Many musicians have discovered a world of potential through the internet. The virtual stage gives lesser known artists a place to grow and become something more. Bandcamp is another tool in the musician’s arsenal. This application allows users to sell music and merchandise directly to their fan base. Fans, on the other hand, can discover new music that they otherwise would not have and can support those musicians through Bandcamp. Bandcamp also gives users many convenient features, like automatic file conversion that can take a .wav or similar file and convert it into Apple Lossless, AAC, FLAC, Ogg Vobis and any other audio file imaginable so that serious fans are satisfied. The musician also retains control over pricing. The user can price their music on a per set price, let fans name their price (with a minimum starting price chosen by the user) or offer up music for free. Bandcamp.com also offers search engine optimization, real time statistics, the ability to offer discount codes and bonus items that can be packaged with an album download.Show more screenshots »
Bandcamp was founded in September of 2008. Today the team consists of fewer than five individuals, including board member Toni Schneider. Bandcamp was intended to give musicians more power and the ability to make some money while reaching out to their growing fan base.
What really makes Bandcamp appealing is the way the application gives the musician complete control. Users can sell their music and merchandise, even include bonus items in music downloads. The user names their price and determines which bonus items are included or opts to offer discount codes to their loyal fans. There is no record company making the choices for them, so they can do what they feel is best for their music and the fans.
At first, the Bandcamp website seems a little on the bland side, especially considering the users it is catering to. The homepage features a white background with a blue and black logo. Colors are included throughout, in the form of orange and red divider bars, blue links and green buttons. The site is well organized, which makes it easy to use despite the lack of flair.
There are two ways to use Bandcamp. The first is to create an account and keep it at a basic status. The basic membership is free, gives the user access to all basic features. The site takes a 15% revenue share on all sales the user makes. A premium membership option is available. This account includes the ability to use download codes which lets the user give a track or album to a fan. These can be printed and bundled with merchandise, mailed or emailed. Each premium account comes with 300 codes and the user can purchase more for around one and a half to three cents each based on total quantity. The user can also earn additional codes by selling merchandise. For every $500 worth of merchandise the user sells through Bandcamp, they receive an additional 1,000 codes. A similar system is set up with the download credits feature. The user is given up to 200 downloads per month on anything that isn’t being given away for free. This number resets each month if the user has less than 200 left. The download code pricing also applies to the download credit pricing for additional downloads.
Bandcamp is a great application for band members, individual musicians and anyone else who makes music and wants to grow their fan base. It’s also a helpful resource for fans to discover new artists.