Why Does the World Give Us Platforms to Love?

2023.11.12 by Josh Erb; 361 words.

Feeling really down about the sudden death of the Bandcamp I fell in love with[1]. Another reminder that the Marketâ„¢ does not care about consumers or creators, it only cares about getting money out of its investments[2]. It's inevitable that culture will become stagnant and die when the only justification for art is its potential to make money.

Now, the company that bought Bandcamp has publicly stated that they "have no plans to change the platform experience." Not to be a frog about it, but we've been here before with these scorpions. We know how this story ends. You can't layoff of half the staff and only keep the ones that maintain the cash register and expect the experience to remain the same. As these vultures continue to make decisions informed by business incentives without any real understanding of the soul in the machine they purchased, the user experience will degrade. This one will be hard to pin down, because it won't be reflected by changes in the interfaces. It will be reflected by absences. A budding scene somewhere isn't written about. Albums curated by a machine with no taste. The vultures will notice that engagement is down and assume that the business is failing because it's flawed. The waters will once again churn with rumors of impending cuts.

As I'm writing this, I'm listening to an album I only discovered because of Bandcamp's editorial work. Kara Jackson's Why Does The Earth Give Us People To Love? It's beautiful and moody and would not be in my life if it weren't for the people so carelessly discarded by Songtradr.

Only one thought consoles at moments like this: Art and music will live on long after the destruction of market capitalism is a distant memory. Its glistening fangs no longer feasting on the fruit given freely by our yearning souls.

  1. For the unaware: Songtradr lays off 50% of Bandcamp employees

  2. I guess you could say I'm suffering from "ROI'd-rage"

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