Bandcamp Launches ‘Bandcamp For Fans’: Turning Fans Into Promoters
Early this morning (11th January 2013) Bandcamp opened up their ‘Bandcamp For Fans’ accounts to the world. I’ve been in, had a play and here are the features and perks for both fans and artists on the “social music discovery system.”
After much feedback from users Bandcamp decided that yes, Bandcamp could have a fan platform without “going all Myspace” and losing its integrity. After much work by their team and a positive beta test, it’s now live and looks great. It’s clean, it’s clear and its only as social as you want it to be. It gives you the opportunity to discover more. I am going to outline the features below, with what they will entail for the fan as well as the artist.
The collection page is essentially you as the account holder’s profile page. It shows what you’ve bought, what artists you follow, what you thought about the records you bought, what records you want to buy (more details later) and who you are.
From here you can share (what is essentially) your digital “record” collection, with your followers on the site and by the usual; Facebook, Twitter and email routes. People will be able to see you’ve liked the music enough to buy it and might give it a listen themselves.
For artists this is obviously great, it is a recommendation by action. It shows whoever lands on the fans page, that they have took action and bought your music because it is obviously the dog’s bag of nuts. Which is much better than a “Like” on Facebook any day. That fan just promoted you, just by buying your music.
Fans can follow fans as well as artists, which may eventually lead to some fan accounts becoming “Go-to-guys/girls” for new music but will essentially lead to like minded people connecting and discovering music together. On your collection page you’ll see suggested people to follow, so that makes that easier. You’ll also be notified when people you follow collect (buy) new music and when you buy music people will be able to see what you have to say about it.
A notable feature is that if someone else buys music they have found through your collection, you will be notified about it. How’s that for a little ego boost?!
A new feature you artists may notice, is that under your cover art there is now “Supported By.” This shows all of the people (with accounts) that bought that record. So if you’ve had 100’s of purchases on Bandcamp, thats going to be looking pretty good on your side. You fans will be able to see who else liked what you’ve bought, and can click on their thumbnails to see their collections, and perhaps discover something new. Also for fans, by buying the record your face is then plastered on the artists page. Because it is nice to be noticed.
This is something obvious but still brilliant. Often I’m sent to a Bandcamp page but can’t afford to get the record right then. I might forget all about it after that, always knowing there is a small part of me missing. A hole that needs filling. Well not anymore, now I can add that record to my wishlist and come back to it when I’m in the black. Perfect!
Similar to any other following service, you will get notifications when those artists upload to music. So you will quite often be the first to get your ears around it. Then you can wave it around in everyones faces, with a smug grin because you have a Bandcamp Fan account set up because of that amazing blog you read. Yep…
Following artists also adds you to their mailing list, not really a big deal for fans at the time but good for artists, as that email is a vital bit of information for future reference. It enables you artists to have secondary contact with fans; thank them personally for the purchase, send out newsletters, give aways and gig announcements etc.
That’s all so far, more will develop as people search and play but those are the key features. It’s going to be interesting to see how this develops. Bandcamp have reported it has increased the sales for artists massively during Beta testing, with more sales now coming from fan accounts than Twitter led Bandcamp posts, which is nice.
In their own words: “Bandcamp for Fans is a social music discovery system based on the high friction concept of ownership” – Essentially; if you like an artist enough to buy it, people are going to take more notice. It looks like Bandcamp could be an artist managed digital store, allowing both ecommerce, discovery and attachment simultaneously.
If you’ve bought off Bandcamp before you can set up a Fan account by clicking here. If not, go buy some music and they’ll invite you to it.
About Tom SatchwellCommunity Manager at Fortitude Magazine. Read Tom's Industry blog at: www.BeatsOnToast.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @TomSSatchwell
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