May 23, 2024

Half of the employees at Bandcamp, the artist-centric indie music platform, have been laid off just weeks after the company was acquired by Songtradr, a rep for the company confirms to Variety.

In a statement, Songtradr confirmed that it has completed its acquisition of Bandcamp and continued: “Over the past few years the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased. It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans. After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre existing functions at Songtradr, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr. 

“We are committed to keeping the existing Bandcamp services that fans and artists love, including its artist-first revenue share, Bandcamp Fridays and Bandcamp Daily. We are looking forward to welcoming Bandcamp into our musically aligned community. We share a deep passion for all things music and will continue to serve artists, labels and the fans who make it all possible.”

Songtradr acquired the company from Epic Games, which itself acquired Bandcamp just last year but recently laid off around 16% of its staff.

Bandcamp’s U.S. employees, who launched a union that went public earlier this year, announced early in October that they had sent a letter to Songtradr outlining a list of demands around the sale of the company. In it, they said they were “demanding employment offers for all workers; clear, consistent, and equitable voluntary severance offers; employment offers for all workers,” and also called for Songtradr to recognize the Bandcamp United union. The statement added that on September 28, “In an internal announcement to staff, Epic Games wrote that Songtradr, Inc. would be offering positions to some Bandcamp employees but not all,” according to Music Business Worldwide.

A rep for Songtradr told Variety on Monday it did not yet have an update on whether the company will recognize the union.

At the time of the acquisition, Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire said, “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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