ReverbNation has closed its Reverb Store offering merch-on-demand. Apparently use by musicians was limited and ReverbNation will now be offering musicians a discount on merch in bulk orders through MerchOutfitters.com. Though this can't clearly be described as a trend, the ability to sell merch through a variety of outlets, from Spotify to live shows enhanced with mobile apps, may be supporting a shift away from the limits of print-on-demand to custom short runs even for artists with relatively limited merch needs.
ReverbNation's issued this statement:
"As of September 30, 2014, ReverbNation will no longer offer the ReverbStore to Artists. We know that merchandise sales are an important part of being a musicians so we've reached an agreement with MerchOutfitters.com. They're offering ReverbNation customers a 10% discount on all merchandise."
MusicOutfitters is owned and operated by Mixonic, a leader in online custom media and products since 2001.
Print and merch-on-demand services seem most useful for bands who sell merch in very limited quantities or who want to test demand for new items.
But as merch becomes a more important piece of the music revenue pie, a wider range of options for selling merch are emerging, from Spotify partnerships to mobile apps to better serve fans, and they almost all rely on musicians having bulk merch available and usually require musicians to fulfill orders themselves. So I'm guessing merch manufacturers offering custom short runs are currently benefiting.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.