Dylan Baldi, the frontman of the cult favorite garage-rock band Cloud Nothings, has a new favorite holiday. "I don’t care about Christmas anymore," he jokes over the phone from his home in Philadelphia. "In a way, this feels like 'Music Day.'"
He’s talking about Bandcamp Fridays, when the online music marketplace Bandcamp waives its cut of sales — 15% of digital, 10% of physical — and passes along all revenue to artists and their closest stakeholders (like labels and managers). Originally launched as a single-day effort on March 20, 2020, to help artists at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the event stuck around as it became clear the pandemic wasn’t going anywhere either. So far, the platform has held 11 Bandcamp Fridays, directing $48.3 million toward artists and labels from over 800,000 customers — and that’s on top of the $148 million it has paid out from normal sales during that time frame.
With touring off the table for now, Baldi speaks for countless other acts when he says that Bandcamp is "honestly the only way" that his band currently makes money. Last July, Cloud Nothings launched a subscription offering fans a monthly EP available exclusively on Bandcamp at two price tiers ($5 and $9 per month). With around 600 current subscribers, the program brings in between $3,000 and $5,400 monthly. The band, which in February released its seventh album, The Shadow I Remember, makes an additional $50 to $100 per day from Bandcamp sales, which jump to about $600 on Bandcamp Fridays. (The money is split among Cloud Nothings’ four members and their management, Monster Artist Management, which waived its cut during the early stages of the pandemic to aid the group’s financial stability.)