Yesterday (03/03/2022) the haven of independent music, platform that had the interest of artists in mind, a company that one Friday a month shared all income coming from sales to musicians, was acquired by Tencent Holding. Of course, we are talking about our beloved Bandcamp.
I don’t need to explain what Bandcamp is. But maybe a few words about Tencent Holding.
It is a Chinese company that has shares in Spotify, for example. And that fact itself already calls for caution. The diagram below shows some other interesting connections between Tencent and other well-known “enemies” of independence.
Travis Scott in Fortnite
Reading Ted Gioio’s opinion yesterday, who expressed his concerns when comparing other “cross-industry” acquisitions, I got the impression that this is not a good sign, that something is ending. Such marriages of independent, great ideas usually end in death of the smaller one. Time will tell if this will happen.
Ignoring even the difference between industries, because it can be calmed down by a certain logic behind it. The first show in Fortnite (Epic Games) has already taken place.
However, we have other threads here. As is the policy towards Apple Store, where both Epic and Bandcamp have a lot to gain if they managed to avoid the 30% margin imposed by Apple. Perhaps this is a tactical takeover to gain a strategic partner in the war against Apple. However, there seems to be more between the two companies:
“Despite the assurances of both companies, it’s hard to imagine the continuation of this initiative after Bandcamp is subordinated to a company known for its brutal work culture and sometimes consumer-unfriendly corporate strategy.” (weekly digest Water & Music)
Bandcamp in WEB3.0
Does the acquisition of Bandcamp by a Chinese tech mogul affect the independent music industry? At the moment it can be said that not yet. Bandcamp says one thing and Epic Games something else. Their assurances are slightly different. What about the community?
What about the community?
I have been saying for a while now that the audience that artists gathered on FB, IG, YT or Spotify is not their audience, it is the audience of platforms owned by specific companies and people. Even the content on social media (for which they paid for or took the time to create) does not belong to their creators. I also repeat that it’s worth creating your community based on a blog and a mailing list (I still hear laughter when I say it). And for almost a year I have repeated that tokenization and the world of WEB3 is a further-reaching solution that allows you to have more control over what artists create and over their audience. Has Bandcamp made such a move because it thinks it’s best for their users? Maybe they think so, but I have the impression that the artists are not fully taken into account here. Check for yourself what the comments are under this announcement: https://www.facebook.com/Bandcamp/posts/10158966253233160
Community 3.0 – Ownership!
Would such an action take place in WEB3? There is such a possibility, but a potential buyer of a social platform (let’s say Bandcamp 3.0) would have to negotiate with the entire community that has the right to vote thanks to tokens. A potential buyer would have to convince 51% of the community (DAO) to sell shares in DAO. Of course it is possible, but extremely difficult. If Bandcamp were the DAO, Tencent would have to negotiate with hundreds of thousands of people, not company management. WEB3 offers extraordinary possibilities. Today I just want to mention that the world of blockchain is not only “bitcoins”, but also a great opportunity to participate in the creation of the Internet. The music platform in WEB3 is not only aimed at artists and the audience, but also belongs to them. Artists and their audience become co-owners of the platform and have specific roles and voice in it. Tokenization and NFT, which have enormous culture-forming and social-creating power, are a great weapon against such practices.
Today, artists all over the world are wondering what will happen now? Will Bandcamp live up to its promises made today? Is their work safe? Will their lives relying on income coming from Bandcamp change soon? Can you trust Tencent who owns Spotify and Universal? I don’t know the answer to these questions.
But I know answers to other questions: is it possible to create, without fear that the platform you are linked to will suddenly disappear or change policy? Yes! Is it possible to share your creativity and receive a fair remuneration for it? Yes! Can you get rid of unnecessary intermediaries? Yes! Can fans of the band / artist help in their career development? Yes! Can they be rewarded for it? Yes! Can artists/ fans hold the future of the platform they are creating in their hands? Yes! All this is possible in WEB3.
The Case of Bandcamp – I think – will soon be used as an example of pivotal moment in the music market. I am aware of many threats, imperfections and disadvantages of WEB3. However, the WEB3 culture has something that brings hope. The grassroots power of creating art and community that I remember from the 80s and 90s. Today we have different tools, but the desires are the same: music, experiencing community, creating something together, creating something that has value, meaning, influence, something that no one will steal or take over, something that is completely ours and we decide about. WEB3, DAO, NFT and tokenization are modern tools that we have known for a long time, only in modern terms: web3 is simply a new internet, DAO is a community, NFT is an equivalent of CDs and vinyls, tokens are like money. Of course, very simplified.
At Candao we understand it!
By assuming the position of Head of Music at Candao, I was hoping that this was what I would be able to build – a place where artists do what they do best and can earn money every day, and their community not only “likes” them, but also benefits from their support! Fierce work is underway on the new shape of the music market. I’m not the greatest specialist in the music industry, but I know some. I have spent the last few years working with and talking to DIY artists and I got to know their problems well. The creators’ dream is simply to create. I understand it perfectly well. The situation with Bandcamp and Epic shows that we cannot be sure whether the platform with which we have linked the artistic life will survive and exist in a form favourable to us. FB or IG may be banned in Europe due to data protection regulations, Spotify changes its policy and promotes podcasts (moreover, it has never defined itself as a subscription-only music platform), Bandcamp becomes the property of a technological tycoon. Trusting companies whose owners can change the lives of millions of users with one decision is quite risky. It seems more and more people understand this already.
CanDAO is a platform that is starting slowly to propose entering the world of music 3.0. Where the artists’ content belongs to them, and they decide with whom and on what terms they will share it. Why slowly? Because we want to show you that it works. Not to overpromise, because that’s what artists have been promised at every “technological revolution”. The difference is that we invite you to co-ownership, to co-create and use it on the same basis as any other participant in the WEB3 world.
DAO is the strength of the community, it is the power of joint decisions and taking the best direction without fear of “the best decisions made for you”. The community decides what is best for it! Sounds like utopia? Maybe, but I think it’s worth the risk!
Polish version at www.panwinyl.pl
Register in the CANDAO ecosystem! When registering, follow the instructions:
Click the registration link: https://candao.io/?ref=0xee59a331bd2195d4619c1c46b438e94b16b7dc3b&token=CDO
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- 5 Candao Tokens (CDO) – NOTE YOU MUST HAVE A CRYPTO WALLET, WE SUGGEST METAMASK,
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