Bundling has been a huge part of music and serves as an important part of marketing and promotion. Now more than ever, we’ve witnessed a decline in physical CD sales but streaming numbers have skyrocketed.
Newbie musicians looking to sell their albums have to learn the art of bundling because it is more relevant than ever.
You may ask, what does it mean when an artist bundles?
Bundling is the practice of selling an album or project with other items such as merchandise and tickets as a package. Bundles usually consist of an album and low priced item to accompany the album, they’re a great way to offer immense value to the fans and it ultimately gives them a sense of buying two things at the cost of one.
This has become a very common technique in the music industry because album sales have pretty much declined over the past few years due to the introduction of streaming services.
Bundling is a great way of giving fans the incentive to buy the album because it comes with something else. It has proven to be an effective tactic to improve sales and push for higher numbers on charts.
While we are on the topic of bundles, it’s important that we adress the issue of pure sales for the purposes of reporting.
Pure sales are album sales both digitally and physically and additional bundle items will not be counted as part of the pure sales. Furthermore, album-equivalents like streams and/or individual track downloads do not constitute pure sales.
How to create and package bundles for your fans
This is one of the best ways you can create and offer additional value to your core fans that pretty much will be open to buying almost anything you package up for them.
Music bundles consist of a collection of projects that you put together to create a package that you can offer.
The best way to go about this is having a full album and then adding on an EP or two to create a full package. Another great strategy that I’ve found to be effective is dropping a double album package.
Once you have your collection ready, it’s time to figure out the pricing strategy that will add the most value to your core fans.
If you have a double album bundle, you will have to determine a pricing strategy that will provide an incentive for your fans to buy the bundle rather than one album.
For example, if one album costs a $100, two albums would then cost $200. You can then figure out a bundle in which you’d package both albums and price the bundle at $150 ….. This means ome album would be priced at $75, which would make it more convenient for your fans fo buy the bundle and save $50 than buy the albums individually and spend a total of $200.
You can also use this tactic to push more sales for your singles aswell. You pair up two or more singles and release it as a bundle to push for more sales.
Other than singles, you can also use a bundle to package an album and an EP. You can use the pricing strategy I described for two albums.
The source material for music bundles can be music that is not picked for your albums. Most of the times artists record a lot of material for albums which doesn’t all get picked for the final project.
When this leftover music is compiled, it can make for a great addition to a bundle.
Artists sometimes also create accompanying albums that consist of alternate versions of the main album. It could be acoustic version albums, live performance versions etc.
This alternative versions of albums can be a great way to add to a bundle and offer a good price that can help you make money and push your music.
Another well known bundle practice is bonus tracks that you could add to an album.
The main goal of music bundles is to increase value of the album.
Album + Merchandise bundles
Another way to create a bundle package is by pairing an album with merchandise.
Artists have been using this way of promotion and marketing ever since CD sales started plummeting over the years with the introduction of streaming services.
Merchandise can be clothing, tickets, and any other material that can work well with the overall motive that is being pursued.
The most common merchandise and album packages are with clothing…. clothing can be a great way to give an incentive to your core fans. You just have to ensure that you provide the best possible quality of merch.
You can pair this with an album and it will most of the times help you ramp up sales.
Documentary + Music Bundles
This is one of the least used methods of bundling but is quite an effective one… it works best when you have a core fan base that’s actually interested in not only the music but the brand itself.
Having an album packaged with a documentary basically documenting the entire journey and process that went into the creation of the album can really do wonders.
As a musician people dont always get access to you actually putting in the work and being creative in the studio.
When you offer them a documentary…. you basically invite them deeper into your world and they develop a profound respect and admiration for your craft.
In studio documentaries can also make your fans attach more meaning to songs that they witnessed you make from scratch. This can then give them the incentive to go out and purchase the album because they have more than a superficial relationship with it.
One of the artists that has utilized this bundle well is J. Cole for the Dreamville album. He basically put out a documentary that documented the whole process behind the making of the album and the entire process.
This documentary was released just hours after the album and this made people create a bond with the songs because they’d watched the creation process behind the music.
So you can figure out a plan to document your whole album creation process and the have it released before or immediately after you put your album up for sale and streaming.
Music Videos + Behind the Scenes
Another great technique for bundling that has been developed is releasing music videos for songs the moment the album is put on Digital Streaming Platforms. Behind the scenes videos can also be helpful to push your album sales up.
Album + Tickets
Another great way that artists use to push their album sales is by bundling them up with tickets. This can be a great way to entice your fans into purchasing your album.
This requires careful planning to ensure that you make profit from packaging the tickets and the album as a bundle.
Furthermore, this kind of bundle can help you bring awareness around a concert and your album.