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Musicians: Getting to Know BandCamp

by | Master Your Craft, Musician Marketing

What Is Bandcamp? 

Bandcamp is fast becoming the silent hero for musicians in the modern era. The website is an online platform that offers listeners the option of streaming or purchasing music. Bandcamp provides some helpful tools and initiatives that can kickstart your revenue stream. In this article, we’re going to run you through the basics of Bandcamp and show you how to publish your music and other products on the site. 

Why do I need Bandcamp? 

Like many other streaming sites, Bandcamp provides a convenient means for your listeners to access your music releases. The service has been making headlines with its artist-centric initiatives, particularly during the collapse of the live scene during the global pandemic of 2020. Aside from regular streaming, Bandcamp also allows users to purchase downloadable versions of artist tracks and buying options for things such as merch and other custom content. Bandcamp also lets artists set the selling price of their downloadable music, something that not many other streaming sites provide. If you’re serious about making money from your music, it’s worth having your music and building following artist-friendly services like Bandcamp. 

Advantages of Bandcamp 

● Competitive Pricing – As mentioned above, Bandcamp offers one of the most advantageous pricing structures for artists in the digital age. Musicians can choose the selling price of their downloadable content. You can also set a purchase price range for your songs to allow users with less income to afford your music or to incentivize loyal fans to pay a bit more for your content. 

● Fair Pay Splits – Bandcamp only takes a 15 percent split from any revenue made on their site. This split decreases to 10 percent once an artist has amassed over five thousand dollars in sales. You don’t have to use a distribution service to upload to Bandcamp, which means you get a much higher profit for every stream or sale. 

● Lossless Audio – Most streaming sites will compress your file during playback on their platform, and this can leave your songs sounding thin or diluted. Bandcamp offers listeners access to your music in high quality, lossless formats for the best possible listening experience. You can upload your songs to the site in either FLAC, ALAF, WAV, or AIFF formats.

● Merch and Other Sales – You can increase your overall follower engagement and revenue by using Bandcamp’s shop portal to sell merchandise or personalized artist content like album artwork or lyrics. As with music sales, the site takes a fair cut from any sales generated on its platform. 

● Link Fans to Social Sites – Musicians can direct their followers to interact with them on other social sites like Instagram, Twitch, or TikTok through their Bandcamp Artist profiles. Higher user engagement generally translates to increased streams, so you’ll want to get your followers to join you on as many online platforms as possible.

● Customizable Profiles – Bandcamp lets musicians personalize some aspects of their Artist profiles to encourage individuality and continuity with your branding and aesthetic. You can also use embedded links to display any visual content from your profile, such as music videos, studio sessions, etc. 

● Bandcamp Daily – Bandcamp Daily is an online music publication run in collaboration with the website and various high-profile music entities like Pitchfork, Wired, and NPR. The publication runs frequent articles and interviews on outstanding and upcoming artists featured on its website. Musicians are eligible for Bandcamp Daily simply by having an active artist profile, making exposure more accessible to artists than with other streaming sites. 

● Bandcamp Fridays – On the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp waives its artist commissions for the entire sale day. This initiative gives artists 100 percent of any revenue on this day of sale and is a fantastic way to boost your profit stream from single or album releases. 

How to Publish Your Music on Bandcamp 

Below is a step-by-step guide to publishing your music on Bandcamp. Getting set up for streaming and sales is a pretty straightforward process, and verification takes a few minutes to complete. 

1. Sign up for a profile on the Bandcamp for Artists website. 

2. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be asked to provide some artist details for Bandcamp’s servers. This information will include your Artist’s name, location, and any genre tags you wish to attach to your uploads for online search and tracking purposes. 

3. Your Artist profile comes with a user dashboard that hosts your upload portal. Here you can add or edit any track information for your releases, such as song name, lyrics, or list of composers and producers. 

4. Once your songs are uploaded, you’ll be able to set the selling price for each song or album. You can set a minimum price, with the option to pay more if listeners can. 

5. Once your song information has been edited and your music has been uploaded, you can set a release date or opt to make your songs available immediately. Distribution service generally takes a minimum of ten days to get your music to a streaming service, so if you’re in a hurry to get your tracks online, Bandcamp is highly beneficial 

6. As soon as your tracks and info are uploaded, your session is saved as a draft in case you need to adjust any releases or track details. When you are ready to have your music publish, set your draft to “public” mode, and your songs will be uploaded to the platform. 

Bandcamp encourages its users to upload their tracks in the best possible listening format. While you can choose to upload 320kbps mp3 files to use for streaming or purchase, you’ll want to give your listeners the best possible quality of any of your releases.

If you wish to upload a large body of work in one session, you can do so using Bandcamp’s paid artist service, Bandcamp pro. The service offers musicians other handy features like streaming your music ad-free, private listening sessions, and in-depth analytics on your music’s performance on the site. Record labels or band managers can also utilize the platform’s Bandcamp For Labels’ service to sell their artists’ music and merch under one profile. 

Bandcamp Artist Tips

Much like other social or streaming sites, there is a competitive element to Bandcamp. The more activity an artist creates on Bandcamp, the more the site will prioritize, helping the Artist gain more followers and maintain listenership. We’ve listed a few tips below that should help you generate a solid following Bandcamp, which will maximize your potential revenue turnover. 

● Customize your profile – Creating a solid and memorable aesthetic on your Artist profile will help make your music look more appealing and give your fans a better idea of the person/s behind the music they’re streaming/buying. 

● Stream your music for free – This tip may seem counterintuitive, but you’ll gain a lot more followers by streaming some of your music for free. You can select singles from albums to stream for free to encourage listeners to purchase the rest of that album. 

● Don’t neglect your biography – It’s common for musicians to overlook or understate their artist biography. However, this section of your profile is part of the first impression you create on new listeners, who are more likely to support artists with substance and something to say. 

● Create hype and demand – By releasing your music over the proper periods, you can generate more demand and noticeably increase your stream rate. Be sure to advertise and market any releases you have on Bandcamp consistently. 

Final Thoughts

Bandcamp is quite possibly one of the most artist-friendly music streaming services available online today. Their methodology promotes the music community’s idea and places a much higher immediate value on artists’ works than most major streaming giants. Any musician, producer, or composer who has financial ambitions for their creativity should find that the website serves as a handy tool in generating consistent income. Thanks for taking the time out to read our outline on Bandcamp. We hope you’ll make use of the service to get the returns you deserve.

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