Whether it’s Musicians, Podcasters or YouTubers, it seems like Merchandising has found a way to infiltrate the monetizing plans of every kind of creator on the internet. Musicians have been selling merch at Concerts for the longest time, but it looks like the business is slowly moving to the mighty interwebs. Often we see that an album announcement these days is usually followed by a merch announcement.
Merchandise website Fanjoy which is known for exclusively hosting YouTuber merch reportedly made over $14.5 Million in 2018 and has even moved into creating original collaborative fashion apparel lines like ‘List By Peyton’ and ‘Cande by Carly and Erin’.
Creator and host of hip hop podcast, No Jumper, adam22 recently took to Instagram to say “youtube money sucks, brand deals are hard to get but t-shirts… t-shirts will keep us alive and pumping out content. Thank you for all the support I love you and promise I’ll keep doing interviews and making content til I can’t do it anymore. Nojumper.com”
Besides being a side-source of revenue for most musicians, exclusive merchandise has also become a way for musicians to crowdfund their projects. For instance, in 2018, we saw Raghav Meattle successfully raise funds for his album ‘Songs From A Matchbox’ using the website Instamojo and supplying exclusive copies of his music and other merch items to the fans who contributed to the campaign.
Giving some insight on how the merchandising business goes on here in India, Uddipan Sarmah of the band, ‘aswekeepsearching’ in an exclusive statement to Loudest, said “The apparel line, Zia, is inspired by our second album, ZIA, and we have focused on keeping it unique, minimal and reflect the monotones experienced through our music. ZIA is all about being modern and edgy, made by homegrown tailors, designed and conceptualized by Tanaya Sharma and the band. With a focus on creating exclusive pieces for their fans, slow fashion is the undercurrent of ZIA. We take merchandise very seriously. As a band, we have always spent a lot of time and thought process behind our art and prints.
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With Zia, The whole idea was to wear our own apparel on stage, something that we are comfortable and confident about. What we felt would be best is if we could share the same with our fans. For now, we are keeping things limited as it is our first time in making apparel and we want to be sure to deliver great quality and finish, which I believe is a never-ending process. We will have the next design line out this year and all our updates will be on Instagram @iamziadotin.
This is not yet a revenue-generating model for us. Let us see how it shapes in the future. For now, we are enjoying spending time beyond music on this new venture of ours. A lot to come out with our new album ROOH on 27th Sept. Do follow the band @aswekeepsearching.”
Even though for some artists it might not be a revenue-generating operation yet, Merchandising is still a great way to reach your fans and to allow them to fashion in a way that helps them express who they are. Surviving as an artist can prove to be a little tough on the bank account but it is because of alternative revenue options like selling merch that not only keep them afloat but also allow them to retain creative control over their music and make what they actually want to make, essentially keeping them from “selling out” as people like to put it which I feel like is a crucial aspect of this concept that is often overlooked. So, the next time you find yourself near a merch stand at your favourite artist’s concert, make sure to purchase some items and support the cause.