There’s a thriving trade in ‘Bandcamp as the anti-Spotify’ articles this year: the latest, from the Los Angeles Times, puts the ‘anti-Spotify’ phrase right in the headline. However, lower down there are some interesting figures showing Bandcamp’s current momentum.
In the past year, fans have bought 5m digital albums, 2m tracks, 1m vinyl albums, 600k CDs, 300k cassettes and 250k t-shirts from Bandcamp for example – yes, there’s clearly some rounding of figures going on there – with more than 40% of buyers paying more than the asking price of items.
CEO Ethan Diamond told the newspaper that in the last 30 days, sales are up by 122% year-on-year, suggesting organic growth, not just a spike from the platform’s recently-introduced ‘Bandcamp Friday’ sales.
Those sales have been important though: in August, Bandcamp said that $75m of music and merch had been sold on Bandcamp Fridays, but that has since grown to nearly $100m according to the LA Times – with the platform as a whole having generated $584m for artists and labels since 2008.
We’re a little uneasy at the ‘anti-Spotify’ comparisons, while noting that they’ve tended to come from artists rather than from Bandcamp itself, whose executives have refrained from public smack-talk for the streaming giant. Music Ally thinks – and has always thought – that there could be closer links between streaming services and Bandcamp.
If not Spotify, perhaps others, although Bandcamp’s momentum means it can be choosy about its partners. “We would only consider partnerships with companies that we believe serve artists first and foremost, as we have for the past 11 years,” said Diamond.
If you’re interested in Bandcamp, we recommend watching last week’s Music Ally TV Show, which was a Bandcamp tools workshop. Andrew Jervis, Bandcamp’s Chief Curator, explained how to get the most out of the platform’s artist-fan relationship tools including fan accounts, the music feed, and artist recommendations: