It's no secret that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has devastated the music industry, with many artists left struggling to find other ways to support themselves for the time being. The pandemic has also renewed calls for streaming services to finally pay musicians a more equitable share of their royalties... which has been generally received with less than stellar results.
Last month Spotify understandably came under fire for their recently rolled out "Discovery Mode" that allows artists to opt in for a reduced royalty rate in exchange for heightened visibility on the platform's algorithm and curated playlists. (If this sounds like pay-to-play to you, that's because it is.) After facing increasing pressure from major labels as more artists turn to livestreaming services to play DJ sets and host listening parties, Twitch also drew sharp criticism from its users for recent changes to its copyright policies that resulted in thousands of DMCA takedown notices, deleted videos and numerous headaches for streamers and content creators.
So far, the only music platform that has managed to get things even remotely right when it comes to taking care of its artists is Bandcamp. Since the early days of lockdown, the online music retailer and streaming platform has been consistently forgoing their share of the profits the first Friday of every month. According to Bandcamp, across the eight days they've held Bandcamp Fridays this year the site has raised $35 million for the artists and labels that make up its site.
In their latest move aimed at helping their userbase better make ends meet, Bandcamp has announced a new ticketed livestream feature for artists. The new service, Bandcamp Live, will allow artists to host their own livestream concerts on the site and will come fully integrated with the platform's pre-existing ecosystem, complete with a virtual "merch table," real-time chat, and the ability to promote you show to their Bandcamp fans.
Artists will be able to set their own ticket prices with Bandcamp announcing that they will only be taking a 10% fee in compliance with their Fair Trade Music Policy. As an added bonus, Bandcamp has announced that they will also be waiving that fee entirely until March 31, 2021!
It's true! Bandcamp Live is a new ticketed live streaming service integrating merch and everything else you love ab… https://t.co/AH4Fjci0fQ
Bandcamp Live is currently being rolled out across the site as of today with Bandcamp announcing a lineup of already confirmed shows featuring artists like Cloud Nothings, Liv.e, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Madison McFerrin, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hatchie, Pedro the Lion and more. Check out the full schedule below.