Epic Games to sell Bandcamp 18 months after acquisition

today29/09/2023 6

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Bandcamp has been sold by Epic Games, just 18 months after being acquired by the gaming giant.

The news was confirmed by CEO Tim Sweeney in a post on the Epic Games website, titled “Layoffs at Epic”, revealing that the company would be divesting from Bandcamp and marketing firm SuperAwesome, and in the process would be laying off 16% of its staff

The new owners of Bandcamp are B2B marketing company, Songtradr which in 2019 was the largest music licensing platform in the world according to The Music Network.

Read this next: Bandcamp users can now create playlists from their music purchases

A statement from the founder and CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney was published as well as emailed to employees confirming the layoffs and the future of Bandcamp.

Songtradr has also shared a statement which explains that it will “continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share.”

The statement continues: “This acquisition will help Bandcamp continue to grow within a music-first company and enable Songtradr to expand its capabilities to support the artist community.”

The main new feature of Bandcamp joining according to Songtradr is that it will now offer artists the ability to have their music licensed for the likes of content creators, game and app developers and brands.

Paul Wiltshire, CEO of Songtradr says: “The acquisition of Bandcamp will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists. I’m a passionate musician myself, and artistry and creativity have always been at the heart of Songtradr. Bandcamp will join a team of music industry veterans and artists who have deep expertise in music licensing, composition, rights management, and distribution.”

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Steve Allison, Vice President and General Manager, Store at Epic Games also says: “Songtradr shares Epic and Bandcamp’s values around ensuring artists are fairly compensated for their work”.

Allison continues: “Bringing Bandcamp to Songtradr will make it easier for independent artists to connect with creators and developers looking to license their music and enable Epic to focus on its core metaverse, games, and tools efforts.”

In March 2023, Bandcamp staff unionised a year after the company was acquired by Epic Games.

Members of its editorial, design, support, and engineering employees asked for “a fair and timely election” as Bandcamp United.

Read this next: Bandcamp has launched a vinyl pressing service

The statement released at the time read: “We all chose to join this company as an extension of our own love for independent music, and believe that a site such as Bandcamp that aims to offer an ethical and fair alternative to the streaming economy should reflect its mission internally.” Read Bandcamp United’s full statement from March here.

Epic Games has also announced that it will also be letting go of the children’s safe web service, SuperAwesome which it acquired in 2020.

Sweeney explains the reason behind the cutting of costs is that “without breaking development or our core lines of businesses” it can continue to focus on “ambitious plans.”

Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Multimedia Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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