It’s a Business Model!

In the past six months, you guys have used Bandcamp to sell over $1 million USD in music and merch directly to your fans. The pace of those sales is increasing rapidly, and last week we even saw an artist make it to the Billboard charts on the strength of her Bandcamp sales alone. It’s been awesome to witness, and we’re amped to carry right on, full steam ahead, building out new features, honing existing ones, strengthening our infrastructure, and generally making things better and better. Perhaps most importantly though, we want to do so in a way that’s sustainable long-term, and ensures that we’re here supporting musicians far into the future.

So, as long promised over in our FAQ, we’ll soon begin doing a revenue share on Bandcamp sales. Here’s how it will work:

Bandcamp’s share will be 15% of each transaction, dropping to 10% as soon as your all-time sales exceed $5,000 USD.

The revenue share won’t go into effect until early August. Until then, Bandcamp’s share remains zero. We’ve based the percentages on what works for the business and what many of you have already told us feels fair, but there’s still plenty of time for more feedback, so bring it (preferably in the comments below).

The revenue share rate for existing accounts will be based on all your sales to date. That is, we’ll look at your all-time sales and base your rate on that total. This means many of you will start at the 10% rate from day one. Note that we’ve just launched all-time stats, so you can easily see where you stand.

Your rate will be based on sales to your PayPal email address, not your Bandcamp account. In other words, if you’re a label and have five artists all using the same PayPal account, your rate will be calculated by looking at the combined sales of all five of those artists.

The basic service will remain free. Bandcamp only makes money when you make money. We considered building the business around advertising, but…well, OK, we never really considered that. We did consider building it around subscriptions, but under the subscription model, given the option of either developing a feature to increase your sales by 20%, or dinking around with service tiers to try to boost our subscriptions by 20%, we’d have to choose the latter. By building the business on a revenue share, our interests are perfectly aligned with yours: we only succeed when you succeed.

Questions, Answers

How will the revenue share work? We’re still hashing out the exact mechanism, but the money will continue to flow directly from your fans to you. Loads of you have told us how much you like that aspect of the service, so we’re planning to leave it that way. We’ll of course provide an interface for easily viewing all your transactions and the associated share split, and we’ll provide details of how the share will work by the time it goes into effect.

Do these rates include PayPal transaction fees? No, processing fees are separate. Those rates are here, including details of what you can do to minimize them.

How do your rates compare to the alternatives? We aim to give you a clear financial incentive to direct your fans to your Bandcamp-powered site first, so we’ve made our rates far lower than iTunes’, and very competitive with other music distribution sites. We won’t subject you to one of those competitive matrices that’s out of date the moment it’s published, but we certainly encourage you to do some research and compare (but pack your magnifying glass, fine print abounds in the music biz).

I am angry. What should I do? Leave a comment, we’d be happy to consider your feedback. If you are angrier than that, head over to your profile page and click the link that says “permanently delete this account.”

I am happy. What should I do? We’d love to hear from you as well, so please leave your thoughts below.

I desire an inspirational conclusion. What should I do? Read on, because we want to thank you all again for using Bandcamp. We’re honored to have been entrusted with such an important aspect of your career, and we couldn’t be more excited to keep cranking away on Bandcamp for a long time to come!

Update July 21st, 2010

Lots of great feedback in the comments, thanks everybody! A few thoughts, tweaks and clarifications in response:

Several of you suggested that new accounts should get their first $x in sales rev-share-free. We’re looking at the business impact of doing so, but also mulling over the fact that the cost of trying out the system is already $0 (no setup or listing fees, no charges for streaming or storage, every account comes with free download codes, etc.).

Some felt that the lower rev-share for high volume sellers was unfair to the little guy. We see your point, and may offer a Pro service option to high volume sellers instead. If you think you might fall into that category, please get in touch — we’d love your help defining what that option could look like.

For physical items, the revenue share will apply to the base price of the item only. It will not apply to shipping or tax.

