Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The Future Of Bandcamp?

The big, not war, news the last few days has been Bandcamp has been sold again to a company that charges artists and labels for its services, and 50% of staff were sacked in the process.

There is no information on the real future of Bandcamp, and what features it has that will change, if any, but I would guess to use the service in the near future, you would need to sign up to an Artist Plan with the new owners Songtradr 

Have to say I have no interest in that, and if it comes to pass will just delete my Bandcamp account and rely on my SoundCloud artist page, and my own self hosted Megacurve - Adrian Bruce Music page on our Art And Technology website, which looks like this today:

But I did like the features of Bandcamp better then the free SoundCloud account I have used for many years. Mostly being able to replace a track with a newer version after the track has been released. But the reality is, I never got the plays on Bandcamp that I had with SoundCloud.  Just played by a few friends.  I don't have or collect "fans" on social media, never even tried getting a following!  For the longest time I just used my music as the soundtrack to my 3 minute YouTube Illustration showcase videos, pretty much slideshows with a soundtrack. My illustrations are what people have been interested in.

To give some perspective on both sites, these are the play stats for my tracks on both platforms. They  have to be read with the understanding that I stopped putting new tracks on SoundCloud near the end of 2017, and then put them exclusively on Bandcamp instead. 

I have never really promoted my music on any of these platforms. I make it for myself.  I have links on my website and a link to a track if I used the music in one of my YouTube Videos. I promote my illustration work, a more serious endeavor for me, and what all my YouTube videos were for.

Bandcamp for me never got anywhere near the plays of SoundCloud. Strangely so.  Bandcamp had an Editorial Team that all lost their jobs in the sale of the site. These people were the Gatekeepers there, and from my point of view, should have never been there at all Like the bad old days when a couple of DJs and AR men decided what you learnt about and heard on the radio. Can't say I engaged with what they promoted at all.  Expect the previous owners felt that way too. 

I was professionally involved in developing musical instruments and music production systems, but my own music has always been a hobby. Nice if someone gets to hear it though.  I have all my Bandcamp tracks set to "pay what you want, including 0", so I have never sold a track on Bandcamp. 

So I don't know the future of Bandcamp, but with the news of staff cuts, I put a few new tracks on my SoundCloud account, and refreshed it a bit. 

If Bandcamp becomes a payed service it will probably impact a lot of people, but not me. I can always give them away from my own website, (or maybe Gumroad or Soundclick ), maybe have a Donate If you like via a PayPal button.  If Songtradr doesn't change anything, we will keep things as they are, but probably focus back onto SoundCloud again, for as I showed above, Bandcamp really hasn't helped get stuff played.

But in recent years, the most plays of my music has been heard is as the soundtrack of YouTube shorts, the most popular of those being me doing a time lapse drawing of a silly monster. 

Have read often that Hip-Hop is the king of the genres in recent years, and that isn't what I do, so not being popular doing old guy music makes sense. Here is some of what we do:

Megacurve#1 6 Track Snippets and Artwork in 59 seconds 

Megacurve#2 Another 6 Track Snippets and Artwork in 59 seconds 

We can be found at ArtAndTechnology

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