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Bandcamp Lays Off Half Of Its Staff Following Songtradr Acquisition
Christian Eede , October 16th, 2023 21:22

The redundancies were made company-wide covering areas such as editorial, engineering and support

Bandcamp has laid off 50 percent of its workforce after being acquired by music licensing company Songtradr.

News of the layoffs initially filtered through on X (formerly Twitter) with a number of members of staff revealing they had been let go. In a subsequent statement confirming the job cuts, Songtradr 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 percent of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr."

Responding to the statement, JJ Skolnik, until this week a senior editor at Bandcamp's editorial wing, Bandcamp Daily, said: "This makes it sound like they gave offers to all of us and 50 percent of us rejected them, which is not what happened. They gave offers to 50 percent of employees, and the rest of us were laid off."

The redundancies have affected all areas of Bandcamp, with staff laid off across editorial, engineering and support, among other sectors. Unconfirmed reports shared on X by now former members of staff suggested that just three members of Bandcamp Daily's editorial staff remained following the job cuts.

Responding to the layoffs, Bandcamp's union, Bandcamp United, which has still not been recognised by Songtradr, said: "Today, Epic Games' sale of Bandcamp to Songtradr was closed and at least half of Bandcamp's staff was laid off. This is heartbreaking. We love our jobs, the platform we've built, and the Bandcamp community.

"We're glad we have our union – coworkers who have each other's backs. We'll be moving together to decide what our next steps are. On Wednesday, we return to the bargaining table with Epic Games, and we'll keep you updated. Love and solidarity to the whole Bandcamp community. Thank you for your support."

Bandcamp, originally founded in 2007, was acquired by Epic Games for an undisclosed sum in March 2022. The gaming developer subsequently sold the company to Songtradr for an undisclosed amount last month while it was still locked in bargaining discussions with Bandcamp United.

Songtradr said last month that it will "continue to operate Bandcamp as a marketplace and music community with an artist-first revenue share." The company also claimed that it will keep initiatives such as Bandcamp Daily and Bandcamp Fridays, a monthly 24-hour period during which the company waives its fee share from sales on the platform.