Bandcamp puts the artist first
make money from your music sales
It is my policy with this blog to avoid telling you about things that will end up costing you money in your band. Especially money up front in return for a promise of something in the future.
So you won’t see me promoting a Battle Of The Bands that has an up front entry fee, or pay to play schemes. I am wary of websites that require a membership fee, and don’t like pay per click advertising either as it is rarely good value for an unsigned band.
I also dislike merchandise and music sales sites that require an upfront fee, or that take a too large proportion of your (and it is YOUR) money.
So before posting this blog I asked a few of my friends who are already using the site if it really was as good as it seems.
Bandcamp provides a platform that allows any band to sell their music to anybody anywhere in the world. (providing they have either a paypal account or a credit/debit card accepted by Paypal)
The deal is quite probably the fairest you will find anywhere. The site only charges 15% of the total selling price. You can set the price at any level you want including FREE, or “pay what you like” deals. Not only that but Bandcamp does not charge you anything until you have made a decent amount of money first. Here is how it works in their own words
Then how does Bandcamp get paid?
As you sell on Bandcamp, we track your revenue share balance, and when a sale comes along that’s less than or equal to your balance, that sale goes to Bandcamp. Let’s look at an example. Say you’re at the 10% rate, and you sell an album for $10. All $10 of that sale goes straight to you, but your revenue share balance (the amount you owe Bandcamp) is now $1. Then you sell another album for $10. All $10 of that sale also goes straight to you, but your balance is now $2. You keep on selling $10 albums, and those sales keep on going to you. However, upon the sale of your tenth $10 album, your balance has reached $10, so that $10 sale, and only that sale, goes to Bandcamp (and your balance is then reset back to zero).
You upload your tracks as high quality lossless .wav files and the buyer can chose between a range of file formats to suit their hardware. You have the option to personalise your Bandcamp site with your band’s colour scheme and logos, and they offer full mobile and tablet compatibility built in.
Another great feature is that anyone can embed an item from Bandcamp into their website or wordpress blog easily, like this
In fact I can see me using this little feature a hell of a lot in future.
But it is not just about selling digital downloads. You can chose to offer hard copies on CD or vinyl (or presumably even cassette if you want to be really eighties retro) and buyers can download the digital copy to listen to while they wait for the real thing to arrive in the post. Bands can also sell merchandise such as tee shirts, badges etc.
There is an optional “Pro” account, which does cost $10 per month (about six or seven quid) but for this money you get the ability to integrate your band camp page fully into your own website. You also get a host of other features, and this is worth considering if your band is already selling a reasonable amount of product.
Sign up for artists is HERE or if you are a music fan you can sign up HERE. Although sign up is not required to purchase music, you will be able to share your favourites and get recommendations if you are logged in.
Check out an example of a basic free account here with one of my favourite underground bands, The Reasoning.
I would say that Bandcamp is in fact so good that it is pointless for any band even to bother setting up their own e-commerce solution, unless they are shifting very significant numbers of downloads already.