This episode about tools to sell more music, merch, and experiences was previously published on the Profitable Musician Show.
Stacey Bedford, the CEO of Bandzoogle, talks about how musicians make money online. Stacey was previously on the podcast in 2021, where she talked about how much Bandzoogle helped musicians and increased sales during the pandemic. Now, she discusses the milestone of Bandzoogle as the sales exploded with $100M and Stacey Bedford, the CEO of Bandzoogle, talks about how musicians make money online using tools to sell more music, merch, and experiences.
Stacey has been with Bandzoogle for 17 years. She is an avid guitar player and beekeeper. She considers herself terrible at karaoke, but she loves to do it on a professional level.
Tools to sell more music, merch, and experiences
Bandzoogle is an all-in-one platform for artists online. They have commission-free eCommerce tools, a store for physical products, and digital downloads. They provide fan engagement tools such as a mailing list and call to action. They integrate all of your social media tools, YouTube, SoundCloud, Bandcamp, Bandsintown, Twitch, Crowdcast, and more.
Bandzoogle creates beautiful websites to pull all of your content together. They’re responsive and adapt to different screen sizes like mobile, desktop, and tablet beautifully. They’re fully customizable and easy to use. You don’t need to know any coding or design to be able to create a fully functional responsive website with Bandzoogle. You can try Bandzoogle free for 30 days and get 15% off your first year if you use our promo code WOS15 when you sign up.
Stacey shares the exciting milestone about their members reaching $100 million sales in music and merch through their Bandzoogle websites. Bandzoogle has been around for a long time, but it is $53 million in sales which happened in the last couple of years during the pandemic, which is relatively large to the size of their customer base which is 60, 000.
Members love Bandzoogle. Once they sign up, they don’t leave. Their average member tenure is 48 months and that number is always growing. They are up against huge website providers and eCommerce platforms such as Wix, Squarespace, and Spotify.
The great thing is aside from tools to sell more music, merch, and experiences, Bandzoogle is also getting into the area of competing with a lot of other digital marketing options like funnel building and upsells. The goal of Bandzoogle is to be an all-in-one platform with a comprehensive online presence. A lot of external services that provide these tools are not doing them with the artists in focus. They’re also not doing it in a way that all of their marketing initiatives are integrated.
At Bandzoogle, if you’re creating landing pages for different projects or online press kits, those are all matched and branded cohesively with your website with very little effort. They’re all on the same domain, so you don’t have this weird random sequence of letters that you’re linking to and sharing. Everything is branded the same and cohesively across all of your different marketing initiatives.
The other thing is that Bandzoogle has always provided these mailing list options. It was only natural that we would provide these options where artists could control their whole funnel. Whether you’re trying to make an album sale, single sale, show, or new merch product with a more successful offering, all of those tools can be in one place at Bandzoogle.
This year, they’ve also added single-page analytics that’s tied into in-house metrics. If you have a conversion point like if you wanted to make a sale or wanted to get a mailing list sign-up, there are a bunch of different actions that you might be interested in making on that page. Bandzoogle will compile the number of visitors to the number of successful executions on that page. They also integrate Google Analytics, so it’s quite powerful. All of these reporting, the page level reporting, and the full site reporting are integrated right into your control panel. They pull all of the data points that are relevant to artists and the initiatives they’re taking, so it’s not overwhelming.
They’ve also added Upselling because of a change that SoundScan made. Upselling allows you to associate different products and still count towards those SoundScan reports. If you’re selling an album or a single, you could also relate it to different products that you have, like a show ticket or a t-shirt that represents that album. It’s pretty interesting. As a consumer, even when I’m shopping, what always gets my attention is all of the fun stuff by the cash register.
They’ve also integrated Printful, which makes it easy to create your own merch right on your website. There’s no reason not to do Printful because it’s free. You just add it in and Bandzgoogle doesn’t take a cut of the sales, and you’re either going to sell them or not and then you can try different products over time. Aside from that, they also added gift cards to sell.
Bundling is an exciting way to move your merchandise. You can create some pretty interesting collections of similar items, offer different formats of your music, or even get more personal, like selling handcrafted items along with digital items. It’s a good way to introduce your fans to different things that you’re offering. Also, it will allow your fans to consume music in multiple ways too. You can pair digital downloads along with your latest final so they can hear your tracks right away while they’re waiting for it. There are some interesting things that you could do with bundles.
75% of the $100 million is merch sales. It includes bundles, some digital merch, and Printful items. Some artists make over $200,000 a year. Artists are selling around $40,000 to $65,000 on average a day at Bandzoogle. There’s a lot of movement going around in the sales.
Coaching, lessons, custom songs, and such are also very popular. Since the pandemic, a lot of artists and teachers had to move their activities online and offer a virtual offering. Because Bandzoogle integrates things like Crowdcast and YouTube, you then could embed videos on your Bandzoogle site. They also have password-protected pages, which work well for music students.
Fan subscriptions also work well for artists. Some artists will create fan clubs using tiered subscriptions. Some music teachers will have different levels of instruction, how many lessons and services they provide, and at what frequency can be set at the different tiers that you have access to if you’re subscribing.
Many years ago, Bandzoogle created Custom Style Editor which would essentially let artists build whatever design they want on their site. It was a little terrifying for them since they didn’t know what kind of websites the musicians would do. It was pleasantly surprising to them that most designs are incredible. The users and how they adopted our new offerings influenced how we created future tools.
The important thing as an artist is to get started. Don’t let this full suite of tools that we discussed overwhelm you. Start with a single one-page site and have an online presence. Start small, whether it’s putting up a t-shirt that you didn’t have to purchase inventory for, uploading your most recent track, or putting up a poll and get engage your fans and asking them, “Which one did you like listening to more? Which song would you like to see completed?” Engage your fans in fun ways and start simple. If you’re not sure, we have a ton of guides on our blog that are free on how to get started with your online presence.