Radiohead and Taylor Swift offered the latest examples of flash-merchandise sales this weekend, with three-day promotions of strictly-limited-edition items.

Radiohead’s ‘The Lamentations of the Minotaur’ garments range were billed as “ideal for philosophical pondering in cafés at night, brisk walks along the shores of the boundless ocean or aimless meandering on windswept moors. Or for just like, wearing” – with the promise that after midday today (11 November) “you will never hear from this shirt again”. It’s the second such flash-merch sale from the band’s W.A.S.T.E. store.

The same day, Taylor Swift’s online store was updated with something called the ‘Eras Collection’ – clothing, mugs and water bottles emblazoned with a design showing Swift from throughout her career. Again, with a strict deadline (midday EST today) for fans to buy.

These are the latest examples of flash merchandise campaigns, a trend that’s being fuelled by printing-on-demand technology that lowers production costs and risks.

Fashion brands, cosmetic brands, budget airlines and so on all regularly use the flash sale: so it’s logical for musicians to try it too. Related note: in an upcoming issue of Sandbox, our sister music marketing publication, we will explore the future of music merchandise.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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