Musician Website Love (10th Anniversary Edition): Daniel Bennett

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle. For the month of October we’ll be featuring some of our oldest members to help celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

Who: Daniel Bennett 
What: Saxophonist
Where: New York City
Why his website rocks: Daniel Bennett is another one of our original members. He’s been using Bandzoogle for almost ten years to promote his music online.

We love the simple custom layout of his website, as well as the way he uses visuals to spice up his Bio and Press pages. We also love how he has high-resolution images on his Photos page for media, which is always a good idea.

Nice job with the site Daniel, and thanks for flying Bandzoogle for nearly 10 years!

Check out the Daniel Bennett’s website at www.danielbennett.net

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/17/2014 | 0 comments

Have regular gigs? Try the improved repeat options in our events feature!

Over the past 10 years, we’ve developed dozens of features that are highly customized for musicians to help them save time and money.

One of the features that shows off this level of customization is our Events feature. You can add an image for each event, a detailed location that connects to Google Maps, pricing information, a link to purchase tickets, set an age restriction, as well as add your own custom event details.

For bands with regular gigs, another functionality included in our Events feature is the ability to set repeating events, and we’ve added even more options!

You can now set repeating events to be (for example) the 3rd Friday of every month, and repeat it for a set number of times, or set it to end on a specific date:

This was a highly requested update from our members. We hope it helps save you time when adding repeating events to your gig calendar.

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/17/2014 | 1 comment

Music Player Upgrades: Import from SoundCloud, FLAC Support, New Preview Options!

We’ve added some new functionality to our music players that we think you’re going to love:

Import tracks directly from SoundCloud!

You can now easily import your SoundCloud tracks directly into the music players on your website. So if you’re an active SoundCloud user, you no longer need to re-upload your tracks to the Bandzoogle music players to add them to your website.

You can now use the MP3, WAV, or FLAC files you’ve already uploaded to SoundCloud and import them to stream and sell (commission-free!) directly through our music players.

How it works

If you click on any Music feature (including the site wide music player), just click Add Track and you’ll see an option to Import a track from SoundCloud.

Once you connect your SoundCloud account, you’ll see your SoundCloud tracks. You can click to import any individual track and it will be added to your player.

You can go back to the “Import track from SoundCloud” tab any time to import additional tracks.

We hope this makes your lives a little easier when adding music to your website. But if you still want to use the actual SoundCloud music players, you can of course continue to use our HTML feature to embed them onto your website.

Music players now support FLAC files!

Our developers have now added support for FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) files to all of our music players.

Some audiophiles prefer this file format for their music, but one important note: if you’re offering downloads of your music in FLAC format, be sure to warn your fans that Apple iDevices do not support FLAC files.

New track preview options

All tracks uploaded in any music feature have a permalink/direct URL. Colin has now added the ability to set preview tracks or full tracks for permalinks.

This means that anytime a track is shared, or linked to directly, you can set whether the play button plays the full track (as it did previously), or the set preview time for the track. This gives you full control over the songs when they’re shared by your fans.

Link directly to tracks in the Text feature

And finally, another small update related to the music you upload onto your website: we’ve added the ability to link directly to a song or album through text within our Text feature.

So if you’re writing your bio and mention your music, you can now include a link that will take readers directly to that album or track!


We hope you enjoy these upgrades to our music players, stay tuned for more new features coming soon!

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/16/2014 | 6 comments

Bandzoogle Website World Tour: 22 Bands in 22 Countries

Over the past 10 years, tens of thousands of bands have turned to Bandzoogle to power their websites and sell music directly to their fans. Since Bandzoogle is based in Canada, it’s no surprise that most of our members are from the United States and Canada. 

So when we launched our 10th Anniversary celebrations this month, we wanted to feature ten bands from ten different countries to help show how global Bandzoogle’s reach has become. Well, it turns out that we can’t just limit it to ten countries!

Here are profiles of 22 websites from artists in 22 different countries, which is just a small sampling of the sites being built by bands and musicians from around the world using Bandzoogle:

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Promise No Promises (Antigua and Barbuda) 

Kobla Mentor also known as “Promises No Promises” is a Guyanese born multi-talented artist/actor and producer that has now made his home in Antigua / Barbuda.

Website: www.promisenopromises.com

 

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Los Random (Argentina)

Los Random are an experimental trio from Tucuman, Argentina.

