Bandcamp Reviews

Progressive Policies 1 Helpful

Positive Review by Bodik
about Bandcamp Aug 2016

I was pleasantly surprised having looked into the Bandcamp's terms and stances on the music distribution market. Their 'fair trade music policy' proves the service to be one of the rare examples of genuinely fair and open relations between a platform, an artist/label and consumers. Their profit shares are much lower than commercial giants like iTunes and Amazon offer. Unlike many subscription-based streaming services, Bandcamp provides DRM-free and uncompressed content in the very close-to-direct way. They also seem to rejoice in opposing themselves to the former. Also, given the ridiculous Soundcloud copyright decay, Bandcamp confirms several things they will never implement:

  • a paid subscription model;
  • regional restrictions (hello Spotify and Last.fm);
  • snippets instead of full songs or copyright watermarks;
  • limits on alternative distribution sources for the artists;
  • obstacles for free unauthorised downloads via exposed parts of the code (which many classify as piracy).

To be completely fair, these should come with remarks:

  • Bandcamp still focuses on selling the content rather than free promoting;
  • you cannot make a 'fan' account unless you buy something, but you can stream and navigate without one;
  • it does have a Pro account feature, though it does not impact the core functions;
  • for unpaid albums customers are asked to pay after a fixed amount of plays is reached;
  • account holders may restrict access to certain tracks on their albums.

In the end, all of it is regulated by the artists themselves, who set prices (including "name yours") and streaming limits.
It makes Bandcamp probably the best global distribution platform for creators and an easy way for their fans to dig and buy music without overpaying slippery guys in suits who contribute nothing. Moreover, Bandcamp itself commits greatly to reconsidering the obsolete media business traditions and unjust trends, and shows off as a moderate rebel. No wonder it is so popular among independent artists and labels.

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