broadcast through reverberation

yesterday a new client pointed me in the direction of, and while i don’t usually write about websites, this is different–i can’t even help it. launched just under a year ago, “ is a Music 2.0 company that is responding to the changing music business paradigm.” except, when they say it, this isn’t just nonsense hippie talk. they mean it:

We believe:

• Nothing is more important to Artists than the relationship with their Fans….We call the total value of these relationships an artist’s Band Equity™, and it is our mission to help artists maximize this.

• Active Fans are the best promoters of music on the web. Fan attention has become fragmented across the web in a way that mass marketing no longer makes financial sense (see the demise of radio, music TV). Today is the age of social networks. Artists cannot be everywhere they need to be at once, so they need to focus on activating their most rabid fans to promote them in every corner of the web.

• A Music Community is more valuable if includes all of the members of the community. We believe that fans, labels, venues, and other folks all deserve a voice in the community if it is going to be representative of the entire music ecosystem. At ReverbNation, we invite all members of the community to take part.

at first glance you notice a slick design, and an interface that makes, as the client said, myspace look like fisher price. but 10 seconds later the extent of the sophistication going on here begins to dawn, and as you continue to discover what reverbnation is actually set up to do, you understand that this is way beyond just another community site, this is an incredibly powerful broadcast tool. one developed with an impressive understanding that the new channel is now a fragmented channel. this, by the way, does not mean it’s a broken channel, but rather it is a new kind of channel. one that broadcasts like a prism rather than a laser beam, and exists, as the reverbnation mission statement points out, “everywhere at once,” rather than being confined to any one particular medium.

if you are a musician, or if you are responsible for developing the strategy for how brands spend their advertising money, you really ought to check what reverbation is doing, as it is a model for how to approach the business of message dissemination in the future–and by that, i mean now:

ReverbNation provides innovative marketing solutions that musicians need to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in an increasingly noisy online environment. Unlike typical “closed” communities, artists use ReverbNation as their home base for approaching marketing and promotion across the Internet as a whole — be it via social networks, blogs, or the artist’s homepage. Tools like TunePaks, FanReach, and Widgets give the artist the power to spread their music and information virtually anywhere. Real-time stats then provide a 360-degree view of how the music is spreading, who is listening, and which fans are actually passing it on to their friends and posting it on their pages.

the most impressive offering for artists through reverbnation, isn’t even the array of features, but the way all the tools are enhanced through a seamless integration into the rest of the social media world. a strategy that can be summed up in one word: widgets.

here’s an example of a widget in action on a facebook profile:


in one slick little box you get:

  • the band’s upcoming show schedule–which is incredibly easy to create since reverbnation also has venue profiles, allowing you to add ten shows in about 2 minutes.
  • direct links to buy tickets to upcoming shows
  • an email list signup form– reverbnation’s free FanReach email service allows artists to create targeted messages to fans based on age, gender, and location which is more sophisticated than the offerings of many email list service providers, and their service also lets you include music and a show schedule automatically in every email.
  • the widget even has a freakin “Also join Street Team” option for people signing up!

to get all these features before you would have had to go running around to a bunch of different service providers, and then work to continually integrate all the features individually into every online location where your band had a presence–and that’s all resting on the assumption that all those features were compatible with each other, and most importantly, that a bunch of musicians had the necessary marketing acumen to even understand all the features they needed in the first place.

of course, it doesn’t stop there, this widget slices and dices and plays music too. here’s another example from one of the glitch mob’s member’s profile:


it doesn’t just let you embed a playlist, it lets you create portable online music player! this means that folks don’t HAVE to stay on your profile page to listen to your music. they can be doing anything else on the internet and still listening to your serenade.

the fragmented channel, remember? it’s everywhere all at once.

there are sooo many more features that reverbnation offers that to even get a grasp on all of them would take me the rest of the day, and then i’d have to spend more time tomorrow writing about them, but i should think you get the idea at this point.

i can imagine part of the hindrance in reverbnation’s adoption is the sheer complexity, and wide array of their offerings. it’s been confused for a myspace competitor, but in reality that is a complete misconstruction of what it looks like reverbnation is setting out to do. during the many company-wide conference calls that took place in the process of House of Blues’ acquisition by LiveNation, michael rapino, livenation’s CEO, continually stressed the importance of the consumer relationship to the future of the concert promotion industry–about which, as the largest concert promoter in the world, livenation has a right to claim to know a thing or two. (if “reverbnation” picked its name in complete ignorance of “livenation” i would be tremendously surprised).

the big difference, of course is that livenation owns the venues. but in reverbnation’s case, they are setting up to own a channel. one that is deftly suited to broadcast to a fragmented audience. and if you were paying attention then you’ve also realized that it is a model for the future of message-distribution itself, also known as advertising. connecting the needs of artist, fan, and venue into a symbiotic “ecosystem” is the same as connecting the consumer, the brand, and the “venue” for a brand experience into one constant feedback loop.

now go listen to some beats:



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