Website: www.losrandom.com

 

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Morgan Joanel (Australia)

A musician and artist-come-designer, Morgan has landed national tour support spots for diverse international musicians Newton Faulker (UK) Adam Lambert (US) and Jason Derulo(US), making it clear that Morgan's interesting live show is key to the vibe of her music.

Website: www.morganjoanel.com

 

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Gods & Punks (Brazil)

Rock & Roll band from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Website: www.godsandpunks.com.br

 

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Maiden Arabia (Dubai)

Dishing out a powerful and dynamic performance every time, Maiden Arabia put on the most accurate and explosive Iron Maiden tribute experience anywhere.

Website: www.maidenarabia.com

 

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Mahmoud Altaf (Egypt)

Mahmoud Altaf is a Composer, Sound Designer, Foley Artist and Voice Actor from Cairo, Egypt.

Website: www.mahmoudaltaf.com  

 

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Gatane (France)

Gatane is a French singer-songwriter/piano player who performs solo or with his band in Paris.

Website: www.gatane.com

 

Green Highland (Germany)

Highland is a German based celtic folk band that was founded in 2006. Their repertoire consists of both originals and traditional music.

Website: www.green-highland.com

 

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Myst (Greece)

Hailing for everlasting Hellas, MYST combine mostly, but not exclusively, Heavy and Power Metal elements. Whether you're in for some groovy melodies or just plain-old headbanging, MYST will meet your needs.

Website: www.myst-hellas.com

 

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Valur Heidar (Iceland)

Valur Heidar is a singer-songwriter from Iceland.

Website: www.valurheidar.com

 

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B-band (Iran)

B-band is an independent band from Tehran, Iran.

Website: www.b-bandmusic.com

 

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Stiff Little Fingers (Ireland)

Stiff Little Fingers were formed in 1977 in Belfast, Ireland. Along with the likes of the Clash, Sex Pistols, The Jam, Buzzcocks, Undertones, Sham 69, Stranglers, et al – Stiff Little Fingers were at the forefront of the punk movement and are in more in demand than ever.

Website: www.slf.com

 

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Tarek Sidani (Lebanon)

Tarek Sidani is a singer/songwriter from Beirut - Lebanon. His music is a mix of Alternative Pop/Rock tunes, and he writes songs about personal experiences and life events. His first full album "Write Your Own Stories" is out now.

Website: www.tareksidani.com

 

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Bianca Marroquin (Mexico)

Mexican celebrity Bianca Marroquin is renowned for her persona as the “nice” judge four years running on TV’s “Mira Quien Baila,” the Latin version of “Dancing With the Stars.” 

Website: www.biancamarroquin.com

 

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Wise Observer (Namibia)

Wise Observer is a hip hop artist and producer from Namibia.

Website: www.wiserobserver.com  

 

Goylem (Norway)

Goylem is an unusual musical phenomenon hailing from the Oslo underground scene.

Website: www.goylem.net

 

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Pamela Llosa (Perú)

Pamela Llosa is a singer-songwriter from Perú.

Website: www.pamelallosa.com

 

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Mental Discipline (Russia)

Mental Discipline is a one-man project formed by Alex Mental in 2008, and is widely recognized as one of Russia’s most promising futurepop projects.

Website: www.mental-discipline.com

 

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Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (Sierra Leone)

After a 10-year adventure that has taken them from the squalor of refugee camps to the world’s biggest stages, they've evolved to become one of Africa's most recognized bands with fans across the globe.

Website: www.sierraleonesrefugeeallstars.com

 

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Serene Koong (Singapore)

Serene Koong is Singaporean singer, songwriter and producer. She is a 2 time Global Chinese Golden Chart Awards, 3 time Singapore Hit Awards and a Singapore Star Awards winner.

Website: www.serenekoong.com

 

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The Parlotones (South Africa)

The Parlotones are a band from Johannesburg, South Africa. The band has toured internationally since 2007, spending months on the road in the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and North America and have toured with Coldplay, Starsailor, Snow Patrol and Blue October.

Website: www.wearetheparlotones.com

 

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Jon Hart (United Kingdom)

Jon Hart is an astute musician who merges virtuoso finger-style guitar with catchy vocal harmony and beat-boxing.

Website: www.jonhartmusic.com

 


Are you a Bandzoogle member from a country that we didn't list? Post your link in the comments and let us know!

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/15/2014 | 10 comments

Musician Website Love (10th Anniversary Edition): Charlie Scopoletti

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle. For the month of October we’ll be featuring some of our oldest members to help celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

Who: Charlie Scopoletti 
What: Singer/songwriter, Speaker & Two-time cancer survivor
Where: Stamford, CT
Why his website rocks: As with last week’s featured artist Daniel Ghattas, Charlie Scopoletti is one of our original members, signing up in early 2004. 

