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Longtime readers of this site will know that I have a fascination with the way that the music industry is being transformed by the Web, much like other content-related industries (such as the one I work in), and how artists such as Trent Reznor and Girl Talk are dealing with that transformation. In addition to those experiments, we’ve seen a number of Web services and companies launch to try and help musicians evolve, from Topspin Media, which was founded by former Winamp and Yahoo Music exec Ian Rogers, to RCRD LBL, which was started by Engadget founder Peter Rojas.

Now, Andy “Waxy” Baio brings news of another startup aiming to fill that void and make it easier for artists to connect directly with (and sell directly to) their fans. It’s called Bandcamp (great name) and was co-founded by Ethan Diamond, one of the founders of Oddpost. For those who may not recall, Oddpost was one of the first Ajax-powered Web apps, and offered a desktop-style interface to Webmail long before Google’s Gmail came along, and was eventually bought by Yahoo. Andy has a great interview with Ethan about what he is trying to do with Bandcamp.

In a nutshell, many musicians — and I know a couple myself — wind up with either a crappy Web site built by a friend, or someone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing, or they go with the default, which is to use MySpace. For some artists, MySpace may be good enough, but Bandcamp looks like it could be a great solution for many others: for one thing, bands can provide the site with lossless audio, and they handle all the encoding into different formats and setting up the retail side of the site, so that the band can sell their own music. Bandcamp has obviously thought a fair bit about SEO as well, which is a crucial part of being found on the Web.

watch a screencast of Bandcamp

Update:

At a different end of the music industry spectrum, iLike has launched an expansion of its music-streaming service in partnership with Rhapsody, which will allow Web services of all kinds to integrate music into their site. For example, invitations to a party sent through Evite could include an interactive song list. The only downside is that the streaming is restricted to just 25 full songs a month, at which point it reverts to 30-second samples.

About the author

Mathew 2420 posts

I'm a Toronto-based senior writer with Fortune magazine, and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

4 Responses to “So this one time, at Bandcamp…”
  1. […] targeted at bigger bands, providing them with a platform for embracing these new models. And now, Mathew Ingram points us to the launch of Bandcamp, which makes it easy for a band to set up their own website. […]

  2. […] targeted at bigger bands, providing them with a platform for embracing these new models. And now, Mathew Ingram points us to the launch of Bandcamp, which makes it easy for a band to set up their own website. […]

  3. I didn't know about any of the companies you mentioned, but it is good to hear that this kind of stuff is happening. I've been saying for a while that the music distribution model has to evolve and change rather then trying to hold on to CD's with both hands. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

  4. I didn't know about any of the companies you mentioned, but it is good to hear that this kind of stuff is happening. I've been saying for a while that the music distribution model has to evolve and change rather then trying to hold on to CD's with both hands. This is certainly a step in the right direction.

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