November 14, 2014
Bandcamp, an online music store that supports promotion of independent artists, will now offer individual subscription platforms. Artists will be able to share content, merchandise, and other offers, choosing their own subscription rate. Music will be available to subscribers through downloads or streaming via the mobile app. As a bonus for new subscribers, artists can choose to give items from their back catalog. Bandcamp currently features 12 million tracks and 1.6 million albums.
“It’s kinda like what U2 and Apple did, except that it’s music that you actually want!” said Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond. “The whole motivation here is that when you get to a point that you love an artist — when you go from liking them to being a real true fan of theirs — at some point you just want everything they make. You just want to support everything that they do.”
After Taylor Swift pulled her songs from Spotify, claiming the subscription is an unfair experiment, Bandcamp has decided to show that streaming can help an artist’s career. One way it will support this claim is by adding a feature that prompts listeners to spend money after listening to a track twice.
“You can use the app as a discovery tool, but at a certain point it’s saying if you want to add this to your collection, you need to buy it,” said Diamond. “And we’re going to give artists complete control over the number of times something can be streamed before they get that prompt.”
The first band to test the feature, Oxford’s Candy Says, is selling their subscription for £20 per year.