Is Bandcamp Really Worth It?

Discussion in 'Internet for Musician' started by Fudsey Plange, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Platinum Record

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    A genuine question asked by somebody thinking of using it.

    Alternatives? Pro or vanilla? Experiences and whatever.

    This may have been asked before but 24hours is a long time in internetery so latest is always greatest when it comes to insider knowledge. Thanks guys.
     
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  3. Backtired

    Backtired Platinum Record

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    Honestly it depends what you want to do.
    I'll talk from a "hobbyist" view: I just make music because I like it, not because I want to make a living out of it, get known or gain money.

    I use, of course, vanilla. The GUI is horseshit, I couldn't find how to change my avatar for hours. Good luck with that.
    Stats are pretty detailed, and I believe you have access to most features unless you pay. Some people even bought some of my songs, which I appreciate but I don't really like, since some of them weren't 100% legit

    If you make music for fun, and want to have a place to store all your stuff so people can easily go and say "Oh ok, this is all he made, nice; let's see." then Bandcamp is fine. If you want to get known and stuff, then it's not ideal because you might want to spam your music everywhere, from You Tube to Soundcloud to Facebook to amateur labels nobody ever heard of

    ::Alternatives::
    Please nobody say Soundcloud.
     
  4. ArticStorm

    ArticStorm Moderator Staff Member

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    i like bandcamp, it has everything for releasing music, the upload sucks maybe, but you can always have patience.
    and it looks far more professional as soundcloud.
    i see lots of ambient, drone and experimental producers using it. maybe because you have unlimited audio time to add on your account and 1000 downloads until it gets limited (months).
    you can fully design your page, with background, fonts, everything.

    i would start as free user and later on the way, when get more downloads and people are interested in the music, i would buy a pro account.

    other alternative? i dont know anything that great.
     
  5. fraifikmushi

    fraifikmushi Audiosexual

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    In my experience bandcamp works best if you have a solid fanbase which is excited about you and buys your product more because it's your product and less because e.g. you're affiliated with a certain label. A fanbase, that will buy your merch and stuff like that. A fanbase that is truly yours, like your own email list. Not facebook likes, not soundcloud followers. A fanbase you can get in touch with under your own terms.
    That is the key component for successful selfpublishing.
    From my observation, this happens more often with actual bands and not so often with electronic music producers.
    If you're producing electronic music, merch is virtually unimportant (if you're not a superstar, that is) and owning beatport or junodownload is your primary goal.
     
  6. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    Just look at what Bandcamp is, compare it to what it had been, and decide.

    Originally (when I'd joined), Bandcamp took a 10% cut from sales, and the sale went immediately to your PayPal account; you were thereby notified immediately and could send a "thank you" note to the sender in a timely manner, which generated more direct rapport with buyers, and further sales from them. Now, they take 15%, and the purchase takes up to 48 hours to clear.

    Not only that, but B/c added "premium" or "pro" (paid) features which could and should have been free, they turned the appealingly neutral sales platform into another "social" platform (as though Fecebook, Twitter, Reverbnation, et al. weren't enough of an "engagement" overload for musicians already) – which encourages the music-browsing public to pre-judge or assess one's music in terms of how many "supporters" one has. (That term "support" and the idea of "supporting the artist" sounds patronizing, and not in the sense of "patronage," to me.) It also means that people can leave comments on the pages where you're selling your music, which is not what I'd signed-up for - not very dignified.

    Furthermore, the site added the promotion/curation of featured artists to its landing page, which isn't very fair to the many thousands of other artists presenting their music on the site. I enquired to the proprietors of the site as to how I could get my own music promoted; what might be the process or criteria by which a few artists get promoted and many thousands do not. Their response was vague and evasive. (I suspect that the promotions are paid-for.) The site recently had a similar Top 100 Albums of the Year feature – again, according to what criteria?

    Then there is the fact of painstakingly-added ID3 tags' being stripped out and replaced with Bandcamp's proprietary tagging - which replaced my own site's URL with that of the Bandcamp page from which the download came in the Comments field of the ID3 tag and deleted info in the Artist, Title, Album, Year and Copyright fields.

    Bandcamp wants you to sell your merch on theit site, but it offers no shipping calculator, no VAT calculation, nor other features essential to resonsible e-commerce. They're just processing the payment and taking a cut from it; what should they care? Bandcamp has a feature whereby you can offer your entire discography for sale at a discount; it has this "subscription" feature which also promotes greater up-front spending on the part of the public and more goods offered at a loss on the part of the artist. The "name your price" setting is cool, but it encourages people to enter "0" as their price. Letting artists offer straight-up free downloads sets a really bad example for the public, too. I know from experience that my own inferior works, which I price accordingly as "name your price" and stipulate as being lesser in quality, are downloaded a lot more than my good stuff, which I price at an affordable $5 (though people can pay more if they want).

    However, if you really want your hard work, for which you are charging money (ironically, with "let fans pay more if they want" selected), to be downloadable as untagged, sub-standard stream-quality MP3s, go ahead and set all those tracks as playable on the Bandcamp page. There are a number of browser plug-ins which will suck them right onto people's computers - but even better, they can just copy/paste the URL of the page into a download manager (such as JDownloader) and, as with any Soundcloud playlist, download 'em all in under a minute.

