Some people have one big passion in life. I’ve always had two – design and music. When I came out of University I was set on becoming a full-time designer but I also had this insatiable yearning to pack up my guitar and go wherever my music would take me, so for years I did both.
I slept on couches, sang for my supper (on several occasions), wandered, got ‘discovered’, got lost, made it in Japan, toured the world, met some amazing friends, and designed band websites during the day to keep my creative chops up and my gas tank full. Eventually, guitars and microphones gave way to screens and pixels but it always felt like those two parts of my life were part of an elaborate balancing act. My Mom would always say that somewhere along the line my two passions would collide and well, I’m happy to say that she was right (and my Mom just fainted).
I’m incredibly excited to introduce Merch. It’s an app designed for you hard-working musicians trying to make a living on the road – for the troubadours whose merch tables have become one of the most important ways of funding the next tour. It’s a simple, beautiful way for you and everyone in your camp to track and manage your inventory and it was born out of a need to develop a system better than scribbled tallies on a napkin.
The Best Way To Complain Is To Make Things – James Murphy
In my many years on the road, I always struggled with merch. Designing it was easy but counting in, counting out, keeping track of cash, remembering comps, and knowing how to efficiently order inventory was always tough. By the end of a tour I’d end up with boxes of merch I shouldn’t have ordered and scraps of paper that tracked sales I couldn’t remember. It wasn’t because I didn’t care, but because I never had a good system in place to manage it, especially during gigs. There had to be a better way, so two years ago I sat down with my amazing team at Filament to plan out a tool that would change the way bands track merch.
Now, I’m fortunate to know some pretty amazing artists who have spent their lives on tour, so, naturally, the first thing we did was get out there and talk to them. What we found is that a lot of musicians are dealing with the same merch challenges that I had been, and it didn’t matter if they were singer-songwriters or DJs – everyone was looking for a better way to track sales.
Bands were tired of dealing with complicated spreadsheets (if they dealt with them at all) and their managers wanted a unified reporting system that would give them insights rather than headaches. Shockingly, as it turns out, no one got into music so they could count merch. Armed with that knowledge, we knew we were on the right track.
Keep It Simple
Some of my favourite songs manage to capture a moment so perfectly without using any unnecessary instrumentation, production, or lyrics. They’re beautifully simple. However, as any songwriter knows, simple is hard, especially when there’s lots to write about.
With Merch, we’ve worked hard to achieve the simplicity of those great songs. Whether it’s importing gigs, adding shirt sizes, sending reports, or easily tracking sales at showtime, we’ve removed any additional layers of production that might stop musicians from easily performing those tasks. After all, like a great song, a great app should be delightful to experience over and over again.
Our Commitment To You
Doing things the right way matters. For us, this isn’t just another app that we’re trying to get out the door, but an opportunity to help musicians tour smarter and ultimately make more profitable choices, both on and off the road. We’re committed to making something awesome that benefits the community we’re so very proud to be members of.
Like any good tour, we have a solid road map for the months ahead and a great crew working tirelessly to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. There may be a few bumps in the road, but we’re excited to get it out there and learn how Merch helps change the way you tour.
It’s been a long time in the making and we’re looking forward to getting it into your hands. We’ll be in private beta starting this Spring and we’d love to have you on board. You can sign up for an invitation below or follow us on Twitter and we’ll let you know when we’re ready to rock.