“Bandcamp Opens Artist Subscriptions To All Users”
Bandcamp began experimenting with artist subscriptions last year with a select group of Bandcamp artists testing a patronage system similar to Patreon’s but with a focus solely on musicians. Now they’re opening the service to all their users:
“A few years ago we noticed many artists using Bandcamp to fulfill the digital piece of crowdfunding campaigns, so we asked them whether they wanted crowdfunding built right into Bandcamp. Their response surprised us. As they described months spent focusing on campaign rewards, the word we heard most often was ‘unsustainable.’ At the same time, our own experience contributing to crowdfunded projects was that we were motivated by a desire to help an artist we loved, not by a wish for a t-shirt, signed plastic disc, or potpourri sachet.”
:Our hunch is that your biggest fans are less interested in funding studio time or mastering for just one album than they are in supporting you in a sustainable way. Speaking personally, we don’t want you to knit us a beer koozie, we want you to keep making more great art.”
Musicians can choose monthly or annual subscriptions to give their serious fans an ongoing stream of releases. Here are some of the details:
1. All the new music or shows you make, streaming instantly to their mobile device via the Bandcamp app, and also available as a high-quality, DRM-free download.
2. Any number of releases from your back catalog, given to them immediately as a bonus when they subscribe.
3. Any track or album you designate as subscriber-only (great for live recordings, demos of forthcoming tracks, interviews, b-sides, and so on).
4. The option to purchase any merchandise item you designate as subscriber-only (for first dibs on tickets, signed or limited edition items, house concerts, etc.).
5. Exclusive access to your subscriber community, where you can post messages and photos, and chat with just your paying supporters.
6. Whatever else you dream up. Guest list spots, album credits, video chats, lessons… it’s entirely up to you.
This new option goes beyond music crowdfunding as a project-based offering to focus on ongoing support from superfans of the artists they really care about. And if they just want to occasionally pick up some new music, they can still do that in Bandcamp’s well-established manner.