Bandcamp Streaming ?

Started by petekelly, October 29, 2014, 02:34:34 AM

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I don't know if this is the most appropriate place to post this, but here goes;

As I understand it, people can use Bandcamp to stream anything that's up there as long as they have an internet connection ? (I see there's a bandcamp App as well, which presumably does the same)
So, if this is the case, then people don't have to buy anything there, just use it as a 'radio' in effect and the artists get nothing from this - which is worse than Spotify's model (?)

Is this why artists are just making montages or selected tracks available on their pages ?


Yep Pete, I always thought it odd that people put up albums on Bandcamp and let the whole thing be listened to. Quality seems to be around 128kbs mp3, so pretty good. It can be streamed whenever you want to hear it, or you can easily capture the stream and have a free copy of it.

Of course, Bandcamp capitalize on this a bit by offering, for a monthy fee of $10, to let you choose which tracks are streamable. Which is presumably a good option for labels and artists who sell well.

But another option is to make some tracks bonus tracks, so they don't show in the track list and can't be streamed, but will be in the download. This seems an obvious thing to do if you don't want people to be able to stream the whole album. Just mention the tracks in your blurb just beneath the track listing so people know what's on the complete album.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

drone on

As someone who is a serious listener and physical product collector, it's great to have bandcamp to finally be able to listen to a whole album before buying the CD.  But it has become frustrating now that labels or artists are only putting up limited samples, probably to counteract what you're describing.  Those cheapskates who use bandcamp and YouTube as a radio and never support the music financially are ruining it for everyone!  A coworker recently proudly stated "I don't buy music.  Why, when you can just go on YouTube." Grrrrrrr.....


Its a difficult thing to balance, allowing fans to listen to the whole album is a good idea, as 30 second clips don't give you enough to get a feel of, and as a fan I like to listen to the whole thing and then buy it if I like it.  On the other hand as an artist it is sometimes a little worrying that people can treat it as a "radio", but Bandcamp aren't going to change that policy. So it probably boils down to which would do the most damage to your sales, giving people access to the whole album, or short clips of each track. I suppose as Anthony said above , the labels and artists who sell well, are trying to protect their income and themselves, and although a lost sale is important to everyone, be it a major artist or a small independant artist who sells less than 50 (me), in this day and age I can't see what the answer can be, I think the general attitude of people today is that music should be free, and it is not just limited to music either, and the steps in technology are towards streaming music, film etc rather than owning outright. :'(
"A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence."Leopold Stokowski


Thanks for the great replies fellers - food for thought, indeed.


I have tended to put up the whole thing to listen to - but the thought of making some bonus tracks is a very nice idea.

I actually like knowing that people are listening to the music, and some go on to buy.

I'm not in the position of having large 'sales' to protect....

Julio Di Benedetto

Im for the fully available album and I like the "name your price" option.  I have found that people are very fair and pay what a download is worth....and thats anything from $1 to $10 though it rarely gets that high.

I would never order anything through cdbaby because of the 30 second sound clips.  I have bought through them only when I have heard the music more extensively elsewhere and cdbaby is the only source.

Actually Pete I have listen to your albums on band camp and bought several and sometimes I like to go back and listen again. Perhaps I passed on music that did not register with me the first go round but did the second or there are some advantages of having all the music accessible.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley


Its a strange one for me this is, as I tend to only listen once, to something that is streamed, even if I like it I don't generally go back to it, I think its because of time restraints. There is so much music available these days that it is hard to make a choice as to what to spend the hard earned cash on.

I brought a CD at the weekend after listening to clips a couple of months ago prior to the pending release date, this is in my opinion the way it has always been with me, although the promotion is slightly different in todays market place, that promotion comes before the album is available and that promotion tended to be the "single 45 vinyl or single CD". Although that in itself was sometimes not considered, because if you were a fan of a particular group, artist, etc. you brought their latest release without question.

In days gone by everyman and his dog taped the chart show from the radio on their trusty cassette player, I even used to record tracks direct off the TV from forward thinking shows like "The Tube" or "Rock goes to College" here in the UK. This is no different to ripping stuff from You Tube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp whathaveyou. In my opinion its not down to if the whole of the music is available or just a few clips, its not even about supporting a particular band, artist etc. its about if you really want to own that product, to be able to do whatever you want with it and listen to it on various devices in its "best quality".

Obtaining the music in its best quality is the only way to get the most rewarding experience from it, this goes for music of any genre and as such any music that is available to hear via an internet stream should never the best quality available, if your happy to listen to music in substandard quality then that's your bonus, you will always be able to get free music and nobody on this planet will be able to stop that happening. There are too many people fretting about HOW we get music these days instead of remembering why we used to buy it, why we had to have that latest released gatefold sleeve LP with all the info, the pleasure we used to get from putting it on the player and hearing most of the tracks on it for the first time and then not taking it off again until we knew all the tracks on it like the backs of our hands. The physical product in all its glory, and in its best quality, will always win over a downloaded PC file as far as I am concerned.   


I use Bandcamp for purchases frequently. I also check out stuff I would never otherwise hear or consider purchasing. Many of these listens end up in purchases of the download or CD. This also goes for Spotify which is a superb resource for listening and again often ends up with folk getting sales of their music.

I have seen some artists restricting the amount that can be available for "streaming" , as it is referred to , by maybe say having half the album only available after purchase. This seems fair enough although personally I prefer being able to check out the whole thing.

If it was my own music not sure how I would feel, depends on what you want to achieve, ie get your music out there for folk to hear or achieve maximum pounds/dollars. It is a small genre we are into here, so it is a difficult balancing act for some.

At the end of the day there is absolutely no comparison quality wise with this streaming and listening to a quality download / CD on a proper hi-fi system.

Reminds me I need to get that new track you put up there Pete, will do soon.


This article has generated some intense discussion on the 3six Facebook page. In summary, Bandcamp is creating options for artists/labels to offer subscriptions services. To be clear, this isn't *instead* of what is currently offered, but an additional alternative for artists/labels who are looking for ways to lock in a certain form of cash flow.

I don't think I would subscribe to a specific artist myself; I like having the freedom to buy at will and I think that such a tit-for-tat process of doing so is a legit way to support the artists I love. I'm curious to know what others think of this.