Berklee Online Open Mic Series: Benji Rogers on Best Practices for Merch

This is a guest post by Berklee Online music business instructor Chandler Coyle. Chandler is one-half of the fan experience agency Music Geek Services and is also the publisher of the The Coyle Report a free music marketing newsletter that provides tips, tricks, and solutions on fan engagement. Click here for a free subscription to The Coyle Report.

Hi everyone!

PledgeMusic’s Benji Rogers was recently interviewed by Berklee Online’s Mike King at the Boston campus of Berklee College of Music. Mike is the course author of various music business courses offered by Berklee Online, the online extension of Berklee.

This first video in the 4-part interview series is focused on: Best Practices in Merch. One of the courses authored by Mike for Berklee Online, Music Marketing 101, covers merch best practices extensively and will feature Benji Rogers as a guest instructor for the Fall Term.

Benji and Mike discuss best practices for merch related to the three channels that most artists should be concerned with: merch booths at live shows, online stores, and, of course, PledgeMusic / direct-to-fan pre-order campaigns (as Exclusives).

Key Takeaways for Best Practices for Merch

  • Don’t forget to ask your fans what they want to buy.
  • Vinyl, CDs, t-shirts, and posters also sell well online and at the merch table.
  • PledgeMusic has noticed that for most campaigns 75% of fans typically want vinyl over CDs.
  • Vinyl is definitely hot these days, just keep in mind the lead-time, weight/bulkiness, and cost/unit.
  • Vinyl serves a dual purpose of being both a music delivery vehicle and a physical poster-like memento of the show.
  • Fans will want to talk to you at your merch booth and will likely buy merch as a physical memento of the show.
  • Remember to coordinate merch strategy and available items across all 3 channels: 1) live shows, 2) online stores, and 3) PledgeMusic campaigns.

Stay tuned as next week we’ll feature Part 2 of this 4-part Berklee Online Open Mic Series: Benji Rogers on Best Practices on Pricing.

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