Is Bandcamp Helping Decrease Music Piracy?

Posted by on March 14, 2012

Bandcamp has been providing bands (both signed and unsigned) and labels with a “name your price” platform for a while now. The service easily allows you to sell digital or physical copies of music, stream select songs or full albums online, and even offers an integration with Facebook. And though the platform does take a service fee per each sale, it’s still a strong alternative to the major digital distributors for many bands. However, according to a study released at the beginning of this year, it’s also helping with the fight against piracy.

While tracking how users get to their site, Bandcamp discovered at the beginning of this year that many purchasers end up on the platform after searching for pirated music. Bandcamp provided the following examples from their findings:

“For example, just this morning someone paid $10 for an album after Googling “lelia broussard torrent.” A bit later, a fan plunked down $17 after searching for “murder by death, skeletons in the closet, mediafire.” Then a $15 sale came in from the search “maimouna youssef the blooming hulkshare.” Then a fan made a $12 purchase after clicking a link on music torrent tracker What.CD. Then someone spent $10 after following a link on The Pirate Bay, next to the plea ‘They sell their album as a download on their website. You can even choose your format (mp3, ogg, flac, etc). Cmon, support this awesome band!’”

The platform’s study also claims that in December of 2011 alone, Bandcamp artists raked in over $1 million in music and merch sales, with 22% of those sales occurring because of Bandcamp. At the moment, Relapse and Candlelight Records are a few of the more well-known metal labels using the platform. And though it may not be the exact solution to a struggling music industry, this proves that Bandcamp has lots of potential to grow.

[via Metal Sucks]

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Categorised in: Digital Media