While we’re still in the rev share’s early days, the rate on physical items will be discounted to 10%. It will eventually be the same 15% share as digital, but we want to get a few more of our e-commerce features done first. A few people wondered why there would be a revenue share on physical at all. The short answer is that Bandcamp is a music retailer. We believe that listening to music is critical to selling music, and the infrastructure to support that (web servers, bandwidth, actual customer care, etc.) is factored into our costs. Furthermore, we’ve already invested in a boatload of features to help you sell your music, features like download formats, sharing tools, stats, chart reporting, mobile goodness, download and discount codes, pricing flexibility, merch management…the list goes on. We of course plan to keep on developing the product in response to your feedback, and the cost of all that development doesn’t vary between physical and digital. If you don’t care about any of those features, if all you’re looking for is a place to host an image and a link to PayPal, there are definitely other services out there that would be a better fit. For the rest of you, keep telling us how you’d like to see the service improve, and we’ll keep improving it.

One or two people wondered whether they’d still be able to use the site to give away music for free. Yep, absolutely. Preliminary details on that are here.

There were also some questions about replacing PayPal. We intend to expand our payment options in the future, but we’re still a small (now seven person) company and that feature is getting prioritized along with every other mega-important to-do. In the meantime, our payment success rate (the percentage of people who enter the payment flow and then complete their purchase) already hovers near 70% (and hit 75% yesterday), which is excellent for any e-commerce site.

We’ll undoubtedly be fine-tuning the business model more as we go, so please take it all in the iterative spirit in which it’s presented. Thanks again!

146 thoughts on “It’s a Business Model!

  1. I’ve only being using bandcamp for the last two days and I love the tone of the communication, whoever is writing these blogs and running this company is awesome at talking with musicians not talking down to struggling musicians.

    Kudos. I don’t mind giving 15%, though 10% sounds better off the bat.

  2. A 15% increase is fucking insane.

    I’ve turned on soooo many artists to this service and telling them “It’s FREE!”, which is what made it great.

    Now it is far less great. The tiny amount of money some of us small artists make just got way smaller.

  3. This sounds fine. 15% seems reasonable. I’m a little confused about how this will work with paypal, though. Will the paypal fees be calculated after deducting the bandcamp fees, or vice versa, or on the total amount of the transaction?
    Thanks for the awesome work!

  4. I must agree with Jared Ringold. Taking a share on physical products is tricky cause the delivery isn’t processed on your side. I think a low rate as Paypal’s cut (say 3% or 5%)could be reasonable. You could also fix the share according on the number of releases. 1 release: 3%, 2 releases: 5%, 3 releases 10% etc… In other words, more you use the shop system, more you increase the share. Makes sense?

    In terms of digital sells, 15% is very welcome.

    You guys are doing awesome work! Thanks so much. 🙂

    Take care,

  5. I have been anxious for a while about Bandcamp’s promise that “For now it is free but in the future it won’t” and then with this announcement I breathed a sigh of relief, as most of my music released is for free, and if I were making money selling music I’d be happy to give you guys a cut. However after reading all of these responses my heart lurches as I read “So in about a month we plan to give every account a good number of free downloads, beyond which you’ll be able to purchase more. This isn’t an area where we expect to make money, we’re just making sure we cover our costs.”

    I’m a fairly popular artist but that’s only _because_ I give it away for free. If we give our music away for free and have literally no way of getting revenue how are we supposed to cover the cost of this “purchasing free downloads”? Also, a figure on this would be nice, an actual number of how much we’re “allowed” to give away (I cringe at that thought – allowed to give away).

    Regardless of all this I consider Bandcamp the no. 1 place for independent music, just please don’t fuck it up like some used-to-be-great sites like have.

  6. Hi guys, I am also happy to contribute to this great “adventure” with BC.

    I also do agree with some comments posted up and in particular:
    1. I think that both 15% and 10% are “fair” enough. I would prefer to have one % for everyone, as i don’t understand why “smaller” have to pay more than the “bigger” ones. So it maybe 15% or 10% for everyone of us.
    2. I also think it’s interesting the physical selling point. Maybe for this sales, a lower % would be more consistent with the use of the system or so it seems to me.

