Arts & Culture

The Importance of Bandcamp

Trin Whitesel, staff writer

Bandcamp is a platform that focuses on both supporting artists and engaging listeners. Many music platforms focus on the needs of the listener rather than producers and artists, which often leaves the artists underpaid and feeling manipulated. Bandcamp is the new girl on the block, unlike any other. This streaming service focuses on creating a platform where artists and labels are paid 80-85% of the total sales of their merch, tickets, music and recordings.

The Bandcamp mission statement states that they “create the best possible service for artists and labels to share and earn money from their music.” 

The platform roots its mission in the belief that artists and creators are an indispensable part of our culture and should be paid in a way that reflects their importance. ​They approach the music industry with a community-based attitude, something that other streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music do not do. This means that Bandcamp is dependent on the success of the artists

Bandcamp has held true to its commitment to the success of artists. During the months of May through July, the platform donated all of the proceeds made on one day each month to Bandcamp artists as a way to support them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The best way to get your music out there is by finding a way to get your music onto [Bandcamp]. These platforms are dominating the music industry,” Drey DK, local artist and Augsburg student, tells The Echo.

The artist-centric characteristic of this platform gives creators the freedom to express, promote and explore their music career regardless of their financial backing or how much clout they have. When an artist uses Bandcamp, they have a professional page for their brand and instant payments into the bank, rather than through a third-party payment system. For up-and-coming artists, the platform provides services to build a fan base and options for donations directly to the artist.

Features include a customizable page with a guide to help the artist create tags and guide their brand into the right genre, tipping and customizable pricing for merch and music sales and promotions for artists and showcasing for special events. There also is access to the artist’s stats that show their listeners, buyers, likers and more detailed information about their fans.

For listeners, the underground platform provides a wide variety of music from punk, experimental, jazz, Latin, classical, spoken word and so, so much more.

There are unlimited mobile streaming services, downloads, wish lists, new releases, discovery and an ability to connect with other fans from all over the world, all for free. So get out there and support your favorite local artists!