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You Want Fries (or a CD) with that T-shirt?

This week there is a very interesting NY Times article on “bundling.” “Bundling” in the music industry is putting items together for sale, such as a CD and a t-shirt. Taylor Swift is one of the key artists offering a whole bunch of shirts, sweatshirts and tote bags “+ digital download” on her website.

Just part of the big collection of Taylor Swift items to be bought along with a download of her music. was one of the pioneers of bundling music and merch. They even have bundles by visual artists like this Derek Hess collection of items.

Other artists offer trinkets like keychains and phone stands along with the music, boosting sales, some would say giving false statistics to music sales.

Gloria Gaynor perhaps will survive her move from disco diva to gospel evangelista by bundling a lyric sheet (hey didn’t those used to come free with a CD?) and keychain with her CD.
Taylor Swift even had a cross promotion with a pizza chain that isn’t that far off from my crazy title to this piece, only it wasn’t fries with her  album it was a pizza.

This of course is all part of the music industry being stood on its head. Once sales were all CD’s and folks toured to promote the music sales and produced merch like t-shirts to promote the music. Now CD’s are the promotional items, virtually worthless to most people and the CD are used to promote concert ticket sales and sales of merch like t-shirts, which is where bands (or at least music companies) now make money. No wonder t-shirt giant Gildan recently inked a pact with music giant Live Nation for cross promotion. When desktop printers for t-shirts become ubiquitous, and Virtual Reality replaces actually attending a concert, whereto then the music industry?






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