Scanner on how livestreaming enables him to make more spontaneous creative choices

Scanner is an electronic musician who has composed for both film and contemporary dance. We asked him to share his experiences of using Bandcamp Live for Scanner Sundays, a live improvised performance and Q&A broadcast from his home studio.General admission was £5. As a bonus, subscribers to Scanner’s fan club received a discount plus a download of the livestream.

“I like the honesty of it. I mean, these are fans who are buying tickets. Fans are generally quite generous in their spirits. What I really loved about it was people said ‘greetings from…,’ and it was suddenly ‘greetings from New Zealand,’ ‘greetings from Seattle,’ ‘greetings from–’ and it was fantastic. Like the world was connected at this moment, and to me, that was really thrilling. I can’t deny it—that was one of the most exciting things.”

For this edition, fans signed in from France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, America, New Zealand, and all over the UK as Scanner broadcast live from his studio in the East Midlands, England.

“I was trying to decide on a time to broadcast, and I thought, ‘No matter what time you do it, it’s always wrong for someone.’ So the ability to watch it back for 48 hours is amazing because there might be something you missed or you want to kind of retread, or you were in New Zealand and you missed it. 

“With the impact of the pandemic and the world as it’s changed, I wanted to embrace the ability to broadcast globally to an audience.”

You can read a detailed blog post by Scanner on how his livestreaming setup has improved over time. He explains how streaming has changed the visual dynamics of his live performances. It also lists the equipment he uses, including cameras, lighting, mixers, and software.

“I’ve performed for many years and there’s a huge advantage to livestreaming, which is the mechanics of traveling. To play a show in New Zealand would take well over a week, but here I am in my studio. I can be in control of everything without having to battle through all the stress and everything.

“I can make concerts happen that I couldn’t make in any other way. I’m not going to travel with some of this equipment, it’s far too fragile. With livestreaming I can, at the last minute, change my mind about something I want to use half an hour before the show. I can reintroduce something into it. I can’t do that if I’m traveling.”

Scanner used a combination of his iPhone and a separate camera to stream his shows. He tested the different battery lengths whilst running livestreaming software. He also tested the sound quality, internet connection, and that his Whatsapp messages wouldn’t pop up during the show!

“A very valuable thing is, and it’s a small thing, but very important, is that Bandcamp allows you to constantly check the stream when you want to. You could check it two weeks before the show, you could check it 12 times on the day. When I’ve made live performances before online, it’s absolutely terrifying to hit the go live button at  the designated hour and think, is this gonna work or not? Whereas actually, you know well beforehand if it’s working and that’s a really important thing.

“I want to continue these shows because they offer something to a much more global population. You know, if I play in London, X amount of people can come to that show. There’s all the other people around the world who can’t come to that show. Bandcamp Live has offered this kind of unity in a really positive way.”

Follow Scanner to find out about his next show on Bandcamp. To set up your own live show click here.

Dominique Fils-Aimé on watching her album launch with her fans

Singer-songwriter Dominique Fils-Aimé launched her new album on Bandcamp Live, so we asked her to tell us about how it felt and what she discovered about her fans as a community.

“We did our live stream at the studio where I recorded the album. Being able to invite people into the environment where I created it was very special, so that was our way to use that opportunity to show something or to share something that we cannot normally do. I think there’s always a way to find the silver lining in a different format.”

Dominique recorded a trilogy of albums at Les Studios Opus in Québec, and Three Little Words is the final installment. She and her band performed music from all three albums, which were available on the merch table in different formats. As the pre-recorded show played, Dominique participated in the chat with fans from the comfort of her sofa at home, then hopped onscreen for a 15 minute live Q&A at the end of the show. 

Artists like Dominique have found that live streaming offers an opportunity to do things they can’t do in person: create intimate live experiences that connect people all over the world simultaneously.

“Being able to be present at the live show and also share, see the comments, and interact was a very special experience. It’s as if for the first time I got to watch my show with people. So that was a very special and lovely moment, to feel like I could take a back seat and really enjoy it with the community. To me, they’re such different ways to perform that I wouldn’t say there’s advantages, it’s just a different reality, and we can find ways to enjoy both for what they are.”

Fans in the chat showed their support by buying the record, discussing their pre-show excitement, how much they loved the new album, and how grateful they were that Dominique spoke in both French and English. Meanwhile, Dominique’s friend acted as moderator for technical questions, such as how to watch the replay.

“I was reminded by the chat of how sometimes we’re scared of how people will react, because there’s a lot of trolling online, but the reality is that the people who follow us love us already and if they came to discover you, they came with an open heart, wanting to love the same way [as] when they come to a show. So it was very heartwarming.”

Dominique was one of the first artists to try Bandcamp Live, so we asked her what she learned from the experience, and what advice she had for other artists considering streaming on Bandcamp:

“To other artists thinking about doing a live stream…take your time in the preparing process and allow yourself to push the boundaries of what a show is supposed to be. Using a new medium, allow yourself to not only create musically, but create perhaps visually the atmosphere that you’re looking for, or deconstruct the concept of a show and rebuild it to your image.”

