Back in November 2018 I blogged on a new social media platform called “Drooble” which is like FB for musicians. I’ve now had the chance to spend 8 months there and offer some feedback based on personal experiences, so here is a drooble review based on my observations and other’s comments.
First some good news
Drooble have undoubtedly captured the imagination of many artists around the world from many genres of music and should be applauded for their efforts. There are numerous discussion pages which have some really good on topic interactions and this is useful for many starting out in music. The platform is based in Bulgaria and the company is currently seeking an additional eight full time employees, which is going to add to what I presume is a substantial set of overheads. When I say artists, from what I see most there are aspiring musicians rather than professional working musicians.
Individuals can upload songs and receive “karma points” for interactions which is an incentive to post a lot. Simply by commenting on other’s posts, a person receives the karma points that can then be used to trade for services. For the first few months I added a number of songs, many of which landed in the Drooble charts. It was useful to get some feedback on tracks from a more diverse audience and I applaud Drooble for that although as with many other social media platforms there is a danger of mutual congratulations. On the gear discussion page members can find useful information, which is a good part of the service
Like other social media platforms there’s a huge mix of people and this allows for a diverse set of opinions. There are the inevitable “WE LOVE DROOBLE” postings and the more thoughtful postings which to my eyes are far more interesting to read. Drooble should be applauded to generating so much interest, but as with all such social media platforms there are also a host of potential challenges and its fair to point out some of these to give a balanced view of what is going on here and hopefully spark some smart thinking to address what many of us see as genuine problems that could affect the viability of the platform. The owner of the platform Melina Krumova talks here here vision for Drooble here and how they are going to avoid having advertisers for the platform.
Now some not so good news
I am always mindful to encourage any business owners to follow their vision, but also as with my own business concerns, critical thinking and reflection as well as good financial planning is essential. Its useful to remember that as with any social media platform the “customers” are those who are financially supporting the platform, as opposed to “the users” who are using the platform. This is a common misunderstanding and often on FB people confuse the two elements.
One of the core elements in Drooble are the band pages where artists can post their songs. This aspect of the site went offline many months ago and despite regular problems of this being fixed many musicians including myself have a page that is simply no longer visible with this ongoing message
“Band pages on Drooble are temporary unavailable!
We’ll bring them back as soon as they are ready.
Thank you for your understanding!”
Sooo, stay tuned and don’t forget to tell me in the comments how much we suck ?”
When I questioned the tone of this post, the poster commented it was intended as a joke. Fair enough, and it may be a translation cross cultural problem, but there are many (probably unintentional) such miscommunications and perhaps drooble would benefit from appointment a relations manager who can be more neutral and focused in responses? The pages reappeared many months later but in a format that was universally hated by the users. Individuals now had two separate pages which are totally disconnected and the more cynical online suggested that this was simply to give an illusion of an expanded client base…
The problem with bugs
I appreciate that any platform will have its bugs, but I have pointed out on many occasions that the band page aspect is a core site feature. Drooble may be overstretched (hence trying to attract new staff) BUT rather than floating all manner of paid services, surely its better to get the platform to be stable and functional? There’s enough time to create “The Drooble wall of love” gushing about the site, but surely time would be better spent getting the band pages back online?
There’s also an issue with the charts insofar as the top 50 chart bears little relationship to many songs’ performance in the genre charts
Many have asked about the odd way the chart is figured, but Drooble refuses to clarify in any way suggesting people’s motives for asking questions are only for personal promotions! There are lots of technical issues with the site and I suspect they are massively understaffed and unable to deal with the core platform.
A quick look online reveals that a lot of people find the platform is not very stable and my own experiences reflect this. Its also not a great sign when members describe the CEO as “a dictator” which is also unfortunately my experience during this 8 month evaluation. Some feedback HERE
Customer care and attention to detail
As someone who has been in business for four decades and who has run some sizable concerns I am acutely aware of the importance of listening to customers, even if I ultimately agree to disagree. What I would never do is call my customers egotists or narcissists, even if I thought that! I also have been on the receiving end of some pretty daft ill considered responses when asking what for me are common sense questions
Here’s one example
@nick.cody you are one annoying ****, aren’t you? Learn to appreciate what others are doing for you instead of hating! It’s so simple, if you don’t like it, don’t use it – I promise, not gonna wipe out my tears!
