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Bandcamp, Inc.
Bandcamp-logotype-color.svg
Type of site
Subsidiary
FoundedDecember 12, 2007; 14 years ago (2007-12-12)
HeadquartersOakland, California, U.S.
OwnerEpic Games
Founder(s)
  • Ethan Diamond
  • Shawn Grunberger
  • Joe Holt
  • Neal Tucker
Key peopleEthan Diamond (CEO)
Shawn Grunberger (CTO)
IndustryMusic streaming, music purchasing
URLbandcamp.com

Bandcamp is an American online audio distribution platform founded in 2007 by Oddpost co-founder Ethan Diamond and programmers Shawn Grunberger, Joe Holt and Neal Tucker,[1][2][3][4] with headquarters in Oakland, California, US.[5] On March 2, 2022, Bandcamp was acquired by Epic Games.[6]

History

Bandcamp was founded in 2007 by Ethan Diamond and programmers Shawn Grunberger, Joe Holt and Neal Tucker, headquartered in Oakland, California, US.[5]

In 2010, the site enabled embedding in other websites and shared links on social media sites.[7]

As of August 2020, half of Bandcamp's revenue was from sales for physical products.[8]

In November 2020, Bandcamp launched Bandcamp Live, a ticketed live-streaming service for artists. The service is an integrated feature of the Bandcamp website. Fees on tickets were waived until March 31, 2021, and became 10% from then.[9][10]

Bandcamp provides vinyl pressing services for artists. After a 50-artist pilot in 2020, the company opened limited access to 10,000 artists in early 2021 with plans for further expansion. Their fans preorder the pressing rather than having the artist fund it upfront. Bandcamp lets artists set their own price. The company's two million vinyl sales in 2020 doubled that of 2019.[11]

Bandcamp was acquired by Epic Games on March 2, 2022.[6] Epic said the platform “will play an important role in Epic’s vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem...". Ethan Diamond said “Bandcamp will keep operating as a stand-alone marketplace and music community...".[12]

Business model

Artists and labels upload music to Bandcamp and control how they sell it, setting their own prices, offering users the option to pay more,[13] and selling merchandise.

Users can download their purchases or stream their music on the Bandcamp application or website only once or, by preserving the purchase voucher, unlimited times. They can also send purchased music as a gift,[14] view lyrics, and save individual songs or albums to a wish list. Uploading music to Bandcamp is free. The company takes a 15% commission on sales made from their website, which drops to 10% after an artist's sales surpass US$5,000, plus payment processing fees.[15]

Downloads are offered in lossy formats MP3 (LAME, 320k or V0), AAC and Ogg Vorbis, and in lossless formats FLAC, ALAC, WAV and AIFF.[16] In addition to digital downloads artists may offer to sell their music on physical media such as CD or vinyl.

Bandcamp's website offers users access to an artist's page, with information on the artist, social media links, merchandising links and listing their available music. Artists can change the look of their page and customize its features.[17]

Charity

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 Bandcamp announced that they would be waiving their share of revenue and donating all sales to artists for 24 hours on March 20.[18] They repeated the initiative in the following months[19] and began calling these days "Bandcamp Fridays";[20] they are scheduled once every month and the website Is It Bandcamp Friday?[21] was established to provide timing clarity to those outside the Pacific time zone. After raising more than $40 million for its musicians in 2020 through Bandcamp Fridays, the platform extended the program to four additional dates in 2021.[22]

In response to the protests that took place following the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans who had died from police violence, Bandcamp announced that for 24 hours on June 19, 2020 they would donate 100% of profits to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.[23]

Notable artists and labels

Bandcamp gained much attention in July 2010 when Amanda Palmer, Low Places and Bedhed gave up their record labels and started selling albums on Bandcamp, using Twitter for promotion.[24][25]

Will Toledo initially released his 2011 studio album Twin Fantasy on Bandcamp. The album has since gained a cult following, thanks to online forums Reddit and 4chan, and has been downloaded[as of?] over 33,000 times.

Several indie game developers published their game soundtracks on Bandcamp,[citation needed] including the creators of Aquaria, Bastion, Cuphead, Sanctum, Machinarium, Terraria, Plants vs. Zombies, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, To the Moon, YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, Fez, Minecraft, Undertale, Deltarune, and Stardew Valley.[citation needed]

In December 2014, Bandcamp for Labels was launched. Popular independent labels such as Sub Pop, Fat Wreck Chords, Relapse Records and Epitaph Records launched their own Bandcamp pages.[26]

In November 2019, Peter Gabriel added his complete solo catalog to Bandcamp.[27]

On June 18, 2020, Björk published her discography on the platform.[28]

On October 21, 2021, Radiohead published their discography on the platform.[29]

Bandcamp Daily

In the summer of 2016, their editorial content was expanded by launching Bandcamp Daily, an online music publication about artists on the platform.[30][31] The publication is based in New York.[5] Its managing editor is Jes Skolnik, a writer for Pitchfork, BuzzFeed and The New York Times, as well as former author of punk zines.[32] Among Bandcamp Daily's columnists have been writers of Wired,[33] Vice,[34] NPR Music,[35] Pitchfork[36] and Paste.[37]

On August 4, 2017, the staff of Bandcamp Daily donated all of the day's sales proceeds to the Transgender Law Center, a civil rights organization for transgender people.[38]

