For the past 15 or so years, Bandcamp has been one of the most artist-friendly streaming platforms, offering a place for independent and underground acts to share and sell their music while getting the lion’s share of the profits. It differs from other DSPs in that artists get more control, while the company only takes a 10-15% commission on sales made from their website. Bandcamp is also notable for its charity efforts, including “Bandcamp Fridays,” during which it waived its commissions to aid artists affected by COVID-19 and the resulting lockdowns.
Who Owns Bandcamp?
The buyer, Songtradr, is a music licensing platform and marketplace founded in 2014 that facilitates brands, content creators, and digital platforms in their use of music for licensing purposes. Its products help agencies, artists, and labels find, license, and manage music for purposing like music “syncing” in commercials, films, television shows, video games, and other areas. The company also recently acquired AI metadata and music search platform MusicCube, as well as music credits database Jaxsta.
Songtradr told Billboard the purchase will “enable it to expand its capabilities to support the artist community.” However, as noted by Pitchfork, Songtradr did not comment on whether Bandcamp’s artist-friendly revenue policy will continue, or whether the acquisition will affect Bandcamp’s frankly impressive editorial mandate and user experience on-site.
We aren’t sure what this could mean for your favorite Bandcamp artists. This will likely make it easier for Bandcamp artists to get their music licensed, increasing their income and Bandcamp’s via commissions. But these services could come at increased cost in the form of smaller shares of the revenue split (call me cynical, but don’t be surprised if Bandcamp announces that it’ll charge 50% for use of its licensing services instead). Meanwhile, Epic will continue to work with Bandcamp on Fortnite Radio and look into allowing Bandcamp artists to opt into licensing music for Epic games.