Bandcamp Waives Fees to Help Artists During Pandemic

Published on March 20, 2020

The digital music store and streaming platform, Bandcamp, has decided to do its part in helping artists make it through the COVID-19 pandemic. Until 11:59PM pacific time, Friday March 20th, the service is waiving all fees that artists would incur, allowing them to take 100% of the revenue.

Bandcamp Putting Artists First

The platform has always put artists first, allowing independent musicians an avenue to reach the masses and to generate income without signing distribution deals that can potentially gouge their income. Bandcamp has paid out approximately $470 million since its inception in 2008 while keeping their rates fair to creators. The service takes 15% of revenue from digital sales and 10% from physical sales, allowing artists to recoup expenses from producing physical goods such as vinyl.

Bandcamp CEO and co-founder, Ethan Diamond, has been a champion for independent musicians and is aware of the struggles that many face. In a written statement announcing the decision to waive fees in support of artists’ livelihoods, Diamond said, “For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not … Still, we consider this just a starting point. Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come, so we’re also sharing some ideas below on how fans can support the artists they love and how artists can give fans new, creative ways to provide support.”

For Diamond’s full statement on the COVID-19 fundraiser, please see the Bandcamp website.

bandcamp fees

The rise of streaming has changed the landscape of the music industry. Musicians now rely almost entirely on live shows and touring in order to make money. Musicians and artists developing their careers often work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. The shelter in place orders and closing of non-essential businesses across the country combine with the lack of performing income for a one-two punch that could have countless artists missing their rent payments.

Diamond made clear in his statement that the economic effects COVID-19 will have on the music industry are not contained to artists. He emphasizes that the hit will be felt industry wide, “including record store owners and staff, tour managers, event producers, venue staff, lighting and sound professionals, janitors, photographers, bartenders, security guards, and more. We encourage you to find ways to reach out and support those affected in your local communities.”

The Industry is Coming Together to Help

Bandcamp are not the only ones trying to help support artists. There are 54 record labels who use the platform that are giving 100% of their proceeds to their artists. Those labels are joined by a group of labels and artists who are donating their proceeds to charities that aim to help during this crisis and various merchandise producers who are selling goods from cancelled tours or offering exclusive merch bundles. For the full list of those coming together to help during this pandemic and to see what they are doing, click here.

Many artists are hoping to take advantage of this opportunity by putting out new music or sending fans to their Bandcamp page via their social media accounts. The fundraiser seems to be going well, with the “selling right now” section on the website’s homepage struggling to keep up with sales.

Be sure to support your favorite artists on the platform today and discover some new artists while you are there!

Justin Shamlou is a Senior Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Miami, he covers international news, consumer brands, tech, art/entertainment, and events. Justin started his career covering the electronic music industry, working as the Miami correspondent for Magnetic Mag and US Editor for Data Transmission.

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