This hilarious response reminds me of a book that another friend and fellow international trainer wrote called “The Customer is bothering me” which wonderfully shows how business owners can fail to appreciate the importance of listening and responding to customers in a measured and mature manner. I pointed out that I have blogged on Drooble in a positive light a number of times, uploaded many songs and videos, and engaged in many discussions, so how he can describe me as “a hater” is somewhat odd to say the least…
I pm’d Plamen, but to date never received a response…
Many users also commented of the CEO’s insistence that only 5% of all the tracks uploaded to Drooble had decent production, which is an odd statement to say the least. A cynical person might think that this was a ploy to nudge people towards but some of the online courses costing hundreds of dollars or paying for the mixing paid services on offer. The problem is that again the manner of the communication is like a head teacher telling off schoolchildren and most users regularly lament lack of disposable income, so its not a very well thought through strategy.
The Failure to listen to customers
I have pondered at length about publishing this blog as I genuinely wish Drooble well, BUT they have now decided to remove the previous band page option linked to the main profile. Many members are pointing out that this creates all manner of problems and all they wanted was the previous band pages back! Some have suggested that this is a way for Drooble to give the impression of more members… Either way IMO this is not smart customer relations strategy.
I appreciate Drooble is understaffed (they currently have been trying to fill 8 full time positions) but I really wish they would attend to the core features and actually listen to their customers. Another central issue is lack of attention to detail. The management suddenly dropped a major 50% hike in karma points for radio play, BUT forgot to change all the banner ads all over the site giving the old price! The CEO proclaims working 12 hours a day for free, not perhaps appreciating that that’s NOT good business sense and certainly not going to encourage much needed business partners to come on board!
The Drooble Review system?
The site is full of ad banners proclaiming the ability to earn money from reviews. The promotional copy for this service states
“We are launching a new service that will enable you to receive unbiased information on emotional responses, production analysis, songwriting opinions, improvement recommendations and other useful insights for your music. It is natural for us – musicians – to mostly value and consider the opinion of other music creators, so Drooble music feedback will be given only by musicians. “
The idea sounds great, but there’s no vetting process with the drooble review to determine the pedigree of the reviewer. I extensively asked about this online as it seems to be one of the most promoted paid services. The only stipulation for being “a reviewer” is to have accrued 2000 karma cash points which of course is not difficult if you spend all day on social media. Music professionals in my experience are working in the real world so don’t have the luxury of such disposable time. So yes, each drooble review may be by “music creators” but that is a very vague term.
The result is that the standard of reviews is reported by users as extremely patchy and often not the best value. One poster commented that “the reviewer” was focused on the artwork and many commented that the feedback was not even in their native language and often so generalized to not be very useful. One poster received a review in Spanish and then had to use google translate to decipher what the drooble reviewer was saying! Some music enthusiasts seemed happy but IMO this is not really the best way to run a paid service and is another example of poor business acumen from the management. My frustration as a business consultant is that some of the core concepts of drooble are good, but the execution is often very ill considered.
Smoke and Mirrors regarding “plays?”
Both myself and an increasing number of others using the platform have started to question both the charts system and the play totals. I had songs in both the main charts and sub charts showing thousands of plays, BUT all external social media and web stats did not increase by even 1%! This is odd to say the least. The platform claims tens of thousands of users, but my own observations are no more than a hundred people are active at any time online. Of course there could be tens of thousands of lurkers, but personally I would consider that very unlikely based on social media behaviours. I guess we’ll probably never know! This drooble review is IMO useful as there’s very little discussion online from users about this platform and those on drooble that comment in any way other than the party line get deleted from the site
I discovered today that without notice my drooble account was pulled and I can no longer access the site! There was no notice, no explanation, just lack of access. This is not surprising as many in management seems extremely reactive and don’t really get the whole customer care aspect of business….
This happened immediately after having a conversation with a number of longstanding members there who all voiced concerns I have pointed out in this blog. I wish them well, but unless they start listening to those using the service’s concerns, the whole venture is not gonna have any kind of longevity. This is classic business nativity that I have seen over the decades and many experienced business professionals on the platform have gently (and later less gently) pointed out some of the car crash decisions they have made in recent months.
