The online music platform enables musicians to set up their own stores, through which they can now launch production runs of their records.
Internet music marketplace Bandcamp has taken yet another step to support independent artists by launching a new service that will produce, sell and ship vinyl records for anyone with an online store on their platform.
The website, which was launched in 2007, aims to streamline “the financing, production, and fulfillment of vinyl records”. Without any upfront investment from the artist, they take care of pressing the records, print the packaging, and ship to the customers – while also fulfilling digital sales.
This business model depends on each production run reaching a minimum number of 250 sales. Through their Bandcamp profile, artists are able to launch a campaign for each record they wish to offer their fans for purchase. Similar to fundraising website GoFundMe, the artist has 30 days to reach the target of minimum orders. If they do, then the production and shipping costs are fully covered by the sales.
Bandcamp store holders have the opportunity to choose any of their existing digital-only releases or re-press a sold out record, as well as retaining complete creative control over design elements such as vinyl colour and jacket cover. Existing fans with a Bandcamp account get automatically notified when a new campaign is launched to make their pledge.
Fulfilment of each print run can take up to three to four months from campaign launch, with the sales period running over 30 days, and manufacturing taking up to 70 days. Another 10 to 20 days are estimated for packaging and distribution.
Artists who have already made successful use of the new service include Vulfpeck, City Girl and Yazz Ahmed. Charlie Jungle, Director at Ahmed’s label Ixchel, comments, “Bandcamp’s relentless determination towards advancing artists’ careers and the independent scene as a whole really shines through with this latest offering. For us it has also delivered some of the best wax we’ve had — in both sound and print quality.”
Bandcamp has already gained much praise for its efforts to help independent artists through these challenging times for the music industry. In March 2020, they introduced ‘Bandcamp Fridays’ in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the website waive its fees on the first Friday of every month, enabling store owners to take home 100% of their profits on this day. According to Ethan Diamond, CEO of Bandcamp, fans have paid artists over half a billion dollars on Bandcamp between March and December of 2020, Safe and Sound reports.