- Music healing concept by Bandcamp co-founder, Ethan Diamond.
- Epic Games' acquisition and layoffs at Bandcamp.
- Sale of Bandcamp to Songtradr and employee transitions.
- Remaining employees face layoffs and severance negotiations.
- Unexpected company-wide changes post-sale announcement.
Music and Healing: The Bandcamp Story
The late musician Prince once profoundly stated, "Music is healing". He believed in the power of music to heal and uplift, a sentiment shared by many, including Ethan Diamond, co-founder of Bandcamp.
In an interview with NPR in 2020, Diamond spoke of his vision to create an independent digital music platform that would bring the healing power of music to everyone. However, recent developments at Bandcamp might test this belief.
Epic Games and Bandcamp
Epic Games, the company that acquired Bandcamp just a year ago, announced the layoff of approximately half of its staff. This comes after finalizing its sale to music licensing company Songtradr, amidst large-scale cuts at the Fortnite maker.
A former employee revealed that there has been no communication from Diamond since the sale was announced.
According to a statement from Songtradr, the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased over the past few years. To ensure a sustainable and healthy company, some adjustments were necessary. After a comprehensive evaluation, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr.
The Rest of the Team
The remaining employees, roughly 120 of them, will be laid off by Epic and receive six months of severance. This is happening while Bandcamp's union continues to negotiate with the billion-dollar company for better terms.
Epic Games purchased Bandcamp in March 2022 for $273 million. However, two former employees claim that even Diamond was not aware of Epic's plan to sell Bandcamp to Songtradr until the night before the deal was announced.
Epic Games announced its plan to divest itself of Bandcamp in a blog post that revealed approximately 830 layoffs across the company. The employees of the independent music platform, popular among fans for buying and supporting video game composers directly, were left uncertain about their future at Songtradr once the sale was complete.
Two former employees claimed they were immediately logged out of Epic's company-wide Slack channel once the deal was announced. They also stated that most of the staff lost access to the tools needed for their regular duties, halting almost all functions within Bandcamp.
During this period, Bandcamp's union, representing about half of the company, called on Songtradr to voluntarily recognize the union while negotiating with Epic over the layoffs.
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