Half Of Bandcamp’s Staff Has Been Laid Off

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Update: Songtradr has offered Metal Injection the following comment regarding the layoffs, stating that the staff had been laid off in September and will receive compensation from Epic.

“As of October 16 2023, Songtradr has officially acquired Bandcamp.

“Over the past few years the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased. It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans.

“After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre existing functions at Songtradr, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr. Those who didn’t receive offers will receive severance from Epic as part of their layoffs as communicated on September 28th.

“We are committed to keeping the existing Bandcamp services that fans and artists love, including its artist-first revenue share, Bandcamp Fridays and Bandcamp Daily.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Bandcamp into our musically aligned community. We share a deep passion for all things music and will continue to serve artists, labels and the fans who make it all possible.”

Original story: Bandcamp was let go from their parent company Epic Games in late September amid layoffs and was divested to Songtradr. In part, Songtradr said that their acquisition will “help Bandcamp continue to grow within a music-first company and enable Songtradr to expand its capabilities to support the artist community.”

So far things haven’t been going so well. Mainly that Songtradr has not yet formally recognized the Bandcamp employee union Bandcamp United despite talks with Epic Games prior and a petition. Now according to The Verge, Songtradr has officially laid off half Bandcamp’s existing staff. The news originally came from former Senior Editor of Bandcamp Daily JJ Skolnik, which The Verge has since confirmed via an email to Songtradr.

Predictably the outcry has been furious and loud, which makes sense – Bandcamp and Bandcamp Daily were doing some truly amazing work in covering niche scenes and pushing great music, and to have it all end with a soulless corporate gutting is tragic. Songtradr had noted in a previous statement that “not all Bandcamp employees will receive offers from Songtradr,” but half the employees is a steep cut. But that’s the corporate world for you – thanks for all the hard work, now get the fuck out.

To reiterate, Songtradr stated at the time of the acquisition: “Bandcamp is an online music store and community with over 5M artists and labels where fans can discover, connect with, and directly support the artists they love. This acquisition will help Bandcamp continue to grow within a music-first company and enable Songtradr to expand its capabilities to support the artist community.

“Songtradr will also offer Bandcamp artists the ability and choice to have their music licensed to all forms of media including content creators, game and app developers and brands. This will enable artists to continue to own and control their music rights, and increase their earning capacity from Songtradr’s global licensing network.

“Epic is exploring ways to partner with Songtradr to build an inventory of music where artists can opt in to have their music licensed for use in Epic’s ecosystem. Epic will continue to collaborate with Bandcamp on projects like Fortnite Radio and is investing in Songtradr to support Bandcamp’s successful integration into Songtradr.”

about half the company was laid off today. some of the most incredible people i’ve ever worked with, including two of my amazing editorial colleagues @diamonde and @atoosamoinzadeh and most of the incredible support staff among many others. this is a loss, no two ways about it— jj skolnik (@modernistwitch) October 16, 2023

bandcamp editorial being gutted is particularly dark because some of the smartest writers and editors were over there covering scenes that *nobody* else would. 1 of the last music pubs that demonstrated unabashed curiosity, that treated music as an endlessly expanding world.— no bells (@nobellsblog) October 16, 2023

Half the company was laid off today, not just the Daily but the tech side as well. As one former employee told me just now “Without some of those people, it’s Bandcamp in name only at this point.”

Songtradr truly hit the ground running gutting the place for copper pipes.— lamemeyoung.bsky.social (@la_meme_young) October 16, 2023

Deep rage, sadness & frustration at the Bandcamp layoffs (along with everything else atm)

The editorial team built one of the best & most dependable platforms for independent musicians to be celebrated & discovered. Only to be gutted by corporate greed. Same story ad infinitum— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) October 16, 2023

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