(Editor’s note: Some clarification from Epic Games and Songtradr has been added, as well as a more detailed timeline of how things went down.)
Well, it always felt this this was a foregone conclusion, but it’s finally here. After taking Bandcamp off of Epic Games’ hands a couple weeks ago, Vulture is reporting that the company’s new owner Songtradr has opted to offer jobs to roughly half — more than 100 members — of the music platform’s workforce.
The news comes weeks after Songtradr said they would be taking a more artist-friendly approach to compensating people for their music. And while there’s still time to find out exactly how the acquisition will shake out for Bandcamp as you and I know it, we do know that a large portion of the people working there no longer do so.
According to a statement from Epic Games, employees at Bandcamp had been aware for weeks that employees would receive job offers from Songtradr once the transaction was finalized. Employees were also told that anyone that didn’t receive offers would receive (actually pretty good) severance from Epic Games and would be included as part of that company’s layoffs that took place at the end of September. From September 28 until today, all Bandcamp employees were working under Epic Games still and were receiving full pay/benefits.
To that end, Songtradr warned workers on October 5 that “not all Bandcamp employees will receive offers.” As we now know today, that ended up being a significant cut of the workforce.
Songtradr released a statement following today’s actions:
“As of October 16 2023, Songtradr has officially acquired Bandcamp.
“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.
“After a comprehensive evaluation, including the importance of roles for smooth business operations and pre existing functions at Songtradr, 50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr. Those who didn’t receive offers will receive severance from Epic as part of their layoffs as communicated on September 28th.
“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.
“We are looking forward to welcoming Bandcamp into our musically aligned community. We share a deep passion for all things music and will continue to serve artists, labels and the fans who make it all possible.”
Still, this is a huge blow to a workforce that at one point unionized. As a result of today’s actions, multiple now former employees shared the news on social media.
For those that don’t remember, Bandcamp had been owned by video game company Epic Games. Then the latter company began experiencing some financial hardship, so that meant having to jettison things that apparently aren’t making enough money to justify their existence.
This sadly is another case of one company purchasing or merging with another, only for the employees of that first company ending up without a job. We’re hoping the folks that lost their jobs today manage to get back on their feet.
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