Less than 24 hours after closing its acquisition of Bandcamp, new owner Songtradr has hacked approximately 50% of staff in a brutal round of layoffs at the music platform, following a “comprehensive evaluation” just three weeks after the sale of Bandcamp was announced.
One laid off employee stated that just three staffers were left at Bandcamp Daily, the editorial team responsible for curating the best new music and profiling artists on the site.
Just one week ago, Songtradr proudly boasted in a statement that Bandcamp Daily was among the site features that would be preserved after the sale. It seems they didn’t lie — they just meant “preserved” in the funereal sense.
Zombie Bandcamp was created out of the actual Bandcamp, by all accounts a thriving business when it was sold to Fortnite creator Epic Games just 17 months ago. After immediately deploying the company’s assets to participate in Epic’s legal battle with Apple and Google over fees in their app stores, Epic lost interest in the company. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney announced the sale of Bandcamp to music licensing firm Songtradr in a single 10 sentence in a memo otherwise concerned with Epic’s own layoffs three weeks ago.
Last week, pressure by Bandcamp United, Bandcamp’s employee union, lead to public revelations that employees had been compelled to re-apply for their jobs. A statement by Songtradr to The Register today framed the end result of this procedure as an announcement that “50 percent of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr.”
Bandcamp United stated in an update that “at least” half of Bandcamp’s staff has been laid off. “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.”