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Steve Moore, B.A., J.D. Author Steve has been in the music business for over 30 years! He's worked as a professional musician, producer, and has been involved in almost every aspect of the music business. He's also the author of "The Truth about the Music Business"

Reverb Nation gets a C Minus at best!


Well – I’ll have to admit that this post may be just a TAD biased as I’ve had a rather BAD EXPERIENCE with REVERB NATION as of late – but I still see that they have a place in my TOOL BOX for getting my music out!  But beware they keep trying to “Sucker You In” to pay for stuff you may or may NOT NEED!

So here’s a short – not complete list of features that they offer:

  • You can set up a REVERB NATION ACCOUNT for a BAND or RECORD LABEL for FREE – this is a little different for CD BABY as I may have missed it – but CD BABY isn’t label Friendly – you may want to take a look at TOP SPIN for LABEL SERVICES!
  • You get a band PROFILE – and they’ve got some good “widgets” for placement on your website and other places.   In fact, their WIDGETS are quite good – easy to copy/paste the code etc and work in HTML, XHTML and PHP, etc.
  • They are the ONLY MUSIC SERVICE  “to my current knowledge” that have integrated with FaceBook so you can create a Landing Page for your FaceBook Fan Page with a pretty cool looking and customizable widget for FaceBook – (more to come on how FB Screwed that up!)
  • You can Sync your Account with My Space – and that means that ALL of your FANS show up on your REV NATION ACCOUNT – but there’s a slight conflict – as do you set up to BUY your music Via My Space or Reverb Nation – (I’ve never really cared – but more to come on HOW I suggest you work all of these services to your advantage – in another post!)
  • You can “pay for digital Distribution” which is pretty much the same as CD BABY – HOWEVER, they charge you every year for your CD or even a single release and the PRICE IS THE SAME – that’s a RIP-OFF!  (Again, more to come about the BAD PRACTICES at REV NATION!)
  • You can upload your music for FREE – but you only get 8 MB of FREE space and then they charge you like $29.99 for mega song storage and people can buy your songs direct from Reverb Nation but I don’t recommend it.
  • They have a “BAND EQUITY” service where they pay you a miniscule percentage for ADS that are on their site and/or your profile – but don’t expect to get rich – it’s like a penny per month and they have CAPS on the number of WIDGET PLAYS – so even if you’ve got widgets all over the place – they won’t let you make any more money – unless YOU work to PROMOTE THEM more-so than YOUR MUSIC!
  • Their site stats or analytics are NOT very helpful – and you have to use theirs – so at least you can get an IDEA of your listeners – but not nearly what you can get from Google Analytics.
  • You can promote your shows with WIDGETS – but that’s assuming that you have a LOT of fans per their FAN REACH – and of course they want you to get the PRO FAN REACH – just like most of their FREE stuff – it’s so limited that you almost have to PAY to get anything out of them and when you do – unless you’re just blowing up with FANS and people buying your songs – you won’t even reach an ROI for their costs!
  • They offer STREET TEAMS but then you have to hit up your friends or fans to help you do some legwork – and unless you’re under 25 and so are your friends, forget it – as most people have DAY JOBS and can’t mess with PROMOTING your band!
  • They have FAN REACH – but again, they want  you to PAY for the PRO package, widgets, auto responders, etc
  • They offer a website builder but I wouldn’t go there – I’ve never seen a DECENT LOOKING website done with this service – get a PRO like “ButterMilk Media” to do your website and social media marketing!
  • They offer the ability to “try to get gigs” but I haven’t tried it….you get a “digital press kit” but it’s a paid service and I doubt you’ll earn your money back – as I doubt people booking clubs even look at these!
  • There’s a few more things that they offer – but I can’t recommend them as getting an ROI on the money they make you pay is just not worth it!

So with all of this out of the way – let me share my NEGATIVE Experience that I’ve had with Reverb Nation.   I have a few band names that I’ve used over the years and have accounts with Reverb Nation for several bands including my label – High Cotton Records, but the main band is:

Steve Moore & the New South

But I also play under the band name:

The Cowboy Killers

This is just a band name that I use from time to time and been using it for 20 years or so – also the WEBSITE I did a LONG TIME ago – and I haven’t updated it due to Trademark Infringement issues – with SEVERAL OTHER BANDS that are using this band name – and there’s just NO WAY that ANY of these bands used that name first in commerce – but I digress –

However, it’s important to note that DUE to the TM infringement of ONE of the other bands that also have Digital Distribution one of my songs was listed on “Rhapsody” with this other band that was STUPID ENOUGH to use a picture of ELVIS for their Album Cover – that’s a violation of ELVIS’s Publicity Right and DEAD CELEBS have some serious power to protect their publicity rights.  Which could have caused ME some SERIOUS LIABILITY issues!



BE that as it may, I released ONE SONG “HOLD BACK THE NIGHT” from the Meridian Compilation CD  via REVERB NATION – and I DID read REVERB NATION’S Terms and Conditions – and they were supposed to NOTIFY by E-MAIL when my year was up – and BEFORE they Auto-Charged my credit card so I could have OPTED OUT.   Well they did NOT send me an e-mail – and I can prove it – as I have an AUTO-RESPONDER on that account so if I get ANYTHING from REVERB NATION in regards to having to PAY any more money – I not only SHOULD get the E-mail from Reverb Nation – but I would also get a NOTIFICATION that my Auto-Response FAILED – which I got NEITHER!  So I contacted Reverb Nation – and asked to TAKE DOWN that single as I wanted to release my entire RECORD or CD  by:

Steve Moore & the New SouthBand Site

“-True Meridian-“ My CD and Singles On Band Camp!

