The past eight or so months have been profoundly difficult for musicians. With touring ground to a halt and streaming services offering fractions of cents, livelihoods have been utterly upended for countless artists. Since March, however, Bandcamp has been a rare beacon for many musicians.
On the first Friday of every month, the service has waved its fees, letting artists and labels reap the benefits in the process. Over the course of nine such Fridays, the service has generated some $40 million, as nearly 800,000 people have purchased music on those days. Artists have received, on average, 93% of the proceeds (transaction fees making up the remainder), versus 82% on normal days.
While the arrival of vaccines are a reason to be hopeful, it’s clear we’re not out of the woods yet. As such, the service announced today that Bandcamp Fridays will be extended at least through May of 2021. Those dates include, February 5, March 5, April 2, and May 7.
Other online services have been less proactive. In July, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told the media, “Some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough.”
In spite of criticism around music royalty payments, Spotify has spent hundreds of millions to bolster its library of exclusive podcasting content.