Bandcamp loses half its staff after being bought by Songtradr

Only 58 of Bandcamp's employees received a contract offer to stay on.

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Half of Bandcamp's employees have lost their jobs following the company's acquisition by Songtradr, according to SFGate and Variety. Songtradr spokesperson Lindsay Nahmiache has admitted to SFGate that only 58 of Bandcamp's 118 employees received an offer during the transition. A remaining employee has confirmed Nahmiache's statement to the publication, reporting that half of the company has disappeared from its Slack chatroom and that the account owned by co-founder and former CEO Ethan Diamond has been deactivated. Some former employees who didn't receive offers have taken to social networks to reveal that they had been kept in the dark and were in limbo over the past couple of weeks.

Based on Songtradr's statement to Engadget, the move was financially motivated: "As of October 16 2023, Songtradr has officially acquired Bandcamp," they said. "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."

What the spokesperson said echoes an email written by Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire to the remaining Bandcamp employees. He said that Bandcamp has not been healthy financially, and that while its revenue has been consistent, its operating costs have "significantly increased making it impossible to continue running the business the way it has been."

Songtradr purchased Bandcamp from Epic Games in September, merely a year and a half after the game developer's surprise acquisition of the music company. Bandcamp employees had organized under Epic, and they're now fighting for Songtradr to recognize their union. Members told SFGate that they will now negotiate severance packages with Epic, while nonmembers will receive six months of severance pay.

Update, October 17, 2023, 9:42AM ET: This story has been updated to include Songtradr's statement to Engadget.