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Bandcamp is joining Epic Games

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I’m excited to announce that Bandcamp is joining Epic Games, who you may know as the makers of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, and champions for a fair and open Internet.

Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team. The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model (where artists net an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned, and the Daily will keep highlighting the diverse, amazing music on the site. However, behind the scenes we’re working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.

Since our founding in 2008, we’ve been motivated by the pursuit of our mission, which is to help spread the healing power of music by building a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans. That simple idea has worked well, with payments to artists and labels closing in on $1 billion USD. And while over the years we’ve heard from other companies who wanted us to join them, we’ve always felt that doing so would only be exciting if they strongly believed in our mission, were aligned with our values, and not only wanted to see Bandcamp continue, but also wanted to provide the resources to bring a lot more benefit to the artists, labels, and fans who use the site. Epic ticks all those boxes. We share a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work.

Whether you joined Bandcamp recently or have been with us since the beginning 14 years ago, thank you for being a part of this incredible community, and we look forward to serving you for many years to come!

Ethan Diamond
Bandcamp co-founder and CEO

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Posted (edited)

I'd be interested in folks here giving their thoughts on this and other platforms. 

Edited by PavlovsCat

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3 minutes ago, PavlovsCat said:

I'd be interested in folks here giving their thoughts on this and other platforms.  I've only started to share my music with friends and in the song forum here. Many years ago, up until the late 90s, I played drums semi professionally for a couple of decades and formed a band of my own for my original music that never found a lead singer and disbanded. But I have a lousy voice and only recently have had the courage to share music with just me playing and singing and have been using SoundCloud. 

Bandcamp is great with lots of options.  I have sold a few copies and made a very modest amount of money but you can of course charge nothing or do it pay as what you want.  You get a bunch of codes so you can give away downloads, good for reviewers or family. If you have sold some copies they give you more free download codes. You can add extras to the download, like PDF liner notes etc. and making a decent looking page for an album is quite easy, including adding lyrics.

You also retain control of what can be streamed and how many times it can be streamed without a purchase.

Normally they take a modest percentage of the sale but they have monthly "Bandcamp Fridays" where they waive their fees.

The hardest part is promotion and directing people to your music.

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I buy most of my music from Bandcamp - usually on Bandcamp Fridays. They seem to have fairly ethical practices compared to the rest of the business. I know many musicians  who sell their music and merch on there and seem very happy. I hope this continues

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I understand Epic currently has Spotify in their "game store", which might suggest soundtracks are part of the gaming experience?  And possibly a potential channel for any metal/synth musos out there (based on what little I know about games). 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

who you may know as the makers of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, and champions for a fair and open Internet.

Lol. Funny to hear that without sarcasm. This is EPIC GAMES they are talking about. Haha.

Too bad about Bandcamp. Instead of focusing on creative marketing and promoting the artists on their platform, and improving the UI / UX of their platform (still insisting on only Paypal revenue payments....in 2022!), they will just partner with more corporations to get some of that sweet easy cash. Bandcamp continues on its path to irrelevancy along with Soundcloud.

Edited by Carl Ewing
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2 hours ago, Carl Ewing said:

Lol. Funny to hear that without sarcasm. This is EPIC GAMES they are talking about. Haha.

Too bad about Bandcamp. Instead of focusing on creative marketing and promoting the artists on their platform, and improving the UI / UX of their platform (still insisting on only Paypal revenue payments....in 2022!), they will just partner with more corporations to get some of that sweet easy cash. Bandcamp continues on its path to irrelevancy along with Soundcloud.

SoundCloud?  What's that? Is it like MySpace?

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Bandcamp has absolutely no weight in the industry, its unconventional system to a distributor would not come or I think will come to fruition if it does not change its style and way improve its distribution, lacks productive horizons for the artist, they have a terrible direct deal with artists, I currently with my more than three hundred tracks I use it as a warehouse to store online all my repertoire because economically it does not provide me with income, where the same if it does with another distributor like RouteNote.

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For those of us not in the know, could the people who think Bandcamp isn't that good provide some better alternatives please?

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Caveat: my experience is based on being a fan (and artist) of the electronica genre, although I've bought several albums and songs from other genres on Bandcamp. I've no idea what the impact of ownership by Epic might be. My purchase loop is "hear it on SomaFM, who recommend and often link straight to Bandcamp in their players), then go check the rest of the album on Bandcamp, buy either the track or the whole record." I'm active in seeking out new music, even at 61, and their recommendations and articles are a great way to do that. There's so much information available that it's like trying to drink from a firehose.

