As vinyl continues to grow in popularity, ways for bands to fund vinyl projects also continues to grow. I wrote about a number of these fan and crowd funded projects previously – Pledge Music and Company.
Bandcamp has entered the fray.
According to their news release, “The new service eliminates risk, since fans’ orders finance the pressing, rather than the artist or label. It eliminates hassle, since we press the records, print the packaging, and ship to fans (and fulfill digital too). It offers complete control, with the design and pricing up to the artist, and Bandcamp taking no ownership of the record. And it produces a quality result: our manufacturing partner has over 60 years experience pressing vinyl, so the records look, and sound, great.”
Like other crowd funded services, the Bandcamp service has a target for pre-sales. Once this target is reached, the albums are pressed and orders are fulfilled. It’s not clear how these targets are set. If it is like other similar services, bands will be able to choose their financial commitment to the project. They could choose a target that ensures full funding – no risk. Or they could choose to put some money into the project to lower the target and increase the likelihood of getting their vinyl out to fans.
The first four vinyl campaigns: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah’s Ancestral Recall, Jim Guthrie’s Below (Original Soundtrack), Juliette Jade’s Constellation, and Mesarthim’s Ghost Condensate have been announced.
To add to their sales and presence, on Friday February 1, 2019, Bandcamp also opened a brick and mortar record shop and performance space in Oakland, California. It will feature a selection of records that showcase the diversity and design of the more than five million albums available on Bandcamp, as well as hosting free, all-ages shows as part of an upcoming video series.
Bandcamp has been known as a huge supporter of independent artists and labels, but they stated that only 9% of sales through Bandcamp are in vinyl format. There’s your market and Bandcamp’s new service may be the answer to reaching this market.
The service launches later this year.