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Is Sonic Bids a Scam?
Old 12th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Is Sonic Bids a Scam?

I joined Sonic Bids because I got a free 1 year membership.
First I am wondering about i f anyone had good experiences.
I get about 3 emails a day from them.
I submitted for a song for an major airline music show.
The song had few thousand hits on Youtube and got a bunch of airplay.
But they took my $20 and I never heard anything about it not even a rejection email.
I just did it to see what became of it - I don't care about the 20 bucks - It just seems that it (SonicBids) is scam. Plus they even what money form bands to post a video on the bands EPK. Sorry but there a million places for band to post videos on the internet for free.
Does anyone have positive experiences with Sonic Bids?
Old 12th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
jeremy.c.'s Avatar
We got some gigs from it. Gigs that paid fairly well and provided food and treated us well. It was the guitarist that dealt with it though, so I'm not sure quite how it all operated. Generally speaking I don't think they provide many opportunities you couldn't create for yourself (as you mentioned). I have always maintained that if you desire to make money in the music industry then you should provide a service to musicians, not be a musician yourself.
Old 29th July 2011
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
The truth about sonicbids

From learning that festival rosters are frequently completed prior to submissions being closed, to reading of several cases in which artists' submission statuses have been changed to "not selected" for given opportunities despite no evidence of changes in their views or audio streams...

In 2009, Sonicbids shared $3 million earned from submission fees with music promoters. As per Sonicbids' "Promoter Terms of Service," in order to list a gig opportunity, one is required to pay a one time set-up fee of $50, agree to "accept/review" electronic press kit submissions (EPKs), "promote" his/her gig listing, and provide Sonicbids with a copy of their venue contract/licensing agreement to ensure the legitimacy of their event. Further, promoters who host CD comp opportunities are required to provide a copy of the comp once it is released, licensors must notify Sonicbids of songs placements, and those hosting prize pack giveaways are to confirm their goods were distributed to their winners.

Promoters are able to easily recoup the aforementioned one-time charge by having NO restrictions placed on them in terms of what they wish to charge interested artists. While there is an increasing move toward providing more "Musicians' Friend No-Cost Listings," in my experience, eligibility for these free submissions is often restricted to US residents, and the average going rate for submissions to major events (the ones that artists more than likely created their accounts in order to have access to) is between $10 and $50.

In terms of payment, Sonicbids processes all submission fees (and covers additional expenses created by the use of their technology), and takes a varying percentage of each fee, before paying out its promoters. Promoters can also earn additional funds via "The Sonicbids Affiliate Program" by driving traffic to the site, thereby potentially increasing artist signups.

Okay, okay, so all of this sounds well and good, and fairly correct policy-wise? Wrong! Here's where all of you need to pay attention. There is NO requirement on the part of promoters to provide Sonicbids with proof of a formal business license, references regarding their business history, or membership in an accredited business association like the Better Business Bureau. Moreover, you do not even have to have any past experience successfully working in the music industry – literally anyone can sign up. So long as you pay your fee and "appear" to abide by the terms of service (easily accomplished if you select a single Sonicbids artist per gig and provide them with a somewhat decent experience), you're good to go, as they say.


READ MORE HERE:
Fanshawe Student Union > Interrobang
Old 29th July 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Interesting first post.

Care to share a more personal account of your relationship with Sonicbids?
Old 30th July 2011 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
T_R_S's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Sonic what?
membership expired.
After a year I felt I was overcharged for my free membership.
little things like having to pay to post a video.
Old 2nd August 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
From Sonicbids

Hi guys, Tess here. I’m the Sonicbids community manager. Just wanted to jump in and offer a few insights.

As rockrgrl explained, there are two types of gig opportunities on Sonicbids 1) Premium Gig Listings which carry submission fees and 2) Musician’s Friend Token Gig Listings which do not.

Our Premium Gig Listings generally include large festivals (SXSW, CMJ) and songwriting contests (ISC, John Lennon Songwriting Contest). The submission fee attached to these gigs is a processing fee (similar when you apply to college). In most cases, these fees existed before Sonicbids was even in business. For us, these fees have provided a kind of "quality control" for our promoters, ensuring that they don’t get inundated with submissions from bands that aren’t really serious about playing their gig. Often times, this money is reinvested in the community – helping fund an event, pay for a band’s travel or pay for their gig. Most Premium Gig Listings guarantee a review by the promoter. The few times that’s not the case, we clearly note that on the gig listing to make it transparent to our members.

