Independent artists are continually searching for the platforms that best support their creative endeavors, and the list of potential options is undoubtedly complex. From fair revenue splits to anti-corporate initiatives, the artist-based demand for independent players takes precedence over the need for grander names. To assist in the decision-making process for fellow artists, we offer a magnified look into the highly-esteemed DIY platform, Bandcamp, and how they prove to be the most appealing option for up-and-coming musicians.
Before diving headfirst into Bandcamp’s back-end systems, it’s important to touch on the overriding chaos of present-day society. At the risk of sounding monotonous, the global pandemic’s grim economic results continue to affect a vast majority of artists. More than ever before, these artists need the financial support of outside aid and are paying closer attention to the communities that care.
Upon the immediate loss of live performances, Bandcamp took swift action in offering monetary support for musicians by waiving their platform’s revenue cuts on all purchases. On March 20th, May 1st, June 5th, and July 3rd of this year, 100% of all revenue were given directly to artists, arriving within a 24 to 48-hour timeframe. The platform dubs these predetermined periods as Bandcamp Days, serving as a time when fans can organically support the artists they admire.
Alongside the financial support for struggling artists affected by COVID-19, Bandcamp stood in solidarity with people of color, answering the desperate call for social justice with their Juneteenth initiative. On this day of observance for the black community, the platform donated 100% of their financial cuts to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Diverse Revenue Options And Fair Artist Percentages
Thriving on the belief that artists of varying audiences deserve fair compensation and transparency for their work, Bandcamp’s mission openly provides clear and concise information accessible to both fans and artists. An ethical anomaly in the otherwise capitalist industry, this platform is an active contributor to independent creators’ support. And the proof is in the details.
Offering free accounts to all artists (with options for premium accounts billed monthly), Bandcamp claims a minor 15% off all digital revenue in exchange for their services, leaving the remaining 85% for the artist. Alongside digital sales, artists and labels may choose to diversify their income through merchandise distribution, offering their fans a seamless one-stop-shop experience. For those physical merchandise sales, Bandcamp claims just 10%. In simpler words, the artists make more money than the platform itself: A model any music fan should stand behind. Unlike its major competitors, Bandcamp is public about their percentage allocations as this information can be located directly on their website. The good guys usually have nothing to hide.
Commercial Control And Optimal Quality
As an ideal additive to an already supreme system, Bandcamp allows artists to have total commercial control over their work. Yes, we said TOTAL control. The artist can determine the price of their music and may change that price at their discretion, any given time. The platform’s flexibility may also allow fans to contribute a higher amount than the minimum asking price for an item. Additionally, artists can bundle their digital items with physical merchandise at competitive prices, offering fans a wider variety of supporting options. The sky’s the limit.
And if the do-it-yourself character isn’t convincing enough, Bandcamp offers every high-quality download format imaginable to ensure purchasers receive optimal auditory experiences every time. Now, combine the possibilities above with real-time statics, simplified order fulfillments, personalized discount codes for fans, search engine optimization, and sales report submissions for music charts. The opportunities for Bandcamp Artists are limitless.
Fan To Artist Interaction
Bandcamp now allows more opportunities for fans to connect and discover artists in a vastly diverse yet straight-forward manner by introducing fan accounts. Here, fans can comment on a musician’s work, create tracklists, share their thoughts on specific pieces, and exchange those track selections with other fans. These supporters can then follow each other’s accounts, connect over the shared similarities in music preferences, and directly purchase their new finds. Once an artist’s work is purchased and downloaded, the fan will then receive personalized emails pertaining to future releases. It’s fan engagement on steroids, and it only gets better.
Through Bandcamp’s music feed, audiophiles can browse the activity of the fans and artists they follow. That includes recent song picks, fresh releases, and track purchases. The platform will then notify users when other individuals purchase music from their selections. The enrichment of fan-to-fan connection and artist-to-fan engagement, opens the doors of opportunity for broader music discovery, and artist growth.
The offerings provided by Bandcamp present a wide array of opportunities for independent artists and labels. From social initiatives to fair revenue splits, their willingness to allow complete commercial control over work and fan connection makes them the most promising platform for creators. And, for the fans, Bandcamp delivers endless opportunities to discover and support artists during these times of financial difficulty.