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Culture & Religion

Music Means Merchandise

“Artists know as well as anybody that music sells stuff, so why shouldn’t they sell the stuff too?” Rob Walker says musicians no longer lose credibility by marketing products.

“I have seen the future of rock and roll, and it’s merch. Of course, band-branded merchandise has been a major part of the music business, big and small, for years. The Ramones sold more T-shirts than albums (and you can buy a T-shirt that says so). And box sets for superfans have become increasingly elaborate and pricey artlike objects. But merchandise is gaining momentum, and it’s not hard to imagine a time when a fan buys a sculpture, home décor item or other tangible good and gets the music as a kind of free soundtrack accompaniment.”


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