To find out more or schedule a live stream click here.

Children of Zeus on watching fans react to their new album

Children of Zeus, a hip-hop and soul group from Manchester, recently hosted their album release on Bandcamp Live. It was live streamed from a warehouse and gave fans the chance to hear the new record before it was released.

“As it was an album launch performing new music for the first time, the chat room feature was the barometer for us to see what was working with the audience. The chat room feedback made us realize people were really enjoying it and in return we got more comfortable as it went on.”

Attending fans who also bought the record received their copy before anyone else. The merch table featured t-shirts and hoodies, though notably absent were the plush Children of Zeus dressing gowns the duo wore whilst performing. Their record label First Word helped answer questions in the chat, and fans showed their support with a deluge of purchases and fire emojis.

“I think being able to monetize something many people are doing for free on Instagram/Twitch and also [being] able to direct people to merch is great. We actually ended up really enjoying our live stream.”

For more information or to schedule a live show click here.

Listen to your collection offline

You can now use the Bandcamp app to listen to the items in your collection when you’re offline.

From the album or track view, just tap the download button below the play controls (you can also tap and hold on the cover art of any item in the collection grid view). And to see the items you’ve downloaded, tap the new downloads tab under the collection tab.

Get the latest Bandcamp app on Android or iOS to start listening when you’re offline!

Ticketed Live Streaming Comes to Bandcamp

Today we’re announcing Bandcamp Live, a new ticketed live streaming service that makes it easy for artists to perform for and connect with their fans, and for fans to directly support the artists they love.

Bandcamp Live is simple to set up, even if you’ve never streamed before, and is fully integrated with the rest of Bandcamp. This has several benefits: we automatically notify your fans when you announce a show, it’s easy to buy a ticket since so many people already have a Bandcamp account and saved credit card, and new buyers become your followers (and have the option to join your mailing list). You can also showcase your music and merchandise right alongside your stream in a virtual merch table. 

Bandcamp Live also features optional chat where your fans can discuss the show, and you (or your chosen moderators) can engage with your community. Purchases from the merch table appear in chat, driving more sales.

Finally, pricing is completely transparent. We don’t pretend our ticketing service is free and then surprise your fans with a “convenience fee” when they check out. You set your ticket price to whatever you want, and that’s what your fans are charged. Our fee is 10%, and we’re waiving it entirely until March 31st, 2021.

When the pandemic eliminated a major source of musicians’ income, we immediately began working on ways to help the artists and labels on Bandcamp, without whom we would not exist. We started with Bandcamp Fridays, a day each month where we waive our revenue share, and so far those have raised $35 million in just 8 days (that’s in addition to the $126 million fans have paid artists via Bandcamp since the pandemic began). Bandcamp Live is the next step in our effort to help our community thrive during this crazy time. Streaming will never replace the experience of in-person performances, but we believe it’s the next best thing, and will provide artists with a powerful tool to build and connect with their fans both now, and when Covid is behind us and we’re all out enjoying the magic of live music once again.

We’ve started rolling out Bandcamp Live today, and will be bringing it to more artists in the coming months. If you’re interested in streaming live on Bandcamp, step right this way.

New messaging features up!

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Wahay! We’ve just taken the messaging functionality from the Bandcamp Artist App, brought it to desktop, and added a few other goodies that make it easier than ever to keep in touch with your fans. Just head over to the new Community tab to compose and send your message. Your followers will receive it on Bandcamp and via good old-fashioned email, so whether you’re sharing an update on your next release, sending out a discount code, or just saying thanks for the support, they’ll always hear what you have to say.

Your past messages appear in the Community tab, but are only visible to followers, so it’s another great way to build your audience. And fans can now comment from the web too, so it’s easier for more of them to join in the conversation (but not too easy — only supporters can leave comments, not random degenerates from the Internet).

We’ve also added the option to include a message when you publish a new release, which is then included in the release notification email that’s sent to all your followers (and is one of the biggest drivers of sales). This is a great way to give fans a little extra context around your release, and drive even more excitement.

We hope these new tools help you grow and energize your community!

The new Artist Dashboard

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We recently launched a new artist dashboard, which brings together data, tips, and tools to help you promote your music and achieve success on Bandcamp.

Log in to your artist account to see your dashboard. You’ll see an activity feed, graphs of your latest plays and sales and, for the first time on desktop, how many followers you have. We notify your followers whenever you release new music on Bandcamp, so the more you have, the greater the impact of those notifications. For many artists, these notifications are one of the biggest sources of sales.

The Bandcamp Artist App gives you access to everything the dashboard offers, but on your portable telephonic device.

Finally, we encourage you to read the Bandcamp Artist Guide. Artists who have read it are making 28% more money than those who haven’t.

We’ll be announcing more artist tools soon. In the meantime, stay safe and let the world know they can directly support you on Bandcamp!

