Online music marketplace Bandcamp announced Tuesday that its pandemic-inspired Bandcamp Fridays initiative — in which it waives its full revenue share on its sales to help artists better fend through Covid — will continue in 2021.
Starting in March, when the pandemic cut off touring and removed artists’ most reliable revenue stream, Bandcamp Fridays have taken place on the first Friday of each month. As shows will likely remain on halt for much of 2021, Bandcamp will hold its monthly events in February, March, April and May, the company said. Bandcamp also announced that, over the nine Bandcamp Fridays the company has held in 2020, Bandcamp has dispersed $40 million to artists and labels.
Bandcamp Fridays have been a major draw-in for fans looking to support artists: About 800,000 people made purchases across all nine of the days. According to a September blog post from Bandcamp CEO Ethan Diamond, Bandcamp customers spent $16.2 million during the first three Bandcamp Fridays alone. While 93% of money spent on Bandcamp goes to the artist or label on Bandcamp Friday, 82% still reaches them on a purchase any non-Bandcamp-Friday day, according to the company. Since March, another 2.5 million people made Bandcamp purchases on normal business days, totalling $145 million in music and merchandise sales.
Bandcamp’s initiative has been one of the most noteworthy causes from a music platform to bring money to artists and businesses struggling since the pandemic began. Elsewhere, Apple Music started a $50 million royalty advance fund for independent labels to ensure their artists get paid, while Spotify recently announced a $500,000 donation to the National Independent Venue Association, which continues to advocate for government assistance to subsidize struggling venues who’ve been without their only revenue driver since March.