Digital Music Purchases: Qobuz or Bandcamp

Hi all,

When I really enjoy an album I want to support the artist and streaming does not really cut it. But I am a little unsure about where my money is better put: Qobuz Download Store or Bandcamp. Bandcamp is pretty transparent about their royalty split and Qobuz is not but the Qobuz purchase experience is a little more comfortable in my opinion.

What is your take on this topic and is there a preferred digital music store that you use?

If it’s to support the artist, bandcamp without hesitation.


As Dirk said, it’s Bandcamp everytime for artist split.
If you are also aware of Bandcamp Friday as well, then all the money (minus payment processing fees) goes to the artist as Bandcamp give their cut on those days.

The only downside of Bandcamp is sometimes you don’t know the quality until you buy and occasionally it will only be CD quality (never lower) when you can get 24/48 or 96 on Qobuz.

It’s my first stop for any music purchases, and if it is not there then I look on Qobuz


Thanks @Dirk-Pitt and @Michael_Harris.

That is what I thought. But yeah I find it a little annoying that Bandcamp is not clearer when it comes to quality of the files. I recently bough an album which was 16bit96 which I found very strange…

I have some of those and I had to question Bandcamp about it the first time I got one, but apparently it is a thing, even if not common.

I currently have 5 albums in my basket awaiting checkout, and 95% of the time you get the best quality available which is great.

I also subscribe to Qobuz Sublime as of early December to get discounts from that, but it makes up 5%, with physical Media making up the rest.


If you have a doubt or a question concerning the quality of an album, do not hesitate to ask the question to the artists, in principle they answer.

I have 150 Bandcamp albums and only one had a lower quality than the best Qobuz one (red book vs 48/24). Most indie bands upload the exactly same FLAC files everywhere. There is still a lot not on Bandcamp, that’s why I keep my Qobuz sublime subscription.

I too prefer Bandcamp to Qobuz if I find what I want there, but it annoys me when I get higher resolution than CD - which is most of the time. I always buy CD quality on Qobuz.

And we never need more than CD quality (yes I know)

I just like to know what I am getting and that would be my only complaint about Bandcamp, other than that I love the service and have bought almost 370 albums on the service :roll_eyes:

As we don’t have Qobuz here in Canada then obviously it’s Bandcamp - always my first port of call due to the better deal for artists - I’ve bought more than 300 albums and counting there. Also I learn about quite a bit of new music from their best of the month/year lists etc. I do buy digital from other sources (7digital, ProStudioMasters, etc.).

I can’t reliably distinguish even MP3 from highres, so I kind of get your stance against selling the big files in general. There is at least a theoretical case for 48/24 by skipping the 16 bit dithering before DSP. That’s why I usually download those over red book or higher resolution in Qobuz where this is possible.

I’m sure if enough people ask for it, Bandcamp will add downsampled FLAC files to their download options. It’s trivial to do it yourself with ffmpeg for example until then (but I get that’s not your point). At least you are not paying more for highres, it’s really just you downloading what the artist uploaded.

I agree. The fact that Bandcamp offers only one format and one price - as opposed to a tiered model with higher prices for higher resolutions - makes it kind of ok for me. It may have been a compromise, I don’t know. I don’t bother to down-convert.
Regarding 48kHz sampling rate, that originated in video, where it was desired to have a rate that was a common multiple of frame rates in use (24, 25, 30, 50, 60) but not lower than CD. It had nothing to do with quality. Also, dithering to 16bit is done during mastering, after post-production. For playback DSP purposes, only bit depth extension is required, after which you don’t need to go back to 16bit, as DACs accept 24 or 32 bits.

I prefer Bandcamp as a more direct way to support the artists. A couple of quirks:

  1. Some small labels use CD quality on Bandcamp, but higher res on Qobuz. It’s probably a bug in their workflow, and I’ve sometimes got the hires tracks directly from the label/artist when I asked.
  2. Intakt (and others?) issue two releases on Bandcamp, one cheaper CD quality and another at whatever resolution they got from the studio.
1 Like

I am also a Bandcamp first, Qobuz Sublime second. If I can’t find what I am looking for between those two sources, I will check the artist/label official sites.

Each Christmas, my wife gets me a gift certificate to Bandcamp, and I have NO trouble spending it on digital downloads. I like to buy complete catalogues of artists, so sometimes I end up spending a chunk of change on Qobuz to either fill holes or get a significantly better deal on a specific album.

On bandcamp, some artists offer both CD & HiRes formats.

Are they the same price? Do you have a link?

No, not at the same price. Some examples :

Thank you all for your various input. I think this is a very enlightening discussion.

As stated before, Bandcamp first, if available, then Qobuz for the sublime discount. If the files are only available on one store, then I have no choice. Don’t forget at this point to check 7diigital, which can have surprising prices especially on jazz and non top of the pop content.

1 Like

Thanks. I guess it’s what the artists/labels offer. It’s a shame they do this on Bandcamp, but hey, every other store I buy from is like that…

1 Like