I recently discovered that 7digital (https://www.7digital.com or https://us.7digital.com in the US) sells FLAC downloads for many popular artists. I first check Bandcamp but if a band is not there I can usually find it on 7digital.
Unfortunately only available in select regions.
I wish all bands were on Bandcamp. It makes it so easy to buy albums in lossless formats (FLAC and ALAC) that I get frustrated when bands (usually more popular ones) aren't on it. Now I won't even buy their albums because I don't want them in MP3.
Very many artists don't play live, and of those that do, even fewer make any reasonable money from it... so failing that, Bandcamp is where it's at.
As (also) an artist who sells on Bandcamp, I think their model is unquestionably the best and most fair yet seen in digital music sales. Yes, Bandcamp takes a cut, but they swallow the other fees you're talking about. Bandcamp takes their 15% (10% for physical releases/merch) and that's it. If you sell a digital album for $10, you get $8.50 in your PayPal account. It's really quite good.
> Support your artist by seeing them live. And dance.
Not actually a solution if you're not living in a location where lots of artists tour regularly.
You don't need a label, distribution, or management fees to upload releases on Bandcamp. Lots of artists upload their own music directly, often including stuff that isn't available on platforms with higher barriers to entry.
>"Support your artist by seeing them live"
Yes, absolutely the best way to support artists. Provided they actually tour in your area, obviously. I see a couple hundred artists every year, most of my free time is organized around concerts and festivals.
I do try to buy some merch at most concerts to support the artists, but I have way too many band shirts at this point, and no more room for posters/flags, so I wish artists would branch out more when it comes to merch options.
I love making battle vests (working on my fifth vest at the moment), so I nearly always make sure to pick up a patch or two. But I absolutely wouldn't mind keychains or lanyards or pins/badges or something else.
Short of that, I do buy a lot more music on bandcamp now than I used to. Bandcamp's cut is a flat 15% (or 10% if you surpass $5000 in sales), and I know Paypal takes a cut as well. But it's still vastly superior to the old record label ripoff scheme.
Album artwork can be really artistic and look great hung up in the home. Back in college, I would scour Ebay for "album release posters", which would be 36" x 24" in size and designed to be hung inside music stores.
Seeing as how such stores are all but gone today, I'd like to see Bandcamp helping bands produce merch like that. Let the artists provide the artwork, while BC handles the printing and shipping to customers.
Yeah, I certainly don’t think this is the solution to the situation for artists these days. Just something to scratch a personal itch more than anything but I think it is interesting to think about ways it could expand into other ways of supporting artists (for example, live shows as you mention - I know Spotify does show these itself, but I like the idea of looking at your favourite artists from the last few months all in one place).
But yeah, for those of us who live in areas where artists regularly play, there’s no substitute for going out and having a dance :)
Owned a small record label with two bands made it "huge." They made $7,000 a year on average while touring the world and selling a ton of merch and records.
Not sustainable for two reasons
1) Sadly this is only available to a small percentage of your fans. I still think it would be best to have a Donation/Patreon
2) Touring is EXPENSIVE! It is grueling and is the second biggest reason why bands break up. First reason for breakups is recording sessions and man some people are pig headed and others are lazy and it just goes boom.
Just get a donation system going. Think online busker. One of my favorite bands "Waterdeep" is a husband/wife band they basically travel around to do in people's living rooms concerts and they rest is paid for by donations. They both do a bunch of different things to get paid including recording engineer. https://www.waterdeep.com/about/
Yes as I understood it that's what Patreon is, longterm subscription for extra goodies.
In my view however we're at this stage in part because the high saturation level of music artists in the market is unsustainable. Consumers can't and won't support that many artists such that they will all or mostly enjoy longterm success.
There’s really only 1 middleman and it’s Bandcamp. Their pricing model is extremely fair considering all the value they deliver to the artist (website, SEO, discoverability, merchandise selling platform, payments, subscription packages, integration with record label, merchandise fulfillment tracking, discount code, private streams, etc, etc, etc). You’re always going to be dealing with processors with online, that’s just part of business.
For small bands, buying an album on Bandcamp is more lucrative than buying a concert ticket. Gigs sometimes break even but more often lose money at the lower end; venue hire, rehearsal rooms and transport add up and there are usually more people to share the meagre proceeds. 100 sales on Bandcamp is quite a lot of money, they only take 15% (a bit to PayPal too). It's a great platform.
> buying a t-shirt, coming to a concert
Aren't there also middlemen, credit cards etc, involved in those too?
I'm sure a big part of ticket sales goes to the venue, and of t-shirt sales goes to the manufacturer.
Too bad all these solutions have at least 3 middlemen before the artist... Credit card, processor, bandcamp... and then the whole label, distribution, and management fees... its a great start, but as an artist, its only that. One person buying a tshirt, or coming to a concert makes me more than 100 internet store sales. Support your artist by seeing them live. And dance.
