Before You Buy A Music Industry Contact List Or Directory

David Wimble talks about the Indie Bible as well as artist do and don’ts related to when they should buy a music industry contact list.


In 1999 David founded The Indie Bible, a contact directory for thousands of blogs, radio programs, venues and more that cater to indie artists.  It has grown to include the Indie Spotify Bible, The Indie YouTube Bible and more,

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Welcome to another Cartne scam and rip off warning video. Our topic today is before you buy a music industry directory or contact list. Our guest today is David Wimble.

Hi Everyone. My name is David Wimble. I’ve been publishing the indie Bible for 23 years, actually, and it was created initially as a response I had as an artist when I was looking for places to promote my music. And I found that there was a lot of outdated information online and there were a few directories at that time and they weren’t very reliable. It’s like something someone put together in an afternoon. And so accidentally I created the indie Bible and I’ve been doing it now for 23 years.

So David, what is one of the first things that artists and songwriters should know before buying a directory is a contact list.

Well, the most unfortunate thing about the internet is if you have a bit of capability with programming skills, you can create a beautiful website that is a total scam. We’ve experienced ourselves, especially these last few years, that people are taking our information and reselling it to find still have the tried and true way of finding out if something is legitimate is doing your due diligence online to look for reviews of the particular directory that you’re concerned about or considering purchasing. Again, when it comes to reviews, everybody knows that Amazon reviews aren’t trustworthy either. So a lot of times the reviews on the particular website, of course, if it’s a scammy sort of a setup the reviews are going to be you know, made up as well. So you have to kind of go find out, go on the Internet, find reviews. There’ll often be comments in online communities about such and such a directory. So at least, you know, put a little bit of time into doing that, at least to read some reviews, to find out some comments. Comments.

Of course, you know, again, as we all know, with the Internet on YouTube, people just like to go out and they like to snipe, you know, if they kind of get their aggressions out. So what you need to do is kind of get a little body of information and kind of discern from that and take the highs and the lows out of it. Does this seem like a legitimate directory to purchase?

Some directories seem to be filled with fluff. I’m referring to businesses and people that don’t really exist or people who don’t want to be contacted by indie artists. How do you find the contacts in the indie Bible?

There’s two ways that we list a company course. Someone gets in touch with us and says, please list us. The second is we just go out and do and just find people. But of course, the prerequisite has to be that they are open to solicitations directly from independent artists. So in other words, none of these places have unsolicited music or you have to get your manager to contact us or you have to get your lawyer to contact us. It’s very DIY. You have our contacts and everyone in there you can contact directly. Again, the way they ask you to, if we waited for responses from people for permission to, you know, to list them, I’d still be waiting for people, you know, responding to the first edition. It’s the music business, right? So we can never forget that.

Throughout the years, we’ve had a lot of competition. And the reason the competition has never stayed around is because research is unbelievably hard. It’s, you know, let’s take, for example, we have 9000 listings and just our first director of the indie Bible. So it’s fine and dandy to find those 9000 listings with legitimate contact information. Everybody’s happy but two months from that point, a lot of those, not a lot of, let’s say a small percentage of those listings are no longer valid. You go a year from there and you’re probably looking at about 10%. So you’re looking at 900 listings that either are defunct or they’ve moved or something has changed. It has to be updated.So the real quality that shines in a good directory is that it’s continually updated. So if somebody has put out a directory published and 2016 with all sorts of great information, but they haven’t updated it since then, that directory is essentially useless. Even if it was last updated in 2020, it’s pretty in pretty rough shape. So the companies that are going to survive and provide you with the best product, they update their directories at least every year.

So that’s one thing you want to find out. When has this been updated last? Secondly, probably the first thing you notice is going to be the price that’s going to be a factor. But it’s you know, again if you go to or something and someone’s got like a directory, well, you kind of kind of get what you pay for. If it is a really legitimate directory and it kind of has what you want in it, then it’s worth a hundred, $150, whatever they’re charging. Well, that’s a big if. It has to have that quality. Is it relevant data? Has it been updated lately? And also a lot of times what kind of contact information is it? I know especially when the Spotify directories first started coming out, they would just have, you know, friended for one of the Spotify curators. So you want kind of evidence like what’s the evidence that this information you’re giving me is actually legitimate and they’re not just something they bought a list or they just kind of they’re making stuff up. So you want to check the integrity of the listings. Like what’s involved? Is there social media with the listings? Is there a specific contact person? And yeah, you need to find out that stuff.

What are some other warning signs that a directory may not be legitimate?

If it looks before buying? Again, people are really, really and I’m just talking about our directory being pirated. You know, in the world we live now where you can just get templates and you can get a GoDaddy account and they have all sorts of templates. You can have a beautiful website like in 10 minutes and you know, you throw in the phony reviews. It’s just really difficult. I don’t really know of any telltale signs. I would check out, you know, their privacy policies and stuff. Well, we found in the past, people tend to, you know, these people that are pirating different directories are kind of running scams. As for the privacy and other legalities, they’re just copy-pasting something from another website and dumping it in there. So that would be a place to kind of, you know, do some detective work kind of check that out. But overall, it’s really difficult.