We love his website for its simple design, and the nice slideshow header on his Homepage, which displays several powerful images. We also love his visual Press page, which shows off some great press quotes he’s received over the years.

More amazingly, Charlie is a two-time cancer survivor, and through his music he has helped raise over $100,000 for charities! Keep doing what you're doing Charlie, and thanks for sticking with us all these years!

Check out Charlie’s site and his full story at: www.charliescopoletti.com

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/10/2014 | 0 comments

Webinar: Optimize Your Website (for Songwriters & Artists)

Our Director of Artist Relations Dave Cool will be participating in a webinar for the Songwriters Association of Canada called “Optimize Your Website

In this 1-hour interactive workshop, Dave, along with Brandon Heard from Mediavandals, will discuss website best practices for songwriters and artists.

The event takes place next Wednesday, October 15 at 8pm. The live stream is free for S.A.C. members, and $10 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased through this link.

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/10/2014 | 0 comments

[Interview] Bandzoogle Founder Chris Vinson Reflects on 10 Years of Powering Websites for Musicians

It all started in 1999, with a single band website, built by Bandzoogle's founder Chris Vinson for his alt-rock band, Rubberman. Grassroots promotion, plus the online community that the website created, helped the band get a record deal.

In between tours, Chris worked at the record label, building websites for multi-platinum selling artists. To save time, he built a "control panel" to let managers and artists make the changes themselves. Realizing this could also help independent bands and musicians build and update their own websites, Chris launched Bandzoogle.

Now 10 years later, tens of thousands of musicians around the world use Bandzoogle every day to build their website and promote their music online.

We spoke to Chris to get his thoughts on his life as a musician, starting Bandzoogle, and what it’s been like to run a successful music technology company for 10 years. Enjoy!


Q: What was one of your biggest highlights as a musician?

If you asked me that 10 years ago, I might have said "getting a record deal", since that was the end goal for most musicians. Looking back, the whole experience of playing in a band -- touring, writing songs, long hours in the studio -- was an amazing time in my life.

Q: Do you still play music?

Sure! Though mostly for myself and my 4 month old daughter Molly, rather than for audiences. My wife bought me a Seagull acoustic guitar a few years ago, which I love to play when I have a spare moment.  

Q: Why did you start Bandzoogle?

Mostly, to make my life easier. My day job was doing web design at a record label. Updating dozens of websites by hand was really tedious. I bought a "programming for dummies" book, spent a few months in the basement learning to code, then built a system that let managers add events, photos, and music so I wouldn't have to. Soon after I realized that all bands should have access to a tool like this, so I launched Bandzoogle in 2004.

Q: Bandzoogle is a remote company, why did you decide to go that route? It’s become more common now, but 10 years ago there probably weren’t many other companies operating that way.

I really had no choice. When I built Bandzoogle, I unknowingly chose an obscure programming language (we've since re-written the code in a modern language). It was hard to find qualified developers near me. So I posted some job ads online, and found our first team members, who worked remotely. It took some time to adjust, but it worked out great. Everyone gets to live where they love to be, and we can find the best qualified people in the world.

Q: The trend with tech companies is to build a product, get as much funding as possible, then spend lots of money on marketing and promotion to gain market share. You’ve taken a different route with Bandzoogle by slowly and steadily growing the company, hiring staff as you needed, and acquiring competitors as you go. Why did you decide to keep the company private all these years?

By not having investors, my decisions are based solely on what is good for our customers and our team. The "get big fast" model works for some tech startups. But, I have always preferred to focus on building a sustainable business for the long term.

Q: Since you’re the founder of the company, I’m curious what *your* favorite Bandzoogle feature is?

I'd say the Store. It's amazing to see how much our members have sold from their sites -- on last check, over $14 million. It shows the real impact that Bandzoogle is having, in helping our members succeed.

Q: What’s been one of the biggest changes you’ve seen with websites in the past 10 years?

Over 10 years there has been a lot of web design trends that came and went. One that will stick is the shift to viewing websites on mobile and touch devices. It changes everything, both from how our themes are designed, and how our website builder functions.  Many, many hours have been spent to make sure that Bandzoogle websites work well on mobile, without our members having to think about it.

Q: So now that you’ve had 10 successful years in the music tech world, where would you like to see Bandzoogle 10 years from now?