    Thank you!

  7. I feel 15% is quite fair for download sales, but I’m more skeptical about it for sales of physical packages. Those of us, like me, who are dealing in very limited underground releases already have tight margins, and with production of physical packages, paypal fees, and shipping, there’s not a whole lot left over, so then 15% is rather steep.

    I would be more for a lower rate for physical packages, and/or a gradual increase of fees, scaling up with the level of sales of the account. For example, free until $500, 5% until $1000, etc, until 15%.

  8. Sounds good. I’ve mostly been using bandcamp to share my music with others in order to get gigs, but when I make the sale, you guys are more than welcome to a cut. Viva Bancamp!

  9. 15% tax for lower earners and 10% tax for higher earners?
    So the more money you are making the less tax you pay?
    If, as the many above comments suggest, 15% is so eminently reasonable, surely the groups and artists selling larger amounts would happily accept the higher rate and leave the smaller acts on the lower rate to encourage growth.
    It’s a very Conservative taxation system and VERY off-putting.

  10. Happy to let you guys have 15%. And I really hope that we are able to get it down to 10% 😉

    One question though: is the 15% calculated on the base price, or also on the shipping costs? The latter would mean that a lot of people have to change their pricing I guess.

    Cheers and thanks for an awesome service

    Bart – Sellfish

  11. @Arch Valenz

    ‘This is bullshit. I boycotted iTunes and practically every other service because of this. Who the hell do you guys think you are taking a cut of musicians music without paying us an advance? You will become the most premier music service this year but I will not be a part anymore. Other independent musicians such as myself should feel the same disgust as I do.’

    What planet do you live on? Born with a silverspoon up your arse? Who the hell do you think you are to demand a service as straightforward and well-thought out as this for FREE???

    Tell you what: try buying some server space and upload your tracks to it. Without paying for it. Try to set up a viable method of receiving payments. You’ll need a merchant bankers account. Without paying for it. Then formulate a method of creating discount codes, download codes, stat tracking, incoming traffic tracking and a place to sell your physical stuff from. Without paying for it.

    Or try and burn CDs, press vinyl, record tapes, put on USB. Without paying for it.

    I could understand your anger if bandcamp’s service was utterly rubbish; but it’s not.

    Ok it galls you that a service wants to take a cut of your sales to pay for the service.

    Try doing all off your own back and setting up a similar infrastructure, only with yourself meeting all the upfront costs first – then by all means keep ALL your sales.

    Perspective. Please.

  12. Hi Bandcamp,

    I’m incredibly happy to hear about something that will keep you alive. I made my foray into digital music sales with bandcamp and for that I am quite thankful.

    As one of the lesser artists of bandcamp I have to echo / “me-too” / agree with some of the other folks; I think that initially those fees are probably looking kind of steep to someone that’s only made a couple bucks here and there from bandcamp. The “free to a certain point, then fees” model is interesting, and would certainly help that crowd out. Naturally, you will want to point out that there is no charge to get set up, upload your music, etc. And for the others, I certainly appreciate that the percentage goes down instead of up (helping you look less greedy in the process, which is good for the folks that don’t know you offered bandcamp for free for awhile).

    I think two things that remain unclear that some of us may want answers to are the following:

    1) Will the revenue sharing allow you more time to work on feature requests? While seemingly unimportant, some of our features would improve your quality of service and take maybe a few minutes. I understand you guys are busy, so hopefully bandcamp becoming a moneymaking endeavour would give you more time to devote attention to it.

    2) How are you thinking will the revenue sharing occur? We know you haven’t gotten it *exactly* down, but even basic stuff like are we going to get billed for our sales, or is the paypal automation going to automatically split the payment and send it to the right place, or will it log one payment to us and then fire off a separate automatic paypal payment from our account to you…what path has been chosen since the customer is directly paying us?

    By the way, I don’t care about the paypal thing, I don’t think bandcamp needs its own POS system, and if you implemented one I might even ask if it could be optional. I’m very fond of using paypal and the micropayments howto was very helpful.

