|Type||Privately held company|
|Headquarters||Sea Ranch, California, USA|
|Key people||Ethan Diamond (CEO)
Shawn Grunberger (CTO)
Bandcamp is a privately held company founded in 2007 by former Oddpost co-founders Ethan Diamond and Shawn Grunberger, together with programmers Joe Holt and Neal Tucker; providing an online music store launched in 2008, as well as a platform for artist promotion, that caters mainly to independent artists. Artists who use Bandcamp are provided with a customizable microsite where the music they create can be uploaded and shared. All tracks can be played for free on the website and users are most often provided with the option to purchase the album or a specific track at flexible prices.
The site also allows for artists to offer free music downloads with the option to donate to the artist or to receive a free track or album by joining the artist’s email list. Other options include sending purchased music as a gift, viewing lyrics and saving individual songs or albums in a wish list. These options can be toggled by the artist depending on how they plan to price their music. The options provide smaller and independent artists with a free online presence for their music, while making the process of selling their music easier. Uploading music to Bandcamp is free, but the company takes a 15% cut of sales made from their website (in addition to payment processing fees), which drops to 10% after an artist's sales surpass $5000.
Bandcamp’s website offers user with access to an artist’s page featuring information on the artist, social media links, merchandising links and listing the artist’s available music. These options can be toggled and customized on the artist’s page allowing artists to change the look of their page, and to customize it’s features. In 2010 the site enabled embedded/shared links in other microblogging sites such as Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Google+, and Tumblr with options for email. In 2013 Bandcamp launched mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, with compatibility for Blackberry 10 devices through app sideloading, providing the ability to download music straight from the app and allowing access to artist pages which have been optimized for mobile viewing.
Often consumers download copyrighted music from file sharing sites or free distribution sites without payment to the artist. Sites such as Bandcamp offer consumers free streamable content, while providing artists the ability to set variable pricing, ranging from free to paid options, allowing for more choice for potential customers. This flexibility in balancing free content with flexible payment methods allows for the artists to compete with pirated content by providing alternative means to digital distribution. On the company blog, Bandcamp provided Google search data which showed users being directed from illegal music searches to the site and making purchases. Data like this provides artists with an idea of the site's effectiveness, and how artists can fight against the piracy of their work.
Bandcamp saw a rise in popularity in 2011 when several indie game developers published their game soundtracks on Bandcamp, including the creators of Aquaria, Bastion, Sanctum, Machinarium, Terraria, Plants vs. Zombies, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, To the Moon, Fez, Minecraft, and Sleepless Night.
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