We introduced Musician's Friend Token Gig Listings as way to allow our members to experiment with applying to more gigs on Sonicbids without incurring a submissions fee. This was in direct response to member feedback we got on members wanting to apply to more gigs but not wanting to go broke doing it. Again, the Musician's Friend Tokens provide a bit of a filter for promoters. You get 10 Tokens per month on our basic membership and 25 on our premium Supersonic membership – so members still actively select how they'll "spend" their Tokens each month. With these listings, we can’t guarantee a review by the promoter but we try to actively engage each of these promoters to ensure they’re reviewing submissions and selecting bands.

All gigs listing on Sonicbids (both Premium Gig Listings and our Musician’s Friend Gig Listings) have been vetted by our team. No gig goes live on our site without our team reviewing it first to ensure it’s legit. With 10 years of quality control practices under our belt, we’re pretty careful about this. For example, in cases where a promoter doesn’t select a band, we don’t re-launch their listing in the future. You can also check out the member reviews on our gig listings to hear it straight from your peers.

Of course, we don't get it right every time but we invest a ton in trying to make sure our network is adding value on both sides of the equation. If something falls to the cracks, we take all the steps necessary to make things right.

And yes, we’re very serious about what we do here, but also very friendly! So, if you have any questions, I’m more than happy to chat further. My email is [email protected] Thanks for reading.
Old 5th August 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
jordanvoth's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I've had some very good experiences with Sonicbids, I was a finalist for ISC in 07 (under 18 category), I've had many songs placed in video games, indie films, CD compilations etc. I NEVER had any luck with getting gigs through it though. You're garanteed a certain amount of placements on the site if I recall correctly and for a month or two the only ones I submitted to were festivals, nada. Don't know why, had plenty of luck with everything else.
Old 6th August 2011 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Addict
 
a zombie's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Why should artists have to pay to apply to be booked for a show?

I applied for a gig with sonicbids, and then shortly after sent an email to the booker of the show, who promptly replied that it was all booked, yet they were still accepting sonicbids applications? I think it's BS.
Old 6th August 2011 | Show parent
  #9
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by a zombie ➡️
Why should artists have to pay to apply to be booked for a show?

I applied for a gig with sonicbids, and then shortly after sent an email to the booker of the show, who promptly replied that it was all booked, yet they were still accepting sonicbids applications? I think it's BS.
Film festivals have been operating this way for years. I'm surprised that it's taken the music industry this long to catch on to this business model.

Basically, with any given festival, top films will be invited (given a 'waiver') - everyone else has to 'pay to play' by way of entry fee and then there's no guarantee you're even going to get in, of course. If you apply late it's likely the festival is probably nearly fully programmed anyway but they'll happily take your money.

If you have any doubts as to the size of this industry check out http://www.withoutabox.com ... it's a money-spinner for sure.
Old 6th August 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitecat ➡️
Film festivals have been operating this way for years. I'm surprised that it's taken the music industry this long to catch on to this business model.

Basically, with any given festival, top films will be invited (given a 'waiver') - everyone else has to 'pay to play' by way of entry fee and then there's no guarantee you're even going to get in, of course. If you apply late it's likely the festival is probably nearly fully programmed anyway but they'll happily take your money.

If you have any doubts as to the size of this industry check out http://www.withoutabox.com ... it's a money-spinner for sure.
So, in other words, if you don't expect to get scammed whenever you work in this industry in any fashion, your eyes and ears are closed.

Got it.
Old 6th August 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S ➡️
I joined Sonic Bids because I got a free 1 year membership.
First I am wondering about i f anyone had good experiences.
I get about 3 emails a day from them.
I submitted for a song for an major airline music show.
The song had few thousand hits on Youtube and got a bunch of airplay.
But they took my $20 and I never heard anything about it not even a rejection email.
I just did it to see what became of it - I don't care about the 20 bucks - It just seems that it (SonicBids) is scam. Plus they even what money form bands to post a video on the bands EPK. Sorry but there a million places for band to post videos on the internet for free.
Does anyone have positive experiences with Sonic Bids?
careful.

scam is slang for fraud.
that is a serious accusation.

is sonic bids a good deal for you ?
probably not.

is soncic bids a fraud?
i doubt it.

are they effective?
see the claims on their site.
are they true?
what is their batting average?

you should not defame anyone without proof.
Cause uyo failed to succeed with them does not make *them* the bad guy here.
Old 6th August 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by a zombie ➡️
Why should artists have to pay to apply to be booked for a show?

