Pretty much the entire music industry is out of work right now, and it's hitting DIY and indie artists harder than anyone else. Fans and artists are trying to find solutions, like pushing merch and vinyl, donation-based livestreamed shows, and instrument, gear and production tutorials. Now, at least one music company is doing their part and putting people over profit.
Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share of all purchases for 24 hours today (from midnight to midnight PST), to "put much needed money into artists' pockets," writes CEO Ethan Diamond.
"For many artists, a single day of boosted sales can mean the difference between being able to pay rent or not," says Diamond. "Still, we consider this just a starting point. Musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for many months to come…"
The platform's statement also directs artists to their new Bandcamp Artist Guide, which has tips to help maximize sales, and implores fans "lucky enough to be in a position to spare some funds… [to] please consider sharing [their] good fortune by buying music and merchandise directly from artists on Bandcamp."
Starting now, for the next 24 hours, Bandcamp will be waiving our revenue share on all purchases. Let’s come togeth… https://t.co/yQ8zYMN6LD
Bandcamp — known for its human-not-algorithm-generated new music recommendations and providing break-out opportunities for the likes of Frankie Cosmos and Carseat Headrest — has always served as a kind of "fair trade" alternative to the sleek, profit-hungry machine of Spotify, which pays artists between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream according to CNBC. Crucially, as well as streaming, Bandcamp actually offers a digital record store.
Unfortunately, the biggest corporate players in the music industry have largely turned a blind eye, just as the pandemic highlights how precarious they've made artists' lives. Amazon actually halted CD and vinyl orders, choosing this particular corner of its inventory not to restock, as it focuses on household essentials and medical supplies. Imagine if Amazon, which brings in $215 million a day for CEO Jeff Bezos, or Spotify, which streams over 1.5 million songs a minute, waived profits on music for just a few hours to help artists make rent.
Anyway, this Friday, head over to bandcamp.com to support your fave.