How to Sell Music in the “Experience Economy”

In the past years, there has been a slow but obvious change in the music industry—record sales are down but concert tickets are higher than ever! As the audience’s demand for experience increases, people are less inclined to spend money on albums and merchandise. The experience economy has led artists to struggle, forcing them to up their game and find news way to sell music. Use these tips to master selling music in the experience economy.

Create Songs People Can Relate to:

In a world where people are immersed in emotional experiences, fans are looking for songs that remind them of a real life event. Why else would Taylor Swifts breakup songs be so popular?  Focus on writing songs about memorable experiences in your life and topics your audience can relate to. Creating songs that trigger your audience’s emotions will help you sell music in the experience economy.

Create an Unforgettable Live Performance

Nowadays, getting up on stage and singing isn’t enough anymore. Providing your audience with new life experiences plays an important role in selling music. Whether you are a solo artist or a band member, focus on the quality of your live performances. Think of trending artists such as Jason Aldean, Kanye West and Katy Perry. When on stage, they are not simply musicians anymore, they are actors. Pyrotechnics, glitter and acts are fascinating and always a plus. However, one of the most important elements of a memorable performance is the artist’s ability to connect with the audience.

Play Live Frequently

Consistency is key. Play as often as you can to give your fans a chance to memorize every word and every melody. Perform at festivals, fairs and seek out new local venues. The more times you play live, the more experiences you will provide to your fanbase. Also, considering that fans are always sharing videos and pictures in social media, having frequent live performances can lead to an increase in your popularity.


Sell music by linking experiences and products. It may seem unlikely that someone who doesn’t pay for albums will pay for merchandise. However, keep in mind that since people relate to memories, you can sell merchandise that will remind them of a real life experience—your live performance. It’s not about the T-shirts, keychains or posters; it’s about the memory they represent. Spend time and effort in the quality of your songs and live performances in order to cultivate experiences that will revalue the merchandise you are trying to sell. People will want to spend money simply to be reminded of something they experienced.

Being a musician is more than just being a recording artist. While the shift in expectations has changed how to sell music, aiming to build an experience around your music is what will ensure your success in the experience economy. Remind people of the value of music by giving your audience unforgettable performances and merchandise they can reminisce with. For more information on how to sell your music check out our SongCast Blog.

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