Why I like Bandcamp

Luke Hurley on BandcampAs a music fan, I love it when I get to work with musicians on their websites.

I like it even better when I find a service that really helps musicians in practical ways. Bandcamp is that service.

The music industry business model which was really a distribution service has now been displaced by a huge increase in digital media and social technologies.

Musicians still need marketing and promotion but it is now possible to do much of this at a more of a grass roots organic level.

Most everyone knows about iTunes and if you are a musician I think you still need to be there. The real value of iTunes though is really that it is linked to a payment system that most people have access to so that is very convenient for music consumers.

However if you are an artist – it takes quite a while for payments and sales data to come through, pricing is locked and this doesn’t suit everyone.

So how does Bandcamp help with some of this?

” On Bandcamp, albums outsell tracks 5 to 1 (in the rest of the music buying world, tracks outsell albums 16 to 1).

On name-your-price albums, fans pay an average of 50% more than whatever you set as your minimum.”

I recently uploaded up 6 albums on Bandcamp for Luke Hurley and here is what we found out.

Bandcamp has a variable pricing system that is easy to use. The very first album that sold on Bandcamp sold for more than double the minimum price which is a big win if you are the musician.

For example you can still buy individual tracks at $US1 or equivalent but for an album we have set most prices at $USD8 or the equivalent of $NZ10. You may also choose to pay more. This makes it less expensive to buy albums when that suits.

  1. Bandcamp also makes it easier to offer special pricing as it is more direct to the artist.
  2. The share / social media embedded players are easy to use.
  3. Another advantage of bandcamp is that it allows you to download other higher quality sound file types such as 320k Mp3’s, FLAC, AAC, MP3 VBR (VO), Ogg Vorbis and ALAC (so far.)  I don’t expect many people want those file types but it is a nice to have feature.

Bandcamp is very good for  sharing the music on facebook and your own websites.The Facebook share allows you to play a song in that page without taking you away from thre stream you are viewing.

Best of all though listening to the whole song before you buy beats 30 or 90 second previews on other sites.

Listen to the live Luke Hurley album Limited Liability below.

The stats off Bandcamp are also very useful for musicicans. There is even a stat for partial plays where the full track is not played.

And perhaps best of all – when there is a sale that $ is transferred directly to the musicians PayPal ( at the time of sale) and this makes them very happy.

There are also other complementary musiciaian services that you may use and I’d be happy to compare notes if you are looking for help.