Is the music business leaving money on the table when it comes to merch?

Media Insight Consulting (MIC) is proud to release the second set of insights and statistics from its recently conducted UK Consumer Survey, “What Music Means to Me”, which focus on merchandise.

As music sales decline and audiences migrate from downloads to streaming, some in the music business have emphasised an importance on revenue streams such as from merchandise above the sale of music.  Our report aims to give music business decision makers an insight into the types of merchandise that get sold, who buys the different offerings, which genres of music are best for which type of merchandise, and which outlets are most popular.

30% of UK consumers have purchased merchandise in the last 12 months (compared to 60% who bought a CD)

Media Insight Consulting found that 30% of the UK bought merchandise in the last 12 months. Compare this over the same period to 60% of consumers who have brought a CD and it’s clear which revenue stream the average UK consumer is more likely to engage with.

Now let’s be clear, we are not saying don’t sell merch!  It’s important to maximise revenue from core fans and merch can be one way to do this, but we think that keeping the focus on selling music is essential ahead of the distraction of other revenue streams.

30% of UK consumers have purchased merchandise in the last 12 months. Source: MIC Consumer Insight Report Click To Tweet

Looking at those who buy, 16-24’s buy the most merchandise in the UK

Media Insight Consulting found that the 16-24 year old age group are the most active in the purchase of merchandise in the UK. 29% of 16-24’s have bought a t-shirt in the last 12 months. This encouraging figure is supported with 23% of 25-44’s having done the same.

When it comes to selling merch, gigs are the best opportunity

‘At the gig’ is the most popular merchandise outlet in the UK with 35% of merchandise buyers engaging this way. This is perhaps not too much of a surprise when one considers that at the gig is often the only time that fans come into contact with merch buying opportunities. The music business at large really could do more than it already is to work with promoters and get ‘merch plus ticket’ bundles on the table for fans.

MIC Survey Chart

There is a noticeable gender split with females much preferring ‘at the gig’ and males much preferring high street shops. Again we have to wonder if there is a lost opportunity being uncovered with this understanding of the statistics. High street stores, and independent music retailers in particular are looking for additional revenue streams and are the experts at point of sale marketing. Is the music business missing a revenue opportunity by not working more closely with bricks and mortar retailers?

Men and Women take different paths to buying Merch. Source: MIC Consumer Insight Report Click To Tweet

Targeted marketing and more in the full report.

The full report also sheds light on the online behaviours of merch buyers, as well as people who buy records and tickets to live.  It also looks at how fans like to be kept informed about new releases and how to target marketing effectively online – all cut by age, gender and musical genre too.

This release just skims the surface of a highly detailed survey; some of which will confirm your thinking, some of which will genuinely surprise you. All the information has been collected via a robust, nationally representative sample. This will allow you to make comparisons and compete more effectively as you make decisions in your music business.

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