By Zach Collier
Last week, Bandcamp CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond announced that the indie music platform would be joining forces with Epic Games. Epic has become an entertainment industry juggernaut, due in large part to the success of their Unreal Engine and Fortnite.
Notably, one of Epic Games’ earliest acquisitions was the Provo-based ChAIR Entertainment in 2008. The developers of Shadow Complex and Infinity Blade, ChAIR is now based in South Jordan. Epic has made several more high-profile acquisitions in the last decade. Epic acquired Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League, in May 2019. They also acquired Life on Air a month later – the developers behind the social networking app Houseparty. Bandcamp is Epic’s second musical acquisition in the last 6 months: in November they bought Harmonix, the creators of the Rock Band franchise.
“Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team,” Diamond said in a press release. “The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model (where artists net an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned, and the Daily will keep highlighting the diverse, amazing music on the site.”
Behind the scenes, however, Bandcamp will be working with Epic Games on tech improvements to the platform. These improvements will directly enhance their mobile apps, merch tools, payment processing, and search and discovery features. Bandcamp is also continuing to pursue new initiatives, like vinyl pressing and live streaming services. To date, Bandcamp has paid artists and labels close to $1 billion.
“Since our founding in 2008, we’ve been motivated by the pursuit of our mission, which is to help spread the healing power of music by building a community,” says Diamond. “And while over the years we’ve heard from other companies who wanted us to join them, we’ve always felt that doing so would only be exciting if they strongly believed in our mission, were aligned with our values, and not only wanted to see Bandcamp continue, but also wanted to provide the resources to bring a lot more benefit to the artists, labels, and fans who use the site. Epic ticks all those boxes. We share a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work.”