Stay the Hell Away from Viberate

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Remember my satirical article about a shady-ass promoter selling bands fake currency to help them with promotion? Turns out that in the dystopian novel that is 2017, it isn’t so satirical. Meet tech bros Viberate, mappers of the global live music industry, deliverers of more transparency, increasers of payment discipline, and enablers of under-the-radar band exposure. Or, more succinctly, Silicon Valley’s answer to the traditional promoters’ pay-to-play schemes and other middle-man scalping in the music industry.

Viberate came to my attention thanks to an advertisement article they paid shameless shills disguised as metal bloggers MetalSucks to run. In that article, the author (likely a Viberate communications manager puppeting MetalSucks) notes Viberate’s goal:

Their goal is to develop a comprehensive marketplace where musicians will be able to get paid in cryptocurrencies, and give event organizers a set of tools to find and book performers in an easier way. The platform Viberate.com is already up and running, currently listing more than 130,000 profiles of various musicians from all over the globe.

Oh joy, another cryptocurrency! Just what the dangerously unstable market, whose bubble is surely going to burst soon due to rampant speculation and predatory futures investment, not to mention the wave of fraudulent initial coin offerings under investigation from the powers that be, needs! And before you Ron Paul-batting neckbeards chime in with “Huehuehue is the money in your wallet real?”, let me retort. Yes. Yes it is. It’s backed by Federal regulations, international trade, and one big-ass military. I can drive down to the sketchy Mexican joint in Jordan Lake and buy myself a big-ass serving of chorizo with the fiat currency in my wallet, and you cannot with your bitcoins because you are a jive sucker.

So, Viberate is a tech company’s wet dream trading in Monopoly money and music. But what exactly are they asking you to do?

“We are rolling out a mechanism which will allow our contributors to receive a reward for helping us grow,” said Vasja Veber, COO and cofounder. This means that everybody that either expands their database, keeps it up to date or helps grow the community and promote the service will get paid in VIB tokens.

Well that’s not very helpful. Let’s take a look at Viberate’s participation section to gather some more clues, Scooby. According to the source, here’s what you, the mark, can do to “work in music.”

  1. Make new entries, suggest profile changes or add ticket links.
  2. Share the unique referral link with your friends or invite them to join the platform via email.
  3. Connect your social accounts and share the news.

Sounds like unpaid promotional work to me. What’s that? You do get paid? In VIB tokens? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

So the tech start-up uses gullible stans for cheap free labor. But what benefit do bands get for buying into the program? That answer is a bit harder to find. There’s a white paper (tech bros and business folks like Michael Stelzner love white papers because they’re structurally designed to convince you that you need some new product) available on the site, but I found this external ICO analysis page a bit more useful.

Viberate is a platform that joins the entire live music ecosystem under one roof. Currently it acts as IMDB for live music, where profiles are ranked according to their online popularity. It is built and curated by the Viberate user community. Our end game is to disrupt the music industry as we know it – by becoming the biggest global talent marketplace.

Essentially, Viberate seeks to cut out the shady flesh-and-blood promoters and management and replace them with objective, unfeeling blockchains. It’s an idea that sounds good on (white) paper, but then you remember that Bandcamp exists and that metal thrives from a DIY structure. Eliminating the potential scalping that shadows a massive corporation like Ticketmaster doesn’t matter much when you aren’t playing stadiums, and this platform’s own ambition to curate a list of hand-picked venues certainly opens ticket sales to the unpredictable nature of hacking and speculation. Plus, blockchains aren’t going to put gas in your farty van, so who’s really going to benefit from this?

Oh. That makes sense. Venture capitalists and millionaires. Sound familiar?

So where does that leave us? Promotion on a click-farm supported platform that no one with any sort of industry cache will use. Plus fancy flowcharts!

If that doesn’t look like it actually says anything, that’s because it doesn’t. Look, I’m a professional researcher at an academic institution. I am a master of saying absolutely nothing in 500+ words. That right there, and all of the other marketing buzzwords upchucked across Viberate’s unnecessarily convoluted website, is just cynical, focus group-calibrated drivel meant to convey sophistication and know-how.

So what is Viberate, really? By all appearances, a scam music platform meant to funnel money away from those already extorting eager young artists toward investors eager to extort young artists and fans both by coercing young people into doing free marketing work that rewards already huge bands with a totally made up currency. Oh, and it has a store!

“We believe anyone interested should be able to participate in shaping the future of the music industry,” Veber explained. It is worth noting that the music industry – already a huge one – is poised for additional growth in the coming years. That is another reason why Viberate is confident of the potential of their business. “And we urge people interested in music to join us and become a part of the movement.”

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  • GangrenousLumbosacralCarbuncle

    All they need is a teeth and hair spokesperson. Maybe Joel Osteen is available…

    • Dubby Fresh

      If there’s money to be made, you better believe Osteen is interested.

  • Howard Dean
    • Dubby Fresh

      Seemed so blatantly bad that I didn’t even need to address the name.

      • Great, they bought the domain for my favorite online dildo depository. Now how am I supposed to get reviews for the new French Tickler Turbo?

        • GrumpLumpusCrumpus

          HANDCAMP.COM

          • Howard Dean

            HANDCRAMP.COM

    • Hans

      I was gonna say, this whole thing sounds as intransparent, impractical and unsexy as the toys that the name reminds me of. That can’t be a coincidence. Also, I guess anyone going for this is a dildo.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/698094fd5473a07fa1ed2ba61e4c172a0fe96628f20fa07c5fc4c8fa9ab9d410.png

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    “I can drive down to the sketchy Mexican joint in Jordan Lake and buy myself a big-ass serving of chorizo with the fiat currency in my wallet, and you cannot with your bitcoins because you are a jive sucker.”

