Bandcamp Paid Musicians Over $70M in 2017

Bandcamp logo
Courtesy of Bandcamp


The revenue from its 3,500 independent record labels rose by 73 percent.

Online independent music marketplace Bandcamp saw double digit growth in every aspect of its business and paid out more than $70 million to artists in 2017, the company has announced. That brings the platform's total payouts to artists up to $270 million since it launched in 2008. 

According to Bandcamp's "2017 Year in Review" blog post this week, the service increased its digital album sales by 16 percent, track sales by 33 percent and merchandise sales by 36 percent. As for physical, vinyl sales grew by 54 percent, cassettes sales by 41 percent and CD sales by 18 percent. 

Additionally, the revenue from its roughly 3,500 independent labels shot up by 73 percent and it tallies more than 600,000 artists having now sold something via the website. 

Bandcamp also touted 84 percent growth in the audience for its Bandcamp Daily digital publication. As well, the service launched a new app for artists and labels, added gift cards and held fundraisers for the ACLU and TLC. 

With these latest figures, Bandcamp took digs at its streaming giant competitors Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music by boasting nearly six straight years as a profitable business "that only makes money when artists make a lot more money."

"Meanwhile, standalone music streaming companies continued to lose money in 2017, and industry-wide record sales continued to decline: in the U.S., digital album sales dropped 20%, tracks were down 23%, and physical sales fell 20%," the blog post reads. "The seemingly inevitable upshot of these two trends is that the majority of music consumption will eventually take place within the subscription rental services of two or three enormous corporations, who can afford to lose money on music because it attracts customers to the parts of their businesses that are profitable."

The needling continued, pointing to those competitors' highly-influential playlists' "tremendous influence over what music gets heard" and their streaming rates as "the opposite of the this-will-all-work-out-when-we’re-big-enough dream once sold by music rental companies."

But things end on a high note, restating Bandcamp's core commitments as the company enters its 10th year in operation: "We want a music platform to exist where the playing field is level, where artists are compensated fairly and transparently, and where fans can both stream and own their music collections." 

Read the full post here