36 votes

Bandcamp has been acquired by Epic Games

17 comments

  1. [2]
    Eabryt
    Link
    Definitely didn't see that coming.

    Definitely didn't see that coming.

    15 votes
    1. DepartedPretzel
      Link Parent
      On Bandcamp’s side, their public image completely fooled me. They gave zero hints they were even remotely interested to sell. Folks here and there propped them up as an anti-thesis to fast growth...

      On Bandcamp’s side, their public image completely fooled me. They gave zero hints they were even remotely interested to sell. Folks here and there propped them up as an anti-thesis to fast growth and exit strategies.

      As for Epic Games… Maybe their ArtStation and Sketchfab acquisitions in 2021 were precursors? Both were vaguely in the same independent art realm as Bandcamp.

      It’s a head-scratcher. Did not expect Tencent to become a part-owner of Car Seat Headrest’s stomping grounds.

      10 votes
  2. petrichor
    Link
    Man, that's so disappointing. I've always pointed to Bandcamp as shining example of a successful, user-supported, independent company. :-(

    Man, that's so disappointing. I've always pointed to Bandcamp as shining example of a successful, user-supported, independent company.

    However, behind the scenes we’re working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.

    :-(

    15 votes
  3. [4]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    While I don't think this is particularly good news, since even more corporate consolidation in the world is rarely good for consumers (or content producers), I also don't necessarily agree with...

    While I don't think this is particularly good news, since even more corporate consolidation in the world is rarely good for consumers (or content producers), I also don't necessarily agree with all the doom & gloom sentiment being expressed about this elsewhere. I'm not a huge fan of Epic, and was (and still am) wary of using the Epic Games Store for my own game purchases... but credit where credit is due, they do take a much smaller cut of sales than most other digital storefronts, including Valve/Steam and Apple. And, at present, Epic gives 88% of the sales revenue to game devs, which is actually more than what Bandcamp currently gives to artists. So I am cautiously optimistic/hopeful that Epic will continue to treat artists fairly on Bandcamp too.

    p.s. Written as separate comment so my opinion doesn't get muddled with my other, purely informational one.

    11 votes
    1. [2]
      mtset
      Link Parent
      This is true, but... I don't know. As an artist who sells my hobby music on Bandcamp, it's more that I don't want to be associated with, or making money for, a company that is best known for...

      but credit where credit is due, they do take a much smaller cut of sales than most other digital storefronts, including Valve/Steam and Apple.

      This is true, but... I don't know. As an artist who sells my hobby music on Bandcamp, it's more that I don't want to be associated with, or making money for, a company that is best known for making tons of money manipulating children into gambling on useless (but compelling) digital items and emotes. I also mourn the death of one of the last non-hypergrowth companies successful on the web; Itch.io and perhaps a few others remain, but until recently, Bandcamp was my go-to example of a profitable and reasonably-sized Internet company.

      26 votes
      1. cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah, I feel you. Despite me not panicking over this news I am still genuinely disappointed in Bandcamp for selling at all, let alone to Epic. But regardless, I will likely still continue to buy...

        Yeah, I feel you. Despite me not panicking over this news I am still genuinely disappointed in Bandcamp for selling at all, let alone to Epic. But regardless, I will likely still continue to buy most of my music from Bandcamp, unless Epic does something drastically stupid to the platform, or a better way to support my favorite indie artists comes along.

        5 votes
    2. Akir
      Link Parent
      The thing that terrifies me is that this acquisition is outside of their wheelhouse. This could be an arguably good thing for Bandcamp: they could be wanting a way to expand into another industry...

      The thing that terrifies me is that this acquisition is outside of their wheelhouse. This could be an arguably good thing for Bandcamp: they could be wanting a way to expand into another industry and with their resources Bandcamp's market share could potentially greatly expand. But far more often it seems like these kinds of companies get bought because they want their patents or other IP and don't care about the business itself. Or they could take advantage of their customer base, and tell them that Bandcamp is shutting down but here's a promotional discount on our simelar-but-not-quite-the-same store/service.

      6 votes
  4. rosco
    Link
    Man, they are buying up so many of the products I use and completely changing the pricing/subscription models. I loved working with RealityCapture and upon acquisition they immediately priced it...

    Man, they are buying up so many of the products I use and completely changing the pricing/subscription models. I loved working with RealityCapture and upon acquisition they immediately priced it to shutter non-professional users.

    I like Bandcamp and I'm apprehensive about how Epic will steer the ship.

    7 votes
  5. [2]
    bilbodwyer
    Link
    I'm currently ambivalent about the news, by all accounts nothing is changing yet. I do feel a little gross about it, as a once independent company is getting bought out? But I'm reserving...

    I'm currently ambivalent about the news, by all accounts nothing is changing yet. I do feel a little gross about it, as a once independent company is getting bought out? But I'm reserving judgement for now.

    Here's the email my band got:

    Hi Sir Curse,

    I’m excited to announce that Bandcamp is joining Epic Games, who you may know as the makers of Fortnite and Unreal Engine, and champions for a fair and open Internet.

    Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team. The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model (where artists net an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned, and the Daily will keep highlighting the diverse, amazing music on the site. However, behind the scenes we’re working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.

    Since our founding in 2008, we’ve been motivated by the pursuit of our mission, which is to help spread the healing power of music by building a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans. That simple idea has worked well, with payments to artists and labels closing in on $1 billion USD. And while over the years we’ve heard from other companies who wanted us to join them, we’ve always felt that doing so would only be exciting if they strongly believed in our mission, were aligned with our values, and not only wanted to see Bandcamp continue, but also wanted to provide the resources to bring a lot more benefit to the artists, labels, and fans who use the site. Epic ticks all those boxes. We share a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work.

    Whether you joined Bandcamp recently or have been with us since the beginning 14 years ago, thank you for being a part of this incredible community, and we look forward to serving you for many years to come!

    Ethan Diamond
    Bandcamp co-founder and CEO

    4 votes
    1. gco
      Link Parent
      It's pretty boilerplate for acquisition announcements to claim nothing will change, or at least the features users love won't, while the opposite is likely to happen in the long run. I'm a big fan...

      by all accounts nothing is changing yet

      It's pretty boilerplate for acquisition announcements to claim nothing will change, or at least the features users love won't, while the opposite is likely to happen in the long run. I'm a big fan of Bandcamp, not a fan of Epic so feeling a bit pessimistic about these news.

      12 votes
  6. [4]
    TooFewColours
    Link
    As heartbreaking news as this is, I had a feeling in my gut this could happen at any moment - I just had hoped we had a few more years in it at least. A couple years ago it seemed like almost...

    As heartbreaking news as this is, I had a feeling in my gut this could happen at any moment - I just had hoped we had a few more years in it at least.

    A couple years ago it seemed like almost overnight Bandcamp went from being that weird site your uncle's acoustic demos were on, to being a serious contender against YouTube and Spotify, with big names appearing with new releases and discographies. It was almost too good to be true, no other medium (except increasingly video games with itch) has such a resource.

    Any alternatives that pop up (and they will pop up) will need many years to build an appealing discography and rapport with artists that people actually care about.

    Is there a possibility Epic saw this aquisitation as purely a brand image adoption? Epic seem to be very eager to be viewed as a 'creators first' platform with Unreal, Artstation etc. I'm optimistic Bandcamp will still operate like Bandcamp for the forseeable.

    The app needs work, but I'm worried a site revamp could be around the corner, glossy and slow, abandoning the DIY aesthetic that worked so well. I love seeing how different artists can make it suit them with a banner, a few colour options, and a background.

    I'll continue to use Bandcamp until there's a viable competitor. Epic isn't the worst buyer imaginable, and it's an unusual one that will be interesting to watch, at least. The Tencent association isn't ideal, but I'm growing to appreciate any anxieties aren't based on anything imperical, at least not yet.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      This is basically the only thing I can think of that would motivate this purchase. Both company’s statements talked about their commitment to being an open marketplace. I think that it’s a...

      Is there a possibility Epic saw this aquisitation as purely a brand image adoption? Epic seem to be very eager to be viewed as a 'creators first' platform with Unreal, Artstation etc.

      This is basically the only thing I can think of that would motivate this purchase. Both company’s statements talked about their commitment to being an open marketplace. I think that it’s a distraction from one of their biggest moneymakers, Fortnite, which is a completely closed platform that is operated in part like a casino that is marketed primarily to children.

      6 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        I was just mentioning to a friend...Epic loves to harp on about how Valve's 20-30% cut is "too high," and uses it as kind of their main marketing strategy. "Look how generous we are compared to...

        Both company’s statements talked about their commitment to being an open marketplace.

        I was just mentioning to a friend...Epic loves to harp on about how Valve's 20-30% cut is "too high," and uses it as kind of their main marketing strategy. "Look how generous we are compared to the competition."

        But what I see is a bit different. Epic knows they have lucked out in getting one of the most popular titles in the world right now. They know the gravy train won't last forever, so they're burning as much cash as they can to have a more captive audience later. What better way than trying to replace Steam? Or gobbling up other best-in-class companies like Bandcamp?

        The thing is, from where I'm sitting, Valve knows that inertia will only get them so far as well, and that's part of why they've been building up that hardware division. If the Steam Deck goes well enough, I'd wager they take another stab at the TV/VR space with a Steam Machine 2.0.

        6 votes
    2. Apos
      Link Parent
      At least with Artstation they made all the courses become free which was nice. If you want to check a Bandcamp competitor, there's still Jamendo that is independent. Wikipedia

      At least with Artstation they made all the courses become free which was nice.

      If you want to check a Bandcamp competitor, there's still Jamendo that is independent. Wikipedia

      3 votes
  7. Staross
    Link
    To be honest Bandcamp has been very stagnant in terms of features, they sit on a large userbase but don't really take advantage of it. I'd love to see better streaming, better social features (à...

    To be honest Bandcamp has been very stagnant in terms of features, they sit on a large userbase but don't really take advantage of it. I'd love to see better streaming, better social features (à la last.fm v1.0), reviews, better discovery, ...

    3 votes