In today’s society, the way we interact with local culture and listen to music has dramatically changed. Whilst in used to be normal to take a trip to the local vinyl store to purchase the latest record that was in the charts at that moment, there are now a variety of streaming services such as YouTube, Spotify, and Apple Music that have rendered the average music store insignificant. Whilst in 2005, CD sales accounted for 85.6% of all music revenue in the US, today the average revenue for CD sales is only 5.5%. On the contrary, on-demand streaming now accounts for 53.45 of all US generated music revenue. Whilst this has meant a certain amount of adaptation has been needed in order for the music industry to continue to thrive, the demand for music and fan-related merchandise is just as popular as ever.
So how popular is music merchandise in the current climate? And what kind of merchandise is popular? Continue reading below to find out what the latest music merchandise is that you should be collecting…
Why is music merch so popular?
In recent years, as physical music product sales have declined, the importance of merchandise for fans has become even more important. Whilst it was common to be able to purchase vinyl or CD and treasure as a keepsake, today’s streaming services have meant that owning a physical piece of a musician or band has become less common; however, fans still need a way to physically connect with their idols.
As a result, music merchandise has become an incredibly important part of fan culture, in which it now creates a significant proportion of artists’ earnings. The decline in purchases of LP/EP’s, cassettes, and CDs and an increase in conglomerate owned streaming services, paid subscriptions and single downloads have meant artists now only get a proportion of what they were once earning. This has meant that the artist’s brand image and sense of self has become increasingly important in recent years, in which their self-image could make or break their career. From journalistic features, to autobiographies and other forms of merchandise such as branded clothing, bracelets and more, the artist’s image directly translates into this merchandise and determines the success of additional compensation, in relation to other artists.
Bolstering brand loyalty
In today’s technological society, there are a huge number of platforms in which artists can utilize these tools to promote their merchandise, create their personal brand, and promote loyalty. Some of the factors that influence customer satisfaction around merchandise products and which also affect consumer loyalty include variables such as price, promotions, and distribution channels.
On the contrary, some of the variables that can determine the success of a musician’s merchandise on the consumer side include consumer attitudes towards the brand, quality products and the environment. There are also a number of factors introduced by the digital era, which can pose a risk to the success of a musician’s merchandise, including illegal trade. With so much merchandise available and at little cost, the risk is that fans don’t appreciate true and quality merchandise from the original artist. Instead, they turn to cheaper products that offer similar value.
In order to counteract this, the artist needs to be versatile in their product offering and ensure they encompass a wide range of digital and offline platforms in their marketing and sales strategies.
What are some of the best merchandise available currently?
In an oversaturated market, artists need to be continually innovative in order to keep their offerings fresh and sales high. Some of the most widely recognized products recently include the following:
Jimi Hendrix slot game
Whilst the All-American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter may no longer be with us, his legend continues to live on in which Jimi Hendrix is still a popular name across the globe – with his music and merchandise still making a profit.
One of the most creative merchandise products for Jimi Hendrix includes the Jimi Hendrix slot game which you can check out a demo here. Packed with nostalgia and 60’s vibes, this game offers players the chance to reconnect with one of their favourite artists whilst enjoying the convenience of online casino games. It’s definitely worth checking out.
A bobble-head dog by 2 Chainz
With the popularity of characters such as Doug the Pug, it’s no surprise that the likes of 2 Chainz have jumped on the bandwagon by creating a bobblehead product of his dog Trappy!
Billie Eilish’s Monster Hoodie
Ahead of the young rising star’s latest album, Billie Eilish released the much-loved monster hoodie, which is now incredibly popular. This is a perfect example of how an artist builds brand loyalty in which Billie Elish is combining the newness of her music career with commercial aspects such as fan merchandise in order to further build on her personal brand.
Overall, whilst physical music sales are seeming to continue to decline, there’s no doubt that there’s some huge potential out there for developing an artist’s personal brand by using merchandise as an asset.