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Great Online Resources For Every Musician
One Stop Shop:
ReverbNation vs. SonicBids
Both offer pretty much the same things; a profile, links to all of your sites, a show calendar, gig finder, press kit and more. Reverbnation is more comprehensive. The press kit that reverbnation offers alone is more detailed then sonicbids. One other thing worth noting is that with each site's gig finder you may find some of the same results.
Reverbnation is free to have, but some of it's services are at a fee. Recently, they have created a packages for a bundle of some of it's premium services.
Sonic bids offers a free trial, but there is a small membership fee afterwards. The good thing is this membership will include some of the things that reverbnation may change as a separate service for; however, these things will be basic. Also worth noting is that the sonicbids gig finder goes by a "token" system so when you run out, there is no more applying to those gigs.
YouTube vs. Vimeo
Youtube is currently the second largest search engine making it the most popular video platform. Although Youtube is ok, Vimeo is more aesthetically appealing to me.
More importantly for any musician is Youtube's adaptability of use with other applications and site's. Most places will accept both video platforms, but a few still only accept Youtube as a video uploading platform.
SoundCloud vs. BandCamp vs. CD Baby
Soundcloud and BandCamp offer the same basics of streaming and downloading options. The two are just aesthetically different.
Listeners can add comments or likes at certain parts of a song on SoundCloud. It is more listener interactive like a social network. Bandcamp is great for music enthusiasts who want a choice of how to download music. there are various file types that audio can be downloaded in with BandCamp.
CD Baby is great for physical audio like CD's.
Gigmaven vs. ReverbNation vs. SonicBids
Gigmaven is great for getting booked without having any subscription. You can look up venues, have them glance your profile, video, and any links you submit. Then you can discuss, make an offer or counter offer and more.
What's your preference? Youtube or Vimeo?
What is also nice that other sites do not offer is a widget which allows anyone to send you a message to book you. You can have the widget on your website and a fan will have the ability to book you for a house party.
ReverbNation and Sonicbids are great for looking up gigs and submitting press kits for consideration.
Zazzle vs. BandsOnABudget vs. CD Baby
They all offer a wide variety of printing services for considerably low prices. All are pretty good with quick delivery.
Amazon and MusiciansFriend
Amazon is great for finding anything new or used.
Musicians Friend always has pretty good deals on equipment from microphones to drum kits. Plus they usually have offers from their partner sites on the side of their website as well.
These things are great tools, but there are some even more basic items you will need both on and offline to help you reach and maintain success and to make money.
Since this article was first publish my much liked and completely free GigMaven was purchased by ReverbNation. While they have adapted some of their services, others may never be implemented while others will not be free such as contacting a venue or festival for free.
Of course it would be great if this feature were free, who doesn't like free stuff? It is worth paying for on reverbnation if for nothing else then the simple fact that you are also paying for an Electronic Press Kit.
In the meantime, I am keeping my eyes open for other similar sites to compare and contrast.