To help support artists during the pandemic in 2020, Bandcamp began waiving commissions for purchases made on the first Friday of every month. And after supporting Bandcamp Fridays throughout 2021, Bandcamp’s next commission-free shopping day is returning on February 4th.
In total, the company says its 17 Bandcamp Fridays to date have paid out more than $70 million to artists and labels during the pandemic, with more than 800,000 customers participating since its start in March 2020. Following the first Bandcamp Friday in 2022, the next slate of commission-free sales days will take place on March 4th, April 1st and May 6th. And in case there’s any doubt if it’s a Bandcamp Friday or not, there’s even a helpful website that can quickly sort things out.
Bandcamp says that during its commission-free sales days an average of 93 percent of revenue makes its way to musicians, with the remaining 7 percent being reserved for payment processors. Meanwhile, on a regular day, around 82 percent of sales get passed on to artists and labels, resulting in around a 10 to 11 percent cut for Bandcamp (which is still significantly lower than the standard 30 percent commission tech giants like Apple and Google receive from their app stores).
Sadly, because there’s no clear end in sight to the pandemic, it remains to be seen what happens to Bandcamp Fridays going into the summer and fall. And with COVID-19 infections peaking right now in several parts of the world, it’s really anyone’s guess how long these no-commission sales days might have to continue before we can safely return to large in-person events.