Hi Bill, Tess here - I'm the Community Manager at Sonicbids. Wanted to post a note here for you and address a couple of your concerns.
Your comments on the venues/submission fees are ones we?ve heard before ? so we?ve taken a lot of the feedback we?ve gotten and we are actually getting rid of submission fees for most of the venues and more accessible promoters you mention. The $2-10 fees you see for gigs like that were instituted as filters originally to prevent spam, but now we're shifting gears and turning them to No Cost listings and are currently in the works of developing the right kind of filters for these. As we do this, we already have over 150 No Cost Listings on Sonicbids. You can read some comments from Panos (our CEO/founder) on his blog about this initiative: http://panosbrew.sonicbids.com/no-cost-gig-listings/
Also, sorry if you felt blindsided by your recent membership charge. Our membership plans are just like a gym membership where you set it up and it auto-renews you when your period is up. If you want, I can take care of that for you. Just send me an email. (tess at sonicbids dot com)
Thanks ? hope this helps! Tess
Nice note. Still, you pay a membership, submit to a gig that only pays in tips, and you could just call them on the phone. For that matter why even go through the trouble of a free gig unless you think you can sell some product and make some tips. And, you can call some of those places on the phone yourself. It just doesn't seem like the kind of gig that most folks need help getting.
I find it interesting the way she compares the auto renewal to a gym membership. Health clubs are notorious for their automatic renewal of fees and make it very difficult to cancel at times. Their main interest is signing new members, just like Taxi and Sonicbids.
Additionally Sonicbids claims to have Nashville connections but in reality music submitted to Nashville publishers is never done in person. It goes into a drop box and then into the trash. Same thing for Taxi. Nashville publishers really have no interest in checking out outside submissions. They have writers on staff that they pay to write songs, usually on a draw. The only way they get this money back is if they get cuts on songs those writers.
I'm not saying either service is a scam or anything of the sort but I have plenty of musician friends with simlar stories and who eventually dropped memberships.
A couple things bother me about Sonicbids.The membership renewal without prior notification is the main reason I dropped them. I realize there is the "fine print on the contract" and so on but the first notice I had of renewal was on my credit card statement and I did not appreciate feeling like the fee was "sneaked past me."
Secondly, many of the venues you have to pay to submit to are a total waste of time. I have played many of the places listed and it was easy to book dates there with a phone call. Paying to submit to a place that does not pay anything makes no sense to me. Who makes money on these listings? The venue and Sonic Bids.
Might be too strong to call it a scam. . . might not. It is obvious that there is a bigger advantage to Sonicbids and many of the venues than there is for a musician or performer.
In some ways this is similar to Taxi, whose main goal is to sign up members, not to do the thing they sell. If you talk to publishers in Nashville about Taxi, they will tell you they have writers on staff and thousands of the worlds best writers at their fingertips. Why would they spend time going through Taxi submissions?