If you have visited our Music Page recently you may have seen links for our artists That That Is and Aerostat on Bandcamp. What sets Bandcamp apart from numerous other online music companies that have risen to prominence in the past 20 years?
Bandcamp allows artists and recording labels not only to upload their music, but also to control how they sell their work, as well as the pricing of their work, and to sell associated merchandise. Artists can also offer their work in physical formats, including CD and even vinyl records.
Since Bandcamp was founded in 2008, more than 3,500 labels and 600,000 artists have sold music or merchandise through it. The company operates on a "fair trade" music policy in which revenue is split approximately 10-15% to Bandcamp, roughly 5% to processing fees, and 80-85% to the artist. Since, as its website states, "we only make money when artists make a lot more money", it's become a hotspot for emerging artists of all kinds.
Standalone music streaming companies have, in the past decade, continued to lose money and industry-wide recording sales have continued to decline. Many, if not most, artists no longer make any substantial income from recording sales. Ethan Diamond, one of Bandcamp's founders, stated in 2017 that "the seemingly inevitable upshot of these two trends (declining streaming and recording sales) is that the majority of music consumption will eventually take place within the subscription rental services of two or three enormous corporations, who can afford to lose money on music." In turn, he added, these corporate giants will increasingly dictate what music is recorded and heard.
But Bandcamp was and is determined to buck those trends. In 2017 Bandcamp enjoyed its sixth straight year in the black, along with double-digit growth in every aspect of its business. Digital sales increased by 16% for albums and 33% for individual tracks. Even more astonishing was its growth in physical sales: vinyl album sales increased 54%, cassettes 41%, and CDs 18%.
"We want a music platform to exist where the playing field is level, where artists are compensated fairly and transparently, and where fans can both stream and own their music collections," Diamond said.
Bandcamp also is generally more consumer-friendly than other music services. Browsing, sampling and choosing music at the site is easy and enjoyable. You may also discover new artists and artists outside of the mainstream music industry that you might not have found otherwise.
These reasons and others are why Monroe St. has included Bandcamp among the marketplaces through which we make our works available. To explore Bandcamp and its offerings, visit https://bandcamp.com/.