BANDCAMP VS. SPOTIFY WHERE SHOULD YOU UPLOAD MUSIC?
Every musician knows how important the internet is to their career. For starters, you can learn an instrument or take online voice classes. Additionally, you can follow industry trends and connect with your fans and other musicians. Most importantly, putting your songs online exposes you to listeners worldwide.
Gone are the days when artists begged large record labels to play their tracks. However, artists still struggle to choose the right platform to upload their songs. If you’re an artist or avid music listener, you’re not new to the Bandcamp vs Spotify debate. Although both sites have existed for a while and have loyal members, the Bandcamp vs Spotify discussion might not be ending any time soon. Here’s an in-depth look into the business models of these sites and their features for artists and listeners.
Spotify exposes you to audiences all over the world. By 2021’s third quarter, Spotify boasted of 381 million active members from over 180 countries, registering a 60 million increase in only one year. Additionally, the platform’s premium membership was 172 million in 2021’s second quarter, rising from 144 million subscribers in 2020’s corresponding quarter.
Similarly, Spotify has over 70 million tunes and approximately 3.2 million podcasts. According to Similarweb, Spotify’s website had 417.72 million visits over 6 months as of October 2021. This is in comparison to Bandcamp’s 29.25 million visits within the same period. Although their numbers are nowhere close to Spotify, Bandcamp still sold 600,000 CDs, 250,000 T-shirts, 300,000 cassettes, two million songs, and five million and one million digital and vinyl albums, respectively in 2019. The good news is you can promote your music on both these platforms to spread your reach. The first step is customizing your page.
You can get verified, update your bio, and add header images and concert calendars on Spotify. Likewise, you can utilize logos, artwork, and color schemes on Bandcamp. You can also upload album covers and write descriptions and proper credits.
Spotify isn’t clear on how much musicians should expect per stream. Your earnings depend on your distribution contract, your listeners’ location, and whether or not they have premium accounts.
Per artist rights blog The Trichordist, musicians earned an average of $.00521, $.00437, $.00397 in 2014, 2016, and 2017 respectively. According to Hypebot, each stream attracted $0.003-$0.005 by 2020, an amount split between several parties.
Every month, Spotify calculates your total streams and pays the rights holder, distributor, and finally, the artist. Note that per-stream royalties apply to songs played for at least 30 seconds.
Conversely, most Bandcamp accounts use standard payment systems that separately process digital and physical purchases. Bandcamp pays you via PayPal within 24-48 hours when fans buy digital items. However, high-value purchases like tracks selling for $500 may require two weeks to review.
Bandcamp then collects 10-15% of your earnings together with processing fees. Bandcamp sends all the proceeds via PayPal for physical merchandise and recovers their 10% revenue share in future sales.
Some Bandcamp accounts also use enhanced payments. In addition to PayPal checkouts, enhanced payments support debit, credit, and Bandcamp gift card transactions.
Bandcamp also remits marketplace taxes for physical orders. Enhanced payment accounts receive money 24-48 hours after payment processing and on the first day of each month after revenue share and processing fee deductions.
Although both platforms are free for artists, Spotify has a greater barrier to entry.You need Digital Service Providers to upload your music on this site.DSPs share media such as music on the internet with streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music.
Although they offer exposure for your music and collect earnings on your behalf, DSPs also take a cut of your royalties.
Joining Bandcamp is easier. Bandcamp asks straightforward questions like your genre, location, and preferred URL for the artist page when you sign up. You might also need a unique identifier if another musician shares your name.
Though the default value for singles and albums is $1 and $7, respectively, you price your music as you please. The platform even guides you on pricing strategies. Alternatively, you can gift your fans unlimited plays and free access to your music.
Bandcamp and Spotify also differ in music discovery. Spotify uses your previous picks to recommend new artists. Moreover, its algorithm generates a playlist every Monday from your listening habits. You can also find new music on other users’ public playlists.
However, it’s harder to discover new artists on Bandcamp since the site is primarily curator-based and sticks to albums or other formats defined by the artist.
Bandcamp vs Spotify: Our Verdict
No website is perfect. Your ideal platform should be popular among your fans and offer favorable terms. You can also consider opening your website for total control over the music.
Who won the Bandcamp vs Spotify debate? Let us know your thoughts in the comments and mention other music-sharing platforms such as our amazing radio playlist.