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 Variety, the move was financially motivated: “Over the past few years the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased,” they said. “It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans. 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.”
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.