(Illustration by CaliDoso)
A month ago Bandcamp announced they are joining Epic Games.
All takes are done on this, but I'd like to pause to reflect a bit as a creator and a founder of a creator tool.
Acquisition of platforms and communities is not a surprise.
New creator tools lack the large audience and algorithmic viral distribution of big tech companies.
At the same time they have the community and mission big tech doesn't have.
Mission comes in handy when you need to acquire creators as community belonging becomes more of a priority for creatives online.
I found two takes online the acquisition and both ring true to me.
The Honest Broker a newsletter about music, art and books shared this on their coverage of acquisition.
"The real problem is that they [big tech platforms] have higher priorities than music. Apple would give away music for free if it could sell more devices."
"All signs indicate that music is getting turned into what businesses call a ‘loss leader’. In this kind of environment, music isn’t expected to make much money, because these tech titans can earn far more by selling related products and services."
MUSICX another newsletter that operates at the intersection of web3, creator economy and music writes:
"The question is, do we want the metaverse to be operated by corporations who have to prioritize their shareholders over anyone else, or do we finally move towards artist-owned models? Bandcamp, unfortunately, appears to have chosen the former."
Someone pointed out a painful truth in the comments of the Honest Broker's newsletter: "being pro-creator is not profitable". Which is the same take as why we don't pay for access to Facebook or Instagram. Why? The users bring everything those platforms need.
I don't have a nice conclusion to this story. I'm happy to seem some anxieties as to corporations owning our creative culture.
Which gives me a quite hope that as we learned that "if the product is free then you're the product" after 10 years with Facebook.
We'll learn that creators are building a culture and not a product for tech companies.
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