Retail & Vinyl

Bandcamp Adds Social Layer With Fan Accounts

Bandcamp-fan-accountAdding 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 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.

Bandcamp-fan-support

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.

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5 Comments

  1. Clyde, I like this a lot. The design is refreshingly clean and minimalistic for a music service.
    I’ve been noticing a lot of indie bands prefer selling their music direct to fans on Bandcamp as opposed to getting fractions of cents per stream on streaming services. So fan profiles serve a great purpose to take that one step further and get fans more involved in the equation, rather than just a transaction site.
    I personally haven’t really used Bandcamp but these profiles make me want to discover some bands on here, purchase their music and create my own beautiful looking profile. So from a fan psychology perspective it definitely works.
    As next steps, I would imagine if they take this towards touring and merchandising, again keep the social fan component in mind, I see nothing but success.

  2. This is great…BUT…how will this be advantageous to the artists in terms of communicating with the fans signed up to the accounts? Will we have some sort of fanpage platform to communicate to them…other than that it looks really clean and all about music.

  3. Cool! Great! My brother has a band and they want to send their demos to some recording companies. I don;t know how Bandcamp really works, do you think Bandcamp can help some aspiring bands to go mainstream?

  4. Good point, Jerry. There needs to be a system wherein the fans can be included, can see more of the artist’s personality and witness the creative process. I think even allowing fans to be more like friends or “tribes” that the artists are leaders of would be good. Not dictators, but benevolent leaders who take advice from fans and allow them to participate in the creative process. I think there’s a big gap to be filled between artist and fan, to the point where they are nearly on the same plane, seeing each other as creators who are linked by the music.

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