With 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 bands/musicians, but with small budgets. Even if you have money to spend, BC is a great service and and great deal whether it’s your only resource like this or an adjunct to several others that you use.
BandCamp’s core resource is a solid song player that includes the ability to sell the song; give it away for free (with or without an email address for your email list); and basic statistics on the plays you get. The other resources on BC include the ability to sell merchandise including printing the shipping labels for each sale; discount or free download codes; a growing fan (music buyers) base; and a reasonable rate even if you don’t choose their pro plan (currently 15% on digital downloads and 10% on physical merchandise). If you want to learn more about BandCamp’s features including the Pro option, their own help section covers it pretty well.
Pros of BandCamp
- They have a growing fan component. I’ve seen more fan leads from BandCamp’s “direct support” via fans that on any other single lead generator.
- They are all indie.
- Sales components include physical sales. You have to carry and ship the stock yourself, but can print shipping labels from the BC interface.
- Multiple embed options for the sales shop. These range from the whole shop or album to individual tracks. (See my sidebar for an example.)
- Uses Songkick (http://tourbox.songkick.com/) free service to embed your gigs in BC.
- Options for “sales” of songs and albums include free downloads in trade for email addresses for your fan list.
- Add-on options include custom domain (mine is http://playmusic.muz4now.com/)
Con(s) of BandCamp
- Only does song and merchandise sales. Does not have licensing and other components of CDBaby, ReverbNation, TuneCore, etc.
Even if you use other services, I highly recommend that anyone making indie music list your songs and albums on BandCamp. A few add-ons and tweaks that I think are worth the effort:
- Sign up for the free gig-listing service at SongKick and embed your upcoming events in BandCamp (and other services and web sites, too)
- Be sure to add your web links (band/artist site, social media sites, about.me or other link clearinghouse) to your BC listing
- Set your BC site up to look the way you like it; then, add the widgets to your web page(s) – you should see the “Share/Embed” link on every one of your song pages
- Recommend other indie musicians that you like on through the BC interface (they provide multiple ways to do this)
That’s all, really. And that’s the final “pro” of BandCamp: it’s simple … in a good way.