The most perilous amount of popularity a music artist can attain these days is any level above obscurity but below fame.
Put yourself in their shoes – if nobody has heard of you, you’ll happily give away your songs to anyone and everyone to build up a following and increase exposure.
If you’re a household name, Joe and Josephine Public will be picking your CDs off the supermarket shelves and dropping them into the shopping trolley along with the fortnightly messages.
For anyone stuck in between, the chances of shifting enough records – legitimately – to match the wages of a full-time Argos employee are extremely slim.
So desperate has the fight against piracy become that a well-known record company even emailed The Pop Copearlier this week to ask if we could help in establishing the identity of someone who had leaked one of their albums onto the internet.
For any artist in the centre of the ‘Obscurity → Treachery → Fame’ conundrum, it seems clear to us that music has been replaced by merchandise as their most saleable asset. And after doing a bit of research we discovered that there are a fair few Scots with the bright ideas to make your merch go further.
WEE BADGERS is run by Amanda MacKinnon of Bis fame and, as the name suggests, they specialise in making badges (‘pins’ to our transatlantic readers). The website is super user-friendly and you can get a quote to suit your needs pretty much instantly.
KONNECT CARD is the brainchild of Yvonne McLellan from Ayrshire and she has come up with a devilishly clever invention. It’s a card that is sold by artists during gigs which allows fans to download exclusive content (most likely mp3s) from the Konnect Card website using a unique code on the back. That way the artist can make money from their music at concerts without having to lug around boxes of CDs, while fans can get their hands on some songs as soon as they get back to their computer without needing a credit card.
Finally, if you’re in a band and just want a cheap (i.e. free) way to flog your goods online, then head to BIG CARTEL, who will host your merchandise empire at no charge provided you’re selling no more than five different products.
P.S. The winner of our Hinterland competition was L Meredith from Glasgow. Thanks to everyone who entered. The correct answer was Mauritius.