Recently on Twitter, someone asked me if my newest album The Path Forward was on BandCamp.
In all honesty, a lot of my work is on BandCamp, but I’ve debated not putting my newest album on there. Why?…
Because BandCamp sucks…and so does their revenue economics. They claim they have many success stories, they claim that people prefer to use them over services like Apple Music, Spotify, and other subscription services. However my revenue stream doesn’t lie.
In the decade now that I’ve been releasing music, I have not made ONE CENT from BandCamp as compared to what I’ve made even strictly with streaming revenue through Spotify. Now why is that? It’s not because no one is buying my music on BandCamp, it’s because BandCamp screws artists with their ‘processing fees’. For every single I’ve sold at $1.00 each, BandCamp has kept that entire dollar even though they claim they give artists 85% for the first $5000 and 90% thereafter. Are they talking $5000 all in one sale? because I’ve yet to see one red copper from them.
Now let’s compare this to Spotify for a simple comparison sake…
People have complained that Spotify doesn’t pay enough – and I tend to agree, but at least they DO pay you unlike BandCamp.
On average I make half a cent (0.005) for every song that’s streamed ONCE, and around 5 cents when streamed 7 times.
Let’s go deeper… 31 total streams = 16 cents.
Deeper yet? 1900 streams = $9.50
Sure, I agree that doesn’t seem like much given the number of plays a track got – but this isn’t money coming out of the persons pocket listening to my tracks for the most part (I assume most of these streams are based on Spotifys ‘free’ service). This is money straight out of Spotifys pocket – and into mine – for the simple act of someone clicking a play button and listening to at least 15-30 seconds of any of my music.
Want to talk Applie Music/iTunes? For every $10.00 album sale I make, I’ve made approximately 70-75% profit on that sale. Apple usually takes $3-4 out of the total $10.00 and I keep $6-7.00. I say that’s pretty damn good.
BandCamp on the other hand will TAKE your money, even if it is as little as $1.00, and as a fan you expect that $1.00 will go towards supporting the artist. Surprise! That dollar goes into the pocket of BandCamp and the artist gets completely screwed and doesn’t get a single cent.
So do you want to support your favorite artist? Independent or signed? Stream the crap out of them on subscription services, buy their music on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.
Stay the fuck away from BandCamp – because frankly in my opinion and in my experience. They suck.