COLUMN: Where would we be without something like bandcamp?


A few seconds ago this declaration or sorts was issued by Bandcamp discussing their business model and how successful it is when compared to the idea of “streaming-only” services that their competitors offer. As I was reading through this I got the sense that for Bandcamp, the direct relationship between artist and listener is at the heart of their entire business. The idea that an artist can even leave the option open for fans/supporters to pay what they want for music is just great. I know that when these options are open and I listen to a record that I like, I will most often pay more then what is asked to help support the band/artist. I know the music goes to the artists/band and hope that in my way of giving them money for their hard work, that they are able to continue to create music for years to come.

One other thing that to me, someone who is much older and still remembers having to wait months and months before I could purchase a cassette of my favorite band and then wait months and months until the cassette showed up in the mail, is so special is that any band anywhere in the world who access to the internet can instantly upload their new record, single and stream it AND allow people to purchase the record (granted that they also have access to something like paypal where they can receive payment from). It is SO incredible that this can happen because bands can instantly get access to communities anywhere and find like-minded fans/supporters of the genre they play anywhere.

What drives me crazy is when bands DON’T use some sort of service like this when they’re trying to promote their new release or record. Hahahahaha…if you don’t use Bandcamp, no problem (for my band King Ly Chee – Bandcamp is just ONE of the many things we use – we are also signed up on CDBaby which helps us get into other services like Spotify/Itunes, etc that helps us reach an even wider audience and get paid at the same time). But why NOT use something that allows listeners around the world check out your latest release? Are you NOT a fan of gaining fans? Hahahaha…without something like Bandcamp etc we would be back to receiving cash in the mail, finding time to package the record, getting to the post office, sending it out, making sure there is some sort of tracking service, hope that the package arrives (Actually, this is what we STILL do when we’re sending merch besides digital music! Hahahaha…). It’s the act of sending and receiving payment that makes all this more efficient and less of a pain in the ass I think…

Anyway…all these thoughts just came flooding to me when reading through Bandcamp’s statement down below:

“In light of a recent report that Apple will soon abandon music downloads (later denied, but undoubtedly containing a certain amount of inevitability), we thought we’d take a moment to update you on the state of Bandcamp’s business and our plans for the future.

Bandcamp grew by 35% last year. Fans pay artists $4.3 million dollars every month using the site, and they buy about 25,000 records a day, which works out to about one every 4 seconds (you can see a real-time feed of those purchases on our desktop home page). Nearly 6 million fans have bought music through Bandcamp (half of whom are younger than 30), and hundreds of thousands of artists have sold music on Bandcamp. Digital album sales on Bandcamp grew 14% in 2015 while dropping 3% industry-wide, track sales grew 11% while dropping 13% industry-wide, vinyl was up 40%, cassettes 49%… even CD sales grew 10% (down 11% industry-wide). Most importantly of all, Bandcamp has been profitable (in the now-quaint revenues-exceed-expenses sense) since 2012.

Subscription-based music streaming,* on the other hand, has yet to prove itself to be a viable model, even after hundreds of millions of investment dollars raised and spent. For our part, we are committed to offering an alternative that we know works. As long as there are fans who care about the welfare of their favorite artists and want to help them keep making music, we will continue to provide that direct connection. And as long as there are fans who want to own, not rent, their music, that is a service we will continue to provide, and that is a model whose benefits we will continue to champion. We have been here since 2008 and we mean to be here in 2028. Thank you!” is an underground Asian music news website created for the sole purpose of supporting our own world. We support all bands and genres HOWEVER we do not support nor have any sympathy for homophobic, racist, sexist rhetoric in lyrical content or band material. UNITE ASIA!