    I nominate this for best blog sentence, 2017.

    Also:
    Suicidal Tendencies>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Howard Dean

      Now that bitcoin futures are up and trading you can make directional bets on bitcoin and settle those bets in good ol’ USD. Awww yissssssss.

      https://thumb1.shutterstock.com/display_pic_with_logo/514156/184358294/stock-photo-businessman-celebrating-a-performance-graph-sitting-at-his-desk-with-statistical-reports-spread-184358294.jpg

      • Dubby Fresh

        Yah, the people making money off the bitcoins are going to be the futures investors, not those suckers buying bitcoin.

        • Howard Dean

          I agree. For the near future at least, the people most likely to make a killing are those who trade bitcoin derivatives based on volatility.

          I’m not wholly against creating out of thin air an asset like bitcoin with zero intrinsic value. Hell, a lot of assets have little-to-no intrinsic value. But it’s certainly been fascinating to watch the (tulip) mania around it build. Even if I were fully all-in on bitcoin, my biggest concern would be liquidity. Trying to cash in and exit a sizeable position would be next to impossible, and the price swings that would result from dumping even a $100MM position would probably nullify a great deal of the return. The Winklevoss twins (the dudes from whom Zuck supposedly stole Facebook) have a multi-billion dollar position in bitcoin right now, but it’s like 2% of the entire market. There’s little liquidity in a position that big, so you kinda have to be in it for the long term. Which is definitely scary.

    • GrumpLumpusCrumpus

      THERE IS ONE COFFEE SHOP IN BOULDER COLORADO WITH A BITCOIN ATM THEY DON’T HAVE CHORIZO THOUGH SO JIVE SUCKER STATUS UNCHANGED

  • Joaquin Stick

    After spending a few months this year looking for jobs, I’ve concluded that a company’s website is the worst place to go to try to figure out what that company does. It’s 100% buzz words and fluff and tells you not one thing.

    Also, prediction: Something beyond tragic is going to happen and bitcoin is going to play a big part in it.

    • I still don’t really know what a bitcoin is and I’m okay with that.

      • GrumpLumpusCrumpus

        NO ONE DOES

    • GrumpLumpusCrumpus

      EVERYONE KNOWS WEBSITES ARE JUST FOR SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION TAGS NEKRO KVLT TRVE BRUTAL BRVTAL HEAVY METAL MEROL BLEKK SODOMIZE DEATH ACNE CREAM

  • Dubby Fresh

    If you like this content, please consider donating one CryptoKitty to the Toilet ov Hell e-Shelter.

    https://www.cryptokitties.co/

    • Retchin’ Rites ov Karhu

      Hwat?

      • Dubby Fresh

        People so desperate to waste their real money on fake money are buying fake cats online, breeding those fake cats with other fake cats, then attempting to sell those fake cats for lots of real money.

        • Retchin’ Rites ov Karhu

          Let me rephrase that for you: “Hwat?”

  • Maik Beninton™

    I will make my own token system named gulag tokens, you work on cutting sugar cane on Gulag Canaviero and you get paid on gulag tokens, the bigger the area you cut the more tokens you get. And you can use those tokens to get better equipment to cut sugar cane.

    • I’m into this idea.

      • Joaquin Stick

        Needs more loot boxes, imo.

        • Dubby Fresh

          Loot boxes can be purchased with the premium sugar stars that are random drops among the canes.

          • Still using that old steel scythe? With this new +2 Agility Kama of Viberation, you can earn those sweet, sweet sugar stars twice as fast!

      • Maik Beninton™

        You start with your hand, and then with 20 tokens you can get a plastic knife.
        You get 100 tokens you can buy a butter knife.
        The prices then increase 2x at each level.

  • Flowcharts like these always remind me to say my Hosanna’s!

    http://i.imgur.com/cK9oAUP.jpg

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    the blockchain infrastructure is where the smart investor money is going.

  • David Lee Hrothgar

    my highest rated post in ages was calling out those dorks for running that shitty ad yesterday

    then today they run a vape industry piece. in tyool 2k17

    that place has gone downhill bad

  • Lord of Bork

    Is there any way I can get a framed, signed copy of that brief rant about Ron Paul idiots?

    • GrumpLumpusCrumpus

      NEW PATREON REWARD

  • Max

    Speaking as somebody who has virtually zero knowledge or understanding of finance, I appreciate this article for helping me to understand the flaws of such an enterprise just as much as I enjoy the acerbic tone. Well done, El Presidente!

  • GoatForest

    This whole thing just reeks of Company Store bullshit. Thanks for dragging this scabies infested gremlin into the sunlight, W.

  • You know cryptocurrencies are a fucking joke when even the Magnanimous Venezuelan Empires developed Petro as an “official currency”.

    Flush these hacks down to the filthiest toilet ever. Great job uncovering these jackass, W. bro.

  • Grizzly

    Great article!

    So, basically this seems like:

    1. You post links and other stuff to their website.

    2. In exchange, Viberate gives you store credit which as of right now is displaying on their website a woman’s tshirt w/ Viberate logo, a men’s tshirt w/ Viberate logo, a cheap wireless speaker, or the “UMEK @ KS 22.12.2017 Exclusive VIP package @ Kurzschluss – VIP entry & 35 USD drinks consumption”……whatever the hell that is supposed to be. Also, based on the analysis, supposedly you can get tickets and other stuff.

    3. If the performers, venues, etc. receive compensation from Viberate, it will be in the form of store credit which those performers and venue operators can use to buy a tshirt with the Viberate logo from the Viberate store. Gee, thanks.

    This is a total scam.