One of the latest additions to our Incubate Baltimore program is RepMyMusic, the first e-commerce marketplace solely dedicated to music merchandise. Barry Lancaster, founder and CEO of RepMyMusic, wrote an introduction to the company for our blog! Check it out below, and don’t forget to visit their website.
Our mission is to empower artists and democratize the sale of music merchandise.
Why is this important?
The arrival of the internet era marked the beginning of a 15-year decline in recorded music sales as they were nearly halved from 27 billion to 15 billion. Initially, it was the onslaught of peer to peer file sharing services such as Napster, and followed by the singles model, popularized by iTunes, that drastically disrupted the traditional way of selling music.
During that time, the music industry was ill-prepared, ill-advised, and ill-equipped to face such a challenge to the status quo of how they did business.
Fast forward to now: the record labels have since aligned themselves with streaming services and have begun to enjoy growth in recorded music sales — after nearly two decades of declines — but artists feel left out.
Will.i.am (of the group Black Eyed Peas) said, “Actually, the music industry has been redefined, utilizing technology, leaving the artist out of the equation.”
Artists feel like they don’t receive a fair share of income from streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music. As a sign of displeasure, Taylor Swift removed her entire catalog from Spotify for years but recently made them available again. One of her core beliefs is that music should not be free; however, for artists, their new reality is that recorded music is now functioning more as a promotion and marketing tool rather than as a revenue generator. This realization has forced artists to focus on alternative income sources, such as merchandise.
Helping artists sell t-shirts
The internet has afforded artists the opportunity to reach their fans directly. However, there are no platforms that make it easy for independent and up-and-coming artists to sell directly to their fans.
As such, our goal is to democratize the sale of music merchandise and make it accessible for all artists. We plan to accomplish this by removing the barriers that prevent artists from selling merchandise online. Artists won’t need to build or maintain a website, hire staff, produce merchandise, store inventory, pack, ship or answer customer service calls — we do all of this for them.
On a personal note, over the last five years, I have been consumed with finding a solution to utilize the power of the internet and technology for the benefit of artists. With that said, I’m happy to introduce RepMyMusic to the world: the first e-commerce marketplace dedicated to music merchandise.