It may be that the CEO is too close to the project to be objective and one colleague was surprised that the main graphic chosen to promote the platform was of the CEO in full guitar rock pose, which might be fine for a blog, but many would consider an odd choice for a social media platform
The central problem with the platform is that its a microcosm of aspiring musicians (working musicians are mostly working and don’t have time to spend hours unpaid on social media ) so it can become the mutual congratulation concern. The idea that being on drooble will “advance your career” is a bit optimistic to say the least. This drooble review is of course a snapshot of what is happening here over an 8 month period.
I applaud the enthusiasm but the management don’t have the expertise to know how to grow a business and that’s a real problem. Like all social media unless you balance time and money and stay focused, any initiative is not going to stand the test of time. Offering services like mixing and mastering without even detailing the bios of whose is doing such work is also a bit optimistic. I have it on good authority that my questions to the CEO caused a bit of a knee jerk reaction and I suspect this is not the first instance where the response is to shut off any advice which was only meant to assist with helping stabilize the platform which has a stack of problems. I had some good discussions with a few posters online and posted a few songs which received good feedback, but increasingly my alarm bells were ringing about aspects of the platform and others commented offline that something doesn’t really add up and not just financially either…
Time will tell if Drooble survives, but I suspect someone will see the concept’s value and build a smarter more focused version in due course. Either way anyone building a platform should be applauded for efforts, but that’s of course not enough in the business world, you need good strategic thinking as great customer engagement to grow a brand.
Drooble Review Update
It seems this article has sparked some discussion. The Drooble platform had many good possibilities but the owner continues to make pretty bizarre comments in order to try and flog paid services to the user base. The number of actual active users is suggested as many as less than 100, but the site claims membership of tens of thousands. Drooble is permanently seeking a staggering additional eight full time staff and that requires funding. The site now is full of ads for paid services including these ones. Of the 100 or so active users many are paid in “karma” (drooble currency) to post regularly (when you apply you are asked if you can spend 1,2 3 or more hours per day promoting drooble in your time for “drooble money”) so its hard to know who the genuine users are.
Here are some other initiatives where the platform is now seeking to entice customers and generate income. I have no problem with any business trying to generate income, but some of these ideas are plain bonkers from a business perspective and are only going to repel interest in the platform. Many users have already made such comments, but drooble refuses to listen to what users feedback and any suggestions result in such well intentioned folks categorized as “haters” Its fascinating to see increasingly more delusional behaviour.
Here are some examples of attempts to generate income –
Earn money by inviting your friends!
Do you know that when somebody join Drooble through your invitation and they spend any money on the platform you get 10% of that in your wallet as a reward? For example if they spend 100 dollars you will get 10! Invite your friends now and start getting rewards
The thrust of this is that if you get your friends to join and but services, you get a 10% kick back on what they spend.
Another example that is not well thought through –
Did you check how awesome Drooble EPK is? It totally replaced the need for a website.
Yes, an electronic press kit can be useful for artists, BUT I’d be fascinated to know of any successful artist who has found that an EPK has “totally replaced the need for a website” Its of course nonsense and yet another attempt to generate much needed predictable income which is essential for any business viability. Worse still in the discussion pages, anyone questioning this statement finds that their comments are deleted and they are then threatened with being banned from the social media platform.
When I last checked a discussion meant an interaction between people and of course any social media platform that behaves in such a dictatorial fashion is not going to stand the test of time. The industry consensus continues to suggest that the best social medial platforms are still the tried and tested mediums as discussed her https://www.musicindustryhowto.com/6-best-social-media-platforms-for-musicians/
All of these are very well funded stable platforms and continue to attract customers. Hopefully Drooble will fill its staff vacancies and rectify many of these problems as the basic concept is a good one, but eclipsed by some very naive business decisions that make the whole platform a bit daft.
Mid June Drooble review update
I received a bunch of messages suggesting that drooble is now flooded with adverts from both the company trying to market to the aspiring artist user base and many new users all posting “look at my new song” posts. The older users are increasingly posting how the site has changed and one user suggests that “Big Sister” is now deleting any posts that question the drooble official policy. They are also increasingly banning customers who question some of these odd assertions. This includes drooble’s assertion that an electronic press kit replaces any need for a website! This of course is a bit of a stretch as all professional artists use both EPKs and websites that fulfill different functions. The bizarre management style seems to not be attracting much needed staff and at the time of writing there are at least 8 permanent positions that remain vacant.
