12 October 2011

Could this be the end of record labels?

Lately I've been listening to a lot of music on the Bandcamp website, and every time I use it I'm amazed at how simple the idea behind it is, but at the same time, how effective it is as a tool for musicians.

Artists taking control over their music isn't new - Fat Freddy's Drop managed to make it to number one on the New Zealand charts with their independently distributed first album.  I think where Bandcamp's strength lies is in the ease in which artists can get their music out there, and the usability for music fans looking for

Allowing artists to control how much they sell their music for and giving fans a choice in the format they get their music in, from mp3, to lossless digital formats, to physical CDs with pretty pictures, can only help get music out to the widest possible audience.

It also allows artists to upload music as they make it, rather than waiting until they have enough for an EP, or a full album, essentially creating a quick and easy single release without the hassles of distribution.

I'm sure Bandcamp isn't the only site that's doing this, but it's the one I keep ending up at (while writing this I've been sneakily listening to three different artists on Bandcamp; one because I'm photographing them this week, the other two because I'd heard them mentioned and wanted to check out their sound...).

I can see the concept evolving to offer more services, and if you combine it with some of the features of other music promotion sites, such as ticketing, then it's going to present a real challenge to the traditional music establishment.

Have you used Bandcamp to check out any new bands, or to buy music from bands you like?  How did you find the process?  Did you find any new music you liked?  Or found any similar sites that help musicians share their worl?

Drop a comment below and tell the world about it.

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