In February 2018, the audience of Bandcamp Daily had increased by 84% since the previous year.[31][39]

References

  1. ^ John, Tozzi (November 17, 2011). "Helping Indie Musicians Market Their Tunes". Bloomberg News.
  2. ^ "Private Company Financial Report on Bandcamp, Inc". PrivCo.
  3. ^ Sam, Clearman (October 1, 2008). "An interview with Joe Holt". The HTML Times. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
  4. ^ Ethan, Maffey (July 18, 2012). "The Best of Bandcamp: Get in on the ground floor with these sell-it-yourself bands". The Source Weekly. Retrieved December 28, 2013. Web developers and friends Ethan Diamond, Shawn Grunberger, Joe Holt and Neal Tucker launched Bandcamp in 2008
  5. ^ a b c Lefebvre, Sam (January 17, 2019). "Inside Bandcamp's New Oakland Venue, Record Shop and Office". KQED. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Diamond, Ethan (March 2, 2022). "Bandcamp is Joining Epic Games". Bandcamp. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  7. ^ "Full Tracklist Players, Facebook Love". The Bandcamp Blog. September 10, 2010. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  8. ^ Krukowski, Damon (August 19, 2020). "A Tale Of Two Ecosystems: On Bandcamp, Spotify And The Wide-Open Future". NPR. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  9. ^ Yoo, Noah (November 17, 2020). "Bandcamp Launches New Livestreaming Service for Artists". Pitchfork.
  10. ^ Tatiana, Cirisano (November 17, 2020). "Here's How Bandcamp's New Livestreaming Platform Stacks Up". Billboard.
  11. ^ Millman, Ethan (January 14, 2021). "Bandcamp Will Make Vinyl Records For You". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  12. ^ Sisario, Ben (March 2, 2022). "Gaming Giant Behind Fortnite Buys Bandcamp, an Indie Music Haven". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2022.
  13. ^ "Bandcamp Help". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  14. ^ "Thank You, It's a Gift". The Bandcamp Blog. November 26, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  15. ^ James Shotwell (June 20, 2010). "Bandcamp.com changes business model". Alt Press.
  16. ^ Bandcamp - In which formats can I download my purchases, archived from the original on February 20, 2019, retrieved February 19, 2019
  17. ^ Deitz, Ben (January 24, 2011). "Bandcamp Decoded: An Indie Musician's Best (and Most Profitable) Friend". Switched.com. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  18. ^ Aswad, Jem (March 20, 2020). "Online Music Retailer Bandcamp Is Waiving Its Share of Sales Today – 100% Goes to Musicians". Variety.
  19. ^ Galil, Leor (July 1, 2020). "Another chance for a Bandcamp binge to help musicians". Chicago Reader.
  20. ^ "Support Artists Impacted By the Covid-19 Pandemic". Bandcamp Daily. July 3, 2020.
  21. ^ "Is it Bandcamp Friday?". isitbandcampfriday.com.
  22. ^ Turman, Katherine (December 15, 2020). "'Bandcamp Fridays' Raised $40 Million for Artists, Will Continue in 2021". Spin. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "Bandcamp Directing Profits to NAACP Legal Defense Fund". Pitchfork. June 2020.
  24. ^ Caroline Klibanoff (July 27, 2010). "Amanda Palmer Brings in $15,000 on Bandcamp in Three Minutes". Paste Magazine.
  25. ^ Glenn Peoples (June 22, 2010). "Amanda Palmer Sells $15K Worth Of Music, Merch In Three Min". Billboard.biz.
  26. ^ "Fat Wreck, Epitaph, Sub-Pop Get Bandcamp Pages". Riffyou.com. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  27. ^ "Peter Gabriel's Solo Discography Comes to Bandcamp". Bandcamp Daily. November 15, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
  28. ^ "The Björk Discography Comes to Bandcamp; Proceeds Being Donated to Black Lives Matter UK". Bandcamp Daily. June 18, 2020. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  29. ^ "Radiohead".
  30. ^ Ratliff, Ben (August 19, 2016). "Is Bandcamp the Holy Grail of Online Record Stores?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
  31. ^ a b Mahadevan, Tara (February 14, 2018). "Musicians Earned Over $270 Million From Bandcamp Last Year". Complex. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  32. ^ Serota, Maggie (November 10, 2017). "It's OK If You Don't Have Your Career Figured Out by 30". Glamour. Archived from the original on November 11, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  33. ^ Chandler, Simon. "Outsourcing Police Investigations to Google Risks Privacy and Justice". Truthout. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  34. ^ "Zachary Lipez's Articles". Inc.com. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  35. ^ "Subscribe to The Hash Podcast — New Season January 8th!". December 20, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  36. ^ Siebert, Michael. "Dennis Cooper doesn't want you to look away". The Outline. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  37. ^ "Channel Tres' blend of G-Funk and minimal house is the rap risk we've been waiting for". August 8, 2018. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  38. ^ Sodomsky, Sam (July 31, 2017). "Bandcamp Donating Proceeds to Transgender Law Center This Friday". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved May 21, 2019.
  39. ^ Stutz, Colin (February 13, 2018). "Bandcamp Paid Musicians Over $70M in 2017". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 14, 2018. Retrieved May 20, 2019.