If I remember correctly, their revenue streams are looking fantastic. Not every internet business needs to be billion dollar unicorns to survive.
If that’s the case, why are they doing an ICO? I went to eMusic’s website and was greeted with a link to this: https://token.emusic.com
Blockchain? For music??
Needless to say, I’m a bit skeptical.
Bandcamp, not eMusic!
The comment you are responding to was talking about Bandcamp, not eMusic.
Prior to Bandcamp, the only other times I can recall paying for digital music was for an obscure album on emusic.com, probably around 2007.
The UX of the site and the app are really conducive for discovering new music, and fortunately the audience of BC is such that you wouldn't see a musical equivalent of Pewdiepie or Logan Paul shoehorned into your recommendations. And I especially love that "supporters" (buyers) are the only ones who can post comments on album pages. Keeps spam/trolling/abuse to nearly zero.
Of course, the flip side of that coin is the feeling of doubt around how long a service like this can last without hitmakers that bring in larger audiences and revenues.
Hey, thanks for the feedback!
This was hacked together in an hour this morning so I wasn't able to go too deep but I'd like to try and improve it for sure. Sadly Bandcamp don't have a public API for searching any more, so I'd need to do some kind of scraping to ascertain whether an artist has a profile... not ideal I know!
Patreon is a great idea, any other suggestions for destinations also welcome. Record shops is one possibility. I'm not sure if iTunes etc. is, not sure how much the artist sees from that!
You could use the data from musicbrainz
Wow, I didn’t know musicbrainz had that kind of info. Will look into that for sure, thanks for the pointer!
it looks like it's not updated automatically from anywhere though
e.g. I have three albums all released via CD Baby, Bandcamp and iTunes. If I search for myself in Musicbrainz I only find the first album, and I'm guessing I probably added that myself manually and didn't think to do it for the others, years later
One thing I already like about this is that it allows you to view top artists and top tracks. I bookmark it already, just for this.
Maybe it'd be nicer if it already showed links to artists' Bandcamp accounts where you're certain one exists. Searching individually through a button barely provides less friction than copying the name and pasting it into Bandcamp's search. Nice about this model (beside being very easy to implement) is that you can easily add other platforms: My suggestion is Patreon.
It’s a shame they don’t have a public API for these kinds of use cases, but I’m sure they have their reasons. Agreed that it’s a platform that just gives off good vibes!
The reason is probably they are just now trying to migrate away from wordpress XD
(if I saw that right)
Oh boy, in that case I wish them luck!
they do have an app already and checkout is migrated to something sane, too. Maybe the API used by the app could go public some time..
Bandcamp is one of the few companies / platforms I use that is consistently doing things right for all their users. Musicians on Bandcamp are happy and getting paid a fair amount, listeners are happy and are provided a great interface. It's just lovely.
If you go to the artist on spotify it will show you tour dates, merch, and lps if you scroll all the way to the bottom.
It's closer to the top on desktop! I wish it was higher up on mobile.
I use Songkick hooked up to my last.fm profile for concert alerts.
I like this idea, but I really don't need the originals, don't even want them. I would like a way to buy tickets to my favorite artists shows, merchandise, and other things like that.
You, just like Brave, would not be "cutting out the middlemen". You are (would be) just replacing them with yourself. The only difference being that artists currently do have a choice between different labels, payment processors, etc. Whereas the Brave concept just inserts itself in the process without asking for permission, then holds the creator's money hostage until they sign.
That is very true. That's why I said cut out "most" of the middlemen. But fair point.
This platform is kind of "on the side" and not in the middle though. It's not meant to affect how people listen to the music, how else they contribute to the bands (buying records, tickets, merch). This would just be a way of supporting the bands extra. I think Patreon is good, overall. This is similar but based on your "usage" and leveraging your Spotify account, and it's nice to bypass Spotify to support the band directly. I mean, Spotify gets enough money to run their service, but the bands don't.
I've been thinking of doing something similar for a while! A service that continuously keeps track of what you're listening to and suggests donating to the bands. And if you could allow bands to claim the money via some kind of Brave BAT style mechanic, you could perhaps also cut out most of the middlemen.
The main reason I haven't explored this further is – would enough people care enough to make this worthwhile?
Before bandcamp I used 7digital but eventually some (well, most) tracks I bought became unavailable. Bandcamp doesn't suffer from this. Also, the selection is beyond incredible, Journey from Mirabilis is so obscure it's not even on YouTube but gosh, that's some incredibly beautiful music, one of my favorites.
I've been wanting something like this for my di.fm likes and shazam song finds.. I don't want to be each track each time - but it would be nice if every three months a system would put up a list and show what it would cost to buy each song and an option to get the whole album for each / any as well.
I'd gladly support them and desire to have offline availability on demand - but don't want to do it one at a time. Batch quarterly, even yearly would be fine. I guess a monthly option would be cool too and used by some.
I love that Bandcamp integrates lyrics into their player. It helps to re-create that intimate experience of listening to an album for the first time with your liner notes open.