Category Archives: Bandcamp

The Bandcamp 2017 Year in Review

2017-year-in-review-2-anim

2017 was another stellar year for Bandcamp, with double digit growth in every aspect of the business. Digital album sales were up 16%, tracks 33%, and merch 36%. Growth in physical sales was led by vinyl (up 54%), CDs (up 18%), and cassettes (up 41%). Revenue from the 3,500 independent labels on Bandcamp grew 73%, and more than 600,000 artists have now sold something through the site. Our publication, Bandcamp Daily, grew its audience by 84%, and all-time payments to artists through Bandcamp reached $270 million. We launched a new app for artists and labels, added gift cards, improved fan collections, held successful fundraisers for the ACLU and TLC, and we’ll soon mark six straight years as a profitable company that only makes money when artists make a lot more money.

Meanwhile, standalone music streaming companies continued to lose money in 2017, and industry-wide record sales continued to decline: in the U.S., digital album sales dropped 20%, tracks were down 23%, and physical sales fell 20%. The seemingly inevitable upshot of these two trends 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 because it attracts customers to the parts of their businesses that are profitable.

As we said last year, allowing the distribution of an entire art form to be controlled by so few has troubling implications, and those continued to play out in 2017. The streaming giants exert tremendous influence over what music gets heard, and must primarily serve their most important supplier, the major labels. The result is that independent labels, and especially independent artists, are far less likely to be discovered on those platforms. 99% of all streaming is of the top 10% most-streamed tracks, and given the majors’ control over the music that is promoted on streaming services (documented in the must-read piece “The Secret Lives of Playlists”), listening hours are likely to become even more concentrated at the top.

Per stream rates also continued their decline in 2017, dropping another 9%, which is the opposite of the this-will-all-work-out-when-we’re-big-enough dream once sold by music rental companies. This trend feels unstoppable given the effect of decreased competition on artists’ ability to set fair rates, but a ray of hope seemed to emerge two weeks ago when the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board ruled to increase songwriter streaming rates by 48% over the next five years. However, that’s an impediment to profitability that can easily be resolved by eliminating musicians altogether.*

In the midst of all this, NPR Music’s Andrew Flanagan wrote:

“Bandcamp serves as an honest-to-goodness, proof-in-the-pudding bulwark against the creep of artistic monoculture fueled by the consolidation of digital life into the hands of a few companies. Maybe the future isn’t a dumpster fire after all.”

This made us laugh of course, but it also accurately captured what drives us to keep building and growing Bandcamp after all these years (we’ll celebrate our 10th anniversary this September, more on that to come). 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. The fact that this simple concept continues to resonate with so many talented artists and hard core fans inspires us every single day, and in 2018 we’ll be working hard to bring it to an even bigger audience. Thank you for another great year!

-Ethan Diamond

*Or hey, maybe there’s nothing to worry about after all.

2017: The Year in Stats

YE-Stats-1244

Here we are, at the end of another year—just days removed from a holiday that means many different things to many different people. For music fans, the holiday season was a time to dig out their Phil Spector vinyl (or Imagene Peise). It was time for Becky Kelley sales to, once again, hit the roof. And now, we’ve arrived at that time just after Christmas—a time for companies to make easily shareable graphs and charts of their growth, thinly disguised as quasi-academic public interest factoids.

Continue reading

Introducing the Bandcamp App for Artists and Labels

The Bandcamp App for Artists and Labels is here! It gives you a real-time mobile view into your stats, helps you manage and fulfill your merch, and lets you directly message your fans, even targeting those messages by fan location and level of support. Check out the screencast above for more details, and grab it for Android or iOS!

Please send media inquires to press@bandcamp.com.

Announcing Bulk Edit

Announcing Bulk Edit

As discographies on Bandcamp continue to grow (we’re now home to over 22 million tracks and 4 million albums), we know that artists and labels need a faster and more efficient means of managing their catalog. That need was the motivation behind the recently launched bulk edit feature, a consolidated editor that allows you to quickly adjust key fields like price, title, and release date across multiple items. Holding flash sales and adjusting shipping just got a whole lot easier.

To access the bulk editor, click the “bulk edit” button from any release’s page:

Bulk Edit button placement

The editor allows you to view and edit all the items in your account from one page, and filter by digital or physical, and public, private or draft. Here it is in action:

example of bulk editing price

You’ll still want to visit the traditional release editor to add individual touches like artwork and tags, but gone are the days of painstakingly setting pricing one release at a time. Bring on your missing back catalog!

An Update on Friday’s Fundraiser for the Transgender Law Center

Transgender Law Center

We want to thank everyone who participated in today’s fundraiser for the Transgender Law Center. Bandcamp’s community of artists, fans, and labels once again stood with us to enthusiastically voice a commitment to equal rights for all, and oppose the marginalization of the LGBT+ community.

 

Bandcamp Livefeed

The live sales feed on Bandcamp’s home page, at around noon today.

 

We also would like to thank NPR, Spin, Pitchfork, Metal Sucks, AVClub, Billboard, Invisible Oranges, Noisey, Fast CompanyNewsweek, Forbes, TLC itself, and Cyndi Lauper for spreading the word about the fundraiser, and helping to raise awareness about this issue.We did hear from a few individuals who suggested that we “stay neutral” and “just sell music.” To those people we say this: an attack against any marginalized community is an attack against all of us. We believe we have a moral obligation to oppose such attacks, and we will always happily embrace the amazing opportunity we have to rally others to do the same.

