Bandcamp have just released their annual “state of the industry” report. Obviously just one retailler’s perspective, but still some interesting figures.
2017 was another stellar year for Bandcamp, with double digit growth in every aspect of the business. Digital album sales were up 16%, tracks 33%, and merch 36%. Growth in physical sales was led by vinyl (up 54%), CDs (up 18%), and cassettes (up 41%). Revenue from the 3,500 independent labels on Bandcamp grew 73%, and more than 600,000 artists have now sold something through the site. Our publication, Bandcamp Daily, grew its audience by 84%, and all-time payments to artists through Bandcamp reached $270 million. We launched a new app for artists and labels, added gift cards, improved fan collections, held successful fundraisers for the ACLU and TLC, and we’ll soon mark six straight years as a profitable company that only makes money when artists make a lot more money.
Meanwhile, standalone music streaming companies continued to lose money in 2017, and industry-wide record sales continued to decline: in the U.S., digital album sales dropped 20%, tracks were down 23%, and physical sales fell 20%. The seemingly inevitable upshot of these two trends is that the majority of music consumption will eventually take place within the subscription rental services of two or three enormous corporations, who can afford to lose money on music because it attracts customers to the parts of their businesses that are profitable.
If Spinal Tap ever does a reunion tour with The Rutles, I’m buying the executive package!
I’m there with you!
1978: the commercial height of both punk and disco. Does anyone want to take a guess at what was the most influential album released that year? (And no, it’s not The Rutles soundtrack, sorry Jerry.)
Van Halen’s debut, obviously.
Though I would probably accept Eno’s Music for Airports as an alternative answer.
Dookie by Green Day.
Er… if you’re time travelling, maybe
Oh, I assumed the “78” part was a typo.
Talking about the state of the music business…
Great little site where every Billboard #2 single is reviewed:
A track on Ms Marvel would have sorted that
Not even a track on a Marvel movie soundtrack could make people forget what Billy Corgan is like.
I was honestly surprised when I saw a more recent interview with him. I didn’t know who Alex Jones was at the time. That would have probably given me the information I needed.
He just released a solo album that was produced by Rick Rubin. I wonder why he’s not touring on that. I really like Rubin and am an old fan of the Pumpkins. I was intrigued until I heard a couple songs.
My favorite story is back in the late 90s, the Pumpkins signed Sharon Osbourne as their manager, which was touted as a huge deal in the rock press.
And a few weeks later, she put out a press release saying she was stepping down as their manager due to health reasons - namely Billy Corgan was making her sick
By some miraculous power I always thought the Smashing Pumpkins were shit. It was fashionable I suppose at some point.
None of this surprises me at all.
The Smashing Pumpkins have the honor of being the worst concert I’ve ever been to.
Thankfully, I have never sullied my love for Smashing Pumpkins by seeing them live or taking notice of Billy Corgan after the first Zwan album.
I did happen to see Zwan live but I was highly intoxicated and remember nothing of the occasion. Praise be.