Music artists merchandise: how are they working now?

The music industry has changed in different ways in its history. Technological developments and consumers habit changes are behind this. Nowadays, music is more than just music. It implicates promotion, advertising, design, events and press, amongst other parts of the industry, like sales, where music artists merchandise is implicated.

Merchandise changed the industry

Sales of physical records are decreasing. Therefore, record labels and music artists need to push in different ways to balance and generate the same amount of benefit. This is when music artists merchandise joins, because merchandising is currently as worthy as ever.

Sales of music merchandise reached $3.1 billion in 2016. This is a 10% increase from 2015

– Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association

However, this growth is not new. From the beginning of music bands, groups and record labels started to sell their own t-shirts. Then, people started to wear them to go to their concerts. We talk about the rock t-shirt market, where we could find groups like Nirvana, Slipknot, The Beatles and Kiss, to name a few. Progressively, people began to introduce these t-shirts in their common use clothes, up until now. Currently, people usually wear and use music artists merchandising.

It doesn’t matter the genre, if you like an artist and it releases cool merchandising, you will think about buying it. Sometimes, you don’t even have to know the artist – if you like the t-shirt, you can wear it too. This started happening with The Rolling Stones or Nirvana in the early 2010s and still happens to the present date, as some shops – Pull and Bear, H&M, Bershka… – continue to sell clothes in collaboration with artists such as Rosalía, The Beatles or Shawn Mendes.

Kendall Jenner wearing a t-shirt of the band ‘Slayer’

In addition to this, music artists merchandise is being developed by music bands and solo artists in different ways. Some of them are working with other brands to launch their collaborative collection, while others are developing their own stuff.

Hot music artists merchandise

Music artists are investing in that because they are aware of what they can earn apart from money. Creating a great collection is another way to grow as an artist, because it generates reputation. To understand how music artists merchandise has grown and how they are developing their brands, we bring you a list of cool merchandise that is popular now:

The Weeknd

The author of singles like ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ and ‘The Hills’ just released his new album ‘After Hours’, and he released with it a whole collection around that same concept. After having collaborated with brands like H&M in his last album, The Weeknd decided to launch his own merchandise this time. However, he collaborated with Vlone in some pieces of this collection.

The Weeknd is one of the most rated music artists in terms of merchandise

Billie Eilish

Last Billie’s merchandise follows their own style and uses the same colour that she always uses: neon green. In this collection, Billie Eilish presents a a whole line that includes hoodies, sweatshirts, t-shirts and accessories like necklaces or the beanies she wears.

Taylor Swift

Her merchandise includes accessories, clothing and stationery related to her last album ‘Lover’. The shop where she sells this also includes her previous collections.

Justin Bieber

The singer released his last album ‘Changes’ in February and he used the cover artwork to create some merchandising. In addition to this, he has in his shop diverse accessories and packs with the album. He also owns a brand, called Drew House.

Ariana Grande

The successful artist Ariana Grande has in her shop the merchandising of her albums ‘Thank U, next’ and ‘Sweetener’, but she also sells merchandise of herself and her tours. The last collection ‘Swt’ – about the last tour – includes some tees, hoodies, posters and accessories, like transparent fanny packs or transparent tote bags.

Miley Cyrus

The controversial artist has in her shop merchandise where she express her essence: the freedom. With messages like ‘Don’t f**k with my freedom’ or selling condoms, she shows one more time that she doesn’t care and that she does whatever she wants.

The most controversial music merchandise related to the freedom of Miley Cyrus

Post Malone

POSTY CO is the brand of Post Malone, where he launches the merchandise related with his career. Currently, the last collection shows products related to ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’. With pastel and bright colours and a sad aesthetic, the collection brings different apparel around Post Malone’s essence.

Post Malone shows how he is developing his image and his merchandise

Don Diablo

One of the top ones in the electronic dance music industry in terms of merchandising and branding. The owner of the record label ‘Hexagon’ has different pieces in his shop. All of his products are meticulously designed and there is a huge thought process behind them.

One of the best music artists merchandise in the music industry.

Cruz Cafuné

The Spanish rapper released ‘Moonlight922’ 4 months ago, but in a few months he is going to release his first collection related to the album. For that, he prepared an original look book where the team present how the merchandise is going to be.

Would you wear them? Do you have merchandise from your favourite artists?

Meanwhile, elsewhere, ‘Mega-Brands Doing Their Bit’, ‘The Songs That Shape Us’, ‘Our 6 Favourite SS20 Trends’

By Jose Jurado