Sandbox Issue 247: All Triller, No Filler: Music’s next big launchpad?
Lead: Triller is not a TikTok killer – but it is certainly proving to be a hearty contender. At the moment, it is strongest in the US and it skews heavily towards hip-hop as its in-built soundtrack. Its ambitions are, however,...
March 5, 2020
Tegan and Sara ask Warner Records to shut down merch store
Duo Tegan and Sara aren’t happy with their merchandising operation. In fact, they’ve asked label Warner Records to shut it down, and will soon be launching their own D2C store. “Today we’ve asked Warner...
November 8, 2019
Sandbox Issue 233: Shopping Around: Making Online Stores Add Up
Lead: Working with D2C experts is one part of the business, but changes in how social media sites are structuring themselves can offer acts new ways to sell products to fans of all stripes. We look at where social platforms...
July 25, 2019
WMG to buy EMP Merchandising for $180m as standalone D2C unit
Warner Music Group has made a big move in the merchandise game, announcing plans to acquire German firm EMP Merchandising. The deal would see EMP becoming a standalone direct-to-fan business unit within WMG's artist-and-label...
September 18, 2018
Sandbox Issue 204: INSTAGRA-Merch
Lead: Instagram has over 800m monthly active users and is the preferred social platform for most artists – mainly because Twitter is becoming an ideological cesspit and organic reach (not to mention privacy) on Facebook...
May 21, 2018
Debating the future for music merch and direct-to-fan sales
From merchandise and ticketing to crowdfunding, modern music artists have more options than ever to go ‘direct to fan’ and build a sustainable income to complement their recordings. But how can they make the most of...
February 15, 2018
Opus Play unlocks digital content when fans buy merch
The Opus Play app launched quietly for iOS earlier this year, and offers an interesting spin on persuading fans to buy physical merchandise for artists they like. “Merchandise that is Opus-enabled comes with a unique...
August 25, 2016
Universal opens new catalogue store
UDiscoverMusic is the new D2C site set up by Universal Music to exploit its considerable catalogue division, with an emphasis not just on high-ticket boxset but also on discovery and contextual analysis of the artists in...
July 29, 2016
Music Glue talks D2C music: ‘We are leaving billions on the table’
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) or direct-to-fan (D2F) marketing and retail are nothing new, but the music industry is walking away from several fortunes by failing to give them a strong user experience, according to Music Glue...
July 25, 2016
BandPage now driving 1m music fans a month to artist stores
D2C firm BandPage has announced its latest milestone: it says it is sending more than 1m fans a month to musicians’ own stores via its partnerships with Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio, Vevo and other music services. The company...
September 11, 2015
PledgeMusic president hails Apple Music D2C implications
There were a fair few critics of Apple Music last week, but direct-to-fan firm PledgeMusic’s president Benji Rogers is a fan. In a blog post on the company’s site, he has explained why, calling Apple’s new service “one...
June 17, 2015