Bandcamp: Music’s Greatest Canvas

Attention music lovers everywhere! Lend me your eyes, and give your ears a rest. You could use your precious lobes for a greater purpose. How you may wonder?

Well, Artists, Creators, and Musicians all around search for the best platform to release their work everyday. The king stream in the game right now being Apple Music & iTunes may cause the illusion that it’s clearly obvious where breakout artists should start. However, with millions of other financially affordable outlets, and so many free underground routes to fame given new media it causes people to think… Am I doing this right?

Spotify, SoundCloud, and iTunes can try all they want. I mean, they already have the popular vote locked down. Even new applications and Youtube can try to get into the game. Still, my beautiful music lovers, there is no greater platform that benefits the artist and their fans alike than Bandcamp: Music’s Greatest Underrated Canvas.

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“When you buy something on Bandcamp, whether it’s digital music, vinyl, or a t-shirt, ticket or cassette, 80-85% of your money goes to the artist, and we pay out daily. The remainder goes to payment processor fees and Bandcamp’s revenue share, which is 10-15% on digital items, and 10% on physical goods.” ( bandcamp.com/about )

Founded in 2007, Bandcamp has been profitable since 2012, and they’re growing rapidly with millions of fans around the world. It’s indispensable tool for hundreds of thousands of artists and more than 3,000 labels.

     The New York Times called Bandcamp “one of the greatest underground-culture bazaars of our time,” Fast Company named them one of the most innovative companies in music, and the American Association of Independent Music honored them with their 2017 Independent Champion award.

a2236008436_10     “Since we only make money when artists make a lot more money, our interests remain aligned with those of the community we serve. It’s a straightforward approach, and one we’re happy to say works well,” ( bandcamp.com/about )

But do not just take the sources word for it. Musician Bent Stamnes released his EP on three platforms: iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp. The income statistics that resulted from releasing the exact same product on three very different sites with the exact same purpose makes it quite evident which works best for both sides of the breakout artists and their following.

“In total I’ve made $372,09 in sales from my EP “Hit The Grave Running” over the last 10 months,” said Stamnes.

“Almost all of it came from Bandcamp, which is most likely due to a decent fan base who prefers that platform, and that my music has little-to-no mainstream appeal, plus the fact that they let me keep a larger percentage of the revenue.”

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iTunes– With both downloads and streaming supported, iTunes has provided me with two metrics. I’ll list both and show the combined income as well.
22 downloads = $19.77
15 streams = $0.05
Total revenue: $19.81
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Spotify– There is only one method of compensation with Spotify, and that’s per stream. I’m not going to dig deeper into the topic of whether or not their compensation model is fair (it isn’t), so let’s just get to the numbers..
1558 streams = $14.58
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Bandcamp– You can distribute your music on a few different models on Bandcamp, including “pay-what-you-want”, where people can opt to pay nothing but still download your music. For this release however, I wanted to have a fixed price: $5 for the EP — $1 per song, the same as iTunes.
51 downloads = $337.70

It is free to sign up, and a great way for breakout artists to make a profit on their own music. Their website is easy to navigate, bandcamp.com, and even easier to help fellow music lovers find new music for the new year. Try it out today!

 

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