An online electronic press kit (EPK) is probably the most popular promotional tool for music artists. Online music communities like Myspace, ReverbNation, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud are all examples of sites you can use to create an electronic press kit for your band or musical project.
The point of an EPK is to be able to submit your music to major label professionals virally. A&Rs can hear your music at their desk with minimal thought or action. EPKs give you a real shot at getting your music considered for a major label record deal.
MATERIALS NEEDED FOR AN ELECTRONIC PRESS KIT:
- Your latest music tracks (WAV or MP3s)
- Up to date photos
- A Band/musician bio
- Contact information (band/management/booking agency)
- Shows/tour schedule
As an A&R, I would advise every band to have a music Myspace profile that is maintained and up to date. Myspace is usually the first site featured on Google search engine (even before a band’s .com website). Myspace is really the first online electronic press kit tool, so even veteran A&Rs will be familiar with how to navigate the profiles easily.
It’s really important that you have your band name at the end of your myspace address (http://www.myspace.com/yourbandname). Keep your myspace simple and clean when it comes to the layout. No one wants to deal with flashy backgrounds and pretentious mile long bios. It doesn’t take a lot to keep your myspace updated and it’s free to use. Don’t worry about bugging people to go see your myspace so you can obtain hits on your counter, worry about the quality of the press kit.
Here are two good examples of music myspace profiles from indie and major label artists:
http://www.myspace.com/jordannahelizabethmusic – Indie Artist
http://www.myspace.com/kingsofleon – Major Label Artist
Have your show dates and latest songs placed on your profile where they can be accessed quickly. Try not to have too many widgets on the page. The initial goals of an A&R are to hear your music and then see you perform live. That’s it. Don’t over think it, because we don’t.
My big issue with bandcamp.com is that you can only upload WAV music files to a bandcamp profile. WAV or AIFF files are uncompressed versions of your music tracks. They do sound better than mp3s, but they are larger files, harder to obtain from an engineer, and take a long time to upload.
Bandcamp has a simple and clean layout, but it’s not very easy to set up. And to get your tour calendar to show up on your bandcamp page, you have to use a completely different site called http://www.songkick.com, which is annoying to use and set up as well. Also, you cannot put more than your album cover up as a photo and there’s no place for a bio or your location.
Bandcamp is very popular, but after you set it up once, you probably won’t want to bother with it again. I write this from experience because I’ve used this site for my own music. Nonetheless, Bandcamp.com profiles have a very attractive layout.
http://cavedays.bandcamp.com – Indie Artist
http://thewarlocks.bandcamp.com – (The Warlocks used to be on a major label in the late 90’s but bandcamp doesn’t really cater to major label artists.)
Soundcloud.com is a strange music networking site from Berlin, DE. I personally enjoy soundcloud more than bandcamp from a user’s point of view but NEVER send your soundcloud profile to an A&R. It features a strange, geek friendly layout that is very unattractive. You can share info about you’re your members and musical influences, but this information is pretty much irrelevant without clear photos of your band/yourself or a traditional bio. The site is a tool to get people to just listen to your music. You don’t learn anything about a band by checking out a soundcloud music profile.
It’s great website to share with friends, but it not a useful or professional looking online press kit. It’s too minimal. Here’s an example:
http://soundcloud.com/generallee – Indie Artist
(There will never be a major label artist on Soundcloud.com)
ReverbNation.com is the exact opposite of Soundcloud.com. There are too many bells and whistles. I personally don’t like artists submitting their reverbnation profiles to me. They turn me off. There isn’t anything wrong with submitting a reverbnation profile but they feature a lot of irrelevant information. No one cares where your site ranks pertaining to all the sites on reverbnation, and there is no need for a radio station, banners, and widgets to be featured on a viewable music profile. It all drives me nuts.
There is just so much going on. Look for yourself:
http://www.reverbnation.com/vasudeva – Indie Artist
(Again, no major label musicians use Reverbnation.com)
I would consider Myspace.com to be the only “professional” (and free) electronic press kit on the market. Bandcamp.com, Soundcloud.com, and ReverbNation.com are great, but they all have bits and pieces of the features that myspace has, or they lack character or user friendliness.
Keep it simple when it comes to sharing your music, but don’t forget to share information that will help the music industry hear you, see you, and get in contact with you easily.
*All featured links are active pages that promote artists who are totally rad. Please check them out further and enjoy their music!