The American video game company Epic Games, best known for Fortnite, is taking over the online music platform Bandcamp.

As Bandcamp co-founder and boss Ethan Diamond explained in a blog entry on Wednesday evening German time, Bandcamp should continue to work as before and he will also keep his post.

"Behind the scenes" they are working with Epic on international expansion and want to further develop the platform.

According to the video game company, "fair and open platforms are of fundamental importance for the future of the 'creator economy'".

Bandcamp will play an important role in Epic's "vision" to create a digital marketplace for creatives around technology, games, music, art and more.

Neither side has announced any financial details of the takeover.

Benjamin Fisher

Editor in Business.

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Founded in 2008, Bandcamp enables musicians and labels to offer their work, sell merchandise and connect directly with their fans.

A profile is free for independent artists, while labels currently pay $20 a month to create 15 artist profiles from their house.

Unlimited profiles can be created for 50 euros.

Providers can set the price themselves or offer their music for free, just in exchange for an email address.

Tracks can also be played for free on the site.

In addition, Bandcamp offers services such as vinyl pressing or the possibility of paid live stream concerts.

Bandcamp as an indie darling

The site is particularly popular with small to medium-sized artists and indie labels.

In the course of the pandemic and the loss of live income, which is enormously important for many musicians, Bandcamp became even more important for many in order to make money from the sale of downloads and other money.

According to Bandcamp, it pays out an average of 82 percent of sales revenue.

The Bandcamp share is 10 percent for fan articles and 15 percent for downloads, plus a fee for the payment service provider.

According to Diamond, Bandcamp has now paid out nearly $1 billion to labels and artists.

For comparison: According to its own information, the music streaming market leader Spotify paid out a total of more than 5 billion dollars to a wide variety of music rights holders in 2020 alone.

Streaming has been largely responsible for the sustained growth of the global recorded music market over the past several years.

Of course, in order to live as an individual artist or band solely from the income generated via Spotify, Apple, Amazon Music and other services, a considerable sum of streams is required each month, which is more in the upper seven-digit range than in the six-digit range, although of course it is always very high depends on the individual constellation.

How much of the streaming money ends up with the musician himself depends anyway on the respective contract with his label, distributor and/or publisher and the shares agreed here.

Epic and the Metaverse

The appeal of Bandcamp lies in the fact that it earns money directly from the sale of music or fan merchandise, which only accumulates over a certain period of time with streaming or – depending on how streaming-affine the fans of an act are – may not accrue at all.

Bandcamp had also introduced the so-called "Bandcamp Friday" in the course of the Corona-related live break.

Once a month, the platform waives its share on this day.

At the end of January, Ethan Diamond announced three more dates for March, April and May.

Along with other companies, Epic Games relies heavily on the Metaverse, i.e. a digital world in which users buy land or clothing for their avatars and, for example, also go to concerts.

Rapper Travis Scott appeared in the game Fortnite in April 2020, various others followed - also on other platforms.

In November, Epic had already bought the development studio Harmonix, which is behind the game "Rock Band 4".

As part of a funding round in April 2021, the company was valued at around $29 billion.

At the time, Epic had raised $1 billion.

200 million of them came from Sony.

The group of investors also includes the Chinese Tencent group.

Epic was also in focus recently because of the lawsuit against Apple and its App Store practices.

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