Big tech has done it again. Epic Games, the makers of the video game that taught 10-year-olds how to “Floss” and was sued by Alfonso Ribeiro for stealing the “Carlton,” purchased beloved independent digital music platform Bandcamp for an undisclosed sum. Let’s just hope that Epic Games purchased the company on a Bandcamp Friday, so we can be assured that all the money went to the artists.
Per Bandcamp’s press release, the company considers Epic Games “champions for a fair and open internet.” Like so many press releases before it, Bandcamp’s statement assures customers and supporters that nothing will change. Bandcamp, it says, will “continue to build [the site] around our artists-first revenue model.” Bandcamp Fridays will remain, as will the Bandcamp Daily blog.
So what will this $30 billion company be doing with Bandcamp? Well, according to Bandcamp CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond, it’ll help “spread the healing power of music by building a community where artists thrive through the direct support of fans.” Interestingly enough, Steve Allison, Vice President and General Manager, Store at Epic Games, feels exactly the same way:
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.
Inspiring. Thank you, Epic. If there’s one thing we all know about massive corporations devouring small companies and platforms, it’s that nothing changes, people won’t be fired, and the core mission of the site will remain intact.
Per Variety, Epic is working with Bandcamp to “expand internationally,” but also, in its infinite kindness, it will “provide resources to [benefit] the artists, labels, and fans who use the site.” So chill of Epic to take time off its schedule of trying to convince people that watching a concert or Tenet or Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in Fortnite isn’t bizarre, dystopian, and kind of bullshit.
Disney adults hate to hear it, but corporations don’t always have their best interests in mind. Over the last 20 years, corporate mergers, acquisitions, and monopolization have made the internet a much smaller place. It’s made creative work almost impossible to do, and every day it becomes a little more impossible…r. Today, it’s even smaller. But maybe they’ll throw us a bone and keep Bandcamp Friday going for a little while longer.