CARY – Conventional wisdom since Epic Games’ recent purchase of popular online music site Bandcamp has been that it is another step in Epics cofounder and CEO Tim Sweeney’s vision for a multi-dimensional metaverse. Maybe not.
Rather, the reason could be linked to Epic’s antitrust suits against Apple and Google over the tech giants’ denial of permitting outside firms such as Epic to use their own apps for sales of virtual merchandise in the Apple and Google app stores.
So says Tim Ingraham, founder of Music Business Worldwide on the firm’s Talking Trends podcast.
“Epic now owns an online retailer that charges its customers just 10-15% commission, and sometimes nothing,” says Ingham, referring to the 30% rates charged by Apple and Google. “But that retailer has paid out around a billion dollars to artists, and crucially, it says that it has long been profitable.
“Epic can now point to Bandcamp as what it might claim to be proof of Apple or Google’s excessive commission fees. In return, Apple or Google won’t be able to attack Bandcamp for running on a broken model, or being unprofitable… because it’s not.”
That said, Ingham added: “This all leads to me to believe that the key factor in Epic Games buying Bandcamp had nothing to do with the metaverse or music’s place within it, as trendy a topic as that may be.
“I believe this was simply a strategic buy for Epic because it gives the company a powerful asset in its fight to force Big Tech to reduce commission rates on their app stores.”