I applied for a gig with sonicbids, and then shortly after sent an email to the booker of the show, who promptly replied that it was all booked, yet they were still accepting sonicbids applications? I think it's BS.
you gotta pay someone.
salesman, agent, manager, producer, or spend your own time.

gigs aren't coming to you. are they ??
can you book them yourself? can you ??????

sonic bids is one way for you to meet.
is it right for you ? apparently not.
does it work for others? apparently it did.

the producer may have reserved slots for sonic bids folks.
maybe it just filled and sonic bids was late being notified.
just cause you dont like something does not make it a scam.
i know you think you should be hotter than bieber and gaga
but the world does not know that factoid yet.
Old 19th August 2011
  #13
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
well it IS a scam. it might be less for others, but it still is an afwul way to earn money from (poor) musicians. There's always people telling musicians that " that's the way it works nowadays ", but there should be a stop to that. I know, for example, from experience, Sonicbids is just an easy way to earn money for major festivals. We've applied many times, because they want you to do, some even admit this. Contact festivals or venues yourself, get ideas from Sonicbids whom to contact, but don't wait for Sonicbids answer. CMJ, SXSW and more are examples of which we weren't selected at first. Then some guy from our management contacted them, then, all of a sudden, we were selected. Festivals know whom to book, they don't just pick them from Sonicbids.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
sure tess, what about, for example:

Gig Listing: Underground Music Spot
Category: Internet/Gaming
Reserved Slots: 10

10 reserved slots? the guy did send an acceptance to everyone on his list... later it changed to "maybe". good way to get his company known among many artists and bands, right?

EVERYBODY should know big festivals just use Sonicbids to cash in, with thousands of bands in the world it's not that hard to pick 1800 bands to play SXSW. You can always say these bands applied via Sonicbids, because they did. The festival wants them to apply via Sonicbids. You present Sonicbids as a way to GET gigs. Like 328.000 gigs are booked, assuming Sonicbids connected these artists to promoters/bookers, but truth is, all our gigs booked are done from our own personal contact with festivals. Artist should use the sonicbids website to find out where they want to play and contact these festivals themselves.

Some festivals only have one spot, you really think they can't come up with a good band themselves and need Sonicbids for that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonicbidsTess ➡️
Hi guys, Tess here. I’m the Sonicbids community manager. Just wanted to jump in and offer a few insights.

As rockrgrl explained, there are two types of gig opportunities on Sonicbids 1) Premium Gig Listings which carry submission fees and 2) Musician’s Friend Token Gig Listings which do not.

Our Premium Gig Listings generally include large festivals (SXSW, CMJ) and songwriting contests (ISC, John Lennon Songwriting Contest). The submission fee attached to these gigs is a processing fee (similar when you apply to college). In most cases, these fees existed before Sonicbids was even in business. For us, these fees have provided a kind of "quality control" for our promoters, ensuring that they don’t get inundated with submissions from bands that aren’t really serious about playing their gig. Often times, this money is reinvested in the community – helping fund an event, pay for a band’s travel or pay for their gig. Most Premium Gig Listings guarantee a review by the promoter. The few times that’s not the case, we clearly note that on the gig listing to make it transparent to our members.

We introduced Musician's Friend Token Gig Listings as way to allow our members to experiment with applying to more gigs on Sonicbids without incurring a submissions fee. This was in direct response to member feedback we got on members wanting to apply to more gigs but not wanting to go broke doing it. Again, the Musician's Friend Tokens provide a bit of a filter for promoters. You get 10 Tokens per month on our basic membership and 25 on our premium Supersonic membership – so members still actively select how they'll "spend" their Tokens each month. With these listings, we can’t guarantee a review by the promoter but we try to actively engage each of these promoters to ensure they’re reviewing submissions and selecting bands.

All gigs listing on Sonicbids (both Premium Gig Listings and our Musician’s Friend Gig Listings) have been vetted by our team. No gig goes live on our site without our team reviewing it first to ensure it’s legit. With 10 years of quality control practices under our belt, we’re pretty careful about this. For example, in cases where a promoter doesn’t select a band, we don’t re-launch their listing in the future. You can also check out the member reviews on our gig listings to hear it straight from your peers.

Of course, we don't get it right every time but we invest a ton in trying to make sure our network is adding value on both sides of the equation. If something falls to the cracks, we take all the steps necessary to make things right.

And yes, we’re very serious about what we do here, but also very friendly! So, if you have any questions, I’m more than happy to chat further. My email is [email protected] Thanks for reading.
Old 19th August 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
True, I personally know the organizers from a festival in Asia, they've set up this sonicbids thing, a lot of people applied to play the festival/win the tour/etc/, from the beginning on the organisation knew which band to select. With hundreds of bands joining the competition you could even give the band a free car from the money you are making. Musicians are stupid!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockrgrl ➡️
From learning that festival rosters are frequently completed prior to submissions being closed, to reading of several cases in which artists' submission statuses have been changed to "not selected" for given opportunities despite no evidence of changes in their views or audio streams...

