Bandcamp is making moves again with an appeal to music producers and artists as well as fans who use the platform to buy music and merch. After the company was acquired by Songtradr – a music licensing startup – and laid off half of its staff back in September, the future of the platform seemed questionable, but they clearly aren’t leaving 2023 without a new update after its new ownership. They’ve launched a new Discover feature, a marketplace and exploratory search engine available on both their mobile app and the website.
Searching via genre tags
Discover makes it easier to explore the hundreds of thousands of artist releases in Bandcamp’s library with a search function to choose from various genres and sub-genres, offering an opportunity to find new tunes with a much better UX than the desktop platform has had in the past. You can even search for specifics for merch buying too with the ability to choose from vinyl and CDs to t-shirts, cassettes and more.
As an artist and music buyer, Bandcamp has personally always been my go-to as the first stop for crate digging – but I’ve often found that the search process to find new music you’re not directly searching for has been a UX nightmare on its desktop website. Discover is a huge step in the right direction, with clear plans from the platform to soon offer even more in-depth searching with tags and combinations.
A better way for artists and labels to reach fans new and old
For labels and artists who use the platform to distribute their music and build their follower base, the new feature lets you choose a track to be featured when your releases show up on the Discover landing page. You can also choose a genre for your artist profile and tag each of your releases so they show up more often in Discover’s search results, as well as add photos for any merch you list on the site.
Though the platform may have a ways to go in terms of a more user-friendly search function, it’s a strong start – and I’m a fan of another way to explore new artists, labels, and music similar to Soundcloud’s Discover page as well. I look forward to seeing what 2024 has in store for Bandcamp and hope to see more updates that will better the site’s appeal for music producers and fans alike.
You can read more about the feature announcement from Bandcamp here. Try it out yourself and let us know what you think – what do you like so far? What would you like to see next?