Create Vinyl with Bandcamp

Create Vinyl with Bandcamp

Sales of vinyl records on Bandcamp have grown 600% in the last five years, and every month another 3,500 unique vinyl albums are added to the site. The format’s resurgence—once dismissed as a niche byproduct of hipster affectation—is now firmly established, and seen for what it truly represents: a mainstream desire to connect more deeply with music, free from digital distractions; an important expression of fandom that was mostly lost in the transition from physical media ownership to unlimited music rental; and a growing appreciation for what is often amazing, collectible art.

And yet most new music is not available on vinyl. A mere 9% of the albums with sales on Bandcamp in 2018 offered a vinyl version, and thousands of those are sold out and appear unlikely to be pressed again. The reason for this situation—and the growing pile of untapped artist revenue it represents—is that producing vinyl remains challenging. It’s a costly and risky undertaking, and dealing with fulfillment and returns can be incredibly time consuming. Layer on top of that the mystery and complexity encountered by many trying to press vinyl for the first time, and it’s no wonder so few people do it.

Today, we’re offering a first glimpse of an initiative from Bandcamp that aims to address these challenges. Our new vinyl pressing service streamlines the financing, production, and fulfillment of vinyl records. With no up-front investment, an artist or label can create a vinyl campaign and start taking orders almost immediately. Once they reach their minimum goal, we press their records and ship them to their fans.

The new service eliminates risk, since fans’ orders finance the pressing, rather than the artist or label. It eliminates hassle, since we press the records, print the packaging, and ship to fans (and fulfill digital too). It offers complete control, with the design and pricing up to the artist, and Bandcamp taking no ownership of the record. And it produces a quality result: our manufacturing partner has over 60 years experience pressing vinyl, so the records look, and sound, great.

The Bandcamp vinyl service will open to all artists and labels later this year, but today we’re launching four pilot campaigns that provide an idea of what’s possible:

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah Vinyl Campaign

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, the Grammy-nominated jazz trumpeter and composer, is offering a vinyl edition of his most recent album, Ancestral Recall, on a double LP in a gatefold jacket. 10 signed test pressings are also available.

Jim Guthrie Vinyl Campaign

Jim Guthrie is well known to Bandcamp audiences for his acclaimed game soundtracks for Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery and Indie Game: The Movie. In late 2018, Guthrie released the soundtrack for Below, an epic and moody masterpiece. For the first time, fans will be able get Below on vinyl, in a beautiful triple-gatefold, color double LP with die-cut foil-stamped inner sleeves. An hour of bonus material from the soundtrack is also offered, as well as a limited-edition 11″ x 17″ velvet poster.

Juliette Jade Vinyl Campaign

Shredders worldwide know French guitarist Juliette Jade, who has built a cult following for her cover videos on YouTube and original albums on Bandcamp. Juliette’s music has never been available on vinyl before, but her new campaign for Constellation will remedy that, complete with signed copies, and hand-numbered, limited-edition custom guitar picks.

Mesarthim Vinyl Campaign

The mysterious Australian black metal artist Mesarthim has just released a new album, Ghost Condensate, as a color vinyl gatefold LP. A limited edition fold out poster and 10 test pressings are also available.

An Update on Today’s Fundraiser for the Voting Rights Project

With seven hours still remaining in our fundraiser for the Voting Rights Project, we wanted to pause to thank everyone who stood with Bandcamp to help ensure the right to a safe, fair vote for all—with no obstacles, hassles, or threat of intimidation.

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The live sales feed on Bandcamp’s home page, at around noon today.

We also would like to thank Pitchfork, Fader, Metal Sucks, Noisey, Decibel, Punk News, Music Ally, and Conor Oberst for spreading the word about the fundraiser, and helping to raise awareness about this critical issue. The right to vote and the exercise of that right are the very foundations of democracy, and we were inspired by and grateful for the outpouring of support from the Bandcamp community.

This is only the beginning: for true change to occur, we need to carry today’s momentum to the polls and elect people who reflect our values. If you have not already, register to vote now and, in November, show the current administration that we demand change.

Territory licensing comes to Bandcamp

Territory Licensing Support

We’re excited to introduce a new feature for label and Pro accounts: the ability to license albums to labels in specific territories.

Here’s how territory licensing on Bandcamp works. Imagine you’re a label releasing an album, and you’ve partnered with another label to distribute it to fans in Iceland. In the album editor, you’ll see a new “add a territory license” link. Click that, look up your partner (they will need to have an existing Bandcamp account), add them, and then select the territory you’d like to license to them.

Demo of Territory License Support

We’ll notify your partner via email that you’ve set up a territorial license for the album. Once they accept the license they can choose to add their own merch and artwork to be displayed to fans in their territory.

When fans in Iceland purchase the album on Bandcamp, we’ll collect the money and send the appropriate share of revenues to your partner. Voila.

Our territory licensing tool allows you to add multiple partners, and to assign a partner multiple territories. Because all of this is done behind-the-scenes, fans around the globe will still be able to buy and enjoy albums you’ve licensed just as they have in the past. We simply make sure the money goes to the right people in the right places.

Happy licensing!