BandCamp – Tools for Indie Musicians

See all the posts in the Tools for Indie Musicians series.

Simply put, BandCamp is a free service that allows you to display and sell your music. If you are an indie musician and you aren’t using BandCamp, I really can’t think of a reason why you shouldn’t. Let’s look at what you can do.

Visit BandCamp.com

Sell Your Music

BandCamp works as a storefront. You upload your music (organized however you’d like), and you have 100% control over how it’s sold. You can set any price for any item. For example:

  • Singles songs for $0.50. Or for $300. The choice is yours.
  • Say you have a 10-song album and you want to sell each song for $0.99, but give a discount for the whole album. You can do it. Set individual songs at 99 cents and sell the album for $7.
Here are the various pricing options:
  • Songs/albums for a set price.
  • Fans name their own price with a minimum.
  • Fans name their own price (no minimum). This is basically like accepting tips.
  • Free.
  • Free with email address required. Great for building a mailing list.

BandCamp keeps 15% of all sales, so you get 85%. I’m not sure there is a better artist deal out there apart from setting up a paypal storefront on your own site. Every time a sale is made, you get the money immediately, which is pretty cool. No waiting 3 months for sales to come in, or even waiting until you hit a minimum balance.

Display your music

One thing I really love about BandCamp is their sense of style and design. First of all, the site just looks great, but they give you embeddable players for everything. Albums, singles, etc. You have lots of options for how that player looks as well. Want album art displayed? Got it. How about just a little tiny play button? They do that too. Everything looks great and functions really well.

If you want all your sales going through iTunes, you could still use BandCamp as an embedded player on your site. Just don’t allow sales or downloads, and it will function perfectly as a simple player.

File Formats

One of the coolest things about BandCamp is the options they give for file formats. When a fan downloads your music, they can choose between 2 qualities of mp3, or lossless formats like FLAC or Apple Lossless. Most people might not know or care about this, but for the ones that do, it’s a really cool thing.

Ease of Use

Setting up BandCamp is simple. Upload a song (in WAV or other lossless format), fill out the info (as much or little as you’d like), add album art, and you’re done. You can set up albums or just let songs stand as singles.

Other Features

BandCamp has a ton of extra features. Read their features page to learn about more, but here is a quick list of cool things you can do:

  • Real-time stats
  • Email captures (mentioned that briefly before – but you can capture name, email, and zip code data from your fans)
  • Social Media sharing built in
  • Physical media sales (I haven’t tried this)
  • Discount codes (up to 95% off, I think)
  • Bonus download items – add bonus tracks to full-length album sales – also add things like digipack art, etc
  • Pre-orders
  • Tour schedules

Show me an example!

Have a look at my albums section to see it in action. Or just go to my bandcamp page.

Any other questions? Let me know in the comments.