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1. The fusion of music and merchandise

Spotify merch: How to grow your fanbase selling custom merch

In today's digital age, music is more than just notes and lyrics—it's a brand, an experience, and an intimate bond between artists and fans. While streaming platforms like Spotify have revolutionized how we consume music, they've also unlocked new avenues for artists to connect with their fanbase. Enter the world of Spotify Merch—a fusion of artistry, fashion, and fan loyalty. Whether it's a hoodie emblazoned with album art or a tote bag with a catchy lyric, merchandise acts as a wearable badge of honor for fans and a lucrative, brand-building tool for artists.

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the potential of Spotify merch, offering insights and strategies to sell merch and leverage custom merchandise as a powerful tool to grow your fanbase and amplify your brand presence on Spotify. Let the rhythm of commerce begin!

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Spotify Merch combines music, fashion, and fan loyalty, offering wearable and usable items that act as a fan's badge of honor and a revenue stream for artists.

  • Custom merch provides various benefits to artists, including additional revenue, brand building, and a method of diversifying their brand into other realms, such as fashion.

  • Artists can set up merchandise stores on Spotify using print on demand (POD) services, reducing upfront costs, avoiding inventory issues, and enabling global reach.

  • Various steps to establish a Spotify merch store include profile verification, choosing a POD partner, uploading designs, integrating with Spotify, and promotion.

  • Seasonal, event-specific, and collaborative merch can drive purchases through a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

  • Various items from Gelato’s catalog, like t-shirts, hoodies, and more unconventional items like socks or blankets, can be transformed into best-selling merch with the right designs.

The fusion of music and merchandise

The harmonious blend of music and merchandise isn't a novel concept, but its transformation over the years is noteworthy. Let's take a walk down this melodic lane and see how Spotify artists sell merch and enrich the fan experience.

Evolution of music merchandise

Decades ago, music merchandise was primarily confined to posters, vinyl stickers, and the occasional band t-shirt sold at gigs and concerts. Fast forward to today, and the range has exploded. From collectible pins to branded sneakers, the act of publishing merch has grown from mere mementos to a full-fledged industry in its own right. This shift was fueled by both technological advancements in printing and design and the recognition of merchandise as a substantial revenue stream, especially in the age of digital music streaming, where traditional album sales have dwindled.

Benefits of merging music with merchandise

  1. Revenue booster: With the decline in physical album sales, merchandise offers artists an alternative, tangible product that fans are willing to pay for, ensuring they continue to profit from their craft.

  2. Brand building: Custom merch serves as a walking advertisement. When fans wear or use an artist's merchandise, they're not just showcasing their personal taste in music but also promoting the artist's brand organically.

  3. Diversification: Merch allows artists to venture into realms beyond music. For instance, a musician with a flair for fashion can use merchandise as a stepping stone into the world of apparel design.

Creating a deeper connection with fans

Music resonates with emotions, memories, and experiences. When fans invest in an artist's merchandise, they're purchasing more than just an item; they're acquiring a piece of something bigger—a fragment of their identity, a tangible connection to an artist they adore, and a symbol of their belonging to a community of like-minded individuals. This bond goes beyond mere consumerism. It's about pride, love, and a sense of shared journey and values. Every time they wear that band t-shirt or sip from that artist-branded mug, they're reminded of the music that's been the soundtrack to moments in their life, reinforcing the deep, personal relationship between artists and their fans.

Setting up artist-themed merchandise with print on demand

The digital age has not only transformed how we consume music but also how artists connect with their fans through merchandise. Traditional merchandising methods, such as using the Shopify app store, may involve bulk orders, hefty upfront costs, and potential wastage. But with the rise of print on demand (POD) services like Gelato, artists can now produce merchandise more efficiently and sustainably. Spotify, ever the innovator, has made it easier for artists to integrate merch directly with their chosen platform rather than creating and managing an independent Shopify store. Let’s delve into the world of print on demand and how artists can use it to their advantage on Spotify.

Steps to set up a merch store on Spotify

  1. Profile verification: Before you can sell anything on Spotify, ensure that your artist profile is verified. This establishes authenticity and lets Spotify listeners know they're buying from a genuine source.

  2. Choose a print on demand partner: Spotify integrates seamlessly with several POD platforms. Research and select the one that aligns best with your needs in terms of product range, pricing, and customization options.

  3. Design creation: Upload your designs onto your chosen POD platform. This could range from album covers, lyrics, or any other artwork associated with your brand.

  4. Integrate with Spotify: Once your exclusive merch is ready on the POD platform, link it with your Spotify artist account. This ensures that fans can easily browse and buy directly while streaming your music. 

  5. Promote: Announce your merch launch on Spotify and other social platforms. Consider creating Spotify Ad Studio campaigns or sharing behind-the-scenes content related to your merch creation.

Benefits of using print on demand for artists

  1. No upfront costs: Unlike traditional merchandising, where artists need to invest in bulk orders, POD allows for individual order production, eliminating hefty upfront expenses.

  2. Zero inventory hassles: With POD, there's no need to worry about dead stock or storage issues. Products are printed as and when orders come in.

  3. Flexibility in design: Artists can easily update or add new designs without any logistical challenges. This means they can release limited-time designs or special editions, tagging merch to specific events or album launches.

  4. Sustainability: With no overproduction or wastage, print on demand is an eco-friendly option, resonating with the growing consumer demand for sustainable products.

