A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…

As you know, all of my albums come out first on Bandcamp (as of writing, I’m in their top 5 ‘current best-sellers’ thanks to you – I won’t bother linking to it (though I did get a screengrab).

I may or may not put this on iTunes/Amazon/eMusic etc. I haven’t decided yet. I’d MUCH rather you got it from Bandcamp, for all our sakes. Here’s why:

  • You get to choose your file type. With Bandcamp I can release 24bit audiophile FLAC versions and the highest possible quality MP3 versions (we well as AAC/ALAC and OGG) all in the same place. No faffing about for you searching out the best format, just choose the one you want.
  • Sleevenotes, artwork, extras. I can add PDFs of sleevenotes, photos, lyrics, individual art for each track. and I can change it. As often as I want. Freedom 🙂
  • The ‘Pay What You Want’ thing. It just makes sense – not only does it let you put in the price that represents both what you can afford, and what you think it’s worth, but it means that people who are in parts of the world where they otherwise can’t get ‘legal’ digital music can download it without paying, and if you ever lose your copy in a harddrive crash, you can just come and download it again for free. Or if you decide you want to give FLAC a go and see what all the hi-res fuss is about – again, you can replace it for free.
  • Payment is easy. OK, so not quite as easy as buying on iTunes if you’ve got an iTunes account, but its’ way more friendly. If you’ve got a PayPal account, it’s 3 clicks and a password confirmation. If you haven’t, you can pay with a credit/debit card.
  • Full previews. Let’s be honest, in the grand scheme of things HARDLY ANYONE HAS HEARD OF ME. Even fewer have heard my music. Hiding it away behind 30 second previews on iTunes/Amazon is utterly insane. As would be hosting it all on a listening service that’s separate from the buying/download bit. It’s utterly vital for indie musicians to remember, you don’t get an audience by selling music, you have the chance to sell music ONCE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. The unlimited listening makes people hearing what I do as easy as possible. You can listen on the site, on Facebook, other people can blog it. It’s just great! A lot of the people who may hear my stuff are likely to need quite a while to decide they want it enough to buy it. It may take years. I don’t want to stop them listening in those intervening years. I’m in this for the long game, not some get rich quick plan. You can listen on the site as much as you want. That’s great. …it’s also worth noting that the pages will also play on an iPhone/iPad, thanks to them being HTML5, not Flash-driven – you can’t download from Bandcamp to either of those, but that’s because Apple are idiots, nothing Bandcamp can do about that.
  • Sharing via social media. Bandcamp is SO friendly. the URL turns into an embedded player on Facebook, anyone can blog it and have it playable to their friends, every page (album or track) has facebook and twitter share buttons, when you’ve bought it and it’s downloading, there are sharing buttons there too. It’s made for sharing.
  • Sharing the love via Creative Commons. iTunes and Amazon don’t give me the option to change the license terms on my music. It’s All Rights Reserved or nothing. But I don’t want to make it illegal for you to share the music with your friends. I don’t want to make it illegal for you to add the music to your videos, to remix it, to sample it… If you’re not making money from it, you can do what you want with it. If you want to make money off it, we negotiate the terms as normal. That’s friendly, right?

Convinced? Here you go:

4 Replies to “A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…”

  1. Very interesting Steve,

    I have to agree with you, this really is such a simple, clean & brilliant service. The one thing that I love about Bandcamp is that it’s pro-MUSIC; unlike a lot of others out there.

    Keep it up mate, great stuff.

    P.s I’ve been listening to your music all the way through this, chilled stuff bro (thank god it’s more than 30s..)


  2. I could not agree more with what you are saying about bandcamp.


    Music is about sharing.


    One does not have a view, any view until you have heard it.

    And how do you hear it?

    Because someone gave you lent you or sent you the music.

    It is the same with books.

    We read a book because someone gave it to us or lent it to us or suggested that we read it.

    Paulo Coelho has found more people read his books when they are on the net to download for free.


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