Merch Madness: How Artists Are Using Designer Duds and Nutritional Supplements to Battle for No. 1

To sell music these days, artists and labels are in an arms race to sweeten the deal — with lots and lots of stuff. A few weeks before the release of Tyler, The Creator’s latest album, IGOR (Columbia Records), his team launched a campaign to drive first-week sales. It began with a bundle of goodies, the Vote IGOR Pack, that included a t-shirt, lawn sign, button, vinyl sticker and coupon for a digital album download, all for $40. Fans were limited to four packages per customer, and they would start shipping May 17, the album’s debut date. In the end, IGOR landed at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 165,000 equivalent album units, according to Nielsen Music for the week ending May 23, 74,000 of them from album sale

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