What is Bandcamp Live (and why it may be a game-changer in the performing industry)?
- 23 February 2022, Wednesday
What is Bandcamp? Bandcamp is a platform where fans have the opportunity to not only discover amazing music but directly support the artists who make, sell, and perform their music on the platform. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, live performances are still being canceled or rescheduled and musicians are looking for new ways to connect with their fans. That’s why, live streaming platforms, such as Bandcamp Live, have since taken on an important role in the live music industry. In this article, we’ll show you what Bandcamp Live is and how it works.
Launched at the end of 2020, the goal of Bandcamp Live is clear: reconnect with your fans and followers in real-time through virtual live streaming; quick and easy! There’s no need for a special setting or high level of technology. If you’ve built yourself a little setup and have a computer with a camera, microphone, and good internet connection, you are ready to rock!
What is Bandcamp Live (and what does it offer for musicians)?
There are practically no limitations to the music-related activities on the platform. Accessible from any part of the world and place you can imagine - your parent’s garage, the neighbor's couch, or your recording studio - Bandcamp Live allows you to stream your live performances or watch your pre-recorded shows together with your fans. You might premiere an album for your audience, play them your latest music video, or answer their questions during a rapid-fire Q&A session. The tool is especially great for artists’ creative development as it allows for special collaborations across time, space, or genre.
Just like selling your music through Bandcamp, this live-streaming platform also lets musicians entirely control their streaming activities, as well as its stats and other data. As an artist, you own all footage from your shows and can choose from a variety of options for your live streams - from having shows for free or selling tickets; to providing your community with live chats; to showcasing your merch.
Moreover, your releases and merchandise are both integrated into the live streams and can be accessed by your fans throughout the whole show without causing any interruptions. Each transaction then shows up in the chat which eventually drives more sales. Furthermore, your audience can present you with various virtual gifts that are worth real money and can further support your musical endeavor.
Mattson 2’s live streams from Los Angeles
Speaking of support, the Bandcamp team plays an important role too, specifically in terms of providing additional promotion to artists. When you announce a show, each of your supporters will be immediately alerted and what’s more, all RSVPs and ticket buyers will automatically become followers for your next shows. The live stream will also be added to an exclusive Live Calendar that is promoted across Bandcamp.
How much does Bandcamp Live cost and when do I get paid?
The platform emphasizes pricing transparency and a fee of 10% is charged for every streaming show ticket, merch purchase, and virtual gift. In comparison to YouTube’s 30% for live stream Super Chats, or Twitch’s 50% for all subscriptions, this is a truly decent deal. You'll receive the payment within 24-48 hours of your show for anything your fans purchase during the stream.
How to start using Bandcamp Live?
So now that you know what it is and the value behind it, how do you access Bandcamp Live? Follow these easy steps and start streaming your shows now.
Sign up for an artist account on Bandcamp if you haven’t already.
Log into your account.
Choose the ‘tools’ section in your account settings, in the upper right corner of the page.
In the ‘+ add’ window, choose the option ‘live stream’.
Choose from a variety of options for your live stream and let’s prepare for the show!
Before the show starts, it’s advised by the platform to enter the stream well in advance. A countdown timer will set off an hour before the show starts and in the meantime, the artist is able to preview their stream and make a trial run. Fans can enter the streaming session 30 minutes beforehand and chat with one another or the artist themselves. The only thing left is pushing the ‘Go live’ button and the show will begin!
Live performances are traditionally a key source of income for musicians and it may still take a while before they make their return to their fullest capacity. Bandcamp Live is therefore not only a useful platform for artists to connect with their fans, but also a relevant stream of revenue as we navigate the new landscape for live music.
Bandcamp has already taken many significant steps to support musicians through the difficult times of the pandemic and is continuing to do so in 2022. Just recently it was announced that Bandcamp Fridays - commission-free shopping days taking place on the first Friday of each month - will make their return on March 4th, and will continue throughout April and May. On these days, up to 93% of revenue goes to the respective artists with the remaining 7% being used for payment processors.
For those who would like to know more about Bandcamp and how it functions, we’d recommend reading our article on enjoying Bandcamp to the fullest.
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