Concurrent with licensing service Songtradr closing its deal to buy music distribution and marketplace platform, Bandcamp, from Fortnite creator Epic Games, on Monday (10.16,) the new parent company confirmed that 50% of the original staff had been laid off.
In a formal statement to Rolling Stone about the purchase and subsequent staff reduction, Songtradr said:
“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,” adding that the company would still offer services like Bandcamp Fridays and its music publication Bandcamp Daily. “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. 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.”
For years now, Bandcamp been an essential platform in supporting independent musicians, providing a marketplace to sell their music in an era where their earnings have been significantly reduced due to streaming.
Bandcamp Fridays promotion, where the company waives its revenue share on music sales, has been particularly popular since the program launched in 2020 to support artists during the pandemic.
Video game giant Epic Games purchased Bandcamp last year, and announced that it would sell the platform to Songtradr come late-September amid broader layoffs across the gaming company.
Several members of Bandcamp’s editorial team responsible for Bandcamp Daily announced their layoffs on X, formerly Twitter. Prior to the layoffs, Bandcamp’s union Bandcamp United had pushed Songtradr to recognize the union, and to extend employment offers to the entire Bandcamp staff. Songtradr had said in a statement two weeks ago that the company wouldn’t give offers to all of Bandcamp’s workforce. The union did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding today’s layoffs.