ReverbNation pays to artists

The music social network ReverbNation [1] added to their network a killer feature, which unfortunately they didn't advertise (maybe they don't grasp the importance of such feature?): what they call FairShare.

The simple version: FairShare lets bands earn money just by having an artist profile at ReverbNation.com.

The simple but more extended version: If you have a band profile in ReverbNation and click on a link saying "I want to activate FairShare", from that moment you'll get 50% of the ad revenue from the ads displayed on your profile. This means that how many more people you direct into your ReverbNation profile, the more money you'll earn. Just to give you an example, Merankorii's ReverbNation profile [2] isn't something I lead people into (like I don't do it to Merankorii's presence on MySpace or PureVolume), and I've earned $.88 regarding August. Artists can only get their FairShare 60 days after signing into this program, and if their balance scores more than $20 (against the $100 from AdSense). Revenue updates are made monthly, and as soon as you're eligible to widraw your earnings you can make the transaction with one click.

Why is this so great? Well, this could be, for instance, a great alternative for those bands in net-labels (or for net-labels themselves): not only you get free hosting and a social network that can lead more people into your music, but also you can earn money from your work. But, most importantly, this finally solves the issue about how to give artists money while fans keep getting the music for free [3].

[1] - http://www.reverbnation.com
[2] - http://www.reverbnation.com/merankorii
[3] - http://tinyurl.com/2788g5


  1. Raphaëlle Eva - french singer4:11 PM

    Thank you very much for this information, I subcridbed to the firshare program last month but I still don't know if Iearned money. You example is interseting but can you tell us roughtly how many widget hits, plays and visits you got that month ?
    I also think this is the solution to the problem of how to give artists money while fans keep getting the music for free. I really believe in it but it meens myspace end others will have to come to this one day, and they don't seem willing to.
    So we have to communicate about that. I'm really surprised I didn't hear about reverbnation for so long...
    The french site www.airtist.com also has a good system for free download financed fy advertising.


  2. Until now I've made $9.94 (regarding 10 months). This was made thanks to:
    * 5307 widget hits
    * 447 active placements
    * 2168 visits
    * 542 plays

    I hope that this numbers help you to figure out how much you'll be earning... I would guess that from this four indicators, the number of visits is the most important one as a revenue generator, to the point that I would roughly estimate that Reberbnation generates
    $.00458487 per visitor. You have 49 until now, so, if it was payday, you would get more or less $.22, I assume... When you get some money, please remember to leave a comment here and share your numbers, I am curious ;-)

    And now, going to listen to your music ;-)

  3. ok, thanks !
    Now I know how mutch I earned: 0.39 $ in 12 days. you where not far !
    it's not that bad as I'm not always doing better on itunes. it's very different each month (I sometimes sell a whole album, sometimes 1 title ...)
    But I think you should subscribe to www.airtist.com, they give you 0,12 € for each free download. That's my favorite.


  4. Hey, thanks for this I just found reverbnation through Facebook and man its a blessing I've been using soundclick all this time thinking it was the only thing out there lol. When I get some numbers in I'll post them here too.

  5. Hi - I'm artist Johnny Rei -I'm currently no. 5 on reverbnation - global - all genres. I was around top 10 in global all genres charts for whole April 2009. To my huge disappointment, my Fair Share for April was $5 (Five Dollars). I'm really, really disappointed. So if you are an artist who is working really hard for a whole month on promoting and if you think you gonna earn big money, forget it. Even if you are in Top Ten. I think this whole Fair Share is rather a big scam for naive people, who are going to use widgets and other promotional tools to increase traffic on their reverbnation profile - which is eventually not gonna pay off at all - you are making promotion for reverbnation basically for free. I think you would be better off promoting yourself without any reverbnation tools. Fair shair doesn't work with Band Equity, fair share doesn't work with number of visists on your profile...
    By the way - reverbnation admin deleted this post before. I was working really hard for 2 months to promote reverbnation. If nothing happens, I'm going to do the opposite for next two months.

