The Doughnut

Bandcamp vs. ReverbNation vs. SoundCloud: Part Two

on , modified 30 Aug, 2013

Bandcamp vs. ReverbNation vs. SoundCloud II

A week or so ago I was streaming an interview of a friends’ band and, while the podcast was very good band publicity, I couldn’t believe they were promoting their band website as “” – Even spelling out the words ‘reverb’ and ‘nation’ but not the actual address of their profile page. If you’re looking to promote your music online, please, for me, make sure to get the website address correct.

  1. Part One: Pros and Cons of Bandcamp
  2. Part Two: Pros and Cons of ReverbNation
  3. Part Three: Pros and Cons of SoundCloud

I digress – Now, back to our Bandcamp, ReverbNation and SoundCloud comparison. Don’t forget to check out our comparison part one: Bandcamp.

Advantages of ReverbNation

  • It’s free, but with a premium account you can also use the platform for digital distribution (i.e. getting your music onto Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody etc.)
  • Like Bandcamp, you can embed your profile into your Facebook, making it easier for fans to discover your tunes.
  • ReverbNation allows for the embedding of YouTube videos. Great for creating an audio-visual portfolio.
  • Receive a weekly email update with your plays for the week, acquired fans for the past 7 days and so on (naturally, you can opt out of this).
  • Fans, record labels, venues and promoters can also sign up to ReverbNation and be part of the action.
  • Fans, for instance, can create playlists of their favourite artists (that could be you) – and they also have a stats section. Venues can promote the shows their hosting.
  • On the digital distribution side, you can even send ReverbNation a physical disc and they can handle the entire process for you.
  • Annual fee aside, they do not take a cut for distribution, but, naturally the stores do (iTunes etc.)

Purple Valentino on ReverbNation

  • The modular profile design has some interesting widgets and features.
  • Use as little or as many of these as you wish (but don’t leave it too empty).
  • Profiles include an area for write ups, press clippings and other text.
  • The music doesn’t stop playing if the user navigates to another area of your profile (such as show listing or full bio).
  • Other tools include widgets to display external feeds, such as your recent tweets, blog posts and upcoming shows.
  • Great breakdown of stats about you, the artist, including number of Twitter followers, number of fans, song plays etc.
  • ReverbNation have their own charts and streaming stations which can mean extra exposure for you.
  • You can also use ReverbNation itself to find gigs, and drum up some offline promotion.
  • ReverbNation also allows you to “import fans” from other social networks (even if it sounds a little creepy).
  • Email newsletters via the ‘Fan reach’ system, even allowing custom HTML (up to 500 recipients free).
  • ‘Fan exclusives’ means you can provide exclusive content just for those on your fan list, or use them to entice signups.
  • The handy comment section means you can get feedback directly from fans and other artists – although this is public feedback, which means it could end up like YouTube comments.
  • Fans can also send you (or whoever is managing your ReverbNation Profile) direct messages and feedback.

Disadvantages of ReverbNation

  • The fee is annual ($34.95 per year) for digital distribution (getting your music into iTunes etc.). This isn’t a negative for this comparison series necessarily, but for the record; it’s not the cheapest option out there.
  • If you have tracks on your profile that you want to distribute you need to re-upload them – Once again, not a problem if you’re simply looking for a hosting of your music.
  • You have to choose a genre at signup, the horror! Okay, this can be changed later, but allow me to nitpick.
  • The profile pages are full of utilities, but I can’t, hand-on-heart, say they’re very pretty.
  • ReverbNation only accepts mp3s of up to 8MB for profiles, with no limit for the store.
  • The embedding widget is uglier than that of Bandcamp and SoundCloud, but it is easier to edit.
  • Because it operates along the lines of a social network there’s a fair amount of wall spam.

Read Bandcamp vs. ReverbNation vs. SoundCloud: Part Three

So, two parts of our comparison between the three music platforms are now online for you to assimilate into your music promotion campaign. Check out the SoundCloud part of the series later in the week, or sign up to our newsletter and to get these and other in-depth articles sent to you.

Purple Valentino ReverbNation

To make up for the Purple Valentino’s slip up in the interview, and put a sound to the profile used as an example above, take a listen to the band. Apparently they selected “Rock” as a genre when signing up. So if you like “Rock”, whatever that could mean, you might like Purple Valentino.

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  • Mik

    Just a note.  Reverb Nation’s limit of 8MB per song is for your page only.  If one is uploading to the Reverb Nation store there is no such limit.

    • Copasetix

      Ah, good to know.

      Thanks for the clarification. 

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  • Anne Packard

    what about the legal aspects and terms? we were looking at one distribution option that seems like we’re signing everything away…

    • Becka Knight

      Great tips. As always.

  • Pingback: The Doughnut Around BandCamp, Reverbnation and SoundCloud | Head Above Music()

  • Freedom

    Reverb Nation is the best of the 3 platforms for an artist looking to brand themselves. And do NOT underestimate the power of networking with artists-they are in the business of music because they mostly loved music FIRST. They saw others living from their art and wanted to do the same. So if artists are the ones who power the site then you are in the company of the most credible fans-because these people are your peers. #IJS #stayintune

    • MetalPunxRex

      Actually, it’s the worst. It’s a nice idea, but only artists would sign there – and why should I direct my followers to another site which looks ugly, can do everything a bit but nothing good just so they like me more? Also, they’re pretty expensive (takedown fee for digital distribution? NEVER DO THAT!) and there are a lot of complaints of people with payment problems etc.

      Also, I haven’t found a single fellow musician/band who is onr everbnation to network, but I get a lot of spam with advertising.

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  • Becka Knight

    Always a fan

  • RAN@#BNT

    i am an artist with no label, i’m looking for a provider who can give me many options : show my music, let me design my image, but most of all send music to digital distribution and help me spread my music by promoting it for spots, looking for concerts ext… does REVERBNATION premium gives me all of this or should i have to subscribe to ASCAP or something different? Pleeeease help me!!!