Bandcamp’s employee numbers have been reduced by 50% as Epic Games completes its sale of the platform to Songtradr.
With Songtradr’s acquisition of independent music platform Bandcamp, Epic Games has laid off half of the latter’s staff, citing Bandcamp’s increasing operating costs over the past few years. Songtradr picked up the company from Epic Games, which only acquired Bandcamp last year, but recently reduced its staff by around 16%.
Bandcamp’s US employees launched a union earlier this year, announcing earlier this month their outline of demands sent to Songtradr pertaining to the sale of the company. While it’s not yet known if Songtradr plans to recognize the Bandcamp employees’ union, given the displacement of half the company’s staff, signs points to the negative.
Either way, Songtradr makes no mention of the union in a statement released on Monday, confirming the completion of its acquisition of Bandcamp: “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,” Songtradr’s statement continues. “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.”
“The acquisition of Bandcamp will help Songtradr continue to grow its suite of services for artists,” said Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire when the acquisition was announced. “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.”
On September 28, before handing Bandcamp off to Songtradr, Epic Games wrote in an internal announcement to staff that Songtradr would be offering positions to “some Bandcamp employees, but not all.” That memo further implies that Songtradr plans not to recognize the Bandcamp employee union; an individual with knowledge of the situation said the company did not yet have an update pertaining to the union.