Alright, alright, we know. Many of us know ALL about bandcamp. And many more bands are actively using bandcamp to market and sell their works. If you follow us, you know that we use bandcamp rather often for new artist discovery, and to feature and source new artists’ material in promotional articles, etc. (just like we’re doing down below with the new WITH KNIVES album).
But every so often, we run into folks (both fans and bands alike) who don’t know about bandcamp yet (or they’ve heard about it, and just don’t really pay much attention to it). So, we’re taking this opportunity to pen a short post about what bandcamp is, and why you should care about it.
WHAT IS BANDCAMP?
In a nutshell, bandcamp is an online promotional warehouse that helps artists sell their music and merch directly to their fans. But it also helps fans discover new music and directly support the artists who make it. The service caters pretty heavily to the indie, DIY movement (which is probably why we like it so much). It’s free to sign-up, and literally within minutes, artists can begin uploading songs, albums, and other recorded material for purchase. It’s very easy to use, and it’s a great way for fans and music enthusiasts to surf and easily discover new artists. Here is bandcamp’s “About” video:
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT BANDCAMP
Pretty simple really. For bands, it’s a great outlet to get your creations out there, and in front of more ears and eyeballs. And it’s a great way to get your creations out there, in front of people actually willing to BUY what you create. It’s drop-dead easy, and it puts you in good company with a marketplace of buyers who are out there looking for cool new music to discover and new artists to support.
For the fans, it’s equally just as awesome. You can search bandcamp’s database for new artists by name, song, lyric, location, album title and more. It’s pretty keyword strong. So you can literally discover a whole host of new music at any point in time – depending on what you’re in the mood for, etc. (seriously, we’ve gone down more than a few rabbit holes discovering new artists). Some folks (i.e. The Soda Shop) actually run a daily bandcamp feature – highlighting and promoting cool new artists in a given genre, location, etc. (yes, there is that much new music to explore on the site).
On top of it, many independent labels are now starting to list their catalogs on Bandcamp, as well. Relapse Records, for example, just uploaded its entire artist inventory on Bandcamp, so that fans can more easily search and surf for new artists who appeal to them. Yes, the “long-tail” of the search, and the keyword friendliness is pretty strong there. So it makes sense for more labels to be there, and to be out in front of eager buyers looking for new tunes. Will more labels follow suit? Time will tell. But it’s tough to imagine why more labels would not want to be there – at least in some respect.
Bandcamp Widget Demo:
SOUNDS GREAT! WHAT’S THE CATCH?
I know what you’re thinking. Sounds wonderful, but how does bandcamp pay its bills? Well, yes…nothing in life is actually free. So bandcamp earns a 15% revenue share on all sales (drops to 10% after the artist reaches $5K in sales). But it’s totally worth it, and totally understandable. After all, they’re creating an easy vehicle for more artists to be more easily found and discovered (and who doesn’t like easy discovery?). More information on bandcamp’s pricing information can be found HERE. The service also provides a great deal of premium features and services, as well.
WHAT’S THE WRAP?
Bandcamp is pretty awesome. That’s about it. It’s not only a great tool for bands, but also a great tool for fans, writers, bloggers, site owners, and music enthusiasts in general. Get your arse end over there, get your songs out there for sale, and start connecting with some cool new bands and artists you like!