In 2009, Sonicbids shared $3 million earned from submission fees with music promoters. As per Sonicbids' "Promoter Terms of Service," in order to list a gig opportunity, one is required to pay a one time set-up fee of $50, agree to "accept/review" electronic press kit submissions (EPKs), "promote" his/her gig listing, and provide Sonicbids with a copy of their venue contract/licensing agreement to ensure the legitimacy of their event. Further, promoters who host CD comp opportunities are required to provide a copy of the comp once it is released, licensors must notify Sonicbids of songs placements, and those hosting prize pack giveaways are to confirm their goods were distributed to their winners.

Promoters are able to easily recoup the aforementioned one-time charge by having NO restrictions placed on them in terms of what they wish to charge interested artists. While there is an increasing move toward providing more "Musicians' Friend No-Cost Listings," in my experience, eligibility for these free submissions is often restricted to US residents, and the average going rate for submissions to major events (the ones that artists more than likely created their accounts in order to have access to) is between $10 and $50.

In terms of payment, Sonicbids processes all submission fees (and covers additional expenses created by the use of their technology), and takes a varying percentage of each fee, before paying out its promoters. Promoters can also earn additional funds via "The Sonicbids Affiliate Program" by driving traffic to the site, thereby potentially increasing artist signups.

Okay, okay, so all of this sounds well and good, and fairly correct policy-wise? Wrong! Here's where all of you need to pay attention. There is NO requirement on the part of promoters to provide Sonicbids with proof of a formal business license, references regarding their business history, or membership in an accredited business association like the Better Business Bureau. Moreover, you do not even have to have any past experience successfully working in the music industry – literally anyone can sign up. So long as you pay your fee and "appear" to abide by the terms of service (easily accomplished if you select a single Sonicbids artist per gig and provide them with a somewhat decent experience), you're good to go, as they say.


READ MORE HERE:
Fanshawe Student Union > Interrobang
Old 16th March 2014
  #16
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
DON"T USE SONICBIDS!!!

They used to be legit but as of Fall of 2013 they decided to pull a new site over our heads without any beta testing. It was a huge fail and basically nothing works. The worst part is that they absolutely REFUSE to admit to the severity of the problems, continuing to act like it will always be "fixed by Friday." I've heard that line every single week for 13 weeks in a row now. And despite my plea they will not refund my money, and to boot I'm currently LOCKED OUT OF MY ACCOUNT for the third time since I subscribed.

I know I know, it's bad. But it gets worse..

They finally sent me an email this week touting that they had fixed my login problem so I could sign in to their useless site... with SOMEONE ELSE'S USERNAME!

If you need an EPK service for your band, do yourself a favor and go use: Music Promotion & Music Video Promotion from Artistecard Their service is clean, ethical and above all FREE! They don't have the opportunities to submit to like sonicbids but hey.. neither does sonic bids!

Hope this helps,

Dan
Old 16th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Desire Inspires's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I would not mind spending $1,000 for a service on an annual basis if I could earn a minimum of $10,000 a year. Paying to play is not a bad thing if it truly provides an incentive.

Most of the times when I tried to do things for free or for cheap, I got little to no results. As soon as I risked some money and studied exactly what I was paying for, things improved for me. Paying for services to make more money works more often than it doesn't .
Old 28th June 2015
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Not a fraud but a complete waste of money and time for me. Most of the places you submit to, sonicbid charges a fee, you could submit directly to the company for free. The companies do reserve spots for sonicbid artist but it's very small and 80% of the time it's for non compensation slots or free food or keep 100% of merch. sales. Which is a joke in my opinion. I don't know why legitimate business owners think of musicians as panhandlers. If you want entertainment then pay for it or get freaking Pandora,,,,anyways back on track.

The publication/contest submissions are close to being a fraud. Almost 99% of those are free to submit if you go directly to their site,,ie,, John Lennon Contest. On Sonicbid they are part of the premier whatever and you have to pay a fee.

Lastly,,, I joined mainly for the EPK. I'm also a part of the electronic music circle so I know a lot of the promoters but I just wanted to send them one item that includes all of my information instead of a links to all the different social sites. Well I found out that most of those promoters have Sonicbid blocked in their contacts. That's right,,, blocked and I'm talking big time electronic music festival promoters. They would not tell me why which makes me even more suspicious.

Because of all of that I cancelled my membership and started doing things on my own. I found that once you get in with one festival, then it's easy to get the rest. Send a genuine thank you email to the promoters who booked you and remind them that you are available for more of their events. Also promoters know other promoters so they pass your name on to others. Stop playing for free. If you going to play for free, promote your on event. find a small place that would love to get your number of fans and negotiate playing there. If that turns out that you are playing for free or you have to pay $100 bucks to rent the place, it's WAY more beneficial then playing for free for some promoter that isn't going to spend on dime on promoting you and using you to fill in time slots.
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