I started this blog 2 years ago now. Since then, I have been approached by many different sites, companies, and products, asking for a blog post for their marketing, to which I always reply that I have a price sheet for paid posts, and then, for the most part, they go away. Everybody wants something for free these days. So let me tell you a little bit about the time I got approached by SonicBids and ReverbNation in the same week. Spoiler: I still work with ReverbNation. SonicBids was immediately problematic, for one main reason - their communication was horrible. They approached me in August of last year, with a simple pitch.
We wanted to reach out because we love what you're doing on your site. Promoting new music discovery is an important thing for everyone from the musicians to the fans. At Sonicbids we have thousands of bands who are looking for sites just like yours. If you would like to host a listing on our site it's as easy as 1, 2..
All we need from you is:
The best email for you for your login (We don't give out your email)
Any details on genres or any specifics you're looking for
One last thing, have a great day.
I got back to Dan a few days later:
Hi Dan, thanks for the message. I’ve got a lot of submissions already, and am about to do a trial run with Reverb Nation on an 8-week campaign. I would be happy to circle back in early October once that is done. Let’s talk then!
A few days after that, I got this message:
I wanted to follow up on the last email. If you're ever looking for more artists to cover on your site, let us know. We're a free, easy platform for you to use. You can sign up HERE or even easier, hit me back with an "OK" and we'll create your account for you. Easy as that. No obligations on your part, cancel anytime. We have thousands of amazing bands who would love to be part of your mission.
Let me know if you want a listing and if you're looking for any certain kind of music.
I specifically did not reply to that message; I was not interested. I also found it odd that I had already told Dan he would hear from me in October, but for some reason he was re-pitching his platform to me for a second time. I got another email about being added to a blog directory, which seemed harmless; so I did say ok to that.
Within a day, I received a message with this heading: Your Sonicbids gig listing is now published. I specifically had asked Dan to wait until October before we discussed a listing - I had my hands full, and didn't want to disappoint their users, who should work with people that want to hear from them. Why would they publish a listing without my consent?
It seems pretty clear that the team at SonicBids has no intention of curating a useful experience for their subscribers - quite the opposite: they make every attempt to pump up the number of listings, with no regard for the business of communication, or properly setting expectations. They are misrepresenting opportunities to their users, who think that the campaigns that are applying to actually want to hear from them. It is disingenuous, unprofessional, and speaking as an artist who once worked with services like SonicBids, and Taxi, etc., it is sort of sad. These are artists earnestly looking for real opportunities, and in this case, it was not a real campaign: I had not consented, had no bandwidth to start listening to submissions, and applying for a feature with me in this context was an utter waste of time. I immediately reached out in order to close my account. To their credit, that didn't take too long. But here's the thing: although the account was indeed canceled - when I try to log in, it says as much - there is still an active listing on their site. Right now, today, 4 months after I thought we were done. That is totally unacceptable, and just goes to show that they care more about appearance than substance. God only knows what happens to the poor fools that click the 'apply now' button; there is a 0% chance that they will be featured anywhere on CHILLFILTR.com. They lying to you, son.
So, anyone doing a little due diligence before they open an account with SonicBids is advised to skip it altogether. Anyone searching on "SonicBids review," be warned: a large number of their opportunities, if not most of them, are not at all what they seem. They are losing the battle against ReverbNation, by a massive margin. I guess they are feeling pretty desperate, at this point.
If you are one of the unlucky souls who have applied for a feature with CHILLFILTR through SonicBids, I'd love to hear from you. Tell me your story. I'd love to understand how they play off the fact that I don't even have an account with them, much less an intention of working with them in any way, yet the listing above looks like it was renewed recently, which suggests that it is driving engagement for them. I am really sorry that they are straight-up lying to their users, which is why SonicBids is just a bad copy of Reverb Nation.
About the Author
Krister Bjornson Axel
Morristown, New York
Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.
Read my poetry here.