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Entries in Keys to selling more merchandise (3)


The Secrets To Money and Merchandise in The Digital Age

The music industry is a mere shell of what it once was. The sudden influx of technology has altered the way the music industry itself and those associated with it conduct business. The old business model had artists chomping at the bit to get signed by a label. The downside for the artist was that once they signed that piece of paper they belonged to the label. It was up to the label to market, promote and most importantly fund the album. Funding the album entailed them paying for the studio time, hiring on extra musicians and hand picking the top engineers and producers for the project. This process wasn’t about flaunting money, it was about making money. The goal for all involved was to have the first product do well. The success or in some cases the failure would decide whether the artist and their label could continue their relationship and work on future projects.

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Make Your Merchandise Personal: Make More Money

A few years ago I managed a local Portland artist called Sean Flinn & the Royal We. Sean had just finished recording his first full length album, but wanted to wait until the following fall to release it. We started to work together in the winter and he needed something to build some buzz through the first half of the year. I suggested a digital EP with an exclusive track that wouldn’t be on the full length. Sean was in a number of notable projects in Portland, but he still needed to promote his own music. Releasing a digital EP would help garner revenue from a low overhead version of the upcoming album. Sean had also set up a short tour through west coast to prep that area for an album tour later in the year. We knew we could just sell the digital EP via Bandcamp, but he wanted a physical option to sell at live shows. This became a bit of an obstacle.

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How to Market Your Band Effectively

So you’ve managed the (not inconsiderable!) task of getting your mates together, figuring out who can play what instrument, discovering that your vocalist can’t actually sing and hurriedly recruiting another, and you’re well into practicing for your first gig. Lamentably, however, most music scenes are not very accommodating to new talent. It is important to remember that it is less a case of “build it and they will come” and more a case of “build it, market it and they will come”. Skip the marketing, and the reality is that you’ll be disappointed to find there will be no-one at your first gig. So how can you ensure your band’s popularity?

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