Still growing, helping musicians succeed. It's hard to say what our product will look like -- 10 years is more than a lifetime for web companies. But we will keep adapting and focusing on what works for artists.


Stay tuned to this blog, as well as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as we continue to celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary this month!

 
Posted by Dave Cool on 10/09/2014 | 8 comments

Bandzoogle at Folk Music Ontario Conference October 16-19!

Next week our Director of Artist Relations Dave Cool will be attending the Folk Music Ontario conference, which takes place October 16-19 at the Westin Bristol Place in Toronto.

FMO brings together festival programmers, bookers, folk musicians and other key players in the Canadian folk, roots, and traditional music community for a series of workshops, panels and of course, music showcases.

Dave will be moderating a panel, speaking on another, as well as offering free website reviews while there. Here are the details:

Website Demo Derby
Friday, Oct. 17
2:00-3:30pm

Do you think your website is all that and a bag of (binary) bits?

This panel will live-critique your website and let you know where improvements can be made to attract people and keep ‘em coming back. Let’s face it- the world, including the music industry, is always one click away from its target audience. Fall short and those clickers are already gone. Do it right and you just might make a new fan.

Panelists:

Dave Cool
Shawna Caspi

Social Media for Dummies 
Saturday, Oct. 18th 
10:30am-12pm

Music conferences are lousy with social media panels covering all kinds of ways to up your social media cred with shiny new apps and platforms meant to skyrocket your online presence. But what if you’re not there yet? What if you are a recent passenger on the social media train and feel left behind? This panel will cover the basics and act as a “101” type of panel for those of us still learning the ropes. Soon enough you’ll be Facebooking and Instagramming with the best of ’em!

Panelists:

Shawna Caspi
Dave Cool
Candace Shaw

Free Website Reviews Clinic

Friday & Saturday: 10am - 3pm

Exhibit Hall: Friday: 3:30 - 5:30pm, Saturday: 4:00 - 6:00pm

On the Friday & Saturday of the conference we’ll have a table set-up offering free website reviews for musicians. Come by to say hello, get your website reviewed, have some free candy, and if you’re already a member, pick up a free t-shirt too!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates from the conference!
Posted by Dave Cool on 10/08/2014 | 0 comments

Bandzoogle 10 Year Anniversary Shirts Now Available, Proceeds go to MusiCares

To help celebrate our 10 year anniversary, one of the gifts for Bandzoogle staff was a special 10th Anniversary t-shirt, which we all wore for the group photo at our meetup this summer:

The design is inspired by vintage Iron Maiden t-shirts (awesome, eh?) and pays tribute to our old logo. It was drawn by Max Dickner, a Quebec City based artist.

It was supposed to be an ultra-limited edition shirt for our team only, but so many people asked if they could get one, we decided to make them available for sale, and for a good cause.  

Buy a Shirt, Proceeds Go to MusiCares

So the 10 Year Anniversary shirt is now available for purchase on Teespring: www.teespring.com/bandzoogle10

The vintage baseball t-shirt isn’t available this time around, but there are a few options (hoodie, v-neck anyone?). If you’d rather buy a shirt with our regular logo and tagline on it instead, let us know in the comments. We can make that happen as well.

All proceeds from sales will go to The MusiCares Foundation. MusiCares provides help to music people who don't have safety nets for emergencies. So when you buy an awesome Bandzoogle shirt, you’ll be helping musicians at the same time.

About MusiCares

MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares' services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. Find out more at: www.grammy.org/musicares


Stay tuned to our blog, as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages as we continue to celebrate our 10 years in the music industry!

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/07/2014 | 2 comments

Musician Website Love (10th Anniversary Edition): Daniel Ghattas

Every week, we highlight one of our favorite websites on Bandzoogle. For the month of October we’ll be featuring some of our oldest members to help celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

Who: Daniel Ghattas
What: Pop/Rock Singer-songwriter
Where: Montreal, QC
Why his website rocks: Well, we have to admit, we love Daniel Ghattas for sticking with us right from the beginning! Bandzoogle was founded 10 years ago and is based in Montreal, so it’s fitting that our oldest active member is from there.

For his website, we love that Daniel is using one of our new simple themes, which features a nice big full-background image. We also love that he’s collecting email addresses in return for giving away free songs right on his Homepage, and explaining what people get by signing up.

Nice job Daniel, and thanks for being with us these past ten years, here’s to ten more!

You can check out his site at: www.danielghattas.net

Posted by Dave Cool on 10/03/2014 | 4 comments