    I so wish I could drive traffic directly to my bandcamp. But there is no place to link my twitter, facebook, and one or two other important pages. I feel my music would fare better if there were better ways to intermingle the two.

    All in all, I think keeping the ship floating is probably more important than decking it out, so congratulations on the model once again and hopefully it will give you more time to devote to artists’ needs.

  13. Hi,

    First off, bandcamp is fantastic – easily the best digital distribution service I’ve used. I’m happy that you make some sort of profit from the excellent service you provide. Keep it up.

    Just to back up a few of the comments/themes already posted:

    1. your cut of physical sales should be much smaller (if not non-existent in the case of physical-only packages). A question: is shipping included in the total you take your cut from? If so, that seems really unfair.

    2. I definitely support the idea of a zero/low-%-cut introductory scheme – even if that’s just the first couple of hundred downloads. I think you’ll scare off many potential users otherwise.

    3. 15% then 10% at higher sales seems like the wrong way round to me. One rate across the board seems fairer (and if anything, a scale going the opposite direction would seem to make more sense, penalising us little guys less).

    4. just a touch more notice would have been nice :o)

    Some of these aspects obviously require a little more thought, but I’m certainly not against you guys getting your cut in principle. Keep up the good work, and thanks for the consultation.


  14. Sounds like a good deal to me. Bandcamp is the best tool for artists to sell their music and now their merch.

    your idea of creating packages is fantastic. i really think that this type of functionality will and should stimulate artists to come up with new ways of marketing themselves to their fans, and it adds value that you will never get from iTunes.

    if i had one Banscamp wish, i would really like to see some kind of shopping cart or a better way of calculating the shipping costs. i feel like we could possibly be losing sales in that, if someone wanted to buy a couple of different cds they have do it individually and pay the full shipping for each purchase. a few times i’ve had to deal with it after the fact and offer a refund on some shipping costs or a free download of something else. it makes me wonder how many people don’t even bother to make even one purchase because of this.

    that said, Bandcamp is not only the best solution for artists to create their own online music store, in my opinion it’s the only option worth considering. there is simply no other service that comes close. believe me, i’ve looked. even a service like CD Baby although good, can be too costly for an artist with no cash flow to even get started with. i knew without a doubt the moment i discovered Bandcamp that it was something special.

    thanks BC! Let’s get it!

  15. So there was a comment I got in my email that I don’t see here yet about the limited layout options (what do you want, to make your page look like MySpace?) and about not having much cost now that everything’s built out. Obviously though there’s nothing wrong with them wanting to recoup some of the costs spent on building it out to this point, and they’ve stated intentions to keep building out new features, so the limited cost argument is silly (hosting costs notwithstanding).

    To play devil’s advocate to the people complaining that 15% of low income is too much: Let’s face it, if your income on your music right now is low enough that you feel like 15% is really hurting you, Bandcamp sales are nowhere near your personal primary revenue stream. You’re not making music to make money (yet), you’re making music because you love to make music and you’re putting it out there in the hopes of having people listen to it and maybe make a couple bucks.

  16. I’d like to echo what others have said. Paypal taking a cut was fine, Bandcamp taking a cut is fine, but I don’t think I should paying you to post a link for someone else to process payment. If you have your own payment system, I think 15% is deserved and fair. But all you’re really doing now is hosing a page with some fancy music players and a Paypal link I could create myself.

    I think a Bandcamp integrated payment system is absolutely imperative. I love the site, but I won’t refer people to it, because customers don’t like Paypal. They don’t know what it is, and it’s a cumbersome website. They’d rather buy from iTunes.

  17. I think it’s a great option you doing to the indie artist community of the world. What I do does not as yet have enough draw that you guys can ever count on me for your retirement but frankly I hope it one day does. For now at least you can sleep at night knowing you’ve helped a lot of musicians such as myself to at least keep their music out there. Thanks Bandcamp.

  18. I think this business model sounds totally fair and reasonable. However, once BC begins to make money, I’d be much happier to see a payment gateway set up. (ie. Give fans the option to pay with Visa or MasterCard rather than PayPal).

