Author Topic: Bandcamp  (Read 5161 times)

zzzone.net

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Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 03:41:58 AM »
Bandcamp seems to be setting the standard for the distribution of digital music.  The variety and amount of music that is available is mind-boggling, and much of it can be had for "pay what you want" or free.  I'm tickled pink about the availability of my precious .flac files.  Entire labels have set up their own camps there.  Limited edition CDs are also available in many cases.

The new social media aspect (collections) is also fairly cool but clearly in its infancy.

I'm curious what other forum members and, in particular, artists and labels think about Bandcamp.

phobos

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2013, 05:12:19 AM »
As an artist and as a purchaser of other artists music I find Bandcamp excellent.
As an artist you only have to upload your file(s) once, wav or flac depending on the size, Bandcamp does the conversion for you, when the buyer chooses the format they want. You can upload artwork and bonus items, etc, and you can even sell physical stuff from there as well, and you can set your own prices. All in all pretty damn good!

As a purchaser, everything has been smooth, you choose the format you want, one price regardless of file type, files arrive with no problems at all.
You can listen to whole albums if you want, before you decide to buy or not, very important if you're out there discovering new artists, gives you a safety net so to speak.

I like the collections thing too, it is very interesting having a look at what other people who have some similar tastes, are listening to in addition to those you have in common.

I did sell one of my albums on Musiczeit, but took it off after a couple of months and put everything on Bandcamp, Musiczeit wasn't for me, I have not tried CD Baby for selling, but to be honest I am more than happy with Bandcamp and wouldn't bother looking to sell on CD Baby.
I have bought music from CD Baby before MP3 only at that time, I believe now they offer flac also but I think there is a price difference, although I may be wrong on that. Bandcamp would always be my first port of call for digital, and if I didn't need to go anywhere else then I wouldn't.
I hope this has been helpful.
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chris23

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2013, 06:18:30 AM »
I love Bandcamp for all the reasons you've stated. I would also add that, as a consumer rather than an artist, there have been many artists from whom I've purchased digital files and/or physical CDs simply because of the experience that the Bandcamp platform offers. I have stumbled across the work of lesser known artists serendipitously by exploring Bandcamp. I have bought albums from well known artists that I wouldn't have bought other wise simply because I had the opportunity to hear the entire release a few times and get "hooked" on it. Finally, the potential for impulse shopping is huge on Bandcamp. Want that CD? Buy it. And while you wait for it to arrive in the mail, enjoy your immediate digital download. I'm sure that kind of tricksy benefits many artists.

Here is my Bandcamp profile/collection: https://bandcamp.com/rcfraley

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2013, 12:10:28 PM »
I was an early adopter back when Bandcamp got started.  I love it, they know how to treat artists, and buying music through bandcamp is dead easy.  I also like the way they handle physical sales, as I have to box it up and mail it myself, not depend on cdbaby or a different distribution platform.  This makes the artist and listeners feel more connected, and I like that.

petekelly

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2013, 01:56:01 PM »
Speaking as an artist, I'm very impressed with Bandcamp. I was a bit 'sniffy' about it at first, but it really is a good set-up they have. Their Flac file capability is unique as far as I know. I think the indexing of search terms is a bit slow for new releases, but apart from that no complaints.

I've heard some artists bemoan Bandcamp's lack of promotional 'focus' and that it's easy to get lost there (amongst the many, many releases) and I think those points are probably true, but that's the nature of the beast.

CD Baby is still the only decent way to go for digital distribution though, which isn't Bandcamp's thing.

chris23

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2013, 02:41:35 PM »
CD Baby is still the only decent way to go for digital distribution though, which isn't Bandcamp's thing.

What does that mean, exactly? I'm a bit naive on how things work on the artist, label, distro end.

zzzone.net

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2013, 03:56:13 PM »
I was an early adopter back when Bandcamp got started.  I love it, they know how to treat artists, and buying music through bandcamp is dead easy.  I also like the way they handle physical sales, as I have to box it up and mail it myself, not depend on cdbaby or a different distribution platform.  This makes the artist and listeners feel more connected, and I like that.

