Stuff about Merchandising in Aus

I’ve been reading some heavy textbooks on the Australian music business, particularly “Music Business” by Shane Simpson. Recently I’ve focused on merchandising, (partly because if I can develop my cartoons I might look at selling them DIY later on)

For smaller bands, the advice is not to sign with a merchandiser too soon -as a lesser-known act you get a smaller split and less attention from the company, best to do it DIY. With this you can have more control over quality, price and the image you are presenting, allowing you to adjust and save on not having a middleman.

As you consider a merchandiser it’s important to consider the following:

<> The type of music you play, and your image

<> The type of fans you appeal to (age group, demographic etc…)

<> The type of merchandise that will appeal -T-shirts, booklets, mugs, posters etc…

<> If you’re selling it on tour -the size and types of venues etc…

<> The quality of the products, including the artwork and graphics

<> Potential support from a record company etc…

It might be possible to gain an advance to help fund a tour if the company believes it will make its money back from sales. The company may demand a guarantee that a portion of advance is payable if all goes pear-shaped.

The artist/band might take a percentage of sales income (based on gross minus GST) or a set dollar amount per unit. According to S.Simpson (Music Business, Third edition, 2006 Omnibus press) midrange artists will get around 20-30% of the split.

Also, if your record company insists on having your merchandising rights for a merchandising advance, make sure no income from merchandise is used to recoup the recording advances and expenses.


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