Music fans came out in full force to support acts on Bandcamp last week, when the online music marketplace pledged to waive its revenue share for all sales made on Friday, March 20.
On a typical Friday, Bandcamp says that fans buy roughly 47,000 items on the site, from album downloads to merchandise. But on March 20, fans bought nearly 15 times that — 800,000 items, spending a total $4.3 million. That’s 11 items per second at the peak of purchasing, Bandcamp says.
Bandcamp took zero cut, meaning that 100% of that money went directly to the artists and labels fans purchased from. In addition, many labels with accounts on the platform voluntarily gave 100% of revenue on March 20 to their artists, including ANTI- Records, Father/Daughter, Sub Pop and Third Man Records.
“We don’t yet know the long-term impact of Covid-19, but we know that we all need music — to uplift and inspire us, to heal us, and to give us hope,” Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond wrote in a new company blog post. “We’ll continue working to make Bandcamp the best place for fans and artists to come together and sustain each other in the challenging times ahead.”
The one-day purchasing event was created by Bandcamp to support artists who have suffered financial losses due to coronavirus, as virtually all U.S. tours have come to a halt to prevent contagion.
Artist accounts on Bandcamp are free, but normally, Bandcamp takes a 15% revenue share for digital sales and 10% for merch. As always, Bandcamp says that funds from Friday’s event reached the artists and labels within 24–48 hours.