Music Industry

Which artists make the most from online merch sales? (WARNING: Big numbers ahead!)

Back in the day, buying a T-shirt or some piece of band swag at a concert was often an afterthought. Maybe you wanted an extra souvenir of the night beyond your ticket stub. If there was money left over, then maybe you’d grab a shirt or something on the way out.

Since then, though, artist merch has turned into a multi-billion dollar business. And with the collapse of physical music sales, merch has become a vital revenue stream for every artist. And you don’t even have to go to a show anymore. Everyone operates their own online stores.

In another one of those surveys that are actually commercials in disguise, a company called NetCredit (okay, I’ll bite but only because I find this interesting) sought to quantify exactly who is selling the most merchandise from their online stores. The annual sales numbers are staggering.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38523 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “Which artists make the most from online merch sales? (WARNING: Big numbers ahead!)

  • Music and sports has gone mad. Agents make more that the sports stars they represent and influencers are now making more in merchandise than the acts themselves. No need to have talent any more – just push someone else who does!

  • It seems like talent is not what it takes to get ahead $$ in music. Branding is the new key. Let me jump on the band wagon early in my career.


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