Can you hear Christmas bells ringing?
The year is about to end but before it does, let us present some stats on this year’s MERCH side of the industry.
And the winner for merch sales goes to (drumrolllll)— kpop.
And it’s time we talk about it.
Table of Contents
MERCH SALES BY GENRE
The graph above indicates the average dollar spent by a fan from a certain genre.
Country fans have the lowest, only spending an average of 8.50 USD. While the K-pop genre can be singled out with each of their fans spending 27.50 USD on average.
What’s iteresting to note is that while the K-pop significatly earned more in terms of average dollar per head, they have the least number of fans buying(~ 30%).
This means Kpop fans are very willing to splurge.
But this didn’t just happen overnight, of couse. The trend has been rising for years. Just in the US, Kpop merch sales has been increasing since 2017.
K-POP MUSIC SALES OVER THE YEARS
Just so you know, we added the average price of t-shirts since shirts are still crowd favorite regardless of the genre.
And as you may have already noticed, K-pop merchandise is more pricey than the merch from other genres.
This is most likely because K-pop has become a global phenomenon with a sizable market. Moreover, it’s a genre that has lots of artists trending every other day.
WHAT’S UP WITH KPOP SUPERFANS?
K-pop artists have very big fanbases that are filled with the most loyal fans. Thanks to their very strategic music marketing methods they have gained such loyalty from a lot of people, who would definitely spend money for them.
Also, they have the best ways to attract people as well as build anticipation for whatever they release. But most of all, they have one of the most unique merch items out there. That’s one of the reasons why their market is continuously increasing even as you read this article.
According to statistics the most popular K-pop merch are t-shirts, hoodies, and lightsticks. But that does not mean that other merch do not get much love. Unique, sometimes weird, merch are also very much appreciated by fans.
Here are some of the recent K-pop merch fans are loving…
BEST-SELLING KPOP MERCH
In this jewelry set, fans can choose the member version they want to have. Depending on the chosen member, they will get to have the member’s initials (jh, sg, sw, sy, yr) carved onto the bracelet’s pendant and necklace’s locket.
Additionally, the inside of the locket has the word love (사랑) carved in hangul in the girls’ handwriting. There’s also a special love card with a message written by the member they have chosen.
You might have heard of K-pop fans being obsessed with photocards.
So EXO, aside from the acrylic stand, included a photocard in the set. It’s a merch that many fans are loving because it’s a mini standee which can easily be displayed on a side table.
Keyrings have been around almost at the same time as shirts.
Obviously it’s not the most profitable, but it is still well-loved.
It was a good call to have their keyring made out of acrylic because they will surely be durable. If you plan on adding this to yours, it would be best to make sure that the design is great, just like this one.
Bralettes are very fashionable these days and one of those that popularized it is a member of the girl group Blackpink.
The design is very simple, but as you can see, it’s very impactful and attractive.
Image pickets or also known as hand fans are very well known in the K-pop industry.
They are multifunctional since they are used to cheer on an artist as well as cooling oneself. For Itzy’s image pickets, they had one printed with each of the five member’s smiling profiles.
Now you can try copying how K-pop artists do their marketing and merch.
Here is another list of K-pop merch that fans found both weird and awesome: 15 Weird But Awesome K-pop Merch Items Ever Made
SO…WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
This could mean creating superfans is the way to go. We could learn a lot from K-pop bands on how they do marketing so fans will actually buy stuff.
This could also be due to the genre being newer in the global scene compared to the others (I mean, Kpop is supposedly just “pop”, right?).
Additionally, it might also be because a bulk of K-pop fans ages 13-21 might still be too broke to buy the expensive merch these bands are selling.
K-pop has risen to fame in the past years. But they’re not just producing fans, they’re producing SUPERFANS.
They spend tremendous amounts of time and money in marketing and to become more intimate with their fans…and they’re just starting to get the results of their hard work.
If you want to sell more merch, then try to do what Kpop artists are doing.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD, custom vinyl records and merch company in LA.