Video-game developer Epic Games announced that it has bought Bandcamp, the online music store and community geared around independent musicians.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. “Fair and open platforms are critical to the future of the creator economy,” Epic Games, best known as the company behind battle-royale game “Fortnite,” said in announcing the pact. “Epic and Bandcamp share a mission of building the most artist-friendly platform that enables creators to keep the majority of their hard-earned money.”
Bandcamp will play an “important role in Epic’s vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more,” the games company said. According to Bandcamp, under its revenue model artists receive net an average of 82% of every sale.
Under Epic Games’ ownership, Bandcamp will operate as a standalone marketplace and music community, and it will continue to be led by CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond.
“We share a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work,” Diamond wrote in a blog post announcing the Bandcamp sale.
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Bandcamp is working with Epic to expand internationally and to build on other fronts, including its album pages, mobile apps, merchandise tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, according to Diamond. Epic and Bandcamp also are working together on newer initiatives like Bandcamp’s vinyl pressing and live streaming services.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Bandcamp team to Epic Games,” Steve Allison, VP and GM of the Epic Games Store. “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.”
Over the years, Bandcamp has been approached by others looking to acquire the company, according to Diamond. However, “we’ve always felt that doing so would only be exciting if they strongly believed in our mission, were aligned with our values, and not only wanted to see Bandcamp continue but also wanted to provide the resources to bring a lot more benefit to the artists, labels, and fans who use the site.” Epic Games, the CEO wrote, “ticks all those boxes.”
Bandcamp, based in Oakland, Calif., and founded in 2008, claims it has paid nearly $1 billion to artists and labels to date.