Epic Games sells Bandcamp, just six months after employees try to unionize

Originally published at: Epic Games sells Bandcamp, just six months after employees try to unionize | Boing Boing


Songtradr, a “music licensing, sonic branding, social media, and compliance management” company that handles music “for content” and “monetization.”

Well, they sound like a swell bunch of creative minds.


I am a longtime fan and supporter of Bandcamp. They have a formula that gets music distribution right and corporate types should be extremely cautious about trifling with it.

It am sad to hear about the layoffs and new sale. For the love of “Bob”, please don’t fiddle and screw things up for people. :crossed_fingers:


Unfortunately the enshitification of Bandcamp, especially given the new owners, seems inevitable. It’s just a matter of how bad things will get, how quickly. It’s tragic, but it seems to be the way… everything is going, now. Simply being profitable isn’t enough, corporations feel the need for the kind of profit that will result in the destruction their actual businesses.


and epic, i’m assuming, was willing to take this hit so that unionization doesn’t spread to the rest of the company. there’s already this:

if epic can scare their remaining workers out of the idea, i’m sure that’s priceless to them

( eta: if they paid their fortnite staff and contractors what they should, and kept things to a 40 hour week - i’m not even sure that game would exist )


I’m not sure I’d read too much into it, as it’s a part of Epic’s mass lay-off/sell-off right now, that includes a number of hit-game-producing studios they just bought up. Normally I’d suspect that the unionization efforts at least played a part in the decision, but they’re axing so much stuff to make/save money. Epic put themselves in the hole spending absurd amounts of money trying to expand Fortnite, which seems to have been at its peak already, into some sort of “metaverse”… something. Whatever the CEO was trying to do failed spectacularly and now everyone’s paying the price as they scrabble around trying to raise some revenue. That includes selling Bandcamp to new owners that will try to maximize revenue by destroying it.


COEs, “What do we want?! Annual bonuses and share buybacks! When do we want it?! As long as we can keep draining the life from this company before moving on to the next one!”


the single best place to buy digital music, in my humble opinion!

And the only convenient place for independent artists to sell CDs… which are still a relevant medium for certain genres and many listeners.

It will be really a blow to many artists if Songtradr screws it up.



I was so happy to be able to give artists who’s work I love actual money for enriching my life, not paying them in, as Jack Stratton so memorably coined it, pitties. I’ve averaged about an album a week since Bandcamp Fridays started, often at above the artist’s asking price. I’ve got two young kids and don’t get to concerts much, so it’s nice to know I’m paying a noticeable amount to the artist. If they fuck this up I’m going to be so pissed.


Agreed on all accounts. Boingboing wants to make it about unions and it’s not.

Interestingly, much while I expect enshittification to occur with Bandcamp, I don’t know as the new owner can afford to do that… If they’re using this as a way to get access to more music to license, then screwing over the artists/scaring them off Bandcamp would do more harm than good.


May I introduce a new adjective: Musked

Usage: Bandcamp got Musked.


The Musky scent of failure begins to waft off Bandcamp… :cry:

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… something something Yahoo turning down a $45 billion buyout at the peak of its value


you do raise good points. it did make some sense in that they are way better placed for a metaverse than facebook ever was. i think - though if it ever happens - it’s a long way off

microsoft is a company that has done the boom and bust buying and selling ( or shutting ) game and other companies; sony somewhat too

still, it’s awfully convenient. and i could see it putting them on the chopping block first

unfortunately, that’s not how things work these days. it’s primarily about enriching owners as quickly as possible and leveraging investments into quick high returns

i’m always ready to be happily surprised. if bandcamp survives, and keeps offering a great platform for creators and consumers of music i certainly will be glad.

sometimes unlikely things happen


I don’t know about the sale being a done deal. Are comments due at the SEC or Department of Commerce? People kind of hold ‘equity’ having tossed $40 an average month on there…

I find it strange that Epic got so caught up in the hype that they failed to recognize that Fortnite was about as metaversy as things were going to get, and they already had 290 million active monthly users (and that was about as good as it was going to get). I wonder if their efforts to expand it out into whatever their (probably incredibly vague) notion of what it should be just alienated players, if anything.

I feel like they’re infinitely better placed than Facebook - because Epic already did it, inasmuch as “the metaverse” will ever be a thing. Fortnite turned into a socializing space for young people - they even have concerts there - and it wasn’t ever going to be anything “more.”

EA used to be infamous for it. With industry consolidation, it’s pretty much all the big companies doing it. (Embracer group most recently - they went on a buying spree, lost out on a 2 billion dollar deal, and started shutting down studios.) This year was particularly brutal in terms of studio closures and layoffs after the last couple years of consolidations.

Enshitification is never a rational choice, even on an economic level - at best it’s about short-term profits (at the expense of long-term ones), because the companies are focused on the next couple quarters and don’t care about anything beyond that. (They might foolishly think a near-monopoly status will make them indispensable, despite worsening quality, but that’s more wishful thinking than rational calculation.)


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