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Forget about streaming—physical merchandise is now the key to success

by Ted Gioia, The Honest Broker, May 31, 2023

What other business relies on a 60-year-old storage technology?

A new research report from Andrew Thompson at Components, released earlier today, helps us understand the bigger picture. Thompson analyzed 47,703,022 Bandcamp sales—involving almost five million items. And what he learned was startling.

Success in the music business is all about selling physical objects.

The Internet supposedly killed physical music media more than two decades ago. After iTunes was launched in 2001, there was no looking back. At first the music industry pivoted to digital downloads, and then everybody in the business jumped on the streaming bandwagon.

But it’s now 2023, and streaming platforms still aren’t profitable. However, Bandcamp is—and now we know why.

It’s all about tangible items.


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