Why Bandcamp is better than Spotify or most other music streaming services
1. Money goes to the artists
Spotify pays out less than 1 cent per track being streamed. Meanwhile, the majority of the money collected on bandcamp goes directly to the artists who made the music. Artists selling music on bandcamp pay the platform 15% of their sales, retaining 85%, the majority percentage of all album and track sales.
2. Spotify curiously curated playlists
As Guardian columnist John Harris points out “Each day, I wake to find that Spotify’s systems have sent me an array of personal playlists, grouped together as my “daily mix”. On the day this piece was started, for example, mixes one to three were sold to me chiefly via the mention of such acts as Oasis, Happy Mondays, Bob Dylan and the Smashing Pumpkins, while mix four featured Pharrell Williams, Solange, the Mercury prize winner Sampha, and the uncategorisable Frank Ocean. Do you see what they did there? Presumably thanks to a moronic set of ideas about genre, white musicians go in one kind of box, while black ones tend to go in another.”
3. Enjoy the art of an album from start to finish
Most artists put a fair bit of thought into creating not just a track, but a thoughtful album from start to finish. The desired effect is often a type of story or mood arc which takes several well laid out tracks to achieve. After abandoning the expansion of my CD collection a number of years back, I relied too heavily on streaming services for my listening pleasure. While it seemed novel at first that algorithms could provide me with a semi appropriate follow up track, it turns out I was missing the simple pleasure of enjoying an album in it’s entirety. I have rediscovered this simple audiophile pleasure via bandcamp. Streaming services like Spotify have a tendency to replay popular tracks without sampling enough of any one artists repertoire. The result is the fast food effect of popular music.