Here’s how much band coverage costs at Alternative Nation


Bands paying for coverage? In this industry? It’s more likely than you think.

There are three things that I believe in with all my heart and soul:
#1) Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is far superior to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
#2) Socialism is both cool and good.
#3) No band should ever pay to play or, even worse, pay for coverage.

The latter point has been covered a time or two in the pages of this very Toilet blog. Recently my esteemed colleague 365 Days of Horror shared a few instances of prominent pay-for-coverage schemes in the metal scene. It may seem obvious to some of you but it bears repeating, paying an outlet to write about your music is a terrible strategy. Any publication that will take your money in exchange for coverage is a publication that lacks integrity. What’s the point of getting some positive words when your band is placed among lord knows how many other bands that similarly paid to receive a review or an interview? It’s a desperate move on the artist’s part and a wildly unsustainable practice by unethical publications.

Which brings us to a publication called Alternative Nation (not to be confused with the Sirius XM channel or the mid-90s MTV program of the same name). I was previously unfamiliar with this site but after receiving an email from their director of publicity in a hilarious reply all mishap, I decided to check it out.

A recent sample of their latest coverage has led me to believe that Alternative Nation exists in an alternative Gen-X dimension where all bands formed after 1998 were declared illegal. A young artist sent a mass email to a shit ton of publications, ours included, asking for coverage of his music. In the reply all spree, we learned what it takes to be included on Alternative Nation dot net (aside from I guess being Dave Grohl).

Alternative Nation offers sponsorship opportunities.

For $150 we will write and post one review/premiere/interview/etc. article in our Rock Features section. The article will also be posted on the Facebook and Twitter pages.

For $200 we will post the sponsored article and also upload one of your videos to our Facebook page, and we will promote your music in 3 stories on mainstream artists like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers etc. We’ll also share the video on our Desperate Times – 90’s Music Facebook page that has 330,000 likes.

We can also discuss possibilities of making lists like the ‘Top 10 Rock Albums of 2018’ and ‘Top 10 Rock Songs Of 2018’ lists.

Beyond shoehorning your band into an endless stream of stories about the same handful of goddamn Hullabalooza fodder, you can also… possibly buy your way onto a best-of list? That’s pretty fucking egregious, y’all! Look at Alternative Nation’s top 15 metal albums of 2018. Every band on the list is an established act… but maybe someone bought their way onto the EOTY roundup? If the publication is insinuating that favorable coverage can be bought for the right price, why wouldn’t I assume that a prime position was purchased? Pay-for-coverage schemes cast doubt on all parties involved. In the end, everyone looks bad. Don’t do it.

If you need coverage, hire a competent PR person. Or do your homework and handle PR duties yourself. But never, ever pay for coverage.

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