Bandcamp adds ticketed live streams for virtual concerts

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Bandcamp launched a ticketed live stream service for virtual concerts yesterday called Bandcamp Live. The streaming service lets artists make money from live performances online, and may help some of the independent musicians who favor Bandcamp recoup money lost in canceled tours.

Artists will be able to set prices for tickets, notify followers when they go on sale, and offer a virtual merch table. There’s also an optional chat for fans while they watch the show. Any time a purchase is made, it will be announced in the chat.

Artists have shifted to live streams to recoup lost ticket sales during the pandemic. Bandcamp is using its existing store as a jumping-off point, by making it easier for artists to set up shows someplace they’re already selling their music.

This isn’t a complete streaming solution — any interested artist will still need broadcasting software such as OBS according to Live’s support pages. And that might be the hurdle for artists: live streaming requires technical knowledge they might not have; Bandcamp hasn’t done much to solve this other than offer a thorough support guide. There’s also the problem of moderating the chats — Bandcamp hasn’t provided virtual bouncers for them.

Bandcamp Live is available now as a limited release, with the plan to bring it to more artists over the next few months. Bandcamp says the service is free until March 31st, 2021. After that, it will take a 10 percent cut from each sale.

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