Bandcamp Rings Up $1 Million In December Sales. New Stats Prove Direct-To Fan’s Potential

image from www.google.comNew numbers from Bandcamp show that in December alone artists using the site grossed more than $1 million in music and merch sales, bringing the total to-date to $12.6 million. But the most promising insight from Bandcamp is proof that more and more fans are paying for music that they probably set out to get for free.

A few months ago, Bandcamp began tracking the starting point of every sale that happens on the site and shre share these examples of free-to-paid conversions:

  • "this morning someone paid $10 for an album after Googling “lelia broussard torrent.”
  • "a $15 sale came in from the search “maimouna youssef the blooming hulkshare.”
  • "a fan made a $12 purchase after clicking a link on music torrent tracker What.CD.
  • "someone spent $10 after following a link on The Pirate Bay, next to the plea: They sell their album as a download on their website. You can even choose your format (mp3, ogg, flac, etc). Cmon, support this awesome band!”

Some more impressive Bandcamp stats:

  • 22% of those sales happened because of Bandcamp, driven by things like tags, the home page, recommendations, and search.
  • 40% of the time, fans pay more than the asking price for name-your-price albums.
  • 53% of all purchases are made by fans located outside the U.S.

Mainstream music sales will never return to their formal levels, but growing direct-to-fan sales offer real hope for the emerging musical middle class. As Bandcamp's Ethan Diamond concludes, "Fortunately, it appears there’s still a thriving community of fans who understand that the best way to support the artists they love is by handing them money."

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  1. I have not yet bought from bandcamp.com but their repertoire is getting more and more attractive. The 2 albums on there which I have on my wish list currently really should have seen a CD release, were it not for the artists not being able to afford that out of their own pocket. So basically, I feel the self-releasing artists who put out CDs through their own websites during the early 00s have been moving to bandcamp.
    It is beyond me as to why bandcamp.com does not offer *.cda CD-burning image files for a purchaseable download including artwork to fit into a jewelcase as *.pdf
    The only thing I miss with them is a comfortable way to build jewelcase version CD-Rs out of the recordings they sell. They really should expand in this direction. Album credits need to be included in their artwork. Offering album covers only is just not enough.
    I hope this bit of feedback will transpire to bandcamp officials in some way and inspire them. I feel they have a great thing going on with the current concept of their site.

  2. Would be interesting to see how that $1 million figure is spread out. For example, if Bandcamp has 100,000 users it means an average of $10 in revenue per band, per month… I’m sure bigger name artists skew the average numbers, and I’m sure the % of users that “sell’ something is small.
    Also curious how many free vs. paid downloads are processed through Bandcamp. I have a feeling the raw number of downloads served is much more exciting, in terms of “offering real hope for the emerging musical middle class” (through the possibilities it opens up), than the actual revenue it represents.
    Bandcamp is very well made and appreciated, but if their cut of sales is around 15%, it means the company that seems to be the leader in direct-to-fan sales is on a run rate to have annual revenues of between $1.5 and $2 million. Maybe promising, but not spectacular.

  3. Bandcamp allows you to add whatever you want with a download. It’s up to artist to supply those extra things like say a pdf with liner notes. You can even add video. One of the things about many of these tools is that the average artist doesn’t go the extra mile and maximize use of the tool. I always ask artists to include their lyrics but many refuse because they don’t want to take the time to add them. In an age where artists ‘struggle’ so much, often many don’t go the extra mile. If many of them did they’d be more successful in their pursuits. It’s no different than anything else in life. You get what you put into it.
    But what do I know? Pay me no mind…

  4. I hate reports that state random figures but provide no overview of how many users led to such sales figures. Utterly misleading. How about some transparency Bandcamp?
    Whilst yes Direct-to-fan is a growing and worthy model, and Bandcamp are to be commended for developing such a useful tool for artists, it is important that when usage vs revenue statistics are released that they are done so in a transparent manner.
    The figure of $12.6 million gross over 12 months means nothing unless the total number of artists who led to this annual sales figure are also released.
    When can we expect to hear how many artist led to that sales figure Bandcamp?

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