Bandcamp vs Streaming

02021-04-16 | Uncategorized | 4 comments

A little math for a Friday morning. :-)

I sell my albums for $9 on Bandcamp. This is a good and fair price point, I think. For those of us who prefer high definition files it is a very good deal, because digital vendors of hi def albums will usually charge around $16 per album, and often more. You own the music in the file form you prefer and you can download a booklet in the form of a PDF.

Let’s look at the streaming equivalent. Apple pays $0.0056 per stream. Google is not far below that at $0.0055. Spotify pays $0.0032 per stream.

If you buy my album on Bandcamp you are giving me the equivalent of streaming an entire album of ten tracks 163 times on Google music or a massive 281 times on Spotify. There are very few albums I have listened to, in their entirety, nearly 300 times. Listening to an entire album once a week it would take you five and half years to listen 281 times. Listening to the album once a month it will take over 23 years.

This does not illustrate how expensive an album is to buy, but merely how ludicrously low streaming rates are. It’s great to be able to access so much music through a streaming subscription and I use such a subscription myself. Knowing what the streaming rates are I make a point of buying the music I love. I even tracked down a CD of the album “Dokunmak” by the brilliant Turkish fretless guitarist Erkan Ogur.

A big thank you to everyone who buys my music on Bandcamp. You will always get the best quality and I will always release new music to Bandcamp many months BEFORE it appears on streaming services.


  1. JaneParhamKatz

    Thank YOU, Ottmar

  2. Boris

    I got my hands on the Dokunmak CD 2 x and gave one away as a present :-) Hard contender if my top 5 all time fav albums (next to 4 of OL, I guess).

    Btw, any thoughts on this non-fungible token thing? Is that helpful?

    • ottmar

      Nothing wasted and nothing missing on Dokunmak. It also shows that a perfect album may in fact not be popular, may not sell a lot of copies, and may not win awards. It’s a brilliant record and taught me a lot. Good choice Boris!

      NFTs may become a cool thing… eventually. Now it’s just ridiculous. A single pixel went for a ton of money. It’s as if people are competing to see how stupid it can become. Once it calms down and there is a more environment friendly way to produce these things it could open the way for music/video to be sold as art. I would love to sell the “guitar + pipe” video as a NFT and would love to create things like that in the future. Making things for YouTube NEVER appealed to me. The ads! The cluttered presentation. But yes, NFT *could* become a cool thing.

  3. Liz in Ohio

    Thanks for sharing this information! Often I will buy an album I really love but still stream it on a streaming service. I buy it so I can keep it always, but I stream it because I figure it helps the artist if I stream AND buy. Maybe it’s not that much help. If lots of people do this then maybe it helps. I am so sad that people do not want to pay for art anymore. We cannot have brilliant artists if we do not support them so they can make a living by making their art.


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