Famous as one of the most democratic platforms in the music industry, Bandcamp has been acquired by a tech giant

One of the internet’s most democratic and highest-paying streaming services is now under the umbrella of one of the biggest tech companies in the world. Epic Games – a name that will be familiar to anyone who plays Fortnite – has purchased Bandcamp for an as yet undisclosed sum of money.

Bandcamp has long been known as the place where those looking for the next big thing of the week, month, and next year go to discover new bands, up-and-coming solo artists, and up-and-coming EDM artists. It’s the place where anyone can post their singles, EPs, and albums, and then not be ashamed of the fact that no one but three kids in Poland and a blog based in Lawrence, Kansas are the only ones who seem to care. After all, Bandcamp is all about supporting and providing exposure to new and largely unknown acts and then helping them take them to the next level, instead of adding another $100,000 in Spotify or Apple Music royalties to Kanye’s bank accounts. West, Rihanna and Ed. Sheran.

The service is also about paying artists who use it more fairly than monster streaming services. Bandcamp takes 10% of revenue on physical items and between 10-15% on digital purchases. The site is free and artists are allowed to set their own prices for anything they offer, from digital albums or singles to official flavored t-shirts, mugs and condoms. It is important to note that those who use the site to sell their music, spoken word, or video game soundtracks to the world are paid daily for all sales.

Bandcamp also offers free breakdowns of who’s listening to each artist’s music and where they’re listening from, which is invaluable if you’re an obscure grindcore band from Surrey with 3,000 fans in Peru and wondering whether to whether or not to add a panpipes player.

As for those using the service as fans, Bandcamp allows music consumers to create their own personal pages, complete with built-in music players, and search for tracks based on everything from genre and format type to the geographical location of the artists. Best Of lists are also searchable for those who are too lazy to do their own legwork.

Democratic, right? Imagine how rich Gruntruck, the Jesus Lizard and the Zoobombs would be today if they had been the only ones to benefit from every album, hoodie, poster and dating package they sold during their career.

All of this is making Bandcamp fans a little nervous about Epic Games being the new lord of the platform.

Epic Games has become a complete technology powerhouse thanks to its widely used Unreal engine, which is used by all major major platforms, from Xbox and PlayStation to Oculus headsets. What he knows for sure is that he cares about music – especially that of the popular variety – is, on the other hand, anyone’s guess.

This led Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond to issue assurances that business will continue as usual despite the new owner. And that there will also be new initiatives, including a move towards helping with things like vinyl pressing.

Here is his message:

Bandcamp will continue to operate as a self-contained 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 artist-driven revenue model (where artists make an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you submit your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned and the Daily will continue to highlight the diverse and amazing music on the site. However, behind the scenes, we are working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward on Bandcamp, basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merchandising tools, payment system, and features. of research and discovery, to new initiatives like our vinyl pressing. and live streaming services.

Since our founding in 2008, we’ve been driven by our mission to help spread the healing power of music by creating a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans. This simple idea has worked well, with payouts to artists and labels approaching US$1 billion. And although over the years we’ve heard from other companies who wanted us to join them, we always thought it would only be exciting if they strongly believed in our mission, were aligned with our values ​​and only wanted not only to see Bandcamp continue, but also wanted to provide the resources to bring much more benefit to the artists, labels and fans who use the site. Epic ticks all of these boxes. We share the vision of building the most open and friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we will be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be fairly compensated for their work.

Diamond concluded his post by noting that Bandcamp has been there for grassroots artists and DIY labels since its inception 14 years ago, and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change.

That’s good news for you and your Balkan folk-obsessed speed-metal octet, of course, especially since you’ve been looking to squeeze something on neon orange zebra-striped and sherbet-green vinyl, but you don’t know where to turn for help. And know that the only way to pay for it is to have a run on your life-size group bobbleheads, calligraphy-style quill pens, and Victorian-style hot water bottle products.

Or, you know, flutes stamped with your band name and logo. Beause, rightly or wrongly, impossible to think “Bandcamp” without thinking…..

Video of This One Time at Band Camp


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