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Represent acquires concert merch platform Sidestep

Celebrity merch marketplace Represent has acquired Sidestep, a digital platform dedicated to selling concert merchandise.

Sidestep allows artists to sell products to fans across its website and mobile app, expanding the sales window for sellers and eliminating queuing for buyers.

Artists including Adele, Guns N’ Roses, Selena Gomez and Fall Out Boy have used Sidestep to sell concert merch in the past. Beyoncé is also a fan of the company, investing US$150,000 in Sidestep in 2016.

The integration with Represent, which is owned by personalised apparel company CustomInk, will enable artists to design, market and distribute custom-made merchandise through the platform.

Both Sidestep and Represent, each founded in 2014, have been involved in fan merchandise since their inception. CustomInk acquired Represent in early 2016, in a deal believed to be in excess of $100 million. The apparel company hopes to boost sales further through the Sidestep addition.

“Using Sidestep, artists can ensure higher sales and happier fans by offering easy advance and on-site orders for their fans”

“When you’re at a concert, the last thing you want to be is stuck in line and missing the music,” says Represent’s chief operating officer, Daniel Rosenberg. “Using Sidestep, artists can ensure higher sales and happier fans by offering easy advance and on-site orders for their fans.”

Through the integration with Represent, “artists get access to a full-service solution that helps fans buy new merchandise throughout the year, from viral social media-driven campaigns to tour pre-orders and evergreen fan gear.” adds Rosenberg.

“When we first launched Sidestep, our goal was to super-serve artists in the music industry by bridging the gap between technology and merchandising,” says Sidestep founder and chief executive Eric Jones, who takes on the role of head of music at Represent following the acquisition.

“Our ultimate vision was to extend each concert experience to fans around the world. With this new partnership, we’re in [the] position to fulfill that original goal and vision.”

The music merchandising sector has been booming in recent years, with merch sales totalling nearly $3.5 billion in 2018. Sony Music recently expanded its own merchandise offering, acquiring the music merch branch of US theatre and entertainment merchandising company the Araca Group.


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