I'm just listening to Gramophone Transmissions on Bandcamp right now and really digging it.  My cup of tea.  Proves that rapid gratification can be good.

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2013, 04:49:16 PM »
As a musician bandcamp is the only place my music is available. Its so simple to create an identity of ones own underneath the huge umbrella that bandcamp is.  AS a music lover it is the first place I go to buy music.  Slowly more established labels such as Projekt for example are using Bandcamp for their downloads.  This is encouraging.

Scott Raymond

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2013, 06:07:44 PM »
As a consumer and DJ, I like Bandcamp a lot for all the reasons listed here. I'd also like to add that it's easy for musicians to offer promo downloads to DJ's and reviewers, too. As a DJ, I'm seeing more and more promo downloads these days, and I've never had problems with the Bandcamp system.

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| broken harbour |

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2013, 06:38:40 PM »
I was an early adopter back when Bandcamp got started.  I love it, they know how to treat artists, and buying music through bandcamp is dead easy.  I also like the way they handle physical sales, as I have to box it up and mail it myself, not depend on cdbaby or a different distribution platform.  This makes the artist and listeners feel more connected, and I like that.

I'm just listening to Gramophone Transmissions on Bandcamp right now and really digging it.  My cup of tea.  Proves that rapid gratification can be good.

Thanks!

petekelly

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2013, 01:43:06 AM »
CD Baby is still the only decent way to go for digital distribution though, which isn't Bandcamp's thing.

What does that mean, exactly? I'm a bit naive on how things work on the artist, label, distro end.

By paying CD Baby, they send the music off to the likes of iTunes, Amazon and the like. Bandcamp just sells from their site.

Dave Michuda

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2013, 02:00:55 PM »
Another big thumbs up from me.  I agree with all the reason given so far.  I am more inclined to buy something the moment I see it's on Bandcamp.

I think my last two posts in the Now Playing thread have been all Bandcamp purchases.

I agree with Chris, I really like the collections as a way to discover new stuff.

Here's my collection... https://bandcamp.com/davidmichuda

zzzone.net

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2013, 01:48:50 PM »
Hey Mike.

Did you consider having your store on Bandcamp?  If so what made you decide to NOT do that way?

Jim

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2013, 05:37:39 PM »
I like Bandcamp. It's an excellent and consistent design. Especially good for artists.

To respond to Jim, from a label point of view, unless they have been adding things recently I'm not sure Bandcamp is suited to labels with a big and varied catalog. How would it handle multiple artists and 100's of releases?  And what happens to all your work uploading things if Bandcamp goes bankrupt and shuts down?

Having your own download store allows you sort/categorize and show things how you want. It really does have a lot more options, and you are not dependent on anyone else.

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ffcal

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2013, 05:54:40 PM »
I think Bandcamp can be especially useful when you looking for a release that is digital only, because of the FLAC option.  But I have mixed feelings about that from the standpoint of someone who still releases on CD, as it can cannibalize your physical CD sales.  For small run or limited releases, though, it can be a great alternative.  One advantage of wider distribution is that less web-savvy customers can still go with a mainstream digital retailer such as Amazon or iTunes, if they don't have a comfort level with Bandcamp.

Forrest

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2013, 07:30:00 AM »
But I have mixed feelings about that from the standpoint of someone who still releases on CD, as it can cannibalize your physical CD sales.
Forrest

I wonder about that too. It seems as if there are a number of possible outcomes and the way things add up probably depend a lot on how you conceptualize the plasticity of the audience.

For example, if you conceptualize the audience as fixed (e.g., 300 people bought the last CD-only release), then releasing the next album on digital + CD means that some fraction of those 300 buyers will opt for the digital version instead of the physical version. That will hurt CD sales for sure. That may turn out to be a loss for the label depending on the various costs of product, distribution, etc.