  5. Global reach: Many POD platforms offer worldwide shipping, enabling artists to reach fans globally without the complexities of international shipping and logistics.

Harnessing the power of print on demand, artists can now merge their musical creativity with tangible products, offering fans a physical connection to the music they love while optimizing production, sales, and brand growth seamlessly through platforms like Spotify.

Benefits of having multiple Shopify stores

Merchandise, when done right, transcends its physical form to become a wearable piece of art or a cherished possession. It’s a direct reflection of an artist's brand, music, and connection with their fanbase. Just as songs need captivating lyrics and beats, merchandise requires compelling designs. Here are some design pointers and ideas to ensure that your merchandise strikes the right chord with your audience.

Creating designs that resonate with the target audience

  1. Know your fans: Dive deep into your fan demographics and preferences. Are they minimalist aficionados, lovers of vibrant palettes, or do they lean towards vintage aesthetics? Tailoring designs to their tastes and selling relevant merch can lead to better engagement.

  2. Incorporate iconic elements: Utilize memorable elements from your music – be it lyrics, album art, or personal symbols – to create an immediate connection between the merchandise and your musical legacy.

  3. Stay authentic: Authenticity breeds loyalty. Ensure your merchandise design aligns with your music and personal brand ethos. If something feels inauthentic or forced, it might not resonate as strongly with fans.

Seasonal and limited-time designs

  1. Festive flair: Seasonal designs, such as holiday-themed merchandise, can be a hit. A Christmas sweater with a twist related to your music or Halloween tees can capture attention.

  2. Event-specific merch: Release special designs for milestones like album launches, anniversaries, or tours. Limited-time designs create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, driving fans to purchase.

  3. Collaborative drops: Partner with other artists, influencers, or brands for limited-edition collaborative designs. This not only amplifies reach but also brings in fresh design perspectives.

Importance of keeping designs fresh and relevant

  1. Stay updated: Fashion and design trends evolve. What's in vogue today might be passé tomorrow. Regularly update your designs to keep in sync with current trends, ensuring your merchandise remains appealing. 

  2. Feedback loop: Engage with fans and gather feedback. They are your primary consumers, and their input can provide valuable insights into what they'd love to wear or use.

  3. Rotate stock: Regularly introduce new items and retire older ones. This keeps your merchandise lineup fresh and gives fans something new to look forward to.

  4. Tie-in with current events: Linking merchandise designs with current events or trends (while staying sensitive and respectful) can make them more topical and relevant.

Best-selling Spotify merch ideas using Gelato's catalog

Navigating the merchandise terrain can be daunting, but with platforms like Gelato, turning your Spotify artist profile into a virtual merch table is fairly easy. Known for its expansive product range and quality, Gelato's catalog offers a diverse palette for artists to promote merch carrying their brand logo. Let's delve into some of the top-selling items and how they can be optimized for maximum fan appeal.


  • Color and size options: A classic favorite, t-shirts are versatile canvases. With Gelato, artists can explore a spectrum of colors, ensuring that designs pop and resonate. Offering a range of sizes caters to a wider fanbase, promoting inclusivity.

  • Design tips: Bold graphics, iconic lyrics, or minimalist designs—all work wonders on tees. Given their universal appeal, they're a must-have in any merch lineup.


  • Popular designs: Hoodies, especially with the younger demographic, have gained immense popularity. Designs that incorporate album art, geometric patterns, or artist logos tend to be fan favorites.

  • Why they're loved: Beyond their fashionable appeal, hoodies signify comfort and are wearable in various settings, making them a staple in most wardrobes.

Tote bags

  • Versatility in design: Tote bags are essentially blank slates, suitable for both intricate designs and simple logos. Artists can experiment with both sides of the bag, perhaps placing a larger design on one side and a subtle logo or lyric on the other.

  • Usage: Beyond being a fashion statement, tote bags are functional and environmentally-friendly alternatives to plastic bags, aligning with eco-conscious fans.


  • Rise in popularity: With the resurgence of caps and beanies, especially among Gen Z and millennials, hats have become a trendy accessory.

  • Design concepts: Given their limited surface area, concise designs like logos, emblems, or catchy single-line lyrics work best.


  • Funky designs: Given their quirky nature, socks allow for fun, offbeat designs. Artists can play with bold patterns, vibrant colors, or even meme-inspired themes.

  • Branding: While socks might seem unconventional, they offer a unique branding opportunity, as fans wearing them make a statement of deep-rooted support.

Blankets & towels

  • Unique merch items: While unconventional, branded blankets and towels have found a niche. They're not just merchandise but usable home items.

  • Design ideas: Consider panoramic designs, abstract patterns, or even a collage of album covers for a visually captivating product.


  • Merging functionality with music branding: Backpacks, being everyday items, offer consistent brand visibility. They're ideal for larger designs, perhaps an album-themed graphic or artist caricature.

  • Design tips: Given their utility, ensure that the design does not compromise on the bag's functionality—avoid placing designs on pockets or straps where they might wear out quickly.

Leveraging the vast network of Gelato for your Spotify merch

Unlock global reach and local production with Gelato, the world's largest platform for on-demand printing across 32 countries. Amplify your Spotify merch strategy, reaching up to five billion consumers instantly while maintaining authentic, high-quality, and sustainable production. Transcend boundaries, elevate your brand, and create tangible connections with fans worldwide with products like mugs, phone cases, photo books, wall art, etc.

Ready to revolutionize your merch experience? Sign up for Gelato and orchestrate your global symphony now.


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