Fortnite maker Epic Games has been making a lot of noise in the music industry lately. It looks like that noise is about to get even louder.
Earlier this week, Epic raised $2 billion from Sony Group Corporation (Sony Music’s parent company) and KIRKBI, the holding company behind The LEGO Group.
And last month, the company fully acquired online music store and direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp, following its acquisition of music game maker Harmonix in Q4 2021.
Now, Epic appears to be working on integrating a new Creator Marketplace into its platform — with at least a partial focus on music.
According to a job posting published by the company and spotted by MBWEpic is expanding its digital store capabilities to music, via the hiring of a “Product, Store, Music Services Manager”.
Epic says the successful candidate “will partner with [our] the development and store team to drive the integration of products from a new market into Epic’s ecosystem and platform.
This person should have at least five years of experience in e-commerce, music services or creator marketplaces, while “experience and success” in expanding e-commerce products globally will be “one more”.
MBW has been talking about the Epic Games Store – the company’s video game download portal – for some time, and in particular what the music industry can learn from the way Epic runs it.
The Epic Games Store was launched in December 2018. Epic rewards game developers who sell their content on the store via a generous revenue split of 88% to 12%.
Online game retailers have traditionally charged a 30% commission on digital sales, so Epic’s decision to split revenue by those percentages was a major blow to video game developers and publishers — “artists” and interactive entertainment “labels,” if you will — who sell games through their store.
Elsewhere in the new job posting, Epic hints that its new music services hire will help create a market for creators that goes beyond just musicians.
The announcement states that the successful candidate will be “a key focal point in aligning strategy across multiple Epic teams” – suggesting a rapprochement of Epic’s music and interactive entertainment strategy.
Adding credence to this idea, the candidate must also: “Work tirelessly to ensure communication and focus on a singular set of common goals.”
In a statement released by Epic when it acquired Bandcamp last month, the company said Bandcamp’s platform will play an “important role” in Epic’s “vision to create a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more”. .
Epic added, “Fair and open platforms are critical to the future of the creator economy…Epic and Bandcamp share a mission to create the most artist-friendly platform that empowers creators to retain the most of their hard-earned money.”
Bandcamp itself charges independent artists using its platform only 10-15% commission rates as a retailer. On Bandcamp Fridaysit doesn’t charge anything at all.
“Epic and Bandcamp share a mission to create the most artist-friendly platform that allows creators to keep the majority of their hard-earned money.”
The language used in Epic Games’ communication around its takeover of Bandcamp has seen Epic double down on its not-so-subtle hints of wanting to make waves in the music business upon its acquisition. Rock band Harmonix creator in November 2021.
Upon acquiring Harmonix, Epic claimed that the expertise of the Harmonix team would help Epic “reimagine the way music is experienced, created and distributed”.
The question many in the music industry will be asking after today’s news: what will Epic’s new marketplace mean for creators in practice?
Epic’s new job posting states that the successful candidate will work with “[Epic] Store management, development team and other functions driving initiatives executing on a strategic plan initially focused on increasing user growth and engagement globally which will evolve into the creation of entirely new business initiatives and products”.
They will also be required to “work with stakeholders to pilot and develop strategies to improve markets for creators and content for creators and consumers.”
Epic Games states in the job posting, “We are looking for a Product Director who can scale as quickly as our product teams.
“In this role, you will be asked to partner with cross-functional groups across the organization, including development, product management, creative services, user experience, and more.
“We are looking for people who are innovative, organized and have exceptional communication skills.”The music industry around the world