Well they explained that I would have to pay a $30 FEE to remove ONE SONG from Digital Distribution and PAY another $39 to release the Record!   They also charged me $29.00 for the “Mega-Song Storage” so I could host more than 8MB of songs on their service.  This really – well – I was pretty upset.  I explained that I was NOT NOTIFIED as per their terms and conditions – and they said that I was “IN FACT NOTIFIED” – when I asked them to PROVE IT – they couldn’t!  The customer service guy was rather smug to say the least and needless to say:

I’ll NEVER release a SINGLE or EVEN A CD for my label or any of my BANDS with REVERB NATION EVER AGAIN!

And I’m not too fond of the CAP they put on Widget hits – as I have them all over the place – so I fill up for the month in the first week – and the ONLY thing I can do about that is to PROMOTE – REVERB NATION’S widgets on other sites or get more people to JOIN my Reverb Nation fan page – which for the most part is only other BANDS – so to me it’s pretty much a scam!

I’m not saying to NOT use REVERB NATION – just do NOT give them ANY of your money – use all of their FREE SERVICES – take your CD (let’s say 10 – 12 songs) and create “samples or one minute and 20 or 30 Second Snippets of your songs” – and put them up on Reverb Nation without exceeding your 8 MB BANDWIDTH – do NOT let them talk you into upgrading anything – but still use their FREE WIDGETS for FACEBOOK – unless you want to use Involver or other services and create you own Static HTML custom pages or Tabs on Facebook – and just use their BASIC FREE STUFF – and go elsewhere to get Digital Distribution – if you’re a BAND, ARTIST, DUO, etc – go to CD BABY – if you’re a label – go with TOP SPIN MEDIA!

And definitely tie in your My Space Fans – with Reverb Nation- but you may want to check out Sean Fanning (Napster) and SNOCAP – assuming they are even still around – looks to me that they were hurting some time ago – they may be closed by now – but I don’t have the time to dig around and look!  Nor have I actually had the time to get on all FOUR of my “MY SPACE ACCOUNTS” and update the song lists- I’m getting quite a bit of plays – and for some reason – it’s mainly FEMALES between 38 and 44 years old – sounds like my STALKER TO ME! – But that’s a whole other story.   But I think I’ll just put up SAMPLES of my songs on MY SPACE as well Unless the BUY FUNCTION would pay out well – but I doubt it- and then redirect people to my WEBSITE and/or other Social Nets or Music Services where I get paid for STREAMS – or people can buy the CD’s or purchase my singles!

I realize that there are many fans that just want you to “GIVE YOUR MUSIC AWAY”  but they have NO CLUE how much time and money just recording a CD can cost – much less artwork, Bar Codes/SKUS, manufacturing, etc – and I don’t mind if they STREAM my songs from sites that pay a decent ROYALTY – via Sound Exchange – which I “HIGHLY RECOMMEND” – or from the actual service itself such as iTunes, Last FM, etc – I rarely buy songs as I can find pretty much all I want on YouTube OR I just fire up Pandora and set up a  station for that artist or Genre – and there are other ways of hearing the music you like without paying for it – but if it’s a band I truly want to support – I don’t mind paying for them!  And I for sure do NOT use Bit Torrent or any other P2P service to get songs for FREE!    I think it’s only fair that a band that puts out some good songs – that I want to hear WHEN I want to hear them – then I’ll buy them – same with my songs – if you like one or two songs – then buy them – or better still – go to my Band Camp site and just buy the whole CD’s as they are NOT that expensive and you get the WHOLE LISTENING experience of hearing a CD from beginning to end – but that’s up to the buyers – and I don’t have a problem with that – I don’t purport to be some great artist, singer, musician or even a great songwriter – but I do have some pretty GREAT FANS that do support my music and – for that – I’d Like to say


But getting back to REVERB NATION – it has it’s uses – just look elsewhere for PAID SERVICE as you’ll get a much better deal with CB BABY or TOP SPIN.

TOP SPIN is next – but I’m going to give it rest for today!  Top Spin is going to a pretty hard POST – as it’s great for bands, artists, duos and they figured out that offering LABEL SERVICES  for a fair price with a TON of features for Labels and/or Bands, artists, etc – But TOP SPIN is more for the SERIOUS people that are TRULY wanting to make the MOST out of their offerings!  But even still – a Label or BAND, etc – Should use the RIGHT MIX of ALL of these music services – just DO NOT GIVE ANY MONEY to REVERB NATION and maybe they’ll feel the PINCH – or they’ll continue to engage in ILLEGAL TRADE PRACTICES and RIP YOU OFF by NOT giving you a chance to OPT OUT after your YEAR IS UP!   They won’t get ANY MORE OF MY MONEY!  But I’m still going to USE THEM – and their server space, widgets, etc – but see how long they LAST when FB does a deal with another company and people refuse to pay for the PREMIUM SERVICES!

They don’t deserve it!

If you want to sign up with them ONLY USE THE FREE STUFF – and GO ELSEWHERE – as Reverb Nation is more about promoting their own BRAND and company rather than the ARTISTS, BANDS, or Labels that actually PAY for their services!

TOO BAD REVERB NATION – had you resolved my issues in a fair and reasonable manner – and NOT been so smug about RIPPING ME OFF – for $70 or so – I would probably have written a better review – but as it stands – you guys get a C – (minus) at BEST!

All the best, as always….

Steve Moore, B.A., J.D.

Author of “The Truth about the Music Business”

President and CEO at Music Square One

High Cotton Records™

(Click on any link above to visit that site or social network!)

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