Since 2015, artists and labels have been using Bandcamp’s Android app to sell music and merchandise directly to their fans, and we’ve used our proprietary billing system to process payments, in line with Google’s guidelines exempting specific digital music from creating of an income share. However, Google is now changing its rules to require Bandcamp (and other similar apps) to only use Google Play billing for payments for digital goods and services, and pay Google a share of its revenue. If Google’s policy changes stay in effect from June 1, we’d either have to pass Google’s costs on to consumers (making Android a less attractive platform for music fans) or pass the costs on to artists (which we would never do) , permanently our Android business at a loss, or disable digital sales in the Android app. In addition, the policy changes would affect our ability to pay artists quickly – instead of receiving payment after 24 to 48 hours, artists may not be paid until 15 to 45 days after a sale.
Bandcamp’s mission is to help spread the healing power of music by building a community where artists thrive through the direct support of their fans, and where fans come together to explore the amazing musical universe that their direct support helps create. That community now consists of more than 500,000 independent artists and 11,000 independent labels who count on the support of the millions of music fans on Bandcamp to fund their next record† buy groceriesor pay their rent† mortgageor energy bill† We believe it is imperative that fans be able to voice that critical support for Android, and so to prevent Google from implementing this new policy for Bandcamp and other developers, Epic is filing a motion seeking a court order that Bandcamp can continue to operate as we have (you can read our return here and my return here).
We know that many people use Bandcamp’s Android app to listen to their music purchases, and we’re doing everything we can to make sure that option remains available. With today’s request, we hope to ensure that fans can continue to purchase music and merchandise through the Android app as well, and that as much support as possible reaches the artist as soon as possible.
Co-Founder and CEO of Bandcamp