Promos in Pop Culture: Merch for Online Concerts


While different parts of the country start to open up again, most live events and large gatherings are still on hold. However, that doesn’t stop artists and bands from entertaining fans who continue to stay at home during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the past couple of months, festivals and concert tours were canceled or delayed. The pandemic isn’t just affecting music fans around the world, but an entire industry. With venues and bars shut down from coast-to-coast, musicians have begun playing online concerts or streaming past live shows to keep fans entertained at home.

While fans can still stream music from their favorite artists from wherever they are, they’re missing out on a big part of the concert experience- the merchandise! After all, how will you brag to all your friends you went to the show if you don’t have the merch to prove it?

In addition to the ever-popular concert tee-shirt, bands are now offering lines of face masks. Top artists like The Rolling Stones and Billie Eilish are donating all proceeds to causes they care about to use their platforms and promotional products to raise awareness. Face masks for artists all over the world are selling out at record pace as fans are eager for a way to show their support and follow guidelines for face coverings. The “Play On Fest”, which re-streamed some of the top live concerts from the past couple of years offered a wide range of promotional product – the face masks were the first to sell out!

Individual bands or artists have also hopped on this trend! The British band OMD recently streamed a recording of a November 2019 concert on YouTube under the banner of “OMD: Live From Your Sofa”. OMD also launched a new line of “sofa merch” alongside the event, and across nearly 2,000 orders, the band generated £75k of merch revenue.

One of the most notable online music events actually took place inside a video game. Rapper and producer Travis Scott performed his “Astronomical” concert live in the game “Fortnite” for millions of fans, taking them on a trip underwater and into outer space. Immediately following the hugely successful event, Travis Scott launched a webstore with limited-edition merchandise based on the concert including action figures, NERF guns, lunch boxes, hats, hoodies, jerseys, and more. The release of these promotional products was carefully planned so several new items dropped every day for a week following the event to keep fans engaged.

There are plenty of opportunities to incorporate promotional products into online events like streamed concerts. You can use smaller items like stickers, buttons, posters, and picks as giveaways to spread awareness or to add value to merch bundles. Concert shirts, sweatshirts, and now face masks are the most popular option and are still being offered by every artist. Wearables also provide additional promotion for the artists as their fans wear them out and about. Even with the future of live events uncertain, there are plenty of ways for promotional products to be a part of online events and reach people from all over the world! If you’re looking for more promotional product ideas, we’ve got plenty of blogs with curated selections of our favorite product inspiration!

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  1. My favorite band Phish is doing online concerts. They are releasing a free show every Tuesday. They are releasing recordings but they are still making a pretty big deal about it. Most of the footage is previously unreleased. They are releasing merchandise for most of the shows. I have already bought a shirt and a poster. The shirt was a reprint of a shirt from a show I went to but never bought the shirt. I think retro concert merchandise for older fans is a potential gold mine.

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