  19. I think 15% to Bandcamp is fair and acceptable. Afterall, if you (or I) were known artists in the music industry our cut would be that 15% and the rest going to the “machine”.

    I trust the folks here at Bandcamp because they continue to move forward to the benefit of the artists. Just think how much more can be done with the 15% they’re asking for…it’ll be used wisely.

    Personally I’m thankful for Bandcamp and gladly cough up 15% of sales.

  20. Good for you Bandcamp. 15% isn’t bad at all(of course, I’ve yet to make any sales….)

    I think I agree with the comments about sales volume relating to percentage. Does Bandcamp get something out of an artist selling more? Is that the reason to reward them for selling more? If there is no economic reason for Bandcamp to reward greater sales then I say don’t do it.

    If there is anything I’d add to your service it would be the parent-label qualities that keep me using Tunecore and Kunaki but overall I’d say you really seem to understand what it is like to be an artist trying to distribute music and I’m thrilled with your product and proposed business model.

  21. I agree with psycliq and magnadrive. I think a graduated cut is a better idea for those who really are not selling much (at least in the beginning). I also think you need another sales interface (keep PayPal, but add your own) and a better (read: more efficient) way to upload full albums.

  22. Thanks again for the feedback everyone, much appreciated! We’re giving it all some thought and expect to have an update for you next week.

  23. Two things I wanted to add to this discussion:

    1) Now artists will receive a lower percentage from single downloads through Bandcamp than they would from iTunes or Amazon. Although from what I’ve seen, I think it’ll be offset by the name your own price thing. Here’s hoping.

    2) I get where you’re coming from on the physical sales thing, but I actually think it might be less profitable for Bandcamp than free physical sales.

    I can’t see myself offering physical goods through Bandcamp or any other site that takes a cut unless it were coupled with order fulfillment. Maybe I and everyone else in these comments are just the vocal minority here, but if we’re not, and everyone pulls their physical goods from their stores, there will be less money for Bandcamp, not more, since physical bundles already make more money for Bandcamp by encouraging digital sales.

    Of course I could be wrong, depending on (A) how effective physical bundles are at generating additional paid downloads and (B) how many artists think 15% of physical sales is a deal breaker. I guess you may as well try it out and see what happens, and I don’t claim to know your business better than you do. But based on the fact that the most popular merch store provider for bands (the other BC) doesn’t take a cut, I’d be surprised if artists were accepting of Bandcamp doing so.

    But seriously, all I really want to is to be able to capitalize the “r” in “released” 🙂

    1. Hi Keith, thanks for adding to the discussion. We’ve been saying for a while that artists should familiarize themselves with PayPal’s micropayments option and use that sort of account when it makes sense. With micropayments PayPal takes only 10 cents on a dollar sale. PayPal says to use micropayments when your sales are $12 or less. I wanted to compare PayPal’s standard rate to micropaymants and break down Bandcamp’s cut so I made this spreadsheet:

      It’s understandable that a few people have been confused by this. Free is easy.

      The micropayments option is complicated by the fact that micropayments only work with sales between certain parts of the world, and PayPal doesn’t switch automatically for you. Then, with Bandcamp’s Name Your Price option you don’t know (at first) what your sales will be like, so it’s harder to know whether to use micropayments or not (once you’ve had some NYP sales you can get a feeling for the average). We’ve been talking about adding a feature to Bandcamp where you can enter two PayPal accounts and we’ll use the one that makes you the most money. I think this is a Good Thing and in fact the more I write this the more I think it should be a high priority for us to do. To-do item #42. In the meantime it might be worth creating two PayPal accounts and updating your profile with whichever one is right for your current release/sales.

      Maybe now’s a good time to point out that fans on Bandcamp have overwhelmingly rejected the trend of picking apart albums and only buying one or two hot tracks, automat-style. Across all the artists using Bandcamp sales of albums to tracks is nearly 4 to 1. We wrote about this here (back when it was 2 to 1). That’s incredible to me. Three out of every four sales on Bandcamp are album sales. I think it’s part of the big picture of fans liking the direct connection to you. Also, with Name Your Price fans on average pay 1.5 times your listed price. (An interesting extreme example is Amanda Palmer’s recent release, where she priced her EP at $0.84 as an act of licensing transparency and found that people paid $5 on average. Her rabid fans picked up that ball of awesome and ran with it until they hit the sea and waded to Madagascar.) So $1 sales don’t happen so much.

