In an age of streaming when even digital downloads seem like a quaint curio from times gone by you might think that physical music would be difficult to sell. Nothing could be further from the truth and the sale of physical products such as vinyl continues to rise. So, as a DIY musician you should definitely have physical music to sell. But what are the ways ways to sell this type of merch?
Well, CDs are the easiest option when it comes to selling your music in a physical format. Replication if you are ordering in large batches (500+) or duplicated if your numbers are much smaller, whatever you can manage always have CDs. Give extra tracks on a CD that aren’t available on streaming (instrumentals, demos, remixes etc.) as a further incentive to buy.
Vinyl is a premium product and a much sought after item but it is expensive to produce compared to CDs. Perhaps offer a pledge/crowdfunding/pre-order campaign before ordering a run so you know you can shift the units and not be left with expensive products you can’t sell. Vinyl can take months to manufacture so ensure that you build that into any release dates.
Cassettes are very much IN and compared to vinyl they are cheaper to produce. You can duplicate them in small batches (20+) but they are quite a niche product. This could work in your favour if you’re looking for a ‘novelty’ item to gain a bit of attention when marketing your music. If you release it only on cassette, that’s a big focus you can use in your marketing. Again, perhaps run a pre-order campaign so you only order the number you need.
Remember to personalise all your music products with autographs or some other individual decoration.
At a live show, you are selling these products as a memento of the night as much as a means of playing the music. Many people buy vinyl and never play the records! Make sure you are always at the merch table to sell them yourself. That way people have a personal connection between you and the physical product.
Got any questions about this post or how you can better market yourself?