Aug 022016

Bandcamp logo

 

Today marks a milestone worth recognizing:  Norway’s Indie Recordings has become the 200th metal label to set up shop on Bandcamp. We learned this through a post by our friends at Metal Bandcamp, who have been keeping track of such things since 2011. As a measure of how much things have changed, in November 2011 the founder of Metal Bandcamp, MaxR, wrote a guest post for our site (here) identifying the 10 metal labels who had established Bandcamp pages as of that time — only 10 in 2011, but now 200.

If you want to see the actual list of all 200 metal labels that Metal Bandcamp has compiled, go here, and to read more about this 200-label milestone, check out Max’s post about the event here.

Things really have changed dramatically in the distribution of music since Bandcamp first launched. Our first post about the phenomenon of Bandcamp was this one back in March 2010. After outlining the features then offered by Bandcamp in detail, I concluded with this thought:

Jan 162016

Fake Aborted Bandcamp

THIS IS A FAKE

In recent days I’ve learned that fake band pages have been set up on Bandcamp by people whose aim is to defraud bands and labels of money that rightfully should go to them. As I looked into this a bit further, I realized this has happened before — and so some of you may already be aware of it. But for those who aren’t, here are a few examples of what’s happening.

Today one of our readers (thank you Sidney) alerted me to the fact that he was about to buy Aborted albums at https://aborted.bandcamp.com — but something about it looked fishy to him. He then contacted Aborted’s band management representative (as identified on the band’s Facebook page) and was told that the Bandcamp page was indeed a phony.

I’ve not found any links to a Bandcamp page on Aborted’s social media, and their current label Century Media does not put its releases on Bandcamp as far as I can tell. Aborted’s previous label (Listenable) does have a Bandcamp page that includes Aborted releases — but it’s a different URL (this one) than the one above.

Yesterday, the following announcement also appeared on Abbath’s official Facebook page:

Jun 132013

If bands and record labels needed any more reasons to set up shop on Bandcamp, they just got another one as of this morning. Bandcamp has just unveiled a group of new customizable music players that can be used to embed music across the web. Not only can bands and labels use the new players on their own web sites, but bloggers like me (and anyone else who creates pages on the web) can do it, too. And people who already have their music on Bandcamp don’t need to do anything to take advantage of this new functionality — it has automatically become available on all Bandcamp music pages.

I’m going to show you exactly what I’m talking about. And I’m picking the new EP by Sweden’s Vomitous (reviewed here) as a guinea pig, in part because it includes amazing album art by New Zealand’s Nick Keller. First, here’s a large player that doesn’t include a track list (I’ve customized the background and link colors, which you can also do with these new players):

Next, here’s the large player with a track list:

May 202013

Bandcamp has hit a new milestone. Thanks to our blog brother MaxR of Metal Bandcamp, we learned this morning that there are now 80 labels who have established beachheads on Bandcamp, with a total of 3,715 albums featured.

No one follows metal happenings on Bandcamp like MaxR. In addition to publishing reviews by a growing cadre of writers, he has methodically been assembling a list of all the metal labels who have availed themselves of the platform. Even better, he has compiled all the labels, alphabetically arranged, into a table with links that will take you to each label’s offerings. We’ve reproduced that table after the jump. This is a work in progress, and if you’d like to be notified by e-mail when he updates the listing of labels, go HERE and click the “Subscribe by email” link at the bottom

I suppose every true metal fan knows about Bandcamp by now, but I’ll say again what I’ve said many times before since discovering the existence of Bandcamp when it was in its infancy: Every band and every label needs to be there, at least for the purpose of streaming music, if not for selling it. Doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t have your music available elsewhere — it’s not an exclusive option. But it’s a very good one, and in this day and age, if you’re not giving fans a chance to hear your music before they buy, then you’re going to miss sales (wherever you sell your releases) and you’re inviting piracy even by some people who consider themselves scrupulous.

Jan 292013

I love Bandcamp. I know that’s not a revelation, since I’ve been ejaculating my love for Bandcamp at NCS for years. But I have new reasons to love Bandcamp.

For example, Kroda. One of my favorite black metal bands on Earth, whose 2011 album Schwarzpfad was one of my favorite releases of that year in any genre. As of today, Schwarzpfad is on Bandcamp and available for streaming and digital download — the first time this album has become available legally as a download anywhere. This is the second Kroda album that has appeared on Bandcamp, joining the excellent 2012 release, Live Under Hexenhammer: Heil Ragnarok! Here’s the link, and the stream:

http://kroda.bandcamp.com/album/schwarzpfad

But that’s not the only Bandcamp news I want to share.

Dec 092012

We’ve been singing the praises of Bandcamp since its very early days. It no longer really needs the publicity: Metal has discovered Bandcamp in a big way, with dozens of record labels and thousands of bands now having established Bandcamp pages, where they stream, give away, and sell their music (and other merch). I’ve seen some writers calling it “a piracy killer”, and although that’s probably more optimism than reality, it certainly gives fans an effective way to hear and acquire digital music without having to enrich some douchebag torrent site with their visits.