    Yes, I do have my music on Bandcamp. However, I have been trying to rally tech-minded musicians and music-minded techies to assist me in building a platform that's more like the original Bandcamp in nature, but I keep finding that musicians' and techies' cognitive universes rarely intersect, so I've justabout given up on that.

    Here's a screencap of the current landing page. 15% of $192,000,000 is $28,800,000. Cast the net broadly enough, you'll catch enough to eat.

    bc.jpg
     
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  7. stevitch

    stevitch Audiosexual

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    ALTERNATIVES?

    There is Orfium, which takes 20%, is even more of a "social" platform, only recently fixed the problem of losing ID3 tags, doesn't know how to prevent full-quality original uploads from leaking through browser plug-ins, offers services for which it also offers to take cuts and bind artists in contractual agreements, and so on.

    Other than that, I don't care, anymore. I'm waiting for other musicians to stop just accepting whatever's handed to them, and do things for them/ourselves.
     
  8. louislouis

    louislouis Member

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    This is a really good post/topic to talk about and we need to keep on discussing it, there are so many of us out here wanting to share our music with each other and new audiences, but just coming up to dead ends as we meet the corporate/social wall or platforms that just want to make money/profit out of our music and people who want to engage with it.....

    Almost every platform that started off as being cool and easy to use has a just become somewhere that you just don't want to be or has been turned into a promotional tool for established artist, with so many restrictions on what you can or can't do..... its enough to drive you insane... lol....

    I have been to Orfium's site a couple of times and it is just a mess and @stevitch its a shame you have given up on your idea.....
    I mean all we really want is something simple that is not controlled by people wanting to make money off of the backs of creative's trying to express themselves.

    Soundcloud in its most basic and earliest form before all the rules ...... seems to be all we really need.

    Louis
     
  9. Fudsey Plange

    Fudsey Plange Platinum Record

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    Woo Hoo. Thanks guys. I'm mulling over going legit as well, but that's another debate. But if I do, I intend putting a price on my music. I know, I know, but it's a thing with me, if you steal the tools, the music is free. But ten dollars a month? Agony.
     
  10. Pink Woof

    Pink Woof Member

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    just found this on their site. hilarious. anyone here showering with gold and diamonds thanks to your BC page?
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  11. Impressive

    Impressive Audiosexual

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. Pronto

    Pronto Member

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  13. Impressive

    Impressive Audiosexual

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    Think I made like $5 in 4 years from my bandcamp. Well I'll see you guys later. I'm gonna go buy my tickets for my 6 month vacation to the Maldives. Talk to you guys in July.
    Matter of fact, I realized that with the amazing $5 I earned from bandcamp, I can quit my job & never work another day in my life. I just bought myself a Bugatti and am going for a ri... whoops sorry guys that's gonna have to wait... A gold digging Kardashian just dropped her panties in front of me... I'm going into a tunnel now.

    *very much sarcasm intended* :rofl:
     
  14. Pink Woof

    Pink Woof Member

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    Impressive (screams in shock 'n awe) signing up right now!!!!!

    not really...
     
  15. Impressive

    Impressive Audiosexual

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    I think you get by the way me & pink woof are talking about this terrible service, that it's a really bad idea. Take that money & go buy yourself some champagne for the new year holiday. Bandcamp... but they don't tell you what kind of camp it is other than it's for bands...
    Hitler could tell you all about that. :winker:
    And after these rants, if someone really still believes that bandcamp can do something positive for them & their music, then they probably don't know who hitler is... just google him. But you probably don't know how to google either. I'm sorry I can't hold your hand thru everything because if I do then teaching you how to google will turn into teaching you how to walk and then teaching you how to walk will turn into teaching you how to take a shit in the toilet. Then teaching you how to take a shit in the toilet instead of the bed will turn into teaching you how to wipe your ass and then that will turn into teaching you how to self gratify and then soon I'm gonna spend the rest of my life savings on booze & therapy just to forget my terrible experiences.
     
  16. louislouis

    louislouis Member

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    So is this it......... All of this vast space on the internet all of these tools & resources....... and us obscure musicians have no where to go to call home....... makes me feel a bit sad......... loooool :)
     
  17. Seedz

    Seedz Producer

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    The phrase containg needles and haystacks comes to mind...
     
  18. Pink Woof

    Pink Woof Member

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    mystery men, providing services of a magic cloud for a regular fee...

    look here brother! who you jivin' with that cosmik debris?
     
  19. Impressive

    Impressive Audiosexual

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    I use distrokid to put my music on iTunes. Other than that I have an audiojungle account where I just sell stock music.
    Honestly you probably won't make a recognizable amount of money from your music unless you play live & do promotions & stuff like that. Also you can really spam the shit out of people on the internet.
    For example:

    :rofl::rofl::rofl:
    I just posted a track of mine to your comments & now it is here for users to listen. I have just promoted myself to as many as 10,000 potential viewers (will more than likely be far less... more like 50 people lol). See how that works? :winker:
     
  20. kjfarrell

    kjfarrell Platinum Record

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    One word people.... "MYSPACE" :P
     
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