Live music and the accompanying trade of buying a band’s merchandise is one of the last tangible remnants appreciated and embraced by fans across genres and age groups. Some in the industry might take the argument even further, believing that combined live show and merchandise packages are the one outlet where some bands are left to make the majority their profits.
What though, does this say about the product and service musicians originally got into providing, which is their music itself? The industry is constantly changing and recorded music is no longer the consumer endgame and hasn’t been for quite a while. However, in a move that, at least in theory, appears to bring relevance back to tunes while accepting the fickleness of the music business, the Korean boy band 2PM is breaking a barrier and putting these two commodities together. The group’s newest work blends their clothing-based merchandise and their songs into a single product for fan enjoyment.
2PM, a band made up of six members and managed by JYP Entertainment, is preparing to release what is being called the “2PM Clothes Album,” which will available for pre-ordering on November 15 through JYP’s web store, as well as another Korean company, G-Market. Six tracks will be included on this project and as reported on Allkpop.com, “all songs except [two] will be officially released for the first time through the ‘Clothes Album’.” The main mechanisms at work for the project are small QR codes that will be embedded on a line of varying garments, including: hats, hoodies, t-shirts, and even pants. Once scanned with a smart phone, a separate, special application will become available to hear the album’s tracks.
JYP Entertainment sees promise in this atypical product ‘consolidation’ and according to a company statement also reported on Allkpop.com,
[The company] will be working hard with various clothing and fashion enterprises to achieve a platform that JYP Entertainment can distribute domestically and overseas through clothes.
One can imagine the novelty appeal of this trend catching on with US bands and their merchandise collections. No more need for boxes of albums to be taken along on tours. Although, with the already sky high prices of regular band clothing, additional product features for merch might take monetary demand over the top, despite the increasing ubiquity of QR codes.
To get a look at the apparel offered for “Clothes Album” click here.
Kira is an old school music nerd with a love for all things creative; always searching for music’s common ground. She graduated with an M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University. Drop her a tweet @shadowmelody1