    Well, let me tell you how this works:

    You (artist) set up a profile on Reverbnation. Every time you visit a profile,you are creating impressions for adverts, which are placed on most sites on Reverbnation. Companies, who placed the adverts are paying for impressions you create. Now imagine 300 000+ ReverbNation users running around every day. That must create a lot of daily or monthly impressions. This is the main income for reverbnation owners. Plus – some artists are also purchuasing products such as Mega Storage, Fan Reach Pro etc., for which you are paying monthly fees. So what is the advantage of being on reverbnation? Apart from interacting with other users, there is none. Even if you are in top 10 charts – global – all generes – your traffic stays basically the same, there is no potential managers on labels interested in any of the artists. You can create same widgets and players as Reverbnation offers and advertise on myspace by yourself everything would be the same. But in this case, you are earning money for ReverbNation company which proimises to share 50% their advertising revenue – which is a great motivation for artists to ’’run around’’ or promote ReverbNation by placing widgets and players. This eventually doesn’t happen – users are not discussing their earnings – when they recieve small amount of money, they think they’ve done little work comparing to others. Let me tell you the truth: No one earns more than 5-10 dollars a month. So when ReverbNation is saying: ’’Some of the artists will recieve very nice paycheck each month’’ maybe they are talking about themselves or artists like 50 cent – who are there just because ReverbNation paid them to be there.

    Two months ago I thought ReverbNation is great honest website and if I work hard -I will do really well. Turns out the owners are just another bunch of ’’Flippers’’ who earn quick buck from Unsigned Artist’s naivity.

    I’m not just another naive artist, who’s gonna walk away and that’s it. I’m demanding a refund for my 2 months of hard work. If Reverbnation is not going to respond in anyway, I’m going to work hard for next 2 months…

    1. Reverbnation is a Company employeed by unsiged artist coming up off the dreaming artist. You get so many promotional BullSh.. tools to bribe you into buying from there store. thats all reverbnation is... A store for artists to be numbered and persuaded

  6. Here are responses I've recieved via messages:

    Artist - Wes Davey

    Keep Yer Songs on here though, cuz Yer Music is GREAT!!!!
    Share them with the 'PEOPLE' Man!!!! :-)

    Artist - themightysmall

    Hello Johnny Rei,

    Thank you for posting up your honest opinion! I have to admit when I began using the reverbnation facility I kind of ignored the profit share part of it mainly because with the amount of people sharing a piece of the profits it was unlikely that much would materialise. I was more interested in the facilities they had set up for artists. I have realised in the last five years the huge increase of record industry minions and middlemen who are setting up business on their own has increased dramatically. The irony of this is that the huge corperations with all their wealth and power have realised the hugh sums of money they were wasting on insignificant middle men, and now these middlemen have begun to set up there own companies the only thing that has changed for them is who's paying their wages and guess what it's the artist again only this time its more direct, the promises are bigger and reality is that it is their hope, hard work and (in some cases) talent that props up this crumbling limb of an already dying system.
    Where does the answer lie?
    Well maybe it's about time musicians began to get a little more business aware.
    Even though the thought of something as wonderful as music being described as a business can be a turn off for any musician.

    Warm Regards

    Artist - Under Pressure Music

    Hey Johnny
    I read your blog...I gotta say that we tend to agree with you.
    There have been several situations with RN management that have arisen lately with us as well.
    With us, it was the cap on favorites was limited to 500, so every time we favorited 500 artists we would get a message saying we have hit the limit...-YET- When we went on other artists sites we would sometimes see as much as 750 artists that they had schmoozed...yet we were limited to 500??? I told them this and they said I must have been mistaken...then I replied to their email showing the actual examples and said they don't know how these guys got that amount(one guy has 1200+)..Now normally I wouldn't get too upset, but when these guys start overtaking you in the charts, then it becomes an issue of fairness.
    Since giving them the sites, they replied with 'we will set your limit at 750'...so this tells me that certain acts are given favours over others. Not exactly a fair way to play ball.
    As it is with the 'fair share', we had some months back when we started that we earned $52/35/28, and that was when we didn't have a whole lot of traffic ...now that we have a good fan base, its just the opposite. The last report we had about fairshare was something like $1.83..embarrasing considering the promo we do for them and the fact that we were #1 act in Canada for a considerable time (#5 today and #93 Global).

