RE: the Bandcamp Free Download Cap

When Bandcamp introduced a cap on free downloads, I got the email, but didn’t read it all that closely at first.

I understand exactly what happened: record companies (not necessarily big major ones either) were using Bandcamp to have special giveaways instead of directing audiences to their own site.  This resulted in Bandcamp getting the expense of a mass of people visiting the site for a freebie that could have easily been taken care of elsewhere, from someone who doesn’t really need to give away free goods in the first place.

Bandcamp’s system of accepting payments on the artist’s terms is very attractive to independent musicians that seek a better format than $1 per song, as well as carrying a very attractive template for netlabels and those that really don’t want to sell anything at all.

The problem now is that although it is unlikely that I will ever reach my free download cap, netlabels and even some individual artists that have hundreds of works (and thousands of individual tracks) to their catalogs can easily exhaust it in a short amount of time.

When your free downloads have exhausted, Bandcamp’s behavior is to switch your downloads to paying ones, which for non-profit arrangements is not okay.

Bandcamp is not a good host for that kind of artist, anyway.

I originally wanted this to be a pair of posts explaining why my songs are no-price/non-commercial and all but it’s all been said clearly in many places.  There’s a lot of great stuff beyond the world of 99 cents per song, and a vast majority of it isn’t mine.

See you next time.

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