Indie Music

Bandcamp acquired by Epic Games. Are the two compatible?

Epic Games has acquired independent music destination and marketplace Bandcamp. Epic, the company behind Fortnite says that it will make Bandcamp part of its plan “to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more.”

Details of the deal were not disclosed.

“Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team,” wrote Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond. “The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere.”

Artists net an average of 82% of music and merch sales on the Bandcamp, a welcome contrast to the fraction of a penny earned when music is streamed. Total payments to artists and labels since Bandcamp launched in 2008 is approaching $1 billion.

Are Bandcamp and Epic compatible?

Bandcamp has become a top destination for independent music artists, labels and fans in large part because of its fair policies and fiercely independent ethos. Too many in indie music, Bandcamp was kindred spirit – a small independent company doing well by doing good.

By contrast Epic completed a $1 billion funding round 11 months ago at a $28.7 billion valuation. and has been repeatedly accused by game developers, content creators and gamers of unfair practices.

After 14 years and a global pandemic, perhaps it was time for change at Bandcamp; and in the short run little is likely to feel different.

But in the long term, its not hard to imagine Bandcamp joining Instagram and the long list of acquired startups whose honeymoon turned into a nightmare.

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