Epic Buys Music Site Bandcamp, Which Will Remain an Independent “Standalone Marketplace”


Epic Games has announced they’re expanding beyond games into the realm of music with the acquisition of Bandcamp. For those unfamiliar, Bandcamp is a music-hosting site and marketplace popular amongst indie musicians. For their part, Bandcamp says they won’t be changing their tune (pun intended), but plan to expand internationally and improve their tech with Epic’s backing.

Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community. […] 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. However, 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.

Epic, on the other hand, is a bit more cagey about what they’re getting out of the Bandcamp acquisition, simply saying this is part of their goal to “support creators across all media.”

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We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Bandcamp team to Epic Games. Bandcamp has built an incredible community and business where up and coming artists can succeed thanks to the direct support of their fans, with one of the best revenue models and terms in music. This aligns closely with Epic’s approach to supporting creators across all media and enabling them to connect directly with their fans.

That’s a nice statement from Epic, but there’s probably more to this acquisition than they let on. Epic has already dipped their toes into music, with live performances in Fortnite and the acquisition of Rock Band developer Harmonix. You can definitely see how Bandcamp could bolster those efforts. There may also be a chance this is a part of Epic’s bitter feud with Apple, as perhaps they plan to grow Bandcamp into an iTunes competitor.

What do you think about this deal? Does it change how you think about Bandcamp? How do you think Epic may use their acquisition in the future?

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