Report: Bandcamp Is Giving Artists Their Own Subscription Services

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Bandcamp, the e-commerce platform that makes it easy for bands to sell their music directly to fans, is now poised to offer a new feature: personalized subscription services. Ahead of an announcement at this week's SF MusicTech Summit conference, Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond told the Guardian that artists will be able to set their own price for the service, with music reaching premium subscribers first. "It's kinda like what U2 and Apple did, except that it’s music that you actually want!" said Diamond.

Subscribers will still be able to download music files as they normally do, with everything also available on Bandcamp's mobile app, and artists can dig into their catalogs to offer subscription bonuses. According to the report, musicians can choose to release new music exclusively to subscribers and include blanket discounts on other merchandise.

Bandcamp's Diamond calls it a way to give artists a streamlined path to reach the fans who "just want to support everything" a band does. "As an artist, serving that type of fan can be really challenging: you can talk about a new release, but you’re competing with somebody’s social media firehose -- with sponsored posts and their 1,000 closest Facebook friends," he said. "So how do you even get the information to them that there’s a new release?"

A key component of the subscription service will be the Bandcamp app, which artists can use to send targeted messages -- like news and photos -- exclusively to subscribers. 

According to the Guardian, Bandcamp will charge the same fee as it does for digital sales: 15 percent, dropping to 10 percent once an artist reaches $5,000 in sales.