UPDATE 10/13/15: Read how ReverbNation’s Curation Technology is changing how major festivals and brands approach booking and talent buying: http://t.co/VzLuf3ui57 (c/o Hypebot)

Why has ReverbNation developed a Curation capability?

The Internet allows Artists to connect directly with their fans. Since 2006, ReverbNation has provided a powerful set of tools that allow Artists to cultivate these all-important fan relationships, and manage their careers online. However, to honour our mission of delivering career growth to our Artists, we’ve always understood that we need to provide more than just this critical toolkit. We also need to offer access to opportunities in the music industry.

What types of opportunities does ReverbNation offer its Artists?

In the last year alone we’ve connected thousands of Artists to many industry opportunities including appearances at major music festivals, provided exposure to the A&R teams at major labels and song placements on film and TV.

How have changes in the industry impacted the way that ReverbNation thinks about its role?

ReverbNation has expanded the tools and opportunities that allow independent Artists to control their own careers. However, the changing economics of the music industry have significantly eroded the the traditional resources available for talent scouting.

To make matters worse, the sheer scale of content now available online across thousands of sources globally creates an additional burden on traditional talent scouting networks, which are already stretched to breaking point.

In terms of sheer scale, ReverbNation leads the pack as the global source for new Artists. With 50,000 new Artists joining ReverbNation every month, in addition to nearly 4 million Artists who are already on the site, ReverbNation’s status as the #1 home for new music means we are uniquely positioned to solve this increasingly challenging problem of Artist Discovery.  We have access to more new artists than anyone else in the world.

Additionally, at a time when successful Artists are emerging from any number of countries and remote geographies, ReverbNation’s dominant presence on the Internet affords us a panoramic vantage point. From Provo, UT to the suburbs of Auckland, New Zealand, ReverbNation is able to identify the very best Artists regardless of where they call home.

How long has ReverbNation been curating the music on its database?

ReverbNation spent two years developing and refining its curation-at-scale capability and launched our Curation Initiative in 2013. In 2014, we reviewed over 1 million Artists. We’ve since doubled our curation efforts, so we’re going to hit a much higher number this year.

What methods does ReverbNation use to discover new music?

ReverbNation has access to more artist career data than any company in its field. We make some of that data available to the public. Much of it however, we do not share. This means we know a lot about our Artists and their music. Most importantly, we can see where your music impacts fans, and interacts with Industry tastemakers.

Is it all about data?

No. We understand that the best music is about so much more than just data. So while our algorithms are helpful, we also ensure that the music is listened to by humans–real people who care a lot about great music.

This means that once the Artist data has been crunched, it’s delivered to our highly trained Curation Team that consists of fans, artists, and finally, experts from our team of Senior Curators. ReverbNation’s Curation System has three tiers of review, and along with the Artist data ReverbNation has at our disposal, allows the Curation Team to have the clearest view possible of each Artist they review.

What types of reviewers make-up ReverbNation’s Senior Curation Team?

The Internet has changed the way music is consumed by all of us. These days, music lives online, and increasingly, so do many of the most influential tastemakers. A new breed of gatekeeper that includes bloggers, DJs, TV & radio producers, journalists and music supervisors, now play an important role in the discovery and exposure of new music. This influential group’s ability to make direct, often immediate connections has enabled a new world of discovery: a world where an Artist can connect directly with their audience, and where fans can find new music via a constantly evolving set of online resources.

ReverbNation’s Senior Curation Team reflects this seismic shift in music discovery. Our team is made up of passionate tastemakers and experts, many of whom live online, and all of whom share a deep commitment to identifying and exposing the best new music.

Who are ReverbNation’s Senior Curation Team?

We will introduce the Curation Team here in the coming weeks.

What are the main criteria the Team considers?

The Curation Team is looking for great music. Period. Every member of our team aims to uncover Artists whose music is real, credible, and straight from the heart, music that moves people. Beyond that, the team will also look at the story around the music. That means photos, live shows, and videos. They’ll also assess interactions with fans via social media and email communications.  

Is ReverbNation’s Curation System one size fits all?

ReverbNation also understands that Artists are not all at the same stage of their careers. Our Curation Team looks for good prospects, no matter where they are in their journey. From bedroom producers to medium sized touring acts, outstanding talent is the only common selection criterion.

How can Artists help the Curation Team do its job?

It’s very simple: The more Artists tell us about themselves and their music, the more information they share, the more engaged they are with ReverbNation the easier it is for us to find them.

