Published on July 8th, 2010 | by Hugh Hession7
Using Bandcamp to promote and sell your music
One of the newest and coolest digital publishing/distribution platforms on the net is Bandcamp. While MySpace offers more features, such as blogs, videos, tour dates etc, Bandcamp focuses on a cleaner, less cluttered look with NO ADS! This means you won’t have to share your page with a mobile phone or singles ad. With no ads, you would think it comes with a membership fee. Nope. It’s FREE!
Bandcamp offers some distinctive features that separates its service from other sites, particularly MySpace.
Let’s dig deeper and look at 13 reasons why adding Bandcamp is a must for your online promotional efforts.
1. Easy to configure
Yeah, I know there are thousands of MySpace templates, but why make it harder than it has to be? With Bandcamp, you can create a custom header, choose your background color, image and easily upload your music and album artwork. Configuring MySpace looks like rocket science compared to this…it’s that easy.
Uploading album art and adding audio is a cinch
Upload your custom header with one click
Finished example of Bandcamp member SHIPWR3K
2. More ways to share your music
You have the ability to share your music with others on a variety of platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Email/IM or through blogs with the option to select different players for your fans to embed your music.
Example of sharing your embedded music on MySpace
3. Detailed tracking on plays
Perhaps one of the coolest features of Bandcamp are the tracking lists that you have access to. Let’s look at MySpace. The first song of an artists page is typically going to have the most plays, especially if it is set up to automatically play when someone visits the site. This doesn’t give an accurate account for actual plays. With Bandcamp, you will be able to see all your play activity from partials, skips and complete plays, giving you more of a feel for which songs are most popular. In addition, you can get detailed lists on visits, embeds and downloads.
Tracking overview page
Detailed visits tracking
4. Metadata automatically downloads with music
I get annoyed when I download music from a bands website and there is no metadata available. Bandcamp automatically includes all metadata for each track and integrates seamlessly with ITunes etc.
Example of metadata
5. Automatic configuration of multiple audio formats
Bandcamp offers multiple audio formats for your fans, giving them preference as to what type of file they want to download. The best thing about this feature, is that you don’t have to do any configuring. You merely upload your FLAC, WAV or AIFF music files and they do the rest for you.
6. Ability to set price options on your songs
You have complete flexibility on how you want to price your songs. You can offer less quality files for free and charge for higher quality formats, or have your fans choose the price. It’s up to you!
Options for pricing
7. Choose special visualization settings
If you don’t want album art, you have the choice of various visualization settings. If you like that Pink Floyd type video art (check out the flowers setting) then you’ll love this! These also transfer over into your embedded tracks.
8. SEO optimized
Bandcamp is SEO optimized, placing your Bandcamp page ahead of the pack.
9. Advance configuration options
Many bands use their Bandcamp sites as their main music page and provide that link to their band websites. However, you can configure your Bandcamp site to do the following:
a. Custom Domain. You can configure your custom domain (www.yourband.com) to your Bandcamp site if you wish.
b. Image Maps. You can create an image map in your custom header which provides links to your various social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Some bands link their MySpace tour dates page to these. Here is an example:
10. Ability to sell digitally and physically
Bandcamp gives you the option to sell both digital and physical merchandise side by side. You can also can give away bonus stuff, such as PDF liner notes, biographies or whatever you want and include them in your zip file.
11. Create discount and download codes
Bandcamp gives you the option to create promotion codes to give your fans so they can get discounts on your music. This is great tool to entice potential fans to purchase. You can also create download codes, for one-time downloads. These codes work well in emails to your mailing lists.
12. Sell in most currencies
You have the capability to sell in most available currencies around the world.
13. Soundscan reporting
Bandcamp reports sales to Soundscan which is Billboard’s barometer for chart positions.
Bandcamp makes money when you do. When a fan makes a purchase, Bandcamp charges a processing fee. In their FAQ it does mention that in the future, they will probably take a small percentage of sales, however as of now, the site is 100% free. What are you waiting for?