Bandcamp For Fans. You Need This!

Whether you’re a music fan or an artist, the brand new fan pages from Bandcamp are really rather exciting.

Now anyone that has bought music via Bandcamp can sign up for a free fan page where they can showcase their music collection and browse the collections of other like-minded music lovers to discover new records. Yet again Bandcamp has come up with a clean, simple and effective system where iTunes has failed. The ill-fated iTunes Ping service lasted all of five minutes with it’s fussy interface and attempt at creating a social network, and now Bandcamp has managed to achieve a fully integrated music recommendation system without detracting from its core values or functionality. Here’s what my fan page looks like today (you can click on the link if you want to follow me!):

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As you can see, you get a really straightforward page showcasing the music you’ve bought on Bandcamp. You can show or hide whatever you like on your page, add reviews/comments to albums and select your favourite track for the player. You can follow both artists (which automatically signs you up to their mailing lists and lets you know when they release new records) as well as your friends and other fans so you get notified when they buy new music. And once you’re signed up as a fan, a little thumbnail of your profile picture will appear beneath any album you’ve recently bought on the artist’s page in the ‘supported by‘ section, as will any comments you’ve added as a recommendation.

This new feature has benefits for both fans and artists…

Fans now have access to a great music recommendation and discovery system for all the excellent independent music available via Bandcamp. Since they introduced the Discover feature last June, Bandcamp has steadily improved the way in which new music can be discovered in it’s vast library. Artists have been able to add up to three albums in their recommended section, which now features on their band page:

Simon Little's Recommendations

Fans can now be notified immediately when their favourite artists release new music or their friends buy a new record. And now you can show off your impeccable taste in your own personal corner of Bandcamp, and publicly show your support for your favourite artists. You can see who else has bought a particular record and explore the rest of their collection. There is also now a wishlist which enables you to save albums you’ve found that you might like to come back to and purchase at a later date. All of these functions are presented in the most straightforward way with an excellent UI. Marvellous…

Artists can now engage more with their fans and other artists alike. Fans are incentivised to pay for your music so they feature on your page as supporters and showcase your music in their collection (free downloads don’t offer these possibilities). Your music can now be found via genre and tag searches, artist recommendations and fan pages. You can expand your mailing list as people start following you and automatically gain access to your fanbase when you really need to; when you release new music.

Bandcamp describes the fan accounts as “a social music discovery system based on the high-friction concept of ownership“. The idea being to involve fans at a level greater than simply pressing a ‘Like’ button or scrobbling plays on last.fm, and thus engage more with a sense of community and support for the artists they love.

So in a nutshell, You Need This!!! If you’ve ever bought music via Bandcamp (and hopefully most of you reading this will have bought one of my records at least!) you should sign up for a fan page immediately. It’s dead easy and it gives you instant access to a whole world of music discovery. I’ve already found a few little gems purely through browsing my friend’s collections and the recommended pages of my favourite artists. The worst thing that could happen is that you end up blowing loads of money on some great new music…

If you have yet to use Bandcamp to purchase music, I shall of course suggest checking out my latest solo release [un]plugged and our new trio recording Foreground Music, Vol. I with Jez Carr and Mike Haughton. Of course. What better way to start your collection and connect with other music lovers? Enjoy…


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