On September 28, Epic Games announced the sale of Bandcamp to Songtradr, Inc. In an internal announcement to staff, Epic Games wrote that Songtradr, Inc. would be offering positions to some Bandcamp employees but not all.This comes amidst ongoing contract negotiations with Bandcamp’s staff union – Bandcamp United.
For almost 15 years, Bandcamp has been built on the idea of community. It has functioned as much more than a marketplace, providing a way for artists to connect and communicate with fans directly and for like-minded artists to find one another. Bandcamp has always stood strong in its beliefs and its place in the community that it has helped foster. As algorithms gradually wrest control of the music industry, Bandcamp has preserved an artist-first, defiantly human attitude. Maintaining the value that Bandcamp places on music is critical for artists everywhere, and it starts with valuing the workers who have built Bandcamp into the beloved platform it is today.
CEO Paul Wiltshire has said: “There’s not a need to change [Bandcamp] into anything other than what it is.” If that’s true, it is time for Songtradr to recognize and negotiate with the union so that workers can continue to carry out Bandcamp’s artists first mission.
Songtradr acquired this beloved platform, and there is no clarity on what this means for Bandcamp’s artists, fans, or the workers who make it possible. I support Bandcamp United workers in their demands, so that we can preserve and protect Bandcamp long term:
- Employment offers for all workers: they make Bandcamp run!
- Equitable and voluntary severance offers for all workers
- Recognition of their union & a speedy continuation of bargaining