In the music business there is a ton of infrastructure and support for artists, particularly on the internet. But comedy? Not so much. And I’m not entirely sure why. I find myself regularly using and hacking music based sites to promote my comedy stuff. Fortunately a good chunk of my comedy is music based, so it makes it a little easier.
And the music sites don’t seem to be super interested in catering to the comedy community. Probably because that means they’ll have to open up their platforms to dance companies, theater companies, performance artists, and everyone else which dilutes their brand and platform. So I can kind of understand it.
So look, there are a ton of music industry sites out there that need to be adapted for the comedy market. I’m going to list some of my preferred ones below. I don’t have the time, energy, or give-a-shit-edness to build them all myself. Though I’d happily use them if someone else did.
Music Sites That Need Comedy Counterparts
Fanatic.FM – A site that connects artists with sponsors and charities to get albums made and money flowing in productive directions. Comedians aren’t developing sponsorship avenues at all.
HearItLocal.com – This site specializes in connecting artists with house concert possibilities. House concerts are some of the most enjoyable and profitable gigs around. They’re still not super mainstream for music and even less so for comedy.
IndieOnTheMove.com – A fairly comprehensive booking database for music. While there have been some good tries, there’s nothing really comprehensive (and up to date) for comedians. I’ve got some ideas of my own for this one.
Jango.com/RadioAirplay.com – This site allows artists to pay for online radio airplay that places their tracks in the company of much larger artists they fit with. Good music discovery tool, though it hasn’t been my favorite for really converting fans.
Yes, Pandora has added comedy channels, but it’s harder to get your stuff in and you have no way of capturing fan data from them.
MusicGlue.com and Nimbit.com – Sites focused on the ecommerce of download tracks and gig tickets. Comics can certainly hack together solutions through existing systems, but a dedicated comedy system would cater even closer to needs of the industry.
SoundCloud.com – And any other number of places like it. SoundCloud built their initial user base around electronic music. Another site could easily do so around comedy and form that community.
StereoPoster.com – I was turned on to this site recently. You can generate embeddable gig posters that combine visuals with audio samples and ticket selling abilities. With a few tweaks (that I’ve suggested to the company) it would be great for comics too.
StoryAmp.com / StereoGrid.com – These platforms connect musicians with journalists to get coverage. Usually it’s nearly impossible to even find out who covers comedy at the different publications. Something like this would be a godsend. StereoGrid deals with blogs too.
DeliRadio.com – A site not unlike Pandora that lets you start stations. BUT, they have stations customized for cities and your music is automatically added to those stations based on your tour dates. It’s not really set up for comedy at all. And a comedy version would kill.
ArtistData.com/SongKick.com/BandsInTown.com – One (or 3) stop shopping for posting your tour dates and having them shipped out to the other zillion sites that post tour dates. Saves a ton of time. Artist Data tends to be more about social media sites and traditional press calendars. Song Kick connects with Spotify and BandCamp. I don’t have as much experience with Bands In Town. None of them are super great for comedy dates.
LaffQ.com , started by Richard Kiss, is on its way to being a great tool in this vein for comics. He just needs to connect it to more sites. Right now it posts to Facebook and embeds on your own site.
HypeMachine – This is a blog aggregator that tallies up who and what the most popular music blogs are writing about. Something that compiles comedy reviews and mp3 blogs in the same way would be great.
Podsafe Music – Again, you can post comedy here, but it doesn’t always hit the right audience. A place where podcasts can pick up podsafe comedy recordings to play. Of course, most people doing comedy podcasts just want to hear themselves chatter away, so who knows…
NoiseTrade.com – This site allows artists to post a free album that people can download in exchange for an email as well as donate money if they’d like. There is a small comedy category, but again, it’s not the target audience.
So, what’s say comedy industry? Let’s get on the ball and put together some businesses that will help us help each other find new fans. Got something you’re working on? Tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to check it out and use it for my own work!