      There’s an old Icelandic saying that goes “You could buy a lot of ash for that, but is ash what you want?” Usually used when one is complaining about the price of the beer and puffin sandwich combo. Comparison shopping is good and we think the numbers we’ve come up with are competitive (and frankly, when has a company ever engaged in this much public discussion with their customers over pricing structures, etc?), so sure you might find a download service cheaper someplace else. But at the end of the day what do you want a mouthful of? I think we’ve got a pretty amazing product tailored for musicians and we’ve committed to being at your service for a long time (instead of selling out and cashing in [my Armani suit and Goyard bag will have to wait, dammit]).

      I’ll write about your point #2 in a mo.

    2. You raise some good points about physical goods. Did you know that we don’t allow artists to sell a physical item by itself? This point is missed in a lot of the discussion. We’re not trying to compete with the other BC or Etsy, we think the music comes first and comes every time. The physical goods option on Bandcamp is about bundling your album (always) with items to enhance the overall value and wow factor of your music. Physical goods sales on Bandcamp don’t just encourage digital sales, they are the digital sales.

      I don’t know if we’re ever going to offer physical goods by themselves. Maybe we will. But it’s not where we imagine taking Bandcamp. I think that if you have a lot of physical goods and not much music to sell, a physical goods store is where you’d want to be. Not because of the cut but because your customers won’t be tasked with choosing MP3 or FLAC just to get a Tee (actually I’m not sure what I’m buying here).

      (By the way, Big Cartel’s base subscription level is $120 yearly. Unless you sell more than $800 in merchandise in a year, Bandcamp’s 15% rev share costs you less. I actually think the rates of these different outfits are all pretty competitive, it just depends on what you need out of your online presence. Also obvious reminder: none of us demands exclusive rights to your stuff. Use more than one if it makes business sense.)

      I think bundling physical goods with an album is the coolest, and allows artists all kinds of flexibility when making their fan connection better. Streaming and digital bundling definitely enhance the sales of the merch, and the merch certainly pumps up the sales and satisfaction of the digital (see Amanda one more time, but also our own delicious releases).

      We might partner with a fulfillment house (or houses) in the future, that’s an obvious thing that would make the fan experience smoother and reduce your involvement to just cashing checks (oh the effort!). But you know that the cost of fulfillment wouldn’t come out of the revenue share we have. Nobody does it that way, that’s not the way the fulfillment companies get paid. They get their money from the shipping and handling that fans pay on every purchase. It’s the fans that end up paying for the convenience, independent of the subscription or revenue share deal. I bought a DVD album from a Topspin powered artist the other day (Topspin provides fulfillment) and the Shipping and Handling totalled $8.50. That’s not money that I was giving to the artist on top of the sale price (and then is cut by Topspin’s 20%), that’s pure fulfillment house charge that the artist never sees. Automatic fulfillment isn’t a panacea and it doesn’t figure into the artist’s costs.

      Like I said earlier, I think most of these services are competitive and of high quality, it just depends on what you want. We’ve looked at two years of Bandcamp data, and the fact is a $0 subscription, $0 startup cost and a 15% rev share is a great deal.

  24. Nice job on the new rev share, and even nicer job absorbing and responding to the feedback about it. I love using the service and I recommend it to all our musician friends: I’m happy to share a portion of our very small profits. I look forward to growing our band as the site grows, as well. Thanks for working so hard to make such a cool product!

  25. When and how were we going to be notified of this change? I just happened to take a look at the Bandcamp blog and I saw this.

    And “early August” is very soon. Any more precise date?

    1. You should’ve gotten an email about it at the same time we added the post (if you have a Bandcamp account and your contact email is up-to-date).

