Fans have given artists over $100 million through Bandcamp, an incredible feat for the online music store which launched in 2008 catering mostly to independent artists. Known for its “name your price” policy where the listeners can choose to download music for free, pay what they could afford, or pay what they thought the album deserved, it provided a more moralistic alternative to the rapid rise of illegal mp3 downloading in the mid-2000s, shaping the music-buying culture in doing so. In the days of Myspace’s demise and when “This one time at Bandcamp” jokes were kinda (not really) trending, the site provided a platform for independent artists to release albums to the world for free.
Now, the site has grown to accommodate fans giving artists $3.5 million monthly. That’s 16,000 record sales a day. What’s more, while the industry is seeing 11% of sales in the last year, Bandcamp is seeing a 30% rise. Co-founder Shawn Grunberger writes, “We see this growth as proof that if you give fans easy ways to directly support the artists they love, they’ll take you up on it every time.”
Here are some of our favourite artists we discovered on Bandcamp: