Bandcamp is our favorite platform for emerging and independent artists. Why?

It’s not the 10-15% commission they take… that fee is average if a little high. Those selling thousands of copies of their albums and merchandise have more profitable options.

But that’s just the thing — most musicians never sell thousands, let alone hundreds of albums or merch items. Bandcamp services this majority musician in a way no other platform can.

At the heart of Bandcamp is a simple, utilitarian premise: Allow fans to listen to your music for free, and enable flexible, reasonable pricing for music purchases. Bands have the option of collecting email addresses, set fees or pay-what-you-want amounts in exchange for their music. You can also sell merch. It’s the quickest way to a free band website. Bandcamp gets about 15% of music revenue and 10% of merch.

Advanced features are available for an additional fee, and they’re pretty cool: fan mapping, download codes, and download credits. These options are worth it for powering marketing and PR campaigns around your release.

Now, lots of platforms do some or all of this, so why is Bandcamp the top of the heap?

We can think of two key reasons. Number one, it works. Fans buy music and merch through Bandcamp. They have paid many millions out to artists. They do such a great job of converting a potential fan discovering your music into a paying customer (or a pay-what-you-want customer), or if they don’t pay, at least you’ve captured their email, which has its own important value. The incredibly user-friendly interface, for both fans and artists managing their pages, plays a big role in encouraging those transactions.

Number two, the Bandcamp team are geniuses at introducing new features. We’ve been using the service for many years. Not only have we seen continuous improvements, but all the features are very focused on earning musicians money. There are no superfluous bells and whistles, no marketing scams or advertising, and the discovery/recommendation engine runs quietly in the background so the fan can focus on the artist and music they’re focusing on. They seemingly have though of everything — every feature you find yourself needing is there, right down to very specific functions you’ll be surprised are there.

Quite simply, Bandcamp offers everything you need and nothing you don’t. Until you have your own official website to promote your music and sell merch, Bandcamp should be your next mandatory step after setting up a Facebook page.

Visit Bandcamp