  26. Hmm. I do have a bandcamp account and my contact info is up-to-date. I guess it was an anomaly that I didn’t get the email, or it was somehow deleted.

    At any rate, the changes seem fair and inevitable.

  27. You are going to lose many of your BIGGEST users because of this. Sage Francis, El-P, Myself. I will only use the site for free downloads after that. & I have brought soo many people to this site it isnt funny. I have always said it was the best site for indie artists, but the day you start charging money because of the growth, you lost sight! I can sell my own merch from my own site, or even a myspace page. If the site continues to move in this direction I will delte my account.

  28. +1 for losing Paypal as the main transactor in the payment process. If you’re taking a percentage (which I’m happy to pay seeing your service has been quite stable!) please consider using some of the money to build a “real” checkout, with Paypal as an option. 🙂

  29. Hi

    My first comment in this blog was a general fanboyish ‘Yeah! yaaaY’.
    As the discussion evolves, my feelings begin to clarify. They are still fanboyish and, I am sure, will mature in time, but so far, my response is the following:

    1 Further thoughts about how the Rev-share is a good deal:

    Joe Holt: “We’ve looked at two years of Bandcamp data, and the fact is a $0 subscription, $0 startup cost and a 15% rev share is a great deal.”
    I agree.

    How much would we, the customers, have been willing to pay as a subscription to have our customizable platform and potential shop-front. How much would we have thought to be fair. If the present business proposition were to have been headed “We have set up the basic service, let us discuss fair subscription rates for the future, again, how much would you consider to be fair?”

    I’m adding nothing here to Joes’ statement except a call to consider exact sums of what could constitute fair customer- subscription and startup. Just adding a little extra light which struck me, alongside which 15% of rev share may be considered a great deal.

    2 The definiton of Physical …

    … in ‘Bandcamp context’ as being part Of the digital goods also makes sense to me. For example “When you download this album you receive through the post, a booklet with photos of the production process, signed by the members of the band”, to me, ‘glues’ all the media into the product .

    That is a different animal than T-shirts and tour posters or baseball caps … where, as far as I can see, the musician is free to make his or her own arrangements/adverts on the main ‘band’ website … with the corresponding choice to either ‘do it all them self’ or pay a distributor.

    3 Trust:

    Michael in post 130 said

    “I trust the folks here at Bandcamp because they continue to move forward to the benefit of the artists. Just think how much more can be done with the 15% they’re asking for … it’ll be used wisely.”


    Seems obvious to me that these guys are working toward fulfilling a vision which includes but is not dominated by profit. My reasoning has two elements.

    Firstly: The sheer length = 2 years of free service is part of it. They’ve gone for setting up and testing the entire core before even discussing our contribution. To me, that gave the project a very clean test-basis. “What service may be wanted and be workable” has been pushed forward. Pure profit-base would have realistically charged us 15% as soon as digital downloading became stable, but they held back and imo have got a clearer view of ‘what people want’. Solid and realistic as a vision for ‘all of us’.
    Secondly: leaving it much longer before discussing and proposing our financial input COULD have been a strategy for taking advantage of our committing ourselves. I note, with respect, one poster above, who moved his business over to Bandcamp just before this discussion … boats already burnt. It is upsetting. At this moment, though, I feel ‘well it had to happen some time’. If this had happened a year from now, I would have been tempted to call it an act of capitalizing on a created demand.

    As it is, I think they’re doing the right thing and at the right time.

    I hope and expect that our 15% will help well .. SEVEN people recoup what they’ve been putting in for two years. That’s a lot of rent and petrol money at the very least they’ve been putting in. Not to mention their investment in terms of skills-training, hardware and income lost in less ‘venturish’ activities. Also, as Michael says, “Just think how much more can be done with the 15% they’re asking for … it’ll be used wisely.”

    Bottom line, I trust these guys and hope I have, to some extent, been clear in expressing my angle that they are carrying a vision deeper than Their short term – “Armani suit and Goyard bag” – profits, or Our short-term – “make it less than 15% and 0% for physical goods” -savings.

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