Hey guys, Stephen here with yet another DIY Musician Guide. In this one I’m going to talk about Bandcamp Pro. We’ll chat about just how helpful the exclusive features are, how it can be improved, and probably most importantly whether or not it’s worth the money.
What is Bandcamp Pro?
Bandcamp Pro is a subscription service offered by Bandcamp which allows you access to some exclusive features. Although it says seven, there are actually eight of these features available to you when subscribed.
At the time of making this, Bandcamp Pro costs $10 dollars a month, which works out to about £7.64. You can cancel at any time from your profile page so if you are intrigued after watching/reading this, you could try it for yourselves for a month. I’ve been a subscriber in the past but decided to cancel after a few months.
Let’s go over the features and try and discuss the benefits, if any, they could have for us.
1. Batch Upload
With the ‘Batch Upload’ feature you can set multiple tracks to upload in a queue. Normally, you can only upload one track at a time so if you have a lot of tracks, this can save you some time. Otherwise, if you’re only uploading a single or an EP, it’s not really that helpful.
2. Targeted Messaging
Targeting messaging through the Bandcamp is ideal if you want to tell fans in a specific location about an upcoming. You can also target by amount spent which is pretty cool. I like the idea of rewarding fans who’ve spent the most or give discount to people who’ve never paid anything.
Overall it’s a good feature but you could do all of this outside of the Bandcamp. Just import the mailing list CSV into a mail client such as mailchimp (link) and target those users within there. It’s obviously less convenient than using the app but doable.
3. Private Streaming
Private Streaming is ideal if you’d like to send out your unreleased album or whatever to music blogs, special fans or even other band members to check out. I like the fact you can monitor who’s listened or not.
To be honest though, I think I’d rather just give out download codes as they’d be able to get a copy of the release to do with what they wish. That’s not to mention leaving a profile square if they have a Bandcamp fan account.
4. Ad-free Video Hosting
The video appears above the release title and takes up the full width of the release page. If you’ve got a great video this is a fantastic place to showcase it, otherwise for me it might be something that gets in the way of your music. I’m in two minds about it really and I’d love the choice of being able to use another video format such as YouTube or Video embed, just to have more control.
5. Your Own Domain
This is definitely a feature I’d like as it does look more professional to tie a different domain or subdomain to the Bandcamp address. It’s also noted that it would benefit the SEO ranking, which is obviously a good thing.
This feature was actually free when Bandcamp first launched. My first band’s Bandcamp account still has the option for it without having to have subscribed to Pro. There was obviously a cut off period for that and now we have to pay.
6. Deeper stats
I’m sure this just ties into the next feature (Google Analytics) but it does put a lot of interesting data onto a handy map so you can get a quick overview of how well you’re doing (or not doing) in certain locations or via websites.
I find this is only going to be particularly useful to those who are selling quite a lot, otherwise the limited data isn’t really going to do anything for you.
7. Google Analytics
Being able to link up your Google Analytics account is a great feature to have and one I’d really love to have. We can use it to track just about anything on the site including what devices or browsers people are using to visit our sites, genders, location and time spent on the page.
8. Optional Streaming
With ‘Optional Streaming’ you can basically ‘turn off’ the ability to play some of your tracks.
I’m not really a fan of the feature and I’ve got a feeling the people at Bandcamp didn’t really want to offer it. It does feel like they might have been pushed into a corner by more established artists who were worried that people wouldn’t pay up if they were just able to stream. Also, this is feature 8 of 7 haha.
It’s worth noting that if you subscribe to Bandcamp as a Label Account, every artist you add to your label automatically gets the Pro account upgrade. It’s $20 dollars / about £15 a month for up to 15 artists or $50 dollars / about £38 per month for unlimited artists. I’ll most likely cover the benefits of a Bandcamp Label account in a future post but just keep that in mind if you’re thinking of upgrading.
How Could it Be Better?
Given that we have these extra features, can we come up with anything else that’s make the subscription service a little more enticing? Well I did go over 7 features that I’d love to see within Bandcamp in another post so check that out if interested.
How about a few more?
1. Advanced Customisation
I really appreciate the minimal design of Bandcamp profiles as its kind of uniformity lends well to just getting to the point of the page, the music. However, I’d like some advanced tools to be able to edit such things as the banner – maybe let us place link buttons around it instead of having us use image maps?
2. Advanced Homepage
Our ‘homepage’ can either be our latest release, our full discography or a merch grid. How about another option where we can add some text? As we start accumulating lots of releases on our Bandcamp pages it might be useful to have somewhere we can provide a bit of info about ‘Where to Start’ etc, maybe this could just be added to the discography grid page.
3. Fan Listening Habits
Spotify has a feature within its ‘Spotify for Artists’ app called ‘Other artists they listen to’ which refers to what other artists your fans are listening to as well as yours. Something like that would be a great addition as it would not only help us for marketing purposes but we might be able to reach out to some of these for collaborations and have the potential to share audiences.
So, is Bandcamp Pro worth it? If you have loads of sales, then you probably have lots of data which makes features like Google Analytics pretty essential for understanding your audience. For me, I don’t make enough from Bandcamp (as yet) to justify the upgrade. So I’d say if you’re like me, don’t upgrade yet, wait until you’re collecting enough data to justify getting the most out of the tools.
It’s either that or wait until there are other features part of the subscription that make it a little more tempting.
As always if you want to see more videos like this please like & subscribe and I’ll see you next time for another DIY Musician Guide.