It is the age-old question whose answer is ever changing, especially in today’s world of digital downloading – How can we sell more music?
While there’s indeed money to be made selling music in the itunes environment, record labels and indie bands alike are in search of ways to keep the crowds interested in buying music in store or indeed at the event.
A promo card containing a download code and the band’s brand is one tactic in the works by several music merchandisers today. The approach offers an inexpensive method of capitalizing on event sales. However, once the code on the card has been used, the card offers little value to the user outside of it being a show souvenir.
Some bands are choosing to offer their music exclusively via online channels such as itunes or allofmp3. The exclusive approach, while proving profitable for established bands, may not be the most optimum choice for younger bands wanting to enhance their name brand and sounds via more hands on, tangible, grassroots-friendly methods.
One area of music merchandising that is catching the attention of retailers and consumers is flash drives. With the Gen X and Millennial markets looking to flash drives already as a reliable tool for transferring, protecting and mobilizing their digital files, music flash drives are a strategic move to increase music sales. The powerful aspect of flash drives is that they offer the band a chance to promote videos, pictures, hyperlinks to their website and even unique hyperlinks to help provide valuable insight into the buying and/or online tendencies of their fan base.
Steve Thaemert, Founder of Indiedrive.com, a leader in the online music flash drive marketplace, said it was flash drives for sale at a live concert event that inspired him to start his now growing business. “Being a musician myself, our band had CD’s out on the table as usual. But I looked over at the other band who was also playing that night and they were sold out of merch. Without sounding immodest, I know it wasn’t that their music was that much better. What I did notice was that they were selling their music on flash drives!!”
Aderra.net, another pioneer in the music flash drive market, is also enjoying strong demands for their products. “The combination of live music and the growing popularity of flash drives are why fans are excited to buy our products,” says Ed Donnelly, Founder of Aderra. His company offers live recording of music concerts and other events on flash drives, available to the audience immediately after the event.
It can be argued that while these latest trends in music merchandising are exciting, traditional CD sales still outpace them. However, not a music industry soul can deny the reality that CD sales are slipping at an alarming rate. So whether it’s a digital download offered via passcode card or branded flash drives preloaded with a band’s music as well as other digital content they wish.