Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond announced last week that today the company will be waiving a day’s worth of their revenue to the music industry. The online music company’s fees will temporarily cede for 24 hours from 8am July 4 to 8am July 5 BST. All profits will be donated directly to artists and labels impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Today will be the final instalment of their campaign, Bandcamp Friday. Every first Friday of the past three months, the company have donated 24 hours of their funds in an effort to give back to musicians unable to make a living due to the virus outbreak.
Bandcamp first waived their revenue on March 20, 2020, donating $4.3 million from fan purchases of digital releases, merchandise, tickets and vinyl – an around 15 times greater revenue than their average Friday profit. An even higher amount of $7.1m was achieved in the following “No Share Revenue Day” on May 1. An additional $20.4 million has been made in the last 30 days alone, Bandcamp’s website states.
This Bandcamp Friday coincides with the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign; a letter from 1,500 artists to the UK government urging it to support the music industry, which has faced mass losses due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Artists include Dua Lipa, Skepta and The Rolling Stones, among many other big names in the music business.
Music is one of the sectors worst affected by the outbreak. Along with other creative industries like theatre, film and TV, an Oxford Economics project found it faces a £74bn income drop and 400,000 job losses after lockdown. This is in stark comparison to the two million people employed before the lockdown, with The Creative Industries Federation reporting that the culture sectors added £111.7 billion to the economy before March this year.
Bandcamp has been one of the main companies providing support for artists during this time. Established in 2008 by Diamond and co-founder Shawn Grunberger, it aims to provide a music platform that directly supports labels and musicians whilst still engaging with fans.
When purchasing something on Bandcamp, 80-85 percent of fees go directly to the artist, with the other 10-15 percent going on Bandcamp’s usual revenue share. This is in comparison to other music platforms like Spotify, which only pays artists via their distributors and labels.
To celebrate their campaign, Bandcamp has also shared a list of artists/labels giving donations, special releases, merchandise and sharing other resources this Friday.
Highlights include a new EP from Father John Misty, fees from digital sales of Dream Wife’s So When You Gonna…, Hinds titles going to anti-racism charities, and Domino Records launch of full catalog titles from The Kills.
Words by Cerys Turner