Electronic press kits (EPKs) are literally press kits, in an electronic form. A press kit is a folder containing informational and promotional materials about an artist, that can be distributed to the media. It contains, at minimum, artist bio(s), a press release, and a product, such as an album.
Many artists start their careers with limited or no representation, so here are three websites that will allow artists to create their own electronic press kits without the aid of a professional.
Pros: ReverbNation offers exposure to venues, labels, managers, promoters, etc., that actually maintain profiles on the site, and allow ReverbNation to email press kits to them. To supplement EPKs, ReverbNation offers unlimited photo and audio storage, the ability to offer songs not offered on the fan page, fan demographics, the ability to create more than one kit, and localized charts allowing industry professionals to choose a location, and find artists that are making a buzz.
Cons: Reverb is so saturated with self-promoting artists, it can be difficult getting industry professionals to open your press kit, even when its sitting in their inbox. Also, ReverbNation can get costly after adding all the features an artist may want to use.
Pros: ArtistEcard allows artists more freedom to customize than ReverbNation and SonicBids. Their contact section allows anyone viewing an artist’s e-card to send an internal “information request” as opposed to emailing the artist directly from a personal email. ArtistEcard also offers statistics so artists can keep up with how often their e-card is being viewed.
Cons: Although ArtistEcard offers customization to e-cards, their webside design isn’t the best. The site is easy to use, but lacks the professionalism that come with having a well-designed website. Also, The usability for artists can be difficult. Upon first use it seems more complicated than it really is, because there is so much to choose from and the layout isn’t designed well.
Price: $4.99 – $12.99
Pros: SonicBids primarily focuses on press kits and booking. They cover live shows, as well as licensing and broadcasting opportunities. It has become the industry standard for bidding to get a spot in major festivals and events. The press kit an artist creates can also be shared outside the SonicBids community: viewers do not need an account to view you kit. Although this could be considered a con, I would argue that having an artist to promoter platform, as opposed to an artist to everyone, has set SonicBids apart, allowing them to focus solely on what works best for an artist to promoter relationship.
Cons: SonicBids faces the same over-saturation issue as ReverbNation. Many artists choose to use SonicBids as a tool to vastly expand their reach, but are drowned out by the longtime members, with better rankings.
Of the three I would recommend ReverbNation for EPKs. Although SonicBids offers a stronger opportunity to place a gig, ReverbNation offers a better opportunity to create a buzz, by providing a platform that makes your EPK available to anyone who is interested. One of the primary purposes of an EPK is to get gigs, but essentially, its purpose is to promote the artist, and ReverbNation does that best.