Since its creation in 2008, Bandcamp has risen rapidly to become an essential arena for music online. While not without flaws, its artist-focused approach has consistently buzzed with potential. It’s one that we’ve tracked closely on Dummy, as we recently named our 20 favourite Bandcamps, and Adam Harper even saw the site in its current form as a vision of what a future music industry might look like.
One area that hasn’t always received as much attention is “fan” usability and absorption in the site. While it doesn’t take much browsing to end up on Bandcamp these days, besides the sometimes-used “Recommendations” page you often find that your Bandcamp experience comes to a halt once you’ve exhausted the particular artist or label’s page that you’d landed on.
Bandcamp have now announced site updates that look to improve on this – with developments set to allow for more developed user interaction. Central to this will be the creation of “Collection” pages, where users can profile all the music they’ve previously bought on the site, and a “Wishlist” section – allowing you to bookmark and return to music that’s caught your eye. Users will also be able to follow artists and like-minded fans, and leave comments and communicate with the artists they’ve listened to on the site.
At this point you’ll need to have bought music from Bandcamp before being invited for a fan page – but this does signal the site sticking by their principles for an environment where artists receive payment for the music they share. The fact that the site estimates that since launching the changes in a Beta version music purchases have risen by 40% indicates that the updates could prove profitable for Bandcamp and artists alike.