Going back 45 years, I've found my favorite music outside "mainstream" outlets, college radio, true indie labels buying cassettes and CD's at shows, etc. I read Albini's "Some of Your Friends Are Already This [Plucked]" (aka "The Problem With Music") when it was first published in Maximum Rock 'n' Roll and it blew my mind and destroyed the fantasy of "getting signed."

As such, I frickin' love the platform. I'd much rather buy there than anywhere else. One HUGE advantage that they've long held over the biggies is that you can upload (and purchase) lossless, which is the only thing I buy. A buyer can leave a personal note to the artist, which I usually do, and I've had conversations with a couple of my favorite artists as a result. I contacted Chris Zippel through the platform and he sent me a song that wasn't available for purchase anywhere. I'm a big "soundstage" listener and being able to get lossless files from sound sculptors like David Tipper, Telefon Tel Aviv and SCANN-TEC is, to me, essential to listening to those artists. Bandcamp's streaming CODEC's are also some of the best I've heard, and that, too is important to me.

Knowing that the platform only takes a 10% vig is also very important to me. See Albini article.

For my own (so far) meagre output, I don't even bother with any other distribution platform. No offense intended, but I'm not interested in whatever listeners who might hear me in some algorithm-generated Spotify playlist. I make music for people like me who put some effort into discovering stuff they'll like and get excited about finding a new (to them) artist. This may seem like a contradiction, as the ambient music I'm making these days would seem tailor-made for any number of "chill" channels.

Basically, you could say that my musical goal is to live the dream that started 40 years ago: make music that reaches people like me and engage with them as directly as possible, without having to rely on middle-entities who take too much compensation for work that I do. I love that the internet has made it possible. Albini himself a few years back had a much more optimistic take on the current state. I'm not an Albini fanboy; I think he's kind of abrasive, actually, but on these topics I tend to agree with him. As such, Bandcamp is the best platform for me. Something else may come along, maybe the relationship with Epic will ruin it. But that's the fun thing about these times: if Bandcamp is ruined, something else will pop up to replace it.

Your mileage will almost certainly vary, but that's my take.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

. . . my experience is based on being a fan . . . of the electronica genre . . . . My purchase loop is "hear it on SomaFM, who recommend and often link straight to Bandcamp in their players), then go check the rest of the album on Bandcamp, buy either the track or the whole record."

Now that you mention it, I have done something similar.  Over the past decade or so, I have listened to and/or purchased from electronic and ambient artists who offer their albums and entire collections through bandcamp.  I generally heard the music on any of a number internet stations I have grown to trust. Also, in some cases I knew the artists from live streamed performances, from personal contact at events I participated in, etc.  I am on the mailing lists for a couple so I find out about new releases.

8 hours ago, JT music said:

Bandcamp has absolutely no weight in the industry . . . .

I can't remember how many decades ago I gave a rat's tail about music pimped out by "the industry."

Edited by User 905133
to add a missing ", etc"
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The great majority of musicians I listen to (mostly folk and roots music) either sell their music direct through their own website or use Bandcamp. Those that use Bandcamp generally seem happy with it and many recommend it as the place they'd prefer people to buy their music from. 

I'm happy as a punter knowing that all my money goes to the artists as I buy on Bandcamp Fridays.  I hope Epic Games don't ruin the current model. 

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On 3/3/2022 at 1:43 AM, Carl Ewing said:

Too bad about Bandcamp. Instead of focusing on creative marketing and promoting the artists on their platform, and improving the UI / UX of their platform (still insisting on only Paypal revenue payments....in 2022!), they will just partner with more corporations to get some of that sweet easy cash. Bandcamp continues on its path to irrelevancy along with Soundcloud.

I couldn't disagree with you more. From a consumer point of view I don't want want any creative marketing coming between me, the artist and their music. As a distributor of music, they are just fine. As others have stated, I prefer other methods to discover new music and new artists. I really don't want some useless promotion gobbling up money that should go directly to the artist. I am not sure why you feel Bandcamp is becoming irrelevant.

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5 hours ago, Doug Rintoul said:

only Paypal revenue payments

keeps the costs down 🤷‍♂️

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I sell my music on BandCamp.

I don't know enough to know if the Epic deal is good or bad news.

Promotion has always been a problem, regardless of platform.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/3/2022 at 6:43 AM, Carl Ewing said:

 

 

Edited by JT music

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On 3/3/2022 at 6:43 AM, Carl Ewing said:

Lol. Funny to hear that without sarcasm. This is EPIC GAMES they are talking about. Haha.

Too bad about Bandcamp. Instead of focusing on creative marketing and promoting the artists on their platform, and improving the UI / UX of their platform (still insisting on only Paypal revenue payments....in 2022!), they will just partner with more corporations to get some of that sweet easy cash. Bandcamp continues on its path to irrelevancy along with Soundcloud.

Totally agree

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