To support artists during the coronavirus pandemic, online music marketplace Bandcamp will waive its revenue share on all sales made Friday, March 20.
The one-day event, which will run from midnight to midnight PST, is designed to “put much-needed money directly into artists’ pockets,” Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond wrote in the announcement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is in full force, and artists have been hit especially hard as tours and shows are being canceled for the foreseeable future,” he wrote. “With such a major revenue stream drying up almost entirely, finding ways to continue supporting artists in the coming months is now an urgent priority for anyone who cares about music and the artists who create it.”
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 will reach the artists and labels within 24–48 hours.
According to Bandcamp’s site, fans have already paid artists $9.4 million in the last 30 days. Diamond is now urging the Bandcamp community to think of Friday’s event as a “starting point,” as musicians will continue to feel the effects of lost touring income for months to come. Fans can help by buying music and merchandise directly from artists on Bandcamp, with the option to pay more than the asking price on most items.
Artists also have access to the new Bandcamp Artist Guide, which includes recommendations for maximizing sales on the platform. For example, Diamond suggests that artists dig up live recordings and old demos for release on Bandcamp, or offer video hangouts, lessons and gear tutorials as merch items.
“Over the coming weeks we’ll collect examples of what’s working best and share those here,” Diamond adds, “so if something is especially effective for you or you’re just excited about an idea, please let us know.”