Bandcamp has shared its financial review from 2017, reporting yet another year of tremendous growth for the independent music platform.
Growth was seen across the board for the business, with digital album sales up 16%, tracks 33%, and merch 36%. Meanwhile physical sales also rose, with vinyl up 54%, CDs up 18%, and cassettes up 41%.
It is reported that revenue from the 3,500 independent labels that operate on the platform rose by 73% and that payment to artists amounted to $270 million.
All of this is good news for independent musicians and labels, who have been consistently championed by Bandcamp's grassroots approach to promotion, distribution and payment. Over 600,000 artists have now sold their music via the platform which will soon celebrate six years as an increasingly profitble company.
As Bandcamp mention in their report, this news comes along at the same time as massive streaming services like Spotify report enormous losses while industry-wide record sales also continue to fall. In the past year, the "streaming wars" appear to be increasingly tumultuous Apple Music reportedly overtook Spotify in the U.S. As Bandcamp explains in its report, the upshot of all this in terms of how the global music industry on a wider scale could make it so that "the majority of music consumption will eventually take place within the subscription rental services of two or three enormous corporations, who can afford to lose money on music because it attracts customers to the parts of their businesses that are profitable".
While this is troubling news for the music "industry" on the whole, the continued growth and success of a platform like Bandcamp suggests that there are still ways for independent musicians to thrive and reach wider audiences without major label support.
You can read Bandcamp's financial review from 2017 here.
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