Licensing Platform Songtradr Purchases Bandcamp — and Draws an Investment — From Epic Games

songtradr bandcamp acquisition
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songtradr bandcamp acquisition
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Songtradr has officially acquired Bandcamp from Epic Games. Photo Credit: Songtradr

Music licensing and distribution platform Songtradr has acquired indie music service Bandcamp from Epic Games.

Songtradr emailed Digital Music News today about the buyout, which represents one of several high-profile plays the company has made as of late. Additionally, the Fortnite developer Epic Games, having only bought Bandcamp in March of 2022, confirmed the divestment as well as layoffs (reaching about 16 percent of its workforce, or 830 employees) via a separate announcement message (here’s our full coverage of the Epic Games downsizing).

The sale of Bandcamp and the spinoff of SuperAwesome will reduce Epic’s team size by around 250 individuals in total, according to CEO Tim Sweeney, who cited budgetary concerns as the main contributor to the cutbacks. Though little appeared to change at Bandcamp after it became a subsidiary of Epic – co-founder Ethan Diamond stayed on as CEO – May of this year saw the 16-year-old platform’s employees officially vote to unionize.

As it operates under the Songtradr banner, Bandcamp will continue “as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share,” higher-ups relayed. The 7digital parent Songtradr is specifically set to begin offering Bandcamp’s north of five million artists and labels the choice of having their work “licensed to all forms of media.”

The classification extends to adverts, gaming, apps, and other visual-media content, per the Jaxsta stakeholder Songtradr, which emphasized the adjacent opportunity for artists to “increase their earning capacity” while maintaining control of their rights.

Moreover, Epic is said to be collaborating with Songtradr to create “an inventory of music” for use in the North Carolina-based developer’s multifaceted ecosystem; artists will have the choice of participating in the involved initiatives, the companies made clear.

Epic, around 40 percent of which belongs to Chinese conglomerate Tencent, has also invested capital in Songtradr – a company rep declined to provide the precise details associated with this investment – and will continue working with Bandcamp on projects like Fortnite Radio.

Addressing the agreement (the financial terms of which haven’t been publicly revealed) in a statement, Songtradr’s CEO, Paul Wiltshire, noted the significance of Bandcamp within his business’s varied artist-services suite.

“The acquisition of Bandcamp will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists,” said Wiltshire. “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.”

And in comments of his own, Steve Allison, VP and GM of Epic Games’ store, added: “Songtradr shares Epic and Bandcamp’s values around ensuring artists are fairly compensated for their work. 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.”