StubHub adds band merchandise sales, VIP offers

StubHub partners with BandPage to help musicians sell extras to concertgoers buying tickets

Online concert ticket-reseller StubHub is getting into the band merchandise business. 

StubHub, owned by Ebay, has partnered with San Francisco-based company BandPage to help musicians sell extras including merch and VIP show passes to concertgoers as they buy tickets, the companies said Tuesday.

The pact comes at a time when musicians increasingly rely on the live events business and T-shirt sales as revenue from CDs and downloads continues to fall. The two companies are hoping fans will want to take advantage of the online offers ahead of the show instead of waiting to stand in the long merch lines at the venue. 

The program starts testing this month with offers from alt-rock band Switchfoot, funk godfather George Clinton and alternative rockers OK Go. Customers searching for tickets to Clinton's upcoming shows will be offered $175 VIP meet-and-greet tickets, for example. 

BandPage, which employs 35 people, powers artists' online stores on websites and apps such as Spotify, YouTube and Shazam, taking a 10-15% cut of merchandise sales through those outlets.

J Sider, BandPage's founder and chief executive, thinks directing fans to online merchandise and opportunities to interact with artists can significantly boost revenue for the music industry.

Particularly, in-person meetings, whether backstage or at the recording studio, can be a huge draw for music fans, he said. 

"Consumers want to buy experiences and memories that they want to create with people, more than they want to buy things," Sider said. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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