DEAR RECORD LABELS AND BANDS: PLEASE START USING BANDCAMP, STOP USING MYSPACE
There aren’t any reasons to be using MySpace in 2011. I suppose it can’t hurt to have a band profile there just in case someone happens to stumble upon it, but that’s about it; MySpace is a useless, out-dated, cluttered, piece-of-shit platform and there are better options now available. All bands and labels should now be using Bandcamp for their streaming music needs. Here’s why:
- Less clutter. Bandcamp offers some level of customization for band profiles — colors, background, and an album image — but that’s it. And this is fantastic. Before the MySpace Beta relaunch, page designs had become so obnoxious that you might have had to scroll down four page-lengths just to get to any content, and the design has always been cluttered and confusing. Bandcamp keeps it simple by not allowing for much customization, but just enough to make a band’s page feel personable.*
- No one uses MySpace for social networking anymore. If people actually used the site’s social networking features to interact with bands and discover new music that would be one thing, but it’s simply no longer the case. People visit MySpace pages directly, and they do so solely to stream a band’s music.
- Better audio quality. Self-explanatory.
- More storage. You can easily host multiple albums in their entirety, conveniently sorted by album and listed in track order.abysm
- The ability to sell downloads. Ever since the abortion that was SnoCap, MySpace hasn’t offered direct sales of audio — you always had to visit elsewhere, and their current “buy” option redirects to iTunes or Amazon. Bandcamp offers bands the option to directly sell tracks or albums at a price of their choosing, ANY price, including free or “name your own price” (and even has an option to set a basement price for the latter). You can even set different price-points for different audio formats. Bandcamp charges a reasonably priced % of all sales… after all, the site costs money to host and maintain. Labels, this is a potentially HUGE source of revenue you’re missing out on; no reason you shouldn’t have a Bandcamp page for every artist on your roster. Ditto for unsigned bands; may as well set it up, nothing to lose.
- It actually works, all the time. Self-explanatory. Anyone who’s used MySpace with any degree of regularity has surely been frustrated with their buggy player.
Props to Seventh Rule for being one of the most forward-thinking metal labels out there. Starting this year, Seventh Rule is offering all their releases on their Bandcamp page for free or “Name Your Own Price.” From a press release we received from the label in January:
The first 200 downloads of every release will be free. Please check here for the downloads before supporting mediafire-mega-space downloads. We are helping to cut out the middleman and albums you download directly from Seventh Rule, via BANDCAMP, will be of a much higher quality. After the free downloads have been used, the release will go up to a “Choose Your Price” scale. We are basically telling you where to get our releases for free, but you already had your own source, right?
The End records is all doing a good job of using Bandcamp as a platform to deliver digital promos. To my knowledge, no other metal labels are utilizing the platform at all unless bands on those labels have taken their own initiative. Someone please tell me why. Oh, that’s right… these are these same labels who send us MP3s that are completely unlabeled (not even the band’s name) and don’t understand what we mean when we complain that the MP3s were ripped at a bit-rate of 128kbps.
No, MetalSucks is not on Bandcamp’s payroll, and no, we are not receiving any money or promotional consideration whatsoever from anyone in the Bandcamp camp (see what i did there?). Bandcamp is just a superior solution for bands and labels, plain and simple;bands — and ESPECIALLY labels — are leaving money on the table by not participating. Get on it.
* I’ll concede that the one thing MySpace has over Bandcamp is the ability to post tour dates.