    Artist - Washington's Crossing

    I think you are right. I have been promoting my band for a few months here and I find very few active fans that use the site. I find more street team fans that are fake, and many other problems with top "artists" that have no right to be on top other that they paid to.

    peace, john

    Artist - cee knowledge and cosmic funk allstars

    yo thanks for sharing that info...you are da man...im with you homie...good luck with promoting your music and dont let these scammers deter you from your dreams...peace cee knowledge

    Artist - Katerina Stamatelos

    I know, my friend! I have noticed the "trap" myself!
    But: I am not expecting any "big checks" from reverbnation-just the fact that i meet new fans here is for me enough.
    Don't get discouraged: that's how all "business" people are!!!

    Take care and keep fighting!!!

    Label - Toxic Highway Recordings

    Yeah, that is certainly a gyp. I'd love to see how much the bands signed to major labels that are on here make...would you be willing to bet it's a lot more than $5?

    That being said, I guess I'm just glad I'm earning anything at all for doing something I enjoy doing. But then again, ten hours a day is quite a bit of time to waste to only get $5 in return, and I'd be pretty pissed, too.

    And no response from Reverbnation on that issue?

    Hmm...that does seem to be a little shadier than I thought, however. The least they could do would be to explain why, but attempting to shut you up on the subject certainly isn't right.

    Especially since that one guy in the forums supposedly made $10 in two months, roughly $5 a month, and he didn't make it sound like he was in the top 10 of anything...you may have a greater point than I originally expected.

    Artist - Modad

    I almost did it too. Thanks for lettin me know it's just like everywhere else.Again,,,,, thanks.

    Artist - Ben Green

    Yeah Im not a Huge artist on here but April I did the most traffic i ever had in the past year put together, yet my fairshare was the lowest...0.05......needless to say i was pissed, It's good to see I'm not the only one who notice somethings not right...

    Artist - JoeytheSaxMan

    Hey Mr. J

    Considering I got .23 cents and I'm first in Eastern Canada, you're not that bad, but I know what you're saying Dude. RN gets half of all revenues, then the rest is distributed among all the thousands of people promoting RN. Have a great day!
    Keep the Groove Alive!
    Ciao ... Joey

  7. Johnny Rei,

    I was disappointed to read your criticism of ReverbNation’s Fair Share program. It appears you misunderstand the nature of the fair share program in terms of what it is, how it works, and what you should expect from it. While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I would hope that you could be better informed before you editorialize in public. We have always worked on behalf of the artist, and it shows in almost every aspect of the site and decision we make.

    Under the program artists share advertising dollars where their content is instrumental in generating the revenue. It was initially designed as a response to Artists’ concerns about how they were being treated by sites like MySpace (driving fan traffic and generating ad $$$ for MySpace, but not receiving a cut of the money). It was never intended as a primary revenue source as the total pool of advertising dollars is too small to accomplish this.

    Viewing ourselves as more of a business partner to the Artists, in 2007 we launched the Fair Share program with a commitment to split 50% of the net ad revenue with those who enrolled in the program. We have been sharing that ad revenue ever since, and we can’t think of any other site that has been bold enough to follow our lead.

    Admittedly, the amounts per Artist ‘will not make you rich’ (as stated when you sign up). But those payments are essentially ‘free money’ for Artists who are going to be promoting themselves with our tools anyway. If you are going to use our email tool, music/video players, Facebook app, gig finder, digital press kits, digital distribution, etc, why not signup to get something back? It’s not all that different than a Discover Card or a Costco Membership that pays you back some cash at the end of the month or year.

    In your case, you actually earned the equivalent of $2.47CPM (per thousand impressions that you drove to your ReverbNation page, where we show ads) for the month of April. This is significantly higher than the average CPM. It should be noted that ReverbNation does not place ads on widgets, emails or application pages. We refrain from this in an effort to preserve the integrity of the artists’ content (we don’t think shoving an ad into your music player on your blog will enhance your efforts to become a successful musician). Additionally, we must be sensitive to where widgets are placed. If we were to place advertising into a widget on MySpace, we would be violating their terms of service.

