Bandcamp layoffs have been buzzing in the music industry news, which came on the heels of the platform’s sale to Songtradr. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of these layoffs, exploring the reasons behind them and their implications for the music community.
Bandcamp’s transition to Songtradr
Around 50% of Bandcamp’s workforce found themselves in the unfortunate position of being laid off after Epic Games sold the platform to Songtradr. This significant workforce reduction also affected members of the platform’s editorial arm, Bandcamp Daily.
officially laid off, after two weeks of limbo where i expected that would be the case but had no confirmation. nearly eight years at bandcamp and it’s over. if anyone is looking for a dedicated, talented, and professional editor and culture writer, i’m on the market
— jj skolnik (@modernistwitch) October 16, 2023
Why the layoffs?
Epic Games, the previous owner of Bandcamp, stated that not all employees would receive offers from Songtradr. According to Epic, these layoffs were not entirely new, and the affected employees would receive severance packages. Songtradr, a licensing company, had earlier confirmed the impending layoffs based on Bandcamp’s financial status.
Bandcamp United, the workers’ union, had previously called on Songtradr to offer employment to all existing Bandcamp staff, along with voluntary severance, following the sale. Unfortunately, Songtradr has yet to recognize the union’s demands.
The financial situation
Songtradr explained that Bandcamp’s operating costs had significantly increased over the past few years, necessitating adjustments for the company’s sustainability. After a comprehensive evaluation, Songtradr extended offers to 50% of Bandcamp employees to join their team. The commitment is to maintain the existing Bandcamp services that artists and fans cherish, including its artist-first revenue share, Bandcamp Fridays, and Bandcamp Daily.
Epic Games’ involvement
This is not the first time Bandcamp has changed hands recently. Epic Games acquired Bandcamp in March 2022, with the promise of prioritizing artists and aiding in technological development. However, the recent layoffs indicate a change in direction. Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, is laying off approximately 830 employees, which accounts for 16% of its workforce. The company also revealed plans to sell the Bandcamp business to Songtradr.
In its press release announcing the acquisition, Songtradr made a commitment to “continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share.” Additionally, they plan to offer Bandcamp artists the ability to license their music across various media forms, such as content creators, game and app developers, and brands. Epic Games will also collaborate with Songtradr to license Bandcamp music for use in Epic games.
While these changes might seem complicated, the goal is to ensure that we can continue to enjoy and support our favorite artists through the Bandcamp platform.
In conclusion, the Bandcamp layoffs are a significant development in the music industry, impacting both employees and the broader music community. The transition to Songtradr brings about uncertainties and changes that many are closely watching. We hope that Bandcamp will continue to thrive and support independent artists in the years to come.