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Epic Games to buy artist-focused site Bandcamp, adding music to its ‘metaverse’


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Online game developer Epic Video games stated Wednesday it’s shopping for Bandcamp, a well-liked music market utilized by artists, for an undisclosed sum.

Epic, the maker of the favored online game Fortnite, has raised billions of {dollars} from buyers lately, and it has aggressively used that cash to purchase different technology companies, such because the makers of the Rocket League online game and the Houseparty chatroom app.

Bandcamp, which permits customers to purchase and stream music, marks Epic’s 18th acquisition, in keeping with enterprise capital knowledge firm Crunchbase. Epic declined to touch upon the acquisition past its personal launch.

Bandcamp has gained in recognition lately as a spot for musicians to promote their music, in a panorama more and more dominated by streaming companies like Spotify and Apple Music.

Artists can promote each digital and bodily items on Bandcamp, which takes a ten% share of the gross sales, NPR beforehand reported. The corporate, which is worthwhile, in keeping with studies, additionally sometimes holds particular days, referred to as Bandcamp Fridays, when it permits artists to take practically 100% of the income from their gross sales. In 2020, artists introduced in $40 million on Bandcamp Fridays, Selection beforehand reported.

In a launch, Epic stated Bandcamp will assist it construct out a market for artists and creators. The corporate has stated beforehand it’s aiming to create a digital ecosystem, dubbed the metaverse, the place customers should purchase artwork and different gadgets instantly from one another.

Bandcamp is the second artists’ market that Epic has purchased previously 12 months. Final 12 months, it purchased ArtStation, an internet site that enables artists to promote their work and host their portfolios.

The 2 purchases are rapidly turning the Epic Video games Retailer into a spot the place customers may probably purchase way more than simply video video 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,” Steve Allison, vice president and normal supervisor of the Epic Video games Retailer, stated in an announcement.

“This aligns closely with Epic’s approach to supporting creators across all media and enabling them to connect directly with their fans.”

The information of Bandcamp’s acquisition got here as a shock to many artists who use the service as an earnings stream. Durham musician al Riggs tweeted they had been frightened about what Epic’s possession may imply.

“Bandcamp is the only platform that allows me to release music and merch in a way that actually benefits me financially,” Riggs wrote, “so I hope this doesn’t lead to any shenanigans or means of exploitation. It’s hard not to worry about these things when something like this happens.”

Bandcamp’s CEO, Ethan Diamond, stated his firm’s market will not change following the possession, and would proceed to carry Bandcamp Fridays.

“In Epic, we’ve found a partner who believes as deeply as we do that the future of music, and art itself, depends on the creation of equitable and inclusive communities like the one our fans and artists have helped to build,” Diamond stated in an announcement.

“We’re excited to work alongside the Epic team to accelerate the realization of our mission and pursue our shared goal of empowering more creators in a fair and open way.”

Already, Diamond stated, Bandcamp is working with Epic to broaden internationally and enhance its cellular apps, discovery options and cost techniques.

It additionally will work to spice up its personal streaming platform and a vinyl urgent enterprise that it began within the wake of a vinyl urgent scarcity that has delayed releases for a lot of artists.

In a weblog put up, Diamond made many references to Epic being “champions for a fair and open Internet.”

For practically two years, Epic has battled web giants Apple and Google in court docket over their resolution to take 30% cuts of purchases made via apps on iPhone and Android telephones.

A choice in these circumstances may influence how Bandcamp manages its platform going ahead. Presently, customers can’t purchase digital albums on Bandcamp’s iPhone app due to Apple’s in-app purchases payment. As a substitute, customers are directed to Bandcamp’s web site, the place these charges do not apply.


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Epic Video games to purchase artist-focused website Bandcamp, including music to its ‘metaverse’ (2022, March 3)
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