What can Beatmerch, a rapidly growing merchandizing solution which provides for all a DJ’s branding needs, tell us about the future of this sector?

Beatmerch (beatmerch.com) is run by Duncan Abdelnour (President) and Alexa Blackburn (Creative & Social Director) – both alumni of the University of Tampa – alongside Daniel Giuntini (Merch Manager), a James Madison University undergraduate.

The company provides all aspects of merch and branding, from a physical store that they set up at events, through product design, all the way to SEO and social media. They focus on providing their services to Electronic Dance Music (EDM) artists, part of the music industry which shows an impressive level of growth.

What is Beatmerch?

Founded in 2013, this white-hot startup represents a superstar portfolio of Djs, including Hardwell, DJ Snake and Nicky Romero. Even at this early stage they earned $126,000 revenue via sales last year.

Beatmerch’s service is precisely tailored to the needs of a modern EDM musician. This includes operating a highly mobile team that can set up shop at a touring DJ’s every gig and festival, while providing fully-customized merch via sites that they create to match the needs of their clients. Such is their success that inc.com declared them to be the third best collage startup of 2014, as chosen by website users.

Beatmerch – Electronic Music Merchandising from Sauce Digital on Vimeo.

How Did It All Start?

As dormstartups.org reported, Duncan Abdelnour had worked as a tour manager for EDM acts and ran a number of online businesses before he founded Beatmerch. He launched his first website when he was only 14 years of age, apparently making Abdelnour someone who understands tech and business by nature.


Nicky Romero approached Abdelnour when he was still a student, asking him to create a merchandizing package for his upcoming tour. This experience convinced Abdelnour that the EDM industry offered an exciting opportunity for a merchandizing solution on the next level.

With funding from his own pocket, credit, and powered by the ambitious vision as shared by all members of the Beatmerch team, the company has grown its influence and artist portfolio since then. In the near future, Beatmerch hopes to sign up even more DJs, while further refining their online system.

How Is It Changing The World?

Beatmerch’s touring system allows them to travel alongside DJs as they move from gig to gig, to set up a slick and highly visible store through which to sell merchandise that features the DJ’s personal branding.

Online, the company can handle every aspect of a DJ’s merchandizing needs. Beatmerch will work with a new client to create products, like t-shirts and caps, which reflect the artist’s personality. They can then design and construct a new website to host it, which means that, rather than having your merch sold via a generic store, Beatmerch will have a custom online store available, either stand-alone or as part of your existing domain.

They will not simply leave you to it – after that, Beatmerch will channel traffic to your new site with SEO and social media marketing. This is the search and social media century, it is no longer the case that if you create a website they will come. Instead, if you do so, you need to coax attention from the top social networks and blogs and make your site search engine friendly, which Beatmerch will carry out for you.

Given these factors, it seems that Beatmerch has attained something like ‘vertical integration’ within branding. This means that a company controls many different aspects of the chain of production, such as Apple, which controls the hardware, software and app ecosystem, for example. As such, because Beatmerch supervise every link in the chain, they can manage every aspect of merchandizing for best results.

Electronic Dance Music

This is a genre rapidly gaining prominence, and promises to continue growing. Featuring high-powered acts like Hardwell, Avicii and Deadmau5, it also involves giant live events like the Ultra and Tomorrowland Festivals.

In an interview with hollywoodreporter.com, SFX CEO Robert Sillerman observed that the EDM festival industry had grown by 40 percent year on year for many years. Sillerman – whose company runs the music distribution site Beatport (beatport.com) and festivals like Tomorrowland – claimed that EDM will be the music of the new, networked and tech-oriented generation, worldwide.

Beatmerch seems to represent what branding and merch should look like in the 21st centry, and their success reflects this. So, as the EDM scene continues to grow, so, it appears, will smart startups like Beatmerch continue to gain success by providing a service tailored to the complex needs of modern DJs.

Author Oliver Cox

Having originally joined the company as a writer in 2013, Oliver currently works as a full-time member of L&T's sales team to prospect, nurture and help close sales leads in the US and UK markets. Oliver is a graduate of the University of Liverpool and is a prolific musician and author.

More posts by Oliver Cox

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