Half of Bandcamp’s staff have been laid off

A computer showing the bancamp website and a set of headphones
(Image credit: Future)

Popular audio distribution platform Bandcamp has lost 50% of its workforce after being acquired by B2B service Songtradr. Bandcamp – which was launched in California in 2007 with a business model that ensured musicians received a much larger percentage of retail price than elsewhere – was bought by Songtradr for an undisclosed amount late last month.

“Over the past few years the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased," say Songtradr in a statement. "It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans. After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre existing functions at Songtradr, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr. 

"We are committed to keeping the existing Bandcamp services that fans and artists love, including its artist-first revenue share, Bandcamp Fridays and Bandcamp Daily. We are looking forward to welcoming Bandcamp into our musically aligned community. We share a deep passion for all things music and will continue to serve artists, labels and the fans who make it all possible."

Bandcamp Daily, which was introduced in 2016, shines an editorial spotlight on music available via the website, while the much-loved Bandcamp Friday initiative was launched during the pandemic, and saw the company opting out of their standard revenue share agreements for 24 hour periods, allowing musicians to increase earnings during lockdown. 

The announcement of Bandcamp's sale to Songtradr came just 18 months after Epic Games (maker of the hit video game Fortnite) itself acquired the company. 

“The acquisition of Bandcamp will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists," said Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire when the deal was announced. "I’m a passionate musician myself, and artistry and creativity have always been at the heart of Songtradr. Bandcamp will join a team of music industry veterans and artists who have deep expertise in music licensing, composition, rights management, and distribution."

Since launch, Bandcamp has paid over one billion dollars to musicians. In the last 12 months alone, the platform has sold 14.1 million digital albums, 9.85 million tracks, 1.75 million vinyl records, 800,000 CDs, 350,000 cassettes, and 100,000 tee shirts.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.