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The Importance of Merchandise

The Importance of Merchandise

As you may have seen, the band ‘While She Sleepsposted about the disparity of compensation between Streaming and Merch sales noting that ~5000 streams = 1 T Shirt sale. Only 1 T Shirt! While that may illustrate the importance of merchandise all on its own, we were curious to see how this breaks down based on attendance groupings.

Using average merch sales by grouping, it’s eye-opening to see just how many streams are needed to generate the equivalent amount of revenue.

Breakdown by Show

Breaking the data down reveals how many streams are required to equal the total average Merch sales for a single show.

$19,200
Avg. Show Merch Sales
3,840,000
Avg. Streams to Equal Merch Sales
640
Avg. T-Shirts Sold to Equal Merch Sales ($30 each)

Breakdown by Capacity

We then broke it down by capacity.


Less Than 500
$1,760
Avg. Show Merch Sales
59
Avg. Show Merch Sales
293,333
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
501 - 1000
$3,856
Avg. Show Merch Sales
129
Avg. Show Merch Sales
642,667
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
1001 - 3000
$8,177
Avg. Show Merch Sales
273
Avg. Show Merch Sales
1,362,833
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
3001 - 5000
$17,402
Avg. Show Merch Sales
580
Avg. Show Merch Sales
2,900,333
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
5001 - 10000
$35,593
Avg. Show Merch Sales
1,186
Avg. Show Merch Sales
5,932,167
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
10001 - 15000
$96,632
Avg. Show Merch Sales
3,221
Avg. Show Merch Sales
16,105,333
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
15001 - 20000
$81,367
Avg. Show Merch Sales
2,712
Avg. Show Merch Sales
13,561,167
Streams to Equal Merch Sales
20001+
$388,488
Avg. Show Merch Sales
12,950
Avg. Show Merch Sales
64,748,000
Streams to Equal Merch Sales

Breakdown by Tour

And what does it look like for a 15 date tour? 48 MILLION streams to match total Merch Revenue!

$19,200
Avg. Show Merch Sales
$288,000
Merch Sales per Tour
48,000,000
Streams to Equal Tour Sales

Merchandise hasn’t been the most glamorized aspect of touring, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a crucial part of touring revenue. Frequently overshadowed by the hype of streaming, Merch has quietly continued to grow as a significant revenue stream for touring artists.

Data shows strong growth over the years in sales for the most popular pieces of merchandise – T-shirts, hats, koozies, sweatshirts – while revenue from physical albums sales from touring is on a constant decline.  No surprise as physical albums are becoming more and more irrelevant with the growth of streaming.

Whether you’re playing small cap venues or headlining stadium shows the takeaway should be that merchandise must be a priority and is a crucial piece or your revenue.

Support your favorite artists and buy their merchandise!

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