Bandcamp’s Rocky Journey: From Epic Games Acquisition to An Uncertain Future
Bandcamp, a beloved platform for independent artists, underwent a turbulent transition following its acquisition by Epic Games in March
Bandcamp, a beloved platform for independent artists, underwent a turbulent transition following its acquisition by Epic Games in March 2022 for $273 million. Unexpectedly, Epic Games announced its decision to divest from Bandcamp in September 2023, alongside substantial company-wide layoffs. The subsequent sale of Bandcamp to music licensing company Songtradr left approximately 120 Bandcamp employees in a state of uncertainty.
The transition from Epic Games to Songtradr was far from seamless, marked by a lack of transparency and loss of access to essential tools, causing significant disruption. The deal itself was structured as an “asset sale,” with Songtradr acquiring Bandcamp’s technology and platform but not its staff, further complicating the situation.
Bandcamp’s union, representing about half of the employees, negotiated with Songtradr and Epic Games in an effort to secure favorable terms for those affected by the layoffs. One challenging condition imposed by Epic Games was that employees offered positions at Songtradr would forfeit their eligibility for Epic’s severance package.
This whirlwind of events has drawn criticism from supporters of Bandcamp’s artist-friendly mission. While Songtradr has expressed its commitment to preserving Bandcamp’s cherished services, including its artist-first revenue share, the platform’s future remains uncertain. The abrupt shifts, from acquisition to the turbulent divestment, have left Bandcamp employees grappling with the consequences of an unexpected and complex transition.