How should Artists share that information?

It’s important that Artists’ ReverbNation profiles are both current and complete. This means:

  • Photos are recent and offer a good representation of Artists and their bands.
  • Music is up to date and if possible, well recorded.
  • The Use of ReverbNation’s Tools:

Can Artists request that their music be reviewed by the Curation Team?

No. To ensure that we honor our Artist First mission, we’re committed to the creation of a level playing field. This means we can never allow an Artist to jump the queue. The Curation system is designed to apply the same passionate, fair and thorough methodology to each and every ReverbNation Artist.

If an Artist doesn’t get noticed the first time the Curation Team listens to their music, is that their last chance to be discovered on ReverbNation’s platform?

Absolutely not. We recognize that music is art, and like most art forms, it takes time and dedication to get to where you’re going. The fact that an Artist is not ready to be exposed to a wider audience right now, does not mean that they won’t be ready in the future.

All of the biggest and best Artists had to start somewhere. The Beatles had Hamburg, the Rolling Stones were originally a cover band. And while so much has changed since those early days, that critical period of invention and growth is just as vital now as it was back then.

To make sure we don’t miss this development, we’re constantly assessing new ways to learn about our Artists’ journeys. Each time Artists engage with us in a meaningful way, it allows us to evaluate where they are in their careers. That means every time they post new music or videos, add an RPK or apply for an opportunity, play a show at a buzz venue or use the tools to communicate with their fans and market their music, we’re able to learn from the activity around those events.

So, it’s not one strike and you’re out?

No. Bottom line: As long as the Artists keep creating, we’ll keep listening.

If an Artist joined ReverbNation before the Curation System was launched, will they miss out on getting reviewed by the Curation Team?

Not at all. While we’re committed to reviewing the vast amount of new music that comes to the site every day, we’re also working hard to listen to every Artist that’s been with us for a while.  Again, we’re using our data to help us find the Artists that are ready to be heard by our Curation Team, and ultimately, ready to be connected to a wider audience.

What should those artists do?

To help us, Artists who have been using ReverbNation for a while should make sure their profile is up to date and optimized, so that the very best versions of their work is available for us to see and hear.

What’s does ReverbNation’s Curation-at-scale capability mean for the Music Industry, and for music fans?

Curation allows ReverbNation to be a vital bridge between emerging Artists, and the music industry, where now more than ever, the industry needs to identify promising Artists early in their careers. We believe our ability to play this critical role represents an important innovation that will strengthen the music industry and build a solid foundation for its continued growth. We also believe this evolution in Artist Discovery will drive the success of a new generation of Artists around the world. As we expand this new capability, ReverbNation is fast becoming a premier destination for the best new music, a destination where fans can discover the best emerging Artists at the very beginning of their careers.

ReverbNation was the starting point for acts like Imagine Dragons, The Civil Wars, Mac Miller, Alabama Shakes, Casey Musgraves and Rachel Platten. We believe our music discovery experience will be a unique and rewarding ride.

What does ReverbNation do with the Artists it discovers?

ReverbNation’s goal is to help Artists be successful. To achieve that, we believe that identifying Artists that are ready for the next stage of their career is good for the Artist and good for the industry. Developing this industry-first curation-at-scale capability allows ReverbNation to connect its Artists with an even broader array of opportunities.

Can you offer some examples?

Yes. Since the beginning of 2014, ReverbNation’s Curation Team has supported artist discovery for major labels including Sire, Atlantic, Island and Columbia.  Additionally, major music festivals like Summerfest, Firefly Festival, TomorrowWorld and Voodoo Fest have relied on ReverbNation’s Curation Capability to sort through the tens of thousands of Artists who submit to our Opportunities  to source the best live talent to book for their lineups.

Can you talk a little bit about the Curation Team’s role in Hard Rock Rising 2015 and The Special Olympics Relay Across America?  

This year, the Curation Team helped select artists for multiple Hard Rock Cafes all across the world, tailoring artists suggestions for each market. We also worked with the coordinators of the Special Olympics Relay Across America to source talent for more than 100  tour stops during this year’s Special Olympics Torch Relay leading up to the Los Angeles Games. In both cases, we were able to provide a wide array of talent to suit dozens of unique markets.

Are there other applications for ReverbNation’s Curation Capability?

Yes. This year, we launched ReverbNation CONNECT, a new initiative that will help some the best Artists identified by our Curation Team grow their audience, and ultimately, develop their careers. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for profiles on each of the Senior Curation Team members!

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