Why Every Musician Should Use Bandcamp

Written by Mistah Wilson

Okay, my fellow musicians, it's time we have a heart to heart. And yes, it has something to do with
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
streaming. In today's music climate, streaming services were a big part of the digital revolution that slid in right under our noses. In my opinion, capitalism tends to depreciate real value. You build something cool and unique, and when it reaches a certain point, you sell it. The buyer then implements their ideas for domination and everything that made that product or service valuable is now compromised. I've seen it happen way too many times. I even got to experience it for myself with Ning when I built ThaWilsonBlock Network on their platform. 2.0 had all the tools I needed to run a growing artist collective online. Once 3.0 dropped, they took away the option and conclusively purged my account. Oddly enough, some websites on their platform still operate on their 2.0 version.

They ended up selling out to Glam media. I call it "sell out" because they had many network creators who were well invested in their website platform. And Glam thought they had a better idea in mind than what Ning had already established. Well, I was one of the network creators who more or less got pushed out the way. And so, that explains where we are today with ThaWilsonBlock Magazine. I was fortunate enough to find a way to leverage different tools and resources to keep what has evolved into a digital publication going for over 6+ years.

See, when Ning was on 2.0, I was in full control, for the most part, of how I ran my social network. Artists were able to register very easily, upload their music, and be featured as an artist. When 3.0 came about, they took away the network's white-label media players in exchange for 3rd party services like YouTube and Soundcloud. And I didn't care too much for that. I mean, if I wanted to use those players I could've just embedded them anyway. Why would you take options away and think you're making it a better product? Kinda like when we had Boost Mobile Walkie Talkie Direct Connect cell phones. What was better than that direct connect chirp, tho? Unlimited everything. And the reason I can't embrace streaming is that I'm against the very statute that made it all possible. Internet toll lanes. We went from unlimited everything to having to pay for how much data we use. Internet service has essentially become a utility just like your light and gas bill.

Well, I had to say all of that to help make sense out of my positioning on why every musician should use Bandcamp. You see, ever since I started uploading my songs, Bandcamp has been part of the repertoire. Now, in all honesty, there was a time I had a falling out with Bandcamp and how they
processed payments. That was when PayPal was a struggle to get set up. Hey, call me a noob, ion care.

I don't do streaming services because I don't need technology to suggest to me how to listen to music. I'm one of those dudes that got instrumentals on repeat and streaming services aren't helpful for that. That's my process when I'm writing songs and developing concepts. Streaming is so consumer-driven that all it does is suggest artists and music to me that I just don't listen to. I see Bandcamp as a platform that simplified the process for artists and fans alike. It makes it easy for fans to support songs, full projects, whole discographies, buy merch, and all that.

Now, of course, we have to acknowledge the pros of streaming services. It does payout and it is a good model to monetize a catalog of music. However, there comes a time when the artist and musician has to weigh what matters most. I've got the impression that most artists who release music these days are quick to share their streaming links and when you ask them for a Bandcamp, Soundcloud, or YouTube link, they become stubborn, careless, and sometimes even rude. I guess you can attribute that to Bandcamp being a platform that takes a manual upload. CD Baby, Tunecore, and even Distrokid don't offer Bandcamp as a distribution service, I guess? To be honest, I don't know and I don't care. Bandcamp, in my strong opinion, is one of the most useful resources a musician or recording artist can ever have at their disposal. Do it for the fans who are still about the digital download. The download overrules the stream because it doesn't make sense to depend on a data connection to access music if our devices are already powered.

Ya know, taking something away that was once free just so a group of people can solely benefit from it just puts a bad taste in my mouth. Streaming is a potential threat to the current platform that is Bandcamp. But, even though I feel like BC is in a good place, it's nothing more than evolution. I mean, if we didn't spend our time trying to make things better, then what are we doing here, right?
Photo by Bryan Catota
We'd be foolish to think that the buck stops here. If that were the case, there'd be no new version of the iPhone or the next year edition of your favorite car. But, as I mentioned earlier, if taking away what was once free just so a group of people can benefit, that's not evolution. That's just...fucked up lol.

If you are an artist or musician reading this, then I'd strongly encourage you to get your entire catalog onto Bandcamp so that fans can directly support your music. You get your money instantly and the fan gains access to your files in different formats. I've bought hella music from artists on Bandcamp and even as a fan, it has proven to be a reliable source for curating a special collection of music. Why should you take it from me? Well, I conduct interviews with artists all the time. I create content for artists and help establish their profiles. I'm a blogger and journalist. So, when I say you should upload your music on Bandcamp, I'm suggesting you do yourself that favor. Help others help you; put yourself in a position to be assisted. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

I'll put it to you like this: if you're an artist or musician that needs help putting music on Bandcamp, Click Here and I'll help you do it myself.

*Grammarly gave this writing a score of 92, so if you notice any errors, please leave it in the comment section. 

Written by Mistah Wilson

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