As of roughly three weeks ago, Bandcamp sales have been included in ARIA chart calculations. According to Bandcamp curator, Andrew Jervis, “ARIA now do actually count sales. They haven’t made the official announcement, but they started as of about three weeks ago,” Jervis said in an interview with fasterlouder “Hopefully that helps out the King Gizzards and Courtney Barnetts who do sell a lot of music on Bandcamp.”
Whilst we don’t condone the purchase of anything of, or pertaining to Courtney Barnett, this will certainly augur well for independent artists Australia-wide. The aforementioned stoner rock outfit, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard‘s debut album Nonagon Infinity charted in the top 20 in May, despite well over a thousand Bandcamp purchases being invalid.
There will almost certainly be more details released when an official announcement is made by ARIA, but in the meantime, consumers of independent music all over the country can now be secure in the knowledge that they are now not only supporting their favourite bands financially but helping their chart position as well. This also represents a very real threat to the ascendancy of major digital music retailers, should more artists choose to remain on Bandcamp’s far more user-friendly, profit-friendly, and overall far superior platform, instead of feeling obliged to fill the already overflowing coffers of Apple, Google, and Amazon, among others.
The real question, though, is eligibility. Given that this is very early days, and we haven’t had an official statement yet, it remains to be seen as to what the qualifier is, price-wise. It would seem patently unfair, for instance, if one band sold 3,000 units at a dollar, and out-charted a band that sold 2,500 at $5. In any case, this is a very progressive move, and one that should see independent bands taken far more seriously than they currently are. Heady days, indeed!