Bandcamp Lays Off 50 Percent of Employees — Including Entire Union Bargaining Team — Following Songtradr Acquisition

Epic Games sold the platform to the B2B music licensing company at the end of September

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Oct 18, 2023

After being acquired by music licensing company Songtradr last month, Bandcamp has reportedly laid off approximately 50 percent of its workforce.

UPDATE (10/18, 9:25 a.m. ET): A new report from SFGATE has revealed that leaders of the recently formed Bandcamp employee union, Bandcamp United, were disproportionately affected by the layoffs. According to a statement given to the publication by the union, every member of Bandcamp United's eight-person bargaining team was laid off. More holistically, 40 of the bargaining unit's 67 members lost their jobs. (The total layoff numbers amounted to about 60 of 118 employees.) 

UPDATE (10/16, 4:43 p.m. ET): Songtradr has confirmed the reports in a statement issued to Rolling Stone

"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," the company said. "After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre-existing functions at Songtradr, 50 percent 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."

Multiple former Bandcamp employees have taken to the website formerly known as Twitter to share the news. JJ Skolnik, senior editor at Bandcamp Daily, revealed that they spent the last two weeks following the Epic Games sale announcement "in limbo" before being laid off today.

As of this writing, neither Bandcamp nor Songtradr have issued a statement on what's going on. Upon news of the acquisition, the latter alleged they would "continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share."

Cadence Weapon has expressed his disappointment, saying that he can't see himself "hosting his music on there for much longer." Stars' Torquil Campbell shared the rapper's message, adding that he is pulling his music off of Bandcamp in solidarity with those laid off "because what's the point of having your music on a site owned by a company that has no respect for music or people."

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