Musicians get the bulk of ticket sales with Bandcamp’s new live-streaming concert feature

The musician’s life is rarely an easy one. That goes double for these last, oh, eight or so months. Most artists who haven’t risen the ranks to rock-star levels make the lion’s share of their money from live shows, and that’s just not in the cards for now — and likely won’t be for some time.

Bandcamp has been something of a lifesaver for many artists who make fractions of a cent on streaming revenue. Among other things, the site has set up the wildly popular Bandcamp Fridays, wherein it waves its fees for one week a month. Now it’s getting into live streaming, as musicians look for ways to offer remote performances for fans.

The service is pretty well positioned to offer the feature. For one thing, it’s got goodwill going for it. For another, integration with existing services means fans get notified when a show is coming up. And all their goods are offered up for sale during the shows as a kind of virtual merch table where they can buy swag while still watching the performance.

The setup process is pretty bare bones and there’s even an optional chat on board, if the artist wants to engage in a bit of banter. Honestly, the most appealing thing here is probably the low overhead. Musicians set their own prices, there are none of the usual surprise fees and Bandcamp only takes 10% off the top — a fee it’s waiving altogether through March of next year.

The service has already lined up a bunch of high-profile indie acts, including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Pedro the Lion and Cloud Nothings. The feature is rolling out to users starting today.