Further to the discussion on how brand extensions can help you make money online, there’s an article by Clive Thompson in the current issue of Wired on “How T-shirts keep online content free“. The thesis? The content will build your audience; the money can be made by selling them branded T-shirts and other merchandise, as do the creators of animated comedy series Red vs. Blue:
Their algorithm is simple: First, don’t limit your audience by insisting they pay to see your work. Instead, let your content roam freely online, so it generates as large an