesting that SonicBids made $17.5M (245,000 * 6/month * 12 months) in return for helping create opportunities worth $10 million.

  3. Thanks for the note guys. This is Panos, founder of Sonicbids.
    Let me clarify. The folks from Musician’s Friend are coming in as a major promotional sponsor on Sonicbids and they are making the no cost Gig Listing initiative possible. They are not starting a series of gigs (yet) though that would be great!
    As far as the comment about the the $10 million. This is the number related to Sonicbids’ revenues — not the value of the gigs that we created.
    We are very excited about this offering and we expect that in the next few months you’ll be seeing thousands of Gigs on Sonicbids that don’t carry a submission fee. Next few weeks or so will be a trial period so you won’t be seeing all of them at once. (Basically, we want to see how our users interact before we open the floodgates).
    We want as many bands as possible to be able to book their tours and gigs using Sonicbids so this is a first step towards major changes coming.

  4. Panos said:
    “We want as many bands as possible to be able to book their tours… using SonicBids”
    Does this mean that you are going after the booking agents’ business?
    Bruce, aren’t you a booking agent in your other life?

  5. I am an agent and some bands use Sonicbids and other EPK platforms like ReverbNation to submit themselves to us. We also use them to submit bands to buyers.
    It’s all part of the new eco-system and not a threat. Anything that can help a band get gigs and build a following helps create new artists that we can sometimes take to the next level.

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