Special thanks to all drooble users who have given feedback on this subject
Despite unsubscribing on many occasions, I still get endless spam from drooble. Below is another example where they are clearly offering the customer base to third party concerns all trying to flog services. The term CAVEAT EMPTOR comes to mind. <sigh>
To support your artist exposure and career growth, Drooble is giving away a special 10% discount on all available services in the Drooble Store, provided by Drooble. No matter if you need Mixing and Mastering for your new record, Electronic Press Kit to book more gigs or Youtube and Radio Network promotion for your songs, you can get it cheaper than ever now!|
To get your discount, simply type this code PFXKF on the last step of your next order. You can use the code once in the next 30 days! Enjoy your Summer! Explore the Drooble Store! Want to direct more attention to your songs and videos within the Drooble community? We just released a brand new tool that will get you featured on the Drooble Newsfeed Left column and help you: Boost your exposure Receive more plays, applauds and comments Find out how audience perceives your music Receive valuable feedback You can feature your Tune, Video and Artist profile! Get Featured Now! We are happy to announce a partnership with Music Talks – one of the top indie music blogs in the world who also offer promotion, marketing and content creation for indie artists. They help artists create a professional online image through high quality branding for intros, outros and short Professional Animated Video, which can be used to gain more attention on websites and social media.
Music Talks also has a 60 page DIY guide for the independent artist loaded with great advice and tips to help stand out from the crowd. From singing tips, how to create great content to keep your fans interested and gain more attention to a complete step by step plan and strategy of your next single/EP or Album release with links to useful tools in a beautiful well set out Ebook, known as The Essential Indie Guide.
Drooble is excited to offer to all its site visitors a 20% discount off from Professional Animated Video and The Essential Indie Guide by simply typing this promo code PVIEMT6 on the checkout page when you make your order. Rock on! Learn More Made with for music! Need Help? Have any suggestions for us?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
Drooble also seems to have extreme difficulty in filling staff positions. Despite the enticing video suggesting a dream like of sun, sea and music, there are always 8 positions that remain unfilled for the company. These include key staff roles. Time will tell whether drooble survives. The sentiment is fine, but any smart business owner will note that the business strategy is odd in the extreme to say the least!
Aug further drooble updates
I continue to be spammed by drooble no matter how many times I unsubscribe! As I suspected they use the subscriber base as ad fodder for third party business. I also note as a previous recruitment director that after almost a year on they still seem unable/incapable of filing 8 key positions, which tells a story of course…
No matter how many times I unsubscribe I continue to be spammed by drooble. Here is the latest and probably the daftest spam email to date. Make of it what you will…
Superhero at your disposal
|Mihail | Drooble||10:38 AM (1 hour ago)|
Hope your day’s going great so far! My name is Mihail and I’m a full-time superhero at Drooble – The Truly Social Network for Musicians.
I noticed you recently started creating your personal profile on Drooble but didn’t finish it for some reason. Let me know what went wrong – did you encounter any difficulties or technical issues with the platform? It’s my personal mission to help you become part of our musicians’ community.
After signing up for free you’ll immediately be able to:
- Get your music broadcasted on Drooble Radio
- Get tons of engagement for your songs
- Receive feedback on your finished or work in progress piece
- Promote your music within the community and worldwidе
- Find musicians for collaboration
- Learn from the community and share your knowledge
You can ask me anything, anytime. Just hit the reply button or email me directly at email@example.com
Here’s a link to the free sign up again: www.drooble.com
The same 8 jobs remain unfilled a year on – https://drooble.com/careers
Here we are in Sept and guess what? I’m still getting spammed by Drooble trying now to flog me promotions on YouTube. Worse still the unsubscribe button doesn’t work either… <sigh>
Drooble continues to spam its data base with increasingly daft offers…
PS Those 8 jobs are still vacant
Drooble continues to promote more and more 3rd party concerns to “members” and yes, those eight positions at Drooble HQ remain unfilled!
Late November update
I’m still being spammed by Drooble and guess what? Those 8 positions at Drooble HQ remain unfilled and the drooble customers continue to be bombarded with requests for paid 3rd party services… <sigh>
2 years on and yes the spam continues
This arrived today <sigh> It seems there is no escape from the endless spamming, even when you officially unsubscribe
|So much happened on Drooble since you last visited! New awesome people joined, posted amazing music, discussed countless topics and exchanged inspiring ideas. We’re sparking the passion in musicians to share their knowledge and inspire each other.|
|We really miss you! Join us again, so we can do this – together!|