Words & Music

Hello, my name is Ernesto Schnack. I play guitar and make music.

Bandcamp vs. Noisetrade: A Comparison

I heard about Noisetrade for the first time a few months ago, and have been meaning to try it out. I have all my music on Bandcamp and am very happy with it, but Noisetrade seemed to have a different spin on things.

The release of my new EP Jackson seemed like the perfect opportunity, so I put it on Noisetrade to see how it went.

Now these 2 services are really different beasts. Bandcamp is meant to be a store for all your music, which can be easily integrated into your site.

Noisetrade is more about offering a specific release for free so you can gather emails. You can also do this with Bandcamp, but the interface on Noisetrade makes it clearer that you’re giving an email in exchange for a download.

Another difference is that Noisetrade asks for tips, while Bandcamp gives you the option to pay something for the download. Semantics perhaps, but it has an effect on how the listener will react.

So what results did I get? Noisetrade definitely encourages more downloads. I got more downloads in the first week than I did with Bandcamp.¬†Unfortunately Noisetrade doesn’t provide listening stats, so I couldn’t really compare the listen vs download ratio.

However, even though I got more downloads via Noisetrade, I earn more money with Bandcamp with the same amount of downloads. Bandcamp’s interface clearly encourages listeners to support the artist. And you still get people’s emails…

So, what did I get out of this? Bandcamp works fine for me and i get better results with it. Though I think the interface could be tweaked to encourage people to download more. I’m no UI expert, but while Bandcamp clean design is awesome and focuses on the music, it can still be improved on.

Noisetrade seems like a good alternative for special releases…like an album for charity or something like that. In that case the whole tipping thing makes more sense.

This was admittedly not the most scientific of comparisons, just my experience. YMMY :)