Bandcamp built a unique music business: profitable and good for artists with a popular editorial arm. Now, half the employees at the Bay Area firm are losing their jobs, victims of a sudden corporate swap.
The Oakland-based company was purchased by Epic Games — maker of Fortnite and Gears of War — in early 2022. In September, just a year and a half later, Epic announced its plan to sell Bandcamp to Songtradr, a Santa Monica company that specializes in music licenses. Just 50% of Bandcamp’s employees got offers in the acquisition, Songtradr spokesperson Lindsay Nahmiache told SFGATE on Monday. – SFGATE
I guess it remains to be seen if anything can replicate BC’s success, but that takes time, and as someone who relies on it, I just don’t have it! sucks so hard that it’s come to this. – Gavin Miller / worriedaboutsatan
Brutal layoff news from Bandcamp today.
I strongly recommend that artists download their customer mailing list and customers start downloading all of their purchases.
Even if Bandcamp doesn’t make changes soon, I expect some artists will remove their content as a statement of protest. – Cat Temper
I can’t think of anything to say about the Bandcamp situation that hasn’t already been said today, just that it really really sucks. – Quintelium
It’s selfish, I know, but… Please, don’t leave Bandcamp. At least not just yet. It’s been vital to the continuation of the label and, until there is a viable alternative, a mass exodus of supporters could be devastating to us and, I’m sure, many others. What a sad mess. – Wayside & Woodland
There will always be opportunistic buyers and greedy sellers but I feel ok knowing that artists always find a way to distribute, publish, and organize in meaningful ways for meaningful reasons w/o the aid or approval of corporations. – Kendraplex
I feel so dreadful for the Bandcamp staff being laid off. It’ll be of no benefit to anyone but the rich who will get richer. BC is an authentic outlet for creativity and the best platform around for sharing in new music. It’s a dark day for writers, artists and listeners alike… – Poppy H
Bandcamp editorial was one of the last places you could push music not specifically designed for Spotify playlists or TikTok to new audiences. Internet fast going the way of radio, corporate monopoly land. – Big Voyage
I’m forever grateful to all the labels that have helped me immortalize my music in the form of records and tapes, those can’t be taken away till the Amazon shock troops burn down my house for not participating in Prime Day in like 2040 – The Modern Folk
Someone broke the social contract again – surely not the first time it happened and certainly won’t be the last. About a month ago Songtradr, new owners of Bandcamp, promised business as usual and they delivered on that promise but sadly in a rather pathetic way. Enshittification continues unabated – undoubtedly a result of Bandcamp United attempting to stand up for itself and the workers.
What will happen to Bandcamp remains to be seen, but current developments promise nothing but disappointment ahead. It might turn into a second or third-rate Spotify clone or serve as a backdrop for Taco Bell commercials. At the very least it feels like communal spirit, one of the most important features of Bandcamp, is gone. Moment of silence, please.
Now…its not all grim news, abundant as those might be. As per Difficult Arts and Music
When the myriad of people start coming forward with their own ideas for a post-twitter/bandcamp music world, can I humbly suggest they try and work together, not in competition? Imagine how powerful it would be if hundreds of grassroots ventures found innovative ways to support one another?
We need to move away from the idea that corporations and big biz will save us. And neither will politicians, in all likeliness. Its up to us to build the future of independent music – bloggers/writers, musicians, visual artists, instrument makers, show bookers and so on and so forth. Less competition, more cooperation, I’d say.
Some ideas for now and the future and ways you can help / people you should hire
Bandcamp Alternatives in the works
Bandzoogle – suggested The Howard Hughes Suite
People laid off from Bandcamp
Last, but not least
Filip of Z Tapes label wants to start a fund for people who were laid off from Bandcamp – want to help?
Mike Fazio’s (Faith Strange) rant on the matter (h/t Crows Labyrinth)
They can and will ruin everything you love by Miranda Reinert (h/t Steve Smith)
After Bandcamp, What? – essay by Dada Drummer aka Damon Krukowski (another h/t Steve Smith)