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.
The merch feature is new enough that I’m sure a lot of bands haven’t yet taken advantage of it — but at the top of this post I included a screen shot of what Cormorant’s merch page looks like. You can see that while selling CDs, they’re also offering free, immediate digital downloads.
This new feature seems pretty damned cool to me, though I’ve been a Bandcamp supporter from the early days — and no, they don’t pay me to sing their praises. I’m just getting the word out there because it seems like another step ahead for DIY bands, and the more options, the better.