    But, it’s important to note that Fair Share is not designed to replace making great music, gigging, selling merch and tickets, getting sponsored, etc as an income stream for a musicians. This isn’t a ‘get rich quick’ plan of any kind.

    Let’s take a look at the math to understand how Fair Share is calculated and distributed to the Artists:

    At the end of every month, we take 50% of the net ad revenue and create an ‘Artist Pie’ full of money. We use a proprietary formula (so people can’t cheat with automated bots, fake emails, etc) to determine how big a slice each Artist receives. So, each Artist will receive a monthly ‘slice’ based on:

    1. The overall size of the ‘Artist Pie’.
    2. The Artist’s portion, based on the formula.

    It’s very important to understand that the size of the pie varies greatly from month to month due to overall ReverbNation site impressions (growing over time), and the dollar value of each advertisement shown on the site (which is down significantly, due to the economy).

    It’s also important to understand that the portion any individual Artist receives depends on how many other Artists are enrolled in the program. If you have to divide a pie among many more people, each slice will be smaller. As you would expect, we sign up lots and lots of new Artists every day to the program.

    My final point it that the program is 100% voluntary. It is not a requirement in order to use our site or anything we offer. By the sounds of it, you might be happier opting out of it.

    Johnny, while I am happy (but somewhat confused) that you are still using our widgets on your MySpace page, I really wish that you would have contacted us prior to flaming a good program like Fair Share on blogs and to our user base. I have reached out repeatedly in an attempt to speak with you directly, but so far you have chosen not to have that conversation. That is your choice, but it is difficult to reconcile your actions when you write so strongly, but refuse to confront the problem directly.

    To anyone else that has questions about Fair Share, I’m happy to answer.

    -Jed Carlson
    Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer

  8. I have to take RN's side on this one. ReverbNation is letting you monetize what you couldn't without them (well, you have Last.fm with a similar program, but it pays even less - and then, you can always set up an account in both services, and get money from both). If you consider that this "free money" is too few, well, I agree. But it's better than nothing, and it's 50% of RN's ads revenue. You might argue that they should give artists more than 50%, and I would also agree. But they're giving 50%, and that's better than 0.

  9. Get him Jed! I'm loving me some RN!


  10. Artist - Copper Cell12:10 PM

    Well said Jed. I guess some things will never change. You give people an inch and they take a mile (or at least cry about not getting the mile).

    It seems that 90% of artists these days are only concerned with making money and inflating their egos. It's no wonder that decent music is hard to come by.

    I think it would be interesting if all these internet resources given to us independant musicians nowadays, were taken away from us. You could bet your fair share that 90% of independant amateur artists would fade off in search of other get rich quick schemes, preventing those who are in it purely for the love of music from being infected.

    If you sign up for the Fair Share Program, do it because it's there, because you can. But don't make it your reason for being on the site.

  11. And if it really gets to you that much... GO WRITE A FUCKING SONG ABOUT IT!

  12. I just started up with Reverbnation not too long ago www.reverbnation.com/barlowsaints and just recently, within the last two months signed up for the FairShare program because I felt it was a good idea.
    Obviously this is not something to make a living off of, and that was definitely not the point of signing up for it, but so far I've earned a total of $0.09 in two months for really doing not a whole lot of anything (anything difficult that is). I enjoy getting those emails saying you've earned money, not for the fact that the account balance is getting bigger, but more in that people are actually looking at my site and having a listen. That is what this is all about.

  13. Agreed. Not that I like the fact that you can only actually see the money until you reach 20 USD...

  14. Maybe you all should focus on making good music instead of making money.

  15. I agree, making good music should be the focus. Yet, you'll have to understand that making good music - specially the good music that an artist might have in mind - many times involves costs... As an artist, I seek to find sources of revenue to finance my work.

  16. Thanks to Mr. Jed Carlson for this straight forward reply.

    They are people that understand today's & tomorrow's music market and gives artists & managers all the necessary tools to promote themselves worldwide.

    REVERBNATION: Thank you to help GREAT ARTISTS TO SHARE THEIR MUSIC with the world!!