One way would be to contact them, to simply contact them, say, I just have a question about your directory. What we found is that people that do run pirates just call it pirate websites that are illegitimate websites, they won’t get back to you because they’ve kind of got this as a like a site kind of game they play. So even if it’s like you, you know, obviously I wouldn’t contact somebody with my individual Bible address, but I’ll contact them from my wife’s address and just say, yeah, I just had a few questions about your directory and never has any of them ever got back to me. So I think that’s just part of their scam. It is going to put it up there. People want to pay for it. That’s great, but they’re not going to respond to anything. So if it’s especially pricey, just send them an email. Yeah, I have a few questions about your directory and see what happens. 

Again, go back to just the way that the Internet is kind of like the Wild West, and you can make a really nice website and you can have beautiful graphics and say, you know, for $250 and we’ve got 10,000 contacts and it can be, well, we actually had that experience ourselves. There was this lady from Las Vegas as an artist and she took information from like four of our directories and just took the time to reconfigure it so that it looked like her packaging. But then she made a series of videos and in the video she was telling people how hard she worked to make these directories and how, you know, how much of an effort was put in. And so we had to hire a lawyer. We had no choice. So, I mean, there are no limits to what people will do out there. So again, the best defense you have is your own research and just, you know, do as much as you can, especially if you’re going to be spending a lot of money, over $100 for a directory.

Okay, so the artist finds and buys the perfect directory. What’s the best way for them to approach the people who are listed?

Well, this is kind of like my grail quest in life is getting people to understand the simple principle is that the way you contact the different curators say it’s a blogger or Spotify curator or a label. The way to contact them is simply the way they ask you to contact them because mostly 90% of the time when you go to a blog or you go to a label or a radio station, they’re saying, this is how we want to be contacted, don’t send us an email with an attachment. Don’t phone us. Do send us a streaming link to your SoundCloud or they’re telling you.

So the idea of just sending a generic blast, everybody is just not going to work. You’ll come out because it will contact as many people why we’re not sending a blast or why sending out your template to everybody. What’s the time it takes to find out, OK, how does this person want to be contacted that will put you at the front of the line. So they’re getting bombarded every week with tons of music and this oh wow. This person took the time to find out my name. They took the time to find out a little bit about what I do. And yeah, I’m going to respond to this person and it’s really hard. It’s a hard sell, but I’m never going to stop trying to get the message across. The top negative response we get is this thing doesn’t work. And I had just one person last week and this thing doesn’t work well. This thing is contact information for different services. And it’s how they want to be contacted. That’s the service we provide. Now, how do you get in touch with them? That’s the rub, right? That’s where the issue is what I’ll do with what I’ve done over the years. I said, you know, send what you’re selling to these people and I’ll take a look and of course it’s a dog’s breakfast. It’s everything you wouldn’t want to see if you’re a blogger or a curator and this person sent you this, it’s just a mess.

And a lot of times it’s like a really difficult thing for musicians to understand if you’re not doing the blogger or the curator or the label a favor or they’re doing you a favor by taking you on. So if you approach them like, you know what, I don’t mind if you put my song in your playlist, you’re going to get a response of none, no response because these people are bombarded. You know, they love music. But part of their job is they are swamped every day with music. So they’ve got to sift through all this music.

And someone’s just saying, you know what, I’m fantastic. And I, you know, I can really pick up your playlist. They don’t want that. They want someone that’s taking the time to find out my name is Joe or Mary, the type of music I play. So first of all, like, you know, if you talk to any video would know this or you would know this. I’m talking if you talk to a radio host or a blogger or a curator, they will tell you they’re lucky if they get 50% of the submissions they get is the actual music that they play. They’re just getting blasted from four corners of the music world. So yeah. So just keep that in mind. Be respectful when you’re contacting these people. Yeah. I’m not even talking about the quality of music. I’m just talking about the approach.

The quality of the music is another issue with anyone in the arts. I mean, if you write a book or if you paint a painting or you love it as an artist or if you write a song, you love it. This is fantastic. But what’s the reality? What’s the reality out there in the real world? I used to go to music conferences a lot and they’d have those demos come, demo derbies or whatever they call them. We would have a panel of people and people would put in their demo and the panel would listen to the song. So I was one of those one time. It was brutal. You know, I never I never did it again. It was just the people I was with. They were, you know, they’ve done it before, of course, and they were pretty direct. And it’s devastating for someone that thinks, Oh, they’re going to love this. And then the reality comes out and it’s just shattering so I’m never doing this again. So yes, the music is, of course, a key, key element.

That concludes our video titled Before You Buy a contact list or Directory. We want to thank David Wimble the founder of the indie Bible for sharing his expertise and insights with us.

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