Just as music licensing service Songtradr officially closed its deal to buy beloved music distribution platform and marketplace Bandcamp from Fortnite creator Epic Games, the platform’s new parent company confirmed on Monday that it has laid off about half of Bandcamp’s staff.
“Over the past few years the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased. It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans,” Songtradr said in a statement to Rolling Stone, adding that the company would still offer services like Bandcamp Fridays and its music publication Bandcamp Daily. “After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre-existing functions at Songtradr, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr. We are committed to keeping the existing Bandcamp services that fans and artists love, including its artist-first revenue share, Bandcamp Fridays and Bandcamp Daily.”
Bandcamp been a crucial platform in supporting independent musicians for years, giving them a marketplace to sell their music at a time where their earnings have diminished heavily in the streaming era. Its Bandcamp Fridays promotion, where the company waives its revenue share on music sales, has been particularly popular since the program launched in 2020 to support artists during the pandemic. Video game giant Epic Games bought Bandcamp last year, and it announced that it would sell the platform to Songtradr at the end of September amid broader layoffs across the gaming company.
Several members of Bandcamp’s editorial team responsible for Bandcamp Daily announced their layoffs on X, formerly Twitter. Prior to the layoffs, Bandcamp’s union Bandcamp United had pushed Songtradr to recognize the union, and to extend employment offers to the entire Bandcamp staff. Songtradr had said in a statement two weeks ago that the company wouldn’t give offers to all of Bandcamp’s workforce. The union did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding today’s layoffs.
From Rolling Stone US