Bandcamp’s creators have always said that over time they would add new features, and so they have. The most recent enhancement was rolled out in beta test beginning the week before Thanksgiving. It’s called the Bandcamp Fan Account, and for now it’s an invitation-only trial. I got my invitation on November 21 and intended to write something about this new development then, but I got distracted by something important, like the sound of a passing car, and forgot. Thanks to NCS reader Booker for reminding me.

The Bandcamp Fan Account allows you to establish your own customizable page on the Bandcamp site and to populate it with a list (with album art and recommended tracks) of all the music you’ve downloaded from Bandcamp, as well as a “wish list” of what you’d like to get. You can share your page with other people on Bandcamp, which allows them to explore the collection of what you’ve acquired. If you don’t want other people to see that Katy Perry album you got, Bandcamp also gives you the ability to hide selected albums from public view.

You can “follow” the fan pages of other fans and receive e-mail alerts when they download new music, which is how I know about Phro getting that Katy Perry album. The Fan Account also gives you the option of following bands and labels on Bandcamp, and if you do that you’ll get e-mail alerts when they add new music to their own pages.

Nov 122012

We’ve been singing the praises of Bandcamp since the early days of that platform. In a relatively short time, it has become a vital source for the streaming and distribution of metal, recently expanding its service to become a vehicle for the distribution of merch as well as digital music in a variety of high-quality formats. One sign of Bandcamp’s success is the increasing use of the site by metal labels to stream and distribute albums in their catalogues.

Thanks to MaxR at Metal Bandcamp — which remains THE best way to keep up with the appearance of new metal releases on Bandcamp — we’ve learned that two more labels have recently established Bandcamp beachheads: Earache Records and Osmose Productions.

EARACHE

As far as we’re concerned, this is really big news. Earache Records was founded in the late 80s and was one of the true pioneers in releasing extreme music. Of course, they’re still going strong today, but their back catalogue is like a museum for the history of hardcore and metal.

So far, Earache has added five albums from their catalogue to Bandcamp: Slaughter of the Soul by At the Gates (1995); Five Serpent’s Teeth by Evile (2011); Pressure and Time (Redux) by Rival Sons (2012); Scum (1987) [Full Dynamic Range 2012 Edition] by Napalm Death; and From Enslavement To Obliteration (1988) [Full Dynamic Range 2012 Edition], also by Napalm Death.

Aug 112012

As if there weren’t already enough reasons for metal bands to set up camp on Bandcamp, there’s now one more.

On August 1, Bandcamp launched new functionality that allows bands to create a separate, dedicated merch section for their site, through which they can offer shirts, posters, and other shit indepenently of the music. But it also allows bands to create music+merch bundles, and it allows checkout through the same shopping-cart function that exists for music.

The merch sections can be tabbed in the navigation bar at the top of the band’s Bandcamp page — though I suspect fans will need a bit of training to realize it’s there. Bandcamp is also planning to have the merch feature added to the Bandcamp app that can be integrated with Facebook, so merch sales can be processed directly from within the Facebook band page.

Yes, Bandcamp will take 10% of the revenue, but they’ve got some pretty reasonable-sounding arguments about why bands will still make more money using Bandcamp for merch orders than standalone sites.

And while I’m on the subject of Bandcamp, it’s worth mentioning that a couple of months ago they rolled out a Discover feature that allows fans to browse for music by genre. The “Metal” category is further sub-divided into “new arrivals”, “best selling”, and “artist-recommended”. The “artist-recommended” category is further sub-divided in a way that allows you to see the albums most-recommended by artists. When you click on an album cover in these sections, you get to hear a sample track immediately, without leaving the Discover page.

May 302012

I like to think we were one of the first metal blogs to pay attention to Bandcamp, with this feature on the service back in March of 2010. Since then, the popularity of Bandcamp as a platform for streaming and distributing metal has exploded — to the point where, in addition to bands, almost every metal label worthy of attention has put big chunks of their catalogs on the site. (Metal Bandcamp has been keeping track of all the metal labels who’ve established a presence on Bandcamp, and you can see their pretty comprehensive list here.)

But yesterday, we saw what must still count as something of a milestone, notwithstanding the now-established popularity of Bandcamp: The venerable Relapse label has now put their entire 20+ year catalog on Bandcamp. The official Relapse page now features over 122 artists including (and these are the names that Relapse called out in their press release) Baroness, Dying Fetus, Pig Destroyer, Red Fang, Necrophagist, Revocation, and of course many more. This will allow fans not only to stream everything in the Relapse catalog, but also to get CD-quality downloads of the music (Bandcamp offers the FLAC format as well as 320k mp3).

But wait, that’s not all!

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