Epic Games is expanding its business by purchasing popular music store, Bandcamp.
Acquisitions happen every day in the tech world, and Epic Games, publisher of the popular Fortnite game and Unreal game engine, has bought up Bandcamp. However, the former said the latter would continue to operate as a standalone marketplace and music community. Still, Epic said Bandcamp would help it expand internationally.
Epic is looking to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, tech, games, art, music, and more and believes Bandcamp is strategically positioned to help achieve its goals. Epic offers live performances within its Fortnite game, and it is possible to see Bandcamp fitting in somewhere there.
Neither company revealed the financial details of the acquisition.
Giving assurances on how his company would continue to operate, Bandcamp co-founder and CEO, Ethan Diamond, wrote, “Bandcamp will keep operating as a standalone marketplace and music community, and I will continue to lead our team. The products and services you depend on aren’t going anywhere, we’ll continue to build Bandcamp around our artists-first revenue model (where artists net an average of 82% of every sale), you’ll still have the same control over how you offer your music, Bandcamp Fridays will continue as planned, and the Daily will keep highlighting the diverse, amazing music on the site. However, behind the scenes, we’re working with Epic to expand internationally and push development forward across Bandcamp, from basics like our album pages, mobile apps, merch tools, payment system, and search and discovery features, to newer initiatives like our vinyl pressing and live streaming services.”
Bandcamp started operating in 2008 and has built a community where artistes can connect with their fans and make money from the support. The company claims to have paid out almost $1 billion in royalty.
Diamond also wrote that Bandcamp decided to go with Epic because the two share “a vision of building the most open, artist-friendly ecosystem in the world, and together we’ll be able to create even more opportunities for artists to be compensated fairly for their work.”
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Bandcamp team to Epic Games,” said Steve Allison, Vice President and General Manager, Store at Epic Games. “Bandcamp has built an incredible community and business where up and coming artists can succeed thanks to the direct support of their fans, with one of the best revenue models and terms in music. This aligns closely with Epic’s approach to supporting creators across all media and enabling them to connect directly with their fans.”
Epic has a spotty history of company acquisitions. It bought group video chat Houseparty in 2019, and the platform enjoyed a brief moment of fame during the early days of the pandemic. However, Epic shut down Houseparty last year, apparently redirecting the resources towards expanding Epic’s social networking features.
Bandcamp, however, is different as the company has an enthusiastic and larger user base and a well-defined monetization model. Both consumers and creators love the platform for the level of control and share of revenue the artistes get.
Meanwhile, Epic managed a jab at Apple, with which it has an ongoing court battle over royalties and payment processing. It referred to Bandcamp as a fair and open platform.