Sonicbids Update #2

Things have been a bit busy around here but I’m finally getting back to updating you on what’s happened of late with sonicbids. Lou Paniccia is a credit to the sonicbids team as he is so on top of everything that’s going on out there and fielding complaints and comments and getting a resolution or at least setting the wheels in very quickly. It must be a pretty difficult position to be in given the controversy of late surrounding their business practices. Lou assures me that they are doing their best to resolve all the issues so please do not hesitate to contact him.

So here’s my original list of unresolved issues and Lou’s answers (quoting his emails with permission) to what is going on with them…

Music ¬ The Sound of Independents and The Indie Music Fund have placed you on Standby. You can view the messages they have sent you in the My Submissions tab of your Submit to Gigs section. Both appear to have you on Standby for this long duration because they wish to keep you on file: The Sound of Independents is waiting for the appropriate program to put you on, and the Indie Music Fund is still generating funds to reach their first milestone. Sonicbids assists you in getting your EPK to the promoter, as well as ensuring that they view and consider your EPK but once there is a notification, it is up to the artist and promoter to begin correspondence (kinda like buyers and sellers on eBay).

He then provided me with email adresses for them.

We talked with the New Music Showcase Television Show (Season 3) promoter yesterday, and they should be updating the status for submissions that are past their status notification due date in the next week or so.

We have not contacted the promoter for GuitarTam Music just yet, because they have status notifications set to get back to artists within 60 days of their submission (this would be July 5 for you). You can see the status notification date by clicking the “Status” button next to your submission under the “My Submissions” tab in the Promoter Drop Box. That being said, I noticed this promoter commented on your blog post.

Considering that GuitarTam was the one company I didn’t take a swipe at in my original post, I can safely say I won’t be hearing positive news about my submissions there. Here’s an excerpt of her comment to me…Additionally artists that make multiple submissions of the same type of song does themself a dis-service you would be much better served to select two very different styles. I don’t need to hear the 300th singer songwriter submission that has hit my box for the day. I’m sure your turn of lyric is fantastic, but what sets it apart from the other 299 I JUST HEARD…. nothing then skip on to the next one.” Nice. You can read her comment on the first sonicbids post.

So there you go. I really do think that sonicbids is trying to do right by everyone. I also think (speaking for myself here) that a lot of us don’t have time to go chasing up promoters when they don’t respond (she says writing a 2000 word blog). I was on tour 7 months out of last year, I barely had time to answer emails and quickly update my sites. I think that’s what I believed I was paying sonicbids to do. The responses that I received from promoters within sonicbids were little more than form letters. None of them had my name on them. If I had gotten a personal email from the promoter telling me they were keeping me on standby to consider me for future shows then none of this would have been an issue. In turn I would have known I could contact the promoter directly.

Moving on….Amy from Clatter (they’re amazing…go have a listen!) posted a very open and honest response in the original post:

ClatterAmy said:

That’s funny, I’ve been thinking a lot about SonicBids lately. We recently received an e-mail from them saying the status of one of our submissions had been updated. We were declined for something we submitted to in July…2003!!

We actually canceled our SonicBids account last year. After spending over $300 in submissions alone (talk about feeling embarrassed!) it finally dawned on us that it was nigh on impossible to be selected out of the gazillion bands who were submitting entries. Now, this isn’t necessarily the fault of SonicBids; it’s hard to vie for a slot in a large festival or conference no matter how you submit your material. But when we saw that random clubs, including one in our hometown, had listings where you could pay $5-10 to be considered for a show, that just seemed weird. That smacks more of pay-to-play, but what’s worse is there’s no guarantee you’ll even get a show.

What has been irking me this week is that there are a couple of opportunities we’d like to be considered for but the only submission path is through SonicBids. I’ve written to ask if there are other options but have gotten no response. I suppose festivals, clubs, tours, etc. get enough entries through SonicBids to keep them plenty busy so missing out on a few outsiders isn’t any big deal to them, but I find it frustrating.

Well, like everything else in the music business, this is fluid and before long another paradigm shift will push musicians and industry folk into a completely different mode of communication. But I still can’t help but feel a little duped.

Lou P. responded to this in under an hour…offering to look into Amy’s issues so I forwarded his email to her and I’m hoping he was able to help get her in touch with some people she’d been trying to chase up for festivals that seemed to only want you to go through sonicbids. She later posted another comment in response to Lou’s help.

ClatterAmy said..

Hey Lo,

Thanks for forwarding the message from the Sonicbids Artist Relations manager. For those who are following this thread, the Sonicbids folk do a good job of making sure any complaints or concerns do not go unanswered, including mine. Their diligence is commendable, and practically unheard of in the music industry (and the world at large, I’m afraid!).

We can’t wait to come back to the UK! We’ll count on you being there! :)

The last thing I have to talk about is the disappearing comments that Lou made on another site claiming that sonicbids were not being investigated by the FTC. He saw a mention of this on either mine or Steve’s twitter and emailed to say thanks for the heads up…that they were erased due to an overzealous spam filter. I’ve never known spam filters that target already approved and moderated comments, but I am only relaying what I have been told. The comments are now back along with an explanation.
Here’s details if you want to follow up on the sonicbids site as detailed in Lou’s email,

We’re working on a number new features that will fix most of the submission problems we’ve been hearing about. I recently announced one of the new features we’re building to improve the submission review process here:

http://lounge.sonicbids.com/200/

We’re also in the process of checking in with existing promoters to help resolve any open submissions that are overdue for a status update, like yours was. In your post, a good place to direct your readers where they can track our progress on implementing features that resolve existing issues is the new Builder’s Blog we put up (http://lounge.sonicbids.com/category/authors/builders-blog/). It’s one thing to express our good intentions. We know that delivering on them is all that matters. We’re investing a lot of time, energy and money in the service right now, and this is where the improvements will be announced on an ongoing basis.

I still have the same issues I had with sonicbids when I began posting about this but they are trying hard to fix the problems. They are listening folks, so if you have something to say please say it.


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American born Lobelia isn’t just your typical singer-songwriter. A multi-instrumentalist who worked as a studio musician for 10+ years, she has won multiple awards for her songwriting, has been featured in Billboard Magazine, and was one of the original Women of MP3.COM in the early days of the Internet. Now living in the UK after a 7 year stint in Montreal, she hosts several acclaimed songwriter nights at Tower of Song, Birmingham’s best small music venue. An advocate for sustainable touring, she travels the world performing at house concerts and small venues.