ReverbNation, the mother of all independent music marketing websites, has been expanding rapidly and responding to the changing music business head on since its creation in 2006.  At the time of its creation, MySpace had a leading role in the market.  Instead of confronting it with competition, ReverbNation was only inspired and grew upon it.  With MySpace being more listener oriented, ReverbNation decided to take a more proactive approach. Looking for a balance between fan usage and artist promotions, Michael Doernberg now CEO of, decided to instead involve all aspects of an artist’s development.  Thus, creating a focused music network which supports and connects not only the artist, but managers, labels, venues, and of course the fans.  With the main focus on the success of an artist, this is what separated them from the pack- and is the leading cause of their success. Home Page

In a panel at the MusicTech Summit conference in 2008, Doernberg explains his goal for artists through ReverbNation.

Focusing on the independent music industry, users are given a full course meal of services.  In each category there are free and premium options, premium starting with services beginning at $2.95.  However, do not be fooled because the free options are the recipes of success among artists, labels, managers, and venues on  Users are encouraged to take full advantage of what is provided on the site in order to jumpstart their careers and keep them rolling.  The fan base was created to satisfy the cravings of fans for new music and to be able to keep up with them throughout the plethora of social media outlets.

An artist’s needs are matched with email, merchandise sales info, statistics, and gig finders.  Widgets, the most useful and attractive characteristics of the site, are free and users are able to place them everywhere online.  Widgets are the simplest additions to any web page such as a show schedule or even a music player- making them the genius behind ReverbNation.  TuneWidget, deemed the “mother of all widgets” by the site itself, features a picture of the artist, band info, a music player with the artists’ songs, video, the show schedule with a map, and a mailing list sign up.  In order to get more of a “buzz” one would need to increase traffic to their site through the symbiotic relationships of Facebook, Twitter, and ReverbNation itself, among many others.  Promotional tools such as the Buzz Tracker track the content being “buzzed” about on certain sites, spotting the target markets which then give an artist a more driven and effective plan.

ReverbNation does it all, including opportunities to even earn money through the Reverb Store, digital distribution, and brand deals.  In an interview with The Music Void, Michael Doernberg talks about the partnership with INgrooves, and the digital distribution through RN with sites such as iTunes and Amazon.  With a flat fee of $35 a year, no percentage taken, and no additional fees except the occasional manual labor needed he explains this is the best distribution deal on the web.  Also, Doernberg speaks of the future not only of ReverbNation but of social networking and it’s role it will have and has had in the music industry. has given record labels and managers the assurance needed through the feedback they receive.  These independent labels are able to pick and choose how they want to execute their goals and then have the liberty to observe results whenever they want.

Bieler Bros Records claims “ReverbNation offers by far the best set of tools to really get a feel for how your online promotion is working… our labels feel like we’re just scratching the surface as to what we accomplish!”

This truly is the case for many independent labels and managers; the tools and services provided by ReverbNation are that proactive push needed.  The site shows labels how to track their artists and rosters through applications such as Fan360 and FanReach.  Digital press kits are one of the premium applications provided by the site as well, and in comparison to Sonicbids, it is more beneficial with more options and better service.

Reverb Press Kits vs. Sonicbids

By making a venue page on, the viral tools are vital.  The connections with fans is the focal point, ensuring that e-mail addresses are recorded at all times and street teams can be organized to spread the word of upcoming shows.  By using RN, venues are able to check out new talent and get an idea of which artist would be interested and should play at their venue.

Michael Doernberg looked at what the independent music industry needed and provided it with the services, making ReverbNation known as the “best indie music artist resource out now.” With the efficient growth of popularity and visibility among its users, its no wonder now caters to over 500,000 users nationally and internationally.  As a result, Reverbnation is a huge chain of symbiotic events, all caused and reflected by each other.  It is ultimately up to you, however, if you’d like to become a part of it.  After all,

“success is only limited to your creativity and it’s free… all you need to do is take advantage of it with ReverbNation.”

Written by: Liza Saturday

Music Tech Summit Video

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