According to Pitchfork, Bandcamp has expanded its vinyl pressing service. The service is in-house and was originally available only to a few artists as a trial before full release, but on January 14 it was extended it to 10,000 more artists.
Bandcamp explains that as sales of vinyl records doubled from 2019 to 2021, artists who did not offer vinyl versions of their music may have been missing out on another revenue source. The company seeks to alleviate this gap through the newly expanded pressing service, which allows artists to maintain control over the design and pricing of vinyl product.
After dozens of successful pilot campaigns and thousands of records shipped, we’re now opening our vinyl pressing service to the wider Bandcamp community. Details here:https://t.co/ZoAShpbJ5S
— bandcamp (@Bandcamp) January 14, 2021
Vinyl pressing is potentially a risky venture for artists due to the expensive manufacturing process and time-consuming customer service requirements. While these factors may lead artists to be wary of having a vinyl component to their merch sales, Bandcamp takes on most of the risky factors by overseeing all the production, shipping and customer support aspects entailed in the process of distributing vinyl. Another attractive feature is that the vinyl production is financed by the consumer instead of the artist, which greatly alleviates the risk associated with returns and surplus.
Other efforts by the company to support artists include Bandcamp’s extension of Fee-Free Fridays, during which Bandcamp waives their percentage of purchasing fees on the first friday of each month. This is good news for artists and indie labels, who retain a greater percentage of their profits from sales on the site as songwriters await the recovery of their royalties, which have been negatively affected by the present crisis. The promotion was originally to end with 2020, but will now continue for several months into the new year.
Bandcamp continues with an innovative spirit during the time of pandemic with its release of a live streaming service entitled Bandcamp Live. The service enables artists to host events online and to continue to interact with fans in a safer way than a traditional venue. Artists will also retain 100 percent of ticket sales before March 31,2021, and then 80-85 percent after that date. The service offers a way for artists to still gain income from live performance without the risks associated with large crowds while the risk of infection with COVID is still high.