 

Over 200 Labels & Artists Join Us in Donating Friday’s Profits to the Transgender Law Center

tlc-600-5

Over 200 artists and labels have joined us in donating their share of sales tomorrow to the Transgender Law Center. We’ve done our best to list them all here, but if you’re a label or artist who will be making a donation, you can let people know by sharing your information in the comments below. Regardless of what you purchase, Bandcamp will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the Transgender Law Center. The labels and artists listed below are making additional donations.

Continue reading

Today, Stand With Bandcamp in Support of Trans Rights

trans-fundraiser-600-7

Bandcamp is a platform for artistic expression, and all manner of variance in experience and identity, including gender and sexuality, is welcome here. We support our LGBT+ users and staff, and we stand against any person or group that would see them further marginalized. This includes the current U.S. administration, and its recent capricious declaration that transgender troops will no longer be able to serve in the military. That this announcement was motivated in part to help fund the border wall exposes it as part of the administration’s cynical, discriminatory agenda.

In response, we will be donating 100% of our share of every sale today, August 4th (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time) to the Transgender Law Center, a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to change law, policy, and culture for the more equitable. TLC does critical policy advocacy and litigation on multiple fronts, fights for healthcare for trans veterans, defends incarcerated trans people from abuse in prisons and detention centers, supports trans immigrants, and helps trans youth tell their stories and build communities.

When an Executive Order was issued earlier this year barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States, we held a wildly successful fundraiser for the ACLU. We hope you’ll join us in now doing the same in support of trans rights. To participate as a fan, simply purchase music through Bandcamp today and we’ll donate our share of the sale to TLC. To participate as an artist or label, send some or all of your share of today’s sales directly to TLC here, and let us know your plan in the comments below so that we can help spread the word. Since our announcement, over 200 bands and labels have joined us in donating their share of proceeds to TLC. You can see that list here.

—Bandcamp Staff

(Update: Over the course of our fundraiser for the Transgender Law Center, fans bought nearly $700,000 worth of music. Our share, which is ~12% of that amount, was donated to the TLC.)

Below, you’ll find a sampling of some of the music made by trans and gender non-conforming artists on Bandcamp. We hope that as you listen to these albums, you’ll discover some great new artists from all walks of life, who share their experiences in song.

Pandemix’s Poetic Punk Politics
Vocalist Shannon Thompson explains how she uses the genre’s tropes as a jumping-off point for her struggle to understand the world.

Glasgow’s Poisonous Relationship is an Unlikely Dance Music Genius
Jamie Crewe is an artist and filmmaker who explores gender, sexuality, mental health, and politics through surprisingly personal and poetic dance music.

Tica Douglas’s Theology of Uncertainty
The Master of Divinity student talks about how theological studies informs their identity and their haunting new record.

How Oakland’s Experimental Scene Became Browner, Queerer, and More Femme
Conscious efforts to be more inclusive have opened up space in the Bay Area noise and experimental scene for artists like Kohinoorgasm, Spellling, and Beast Nest.

Popper Burns Preach to the Punk Rock Choir
The Austin queercore/no-wave group create a drag world “bigger than an idea” where their audience can feel empowered.

TRNSGNDR/VHS and the Art of Confrontation
The Baltimore artist uses harsh noise to question accepted norms.

Theda Hammel on Giving Sondheim the Synth Treatment
On her EP 
SondHamm, the self-described “major trans celeb” turns classic Broadway showtunes into synth odysseys.

Vocaloids: Our Friends Electric
Computer-generated vocalists are helping artists like transgender musician Jamie Paige discover their voice.

Mykki Blanco Rips Up the Rule Book
Her new record finds her pivoting from wistful longing to fire-breathing on a dime.

Art-Pop Genius Oblivia on Martyrdom, Sainthood, and Stripping to Cat Power
Armed with a voice modulator and a drum machine, Local Honey, the trans femme performance artist behind Oblivia, says that her music aims to weaponize femininity to heal the wounds of patriarchy.

Tyler Holmes, San Cha, and Vainhein Imagine Experimental Queer Utopias
Three performance artists and musicians found inspiration to survive—and thrive—in their own ways, together, by channeling their rage to build something beautiful.

Hi Bias: Interview With Forced into Femininity
The latest tape by Forced Into Femininity (Chicago-based musician and performance artist Jill Flanagan), is only 10 minutes long, but its five songs pack a ton of power.

Big Ups: HIRS’ Queer Thrash Fury is Taking Over America
The 
Trans Girl Take Over tour takes the Philly collective to some unexpected places. Meet some of the bands they’re excited to share the stage with.

Album of the Day: ANOHNI, Paradise
On 
Paradise, ANOHNI imagines a utopia free of violence and masculine authority.

Album of the Day: Sweeping Exits, Glitter and Blood
The Portland glam-rock group switch up the power dynamics of horror.

Album of the Day: Aye Nako, Silver Haze
On 
Silver Haze, Aye Nako lulls listeners into comfort before turning the room upside down.

Chad Dickerson Joins Bandcamp’s Advisory Board

We are very happy to share that Chad Dickerson has joined Bandcamp as an advisor! Chad’s many years of experience running Etsy (one of the largest and most successful global marketplaces) will be hugely valuable to us as we continue to make Bandcamp the best platform for artists and fans around the world. Furthermore, his passion for music and appreciation of our artist-friendly model make him uniquely suited to help us grow Bandcamp in a thoughtful and sustainable way. Beyond that, Chad is a great human being and someone we look forward to spending more time with as a team. We could not be happier to have him on board!

Check out Chad’s announcement (and his kind words!) here.