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Epic buys Bandcamp
Didn't see that one coming.
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Epic Games (Fortnite) buys Bandcamp
This is maybe the most unexpected move in the metaverse (yet). You'd totally expect The Zuck and Microsoft doing their business VR thing nobody really cares about and you would expect the cryptobros scamming people out of their money with cheap ape-illustrations for 12 year olds, but one of the big gaming publishers buying the most beloved plattform for independent music? I didn't see this one coming and, given all cons and pros, I'm slightly intrigued. In his posting on the Bandcamp-Blog, CEO Ethan Diamond reassured users (I am a heavy Bandcamp-user and own more than 500 albums there, here’s my collection) that, ofcourse, nothing will change, except:
behind the scenes we’re working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.
So, for Epic its most likely about live content for the metaverse combined with stuff to sell on their app store besides games. It will be very interesting to see, how Bandcamp will fit into the game-saturated environment of the metaverse-vision of Epic. We’ll see how this goes. For now we’ve lost one of the biggest independent players on the web.
Given how differently Bandcamp has behaved from a typical startup, I asked Diamond a fundamental question: Is Bandcamp a digital business?
There was a long pause. "Yeah, I'm not sure," said Diamond. "I think of Bandcamp as a music company first, because I think of who we serve as first and foremost the artist. And the way to best serve artists happens to be through technology, a particular model of technology that our business is based on. But we're definitely – no question – we're different than a lot of digital businesses. I mean, the mission of the company is, I think, fairly unique. ... There's this great story – there was a New Yorker article about it – about how Prince was working on his autobiography just before he died. And he had picked a co-writer and in one of their initial meetings together he said, 'Music is healing. Write that down first.' He said that he wanted it to be the guiding principle they used in the book. And if you start with this idea that music is healing, that is obviously a power that should be in the hands of everybody who has the talent to wield it. ... And so that's what Bandcamp is. That's what I feel like we're here to build – that system. And the way you do that is by ensuring that artists are compensated fairly and transparently for their work. And that is through the direct support of their fans."