1. Why did you decide to use Bandcamp? What's its greatest advantage for you?
Pretty much everything about it rules. Really simple and easy to use. Really clean, simple interface that can be customized into a simple but elegant page that focuses on the music. I wasn't interested in social networking for my artist pages, so Facebook and the like were out, and bandcamp is both free and much easier to use than setting up a page myself. I also liked the ability to put up digital content for pay-what-you-want, and to simultaneously use the site as a shop to sell CD's. Basically it had everything I wanted and nothing extraneous to detract from the experience.
2. Do you feel there's anything left that needs improvement?
Sure: I think it's a little obtuse for fans in terms of being able to download stuff you've lost. It would be nice if, on the fan end of things, it was something more like a Steam interface where you can stream stuff you've added to your library, re-download things you've already bought or downloaded as often as you like, etc. I know a lot of this functionality is already there, but it's hidden behind some obscurity and paywalls.
3. What were your experiences with selling stuff on the site? Do you think the portion of money Bandcamp gets from artists' profits is appropriate?
Hmm. This is a tough one. I've made more selling physical CD's than digital downloads, and as a result almost any time anyone actually gives me money for downloads it goes toward paying off my revenue share balance rather than into my PayPal. Not that I'm being greedy here - I understand that Bandcamp needs to make its money off the service it provides - but I think it could be more transparent for the fans. Kind of bums me out when a fan graciously sends me a couple bucks for a download instead of snagging it for free, thinking he's helping me out, when in reality the entirety of his generosity goes straight to Bandcamp.
4. If you're an independent artist: How good can you manage your life as musician without label support (e.g. organizing concerts, promote yourself etc.)? Did you make any contacts over Bandcamp that facilitated things for you? Do you think label support is essential for becoming really big? Do you plan to get signed to a label in the future?
While definitely possible, I still think label support is a huge deal. While Bandcamp does make it much easier for independent artists to get their music "out there", it's not a replacement for good labels, even small ones.
5. Have you ever been featured on the front page? If so, did it make a noticeable difference to your selling numbers or was it in any other way positive for you?
I'm not sure, as I rarely look at the front page. I have seen people come to my band pages directly from the front page though, so I guess I have? The numbers weren't huge though; so much stuff gets added to Bandcamp that you get knocked off that front page pretty quick I think.
6. Do you have a problem with political bands being allowed on the site?
Nope. That would be much too difficult to judge/moderate.
Hope that helps. Links to my Bandcamp pages are in my forum signature here.
Lippyass Major wrote:
Getting a band inked into your skin permanently is always a sign of dedication and intelligence, and I have a lot of respect for the people who do it.
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