Sandbox Issue 241: Music Merchandising Moves On

A T-shirt or a flimsy tour programme was the bulk of merchandise in the “old days” – mass-produced items to shift quickly when an act was on tour. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically in recent years – with a clear drive to be as environmentally aware as possible. Print-on-demand technology is also allowing acts to […]

Billboard reveals new chart rules for album/merch bundles

As part of a chart battle last year in the US between Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj, all hell broke loose. The latter used her Queen Radio show on Beats 1 to attack the former for using merchandise bundles to drive his album to number one ahead of hers. “Travis Scott is out here selling f***ing […]

LyricFind inks eBay deal for its lyrics-based merchandise

Lyrics-licensing company LyricFind announced its LyricMerch product back in November 2017: a site where people could order physical merchandise emblazoned with lyrics from its catalogue – with publishers (and thus songwriters) earning royalties. Now LyricMerch is getting an interesting distribution partner: eBay, which will be a new shop-window for LyricMerch, as well as a place for “targeted […]

YouTube launches Merchbar partnership for artist merchandise

YouTube is rolling out another feature for musicians with ‘Official Artist Channels’ on its platform. The company has signed a deal with Merchbar which will see artists able to “surface their official merchandise and vinyl alongside their videos… Fans watching videos from their favorite artists on their YouTube Official Artist Channels can now see a shelf with […]

Sony Music UK buys merchandise firm Kontraband

Major labels buying merchandise companies is an established trend now, from Universal Music’s Bravado division acquiring rival Epic Rights in January, and Warner Music paying $180m for German merch firm EMP in October 2018. The latest example was announced this morning: Sony Music UK is acquiring merchandise firm Kontraband for an undisclosed amount. The deal […]

New music revenues in India, from sync to digital merch

On the first day of the All About Music conference in Mumbai, IMI boss Blaise Fernandes cited an “underexploited” public performance market as one of the drivers of growth that will help steer India in its quest to become one of the world’s top ten biggest music markets by 2022. On the second day, at […]

While She Sleeps launch t-shirt based on Spotify royalties

British rock band While She Sleeps aren’t just a dab hand at this metalcore business: they also have a new sideline as open-source merchandise activists. The band have created a new t-shirt design displaying this message: “One t-shirt is the equivalent to 5000 streams on Spotify. 76% of all music in 2019 is streamed and […]

Sandbox Issue 233: Shopping Around: Making Online Stores Add Up

Lead: Working with D2C experts is one part of the business, but changes in how social media sites are structuring themselves can offer acts new ways to sell products to fans of all stripes. We look at where social platforms are being best used to sell merchandise, how casual fans (and not just superfans) can […]

Spotify launches exclusive black-history merchandise line

Spotify is launching a line of merchandise around its Black History is Happening Now initiative. “Rooted in modern music merch culture, the line is made up of a hoodie, jogger, pin, messenger bag, and several t-shirts,” explained the announcement of the limited-edition collection. It’ll be shown off this weekend at a pop-up exhibition in New York, with […]

Universal Music snaps up merch/branding firm Epic Rights

Universal Music Group’s Bravado division has been bolstered this week by the acquisition of merchandise and branding firm Epic Rights, for an undisclosed amount. Epic Rights works with the likes of Kiss, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, AC/DC and Britney Spears among other artists. CEO Dell Furano will be staying on as part of the acquisition. “I’m very proud […]

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