But it also could be the case that, as a result of a digital release, the audience itself grows. There may be, for example, people who were unwilling to pay > $13 for a physical copy who would gladly pay $5 for a digital copy. It could also be the case that there is a certain percentage of fans and collectors who strongly prefer physical copies regardless, thereby making it possible to sell a fixed number of CDs regardless of the available formats. If the total number of fans increases with a move to digital distribution, it is quite possible to sell the same (or more) physical CDs while growing your fan base. That's a win-win for everyone.

Anyhow, one of my concerns is that we can discuss these issues from the comfort of our armchairs and never really appreciate how things breakdown. Bandcamp, fortunately, makes it possible to experiment with various options, get some real numbers, and make decisions in a way that can best support a label and artist. I was impressed when Saul Stokes popped up a few months ago and noted that his "pay what you want" system had netted him more for his bottom line in a few days than his cumulative sales of physical CDs had over years.

--

I realize that it is difficult to write about these things without coming across as a pusher. To be clear: I'm not pushing for anything. I'm simply a fan who loves Bandcamp. I'd hate to see some of my favorite artists and labels shy away from it (potentially to at their own loss) when it is so easy to test the waters by adding a handful of releases to the site and seeing how it all plays out. If I recall correctly, Mike wrote in the past that the artists retain the rights to the digital distribution of their music on Hypnos. So Hypnos might not be in a good position to do such tests, except with some of Griffin's own releases.



drone on

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2013, 08:31:40 AM »
The more people who buy the download, as opposed to the 300-copy cd, the more cds there will be for all of us who don't do digital.   8)

If you really want to ensure cd sales, sell as a cd-only release.  Silent Season did that recently (ASC, "Time Heals All") and the disc sold out in about a day.

chris23

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 09:47:58 AM »
I'd love to see Silent Season's numbers. They seem to vary things quite a bit. Some of their releases are available as digital downloads on Bandcamp; some are not. The recent ASC release, although it could be purchased on Bandcamp, didn't even make full audio tracks available via the "download tracks with purchase" feature--another funky form of experimentation.

I wonder what Silent Season's income is on the CD + digital versus the CD only releases.

The "buy now or lose your chance" strategy seems risky to me. It is certainly a way to move product quickly. But it can also be aggravating for fans. I had to get Segue's Pacifica on vinyl, for example, because there was no way to buy a digital copy (and I'm not a torrent type of guy) and the CD sold out quickly. Annoying. (No offense to vinyl fans.)

betawave31

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #18 on: July 28, 2013, 04:11:49 AM »
Nice to see people speaking out about Bandcamp.

I started using Bandcamp last year on recommendations from a good friend and all I have to say is that they are very fair with regards to fees plus a very clean user interface is a huge bonus. I also enjoy the fact that you do not need to be a tech wizard to set up a Bandcamp page which is the way these music sites "should" be designed from their genesis.

Having been a devotee of CD Baby for many a year I have shifted all my physical cd sales to Bandcamp and deferred the gouging that CD Baby administers per each cd sold. I mean $4 a disc profit on each cd sales plus upfront setup fees plus profit from your digital sales is just beating the independent over the head with fees. I only use CDB now for digital distribution i.e. ITunes, Amazon digital etc and for this they are a necessity.

As long as BC doesnt become a sellout to a big corporations i.e. CD Baby they are a shinning star in the Northern hemisphere for music distribution.

Altus

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Re: Bandcamp
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2013, 07:48:02 AM »
The "buy now or lose your chance" strategy seems risky to me. It is certainly a way to move product quickly. But it can also be aggravating for fans. I had to get Segue's Pacifica on vinyl, for example, because there was no way to buy a digital copy (and I'm not a torrent type of guy) and the CD sold out quickly. Annoying. (No offense to vinyl fans.)

If an artist is going to do a limited release of that kind and not offer downloads to purchase as an alternative, (as far as I'm concerned) they're asking to be ripped off via piracy. I get the appeal of limited releases, but why piss off your listeners by not allowing them to hear your work. To collectors, downloads have no trading value, unlike a physical product, so they shouldn't be considered the same thing.
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