Bandcamp raises $40 million for artists and labels

·2-min read
The internet music company has also created Bandcamp Live, a new ticketed livestreaming service allowing artists to perform for and connect with their fans.

Since March, the online music retailer Bandcamp has raised US$40 million to help artists and labels in the music industry faced with the covid-19 pandemic.

The sum was raised thanks to an initiative launched by Bandcamp at the beginning of the pandemic -- a time when the cancellation of concerts and festivals brought a wave of panic to the music industry. In response, the online music marketplace committed to waiving its fees on the first Friday of every month, giving nearly 100% of all sales to artists and labels. This gesture of solidarity was widely applauded by the music community, coming at a time when music streaming platforms are increasingly in the spotlight for paying musicians low rates.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic decimating live music and shuttering record shops, many artists have found merch and digital sales to be a last remaining financial lifeline as they confront a very real threat to their livelihoods. So, it's more important than ever for fans to support musicians by purchasing from them directly," explains Bandcamp on its website .

As the year's end nears, the streaming platform announced that its "Bandcamp Friday" initiative has raised $40 millions for artists and labels this year, thanks to the participation of 800,000 music fans. It has proved so successful that Bandcamp has decided to extend the initiative until May 2021. "Although vaccines are starting to roll out, it will likely be several months before live performance revenue starts to return," says Bandcamp CEO, Ethan Diamond, in a statement.

Bandcamp recently launched a new ticketed livestreaming service for artists who choose to offer digital performances to fans during the pandemic. Bandcamp Live allows artists to hold virtual concerts directly on the platform, where fans can buy tickets and merchandising. 100% of ticket sales will go directly to artists until March 31 -- a gesture that's particularly appreciated since potential means of regulating livestreamed concerts are currently being explored.