Be sure to read my updated and more complete review of BandCamp! (Click anywhere on these 2 sentences to see that post.)

This is the penultimate review in a series based on my own research, plus awesome input from a number of other independent musicians. My basic goal in this series is to find the best-of-breed that will allow independent musicians to sell digital format songs direct to listeners. If you’ve been following along, you’ve read about some that did not meet the requirements in my opinion (feel free to share yours in the comments!); two that try to provide lots more than just digital direct sales and either barely deliver or provide a useful platform; and one new service that I really like which allows for song sales while simultaneously benefitting charities. The two final reviews are of tools that focus (almost) solely on direct digital song sales.

As you can tell by the title, today’s coverage is on BandCamp. Their home page is an easy to understand introduction to their services. Both artists and fans can get a taste of what’s available right from that front page. Sign-up is easy and fast. Listing and uploading your songs (including an image and numerous optional details on each one) or albums is free and also very simple. If you run into trouble, BandCamp provides some laid-back FAQ and help pages that will probably get you through it.

In addition to sending people to your page on BandCamp, you can (also for free) create a custom domain (one that you have registered) that actually points to your BandCamp profile. I did this and it took less than a day, was easy to perform from the step-by-step instructions on the BandCamp web site, and provided me with a listing that can “look” like it’s part of my site.

If you start making lots of sales on BandCamp, they offer some upgrades in space, etc. for your songs. Listings can also be made for physical media (CD’s), but BandCamp only provides a place for you to list the information and make the sale. The rest is up to you (CD duplication, shipping, etc.).

You can name your price for the digital download or allow fans to set their own price in addition to the traditional choice of setting a fixed cost. A nice feature that gives the listener a bit of control. Mailing list information can also be collected in exchange for downloads and completed sales also populate your contact list. The only way to obtain the mailing list data is to download it as a CSV file, so again, dealing with the data is up to you, the musician or band.

BandCamp basically charges 15% of sales to get things started. Check their pricing page for current charges and discounts. (Usual disclaimer: BandCamp, like any vendor, can change their pricing at any time. It’s up to you not to trust the figures I provide here as they may have changed by the time you read this.) There are other features and niceties that you should also read about before deciding on BandCamp or another option.

A number of musical artists have very successfully used BandCamp. I have been impressed with the ways that Matt Stevens uses BandCamp integration on his site. You should definitely visit and listen to his music. He’s an experienced guitar-looping (and social media) powerhouse.

So, my review of BandCamp comes with lots of kudos: they focus primarily on allowing the independent musician to sell direct to fans. Well done. Their fees allow them to stay in business while providing this crucial service to independent musical artists.

And there’s one more review to go. My favorite pick of the many choices that musicians have regarding digital sales tools. Watch here for that final review.

Please add your feedback in the comments section. I’d really like to hear your ongoing experiences with these online sales services.

Playful blessings,

BandCamp is an indie musician sales and streaming audio tool. They have a great set of features that make them very attractive for low-cost solutions.
BandCamp digital song sales
Date Published: 03/15/2012
Many independent musicians on the rise use BandCamp because of their great (and growing) set of features that include digital and physical sales, song streaming, and now a fan module.
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11 Responses to review of BandCamp

  1. Mike Vavrek says:

    As always Stan, thanks for this insight. When I 1st started putting music online a friend of mine referred me to bandcamp. I’m not a very proficient producer, and was using bandcamp as a mostly a place for people to hear what I was doing, as well as having a place to put it that had the ability to connect to other social networks. Was seriously in awe that folks were buying my music! This was a sort of trial by fire for me, as I mostly am a 1 take kinda guy. Having a perfect sound wasn’t something that appealed to me much, you’ll always have those mistakes in a live setting. I wanted to offer things outside of TMG for many reasons-I got lost in all the sites out there, was really getting garbled and overwhelmed. Thanks for reminding me just how useful bandcamp is, and for your insight on it. As I become more familiar with ProTools, I’ll def be using bandcamp again, it truly is a great site, and has sentimental value to me as corny as that sounds. thorough review Stan! Thank you SOO much! (::)PEACE(::)

    • muz4now says:

      Thanks, Mike. I see how you put your heart into your responses, tweets, etc. just as you put it into your music.

      I encourage you to wait for my final review before you jump back into BandCamp … especially since you’re on SoundCloud.

      Playful blessings,

  2. muz4now says:

    BandCamp has added some helpful tools to their setup including a mobile version of the base song sales and streaming, plus a store for other merchandise. While these don’t necessarily change my earlier assessment about direct-to-fan song sales, they certainly make BandCamp a more attractive package for basic independent artist song and storefronts.

  3. Adam Johns says:

    Bandcamp is a great service and it really helps artists to sell their music with fans directly. I really think Bandcamp mixed with is the best possible combination for artists.

  4. […] on Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  5. muz4now says:

    Update (16th January, 2013): Bandcamp now offers what looks to be a game-changing fan platform. Time to re-write this review…
    BandCamp for Fans

  6. […] review of BandCamp Poem 0185 of 1,000: suggestion […]

  7. Eivind says:

    I have sort of a love / hate relationship with bandcamp.

    As an artist, it’s pretty great! You can easily upload and release your own music, at no cost, and it includes a few moderately helpful promotional features.

    But as a consumer, I’m quite irate at the fact that you can’t re-download music you’ve purchased. The download link you’re given will eventually expire. So if you have a hard drive crash, you’ll have to re-purchase the music. And if you’re abroad and forgot to bring along your favourite bandcamp album on you portable media player, again, you’ll have to re-purchase it if you want access to it. If I’ve bought an album digitally, I want to be able to easily log in to my user account and re-download it whenever I want.

    • muz4now says:

      I can see what you’re saying about the re-downloading. This does point to the importance of backups. I always save a copy of my iTunes library after I downloaded a few new songs.
      And I do hear how this wouldn’t protect from the scenario that you gave regarding a trip away from home.
      Have you contacted bandcamp with your wishes?

  8. […] the death of VibeDeck, I really think BandCamp is one of the best things around for indie musicians just getting started or for more established […]

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