Adding a social network layer to any established service is always tricky and doesn't always take, especially if it requires new forms of user behaviors. Bandcamp is introducing social network elements based on the activities that already occur on the site. Fan accounts are free but currently in beta so access is limited. Nevertheless the potential for success is apparent.
Bandcamp offers direct to fan sales primarily of music and related digital downloads. You can offer free downloads for email, distribute download codes and handle orders for physical sales via the service.
They're a time tested service that is facing a lot of competition from new ecommerce options offering simple unbundled solutions as well as companies bundling their own suites of tools and services.
Bandcamp Fan Page
Bandcamp fan accounts are rolling out in beta featuring simple but attractive displays of purchased music described as "collections." Examples:
I'm not sure how they're handling free downloads but if those are included it would greatly affect their potential reach.
Music Page with Supporter Icons
Eventually fan icons will show up on the pages of music they've supported. Users will be able to follow musicians and get updates, follow each other and see what they're collecting and create wishlists for future reference and possible gifting.
Given that Bandcamp already had ways to browse music on the site, adding a social network layer makes a lot of sense, especially one that's grounded in actual user behavior.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/App.net) blogs about music crowdfunding at Crowdfunding For Musicians (@CrowdfundingM). To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.