VibeDeck: First Impressions

VibeDeck is a new site for musicians to sell their music that Geoff pointed out to me.  They vow to be free, totally free, without ever taking a cut of your sales.  They also swear to be completely ad free.  They haven’t quite figured out how to make money with all of those vows, but in the meantime, it’s a great place for musicians to set up shop and it integrates into SoundCloud and Facebook.  I thought I’d check it out and see how it compares against other, similar sites.

Pros: Looks like you can completely customize the design — possibly even have a unique design for each album.  Might be cool (in the case of the latter, if I’m right).  Connects easily to SoundCloud and Facebook.  Free.  New.  Nice interface.  Easy to set up a good-looking site to sell your music with zero design experience.

Cons: SoundCloud integration is sort of worthless without a paid account.  It goes off of your sets on SoundCloud (which you’re limited to 1 with a free account), so that linkage only goes so far.  Doesn’t look like you can upload other material (PDFs, bonus tracks) or sell physical products (actual disks, other bonus material like stickers, t-shirts) the way you can on Bandcamp.

Assessment: Good tool for starting-out musicians with no plans on physical distribution.  Possibly even better for artists who have a pro account on SoundCloud.  Personally, I’m happy with Bandcamp, and this is offering a lot of the same things Bandcamp does without a lot of the bonus perks that Bandcamp has (probably because Bandcamp has been around for a couple of years).  The Facebook stuff might be cool, but there’s so many different artist page things for Facebook that that’s almost not even worth mentioning — you can pretty much find something that you can use if you want to create a custom artist page on Facebook, that’s not really a problem.  Without some added features (adding your music to Soundscan, iTunes, etc.), there isn’t a compelling reason for an established musician (who already has accounts on other sites like ReverbNation or Bandcamp that already let you sell your music) to use VibeDeck, but it might be a good next step for someone who’s got an account on Alonetone and is looking for the next step up.