Bandcamp’s new owner leaves half the company


Bandcamp’s new owner leaves half the company -Gudstory

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Bandcamp has officially changed hands Old New owner, Epic, for New The new owner, SongTrader, lost half its employees in the process. SongTrader confirmed that “50% of the employees received offers to continue under the new ownership” – and naturally the other 50% did not.

The iconic digital music marketplace was acquired by Epic last year, but apparently the Fortnite creator wasn’t sure what to do with the company, and sold it late last month as part of a wave of cost-cutting in music licensing. Platform resold to SongTrader.

It was known from the beginning that there would be layoffs, and in fact Epic and SongTrader were quite clear about their need. But it was never clear whether they were talking about some redundancies in web design and sales, or about cuts across the board. It seems it was the latter, as SongTrader explained in a statement:

Bandcamp’s operating costs have increased significantly over the years. Some adjustments were required to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that could serve its community of artists and fans. Following a comprehensive assessment, which included the importance of the roles to smooth business operations and pre-existing functions at SongTrader, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join SongTrader.

A spokesperson for the company said that “cuts have been made across all departments, and all departments still have original Bandcamp employees.” Acquisitions often result in the loss of positions, so although this is not unusual, 50% seems like a lot – and sadly many people are out of a job.

Notably, Bandcamp employees were in the process of unionizing, or rather, some had already done so, a factor that has been suggested as contributing to Epic’s sudden disinterest in ownership. I asked Bandcamp United for comment on the layoffs and did not hear back from them.

SongTrader said it had no access to union membership, and the offers were made without that information.

When I asked if Bandcamp would remain free, SongTrader responded as follows:

Bandcamp will continue to serve its fan and artist community as a dedicated service and stand-alone solution. From a business structure perspective, Bandcamp employees will be part of SongTrader and over time they will be fully integrated into the SongTrader organization.

Until last year, Bandcamp seemed to be one of the few places left for independent music artists to have relatively simple and equitable monetization. Corporate acquisitions and repurchases do not bode well for the platform, but we will soon know what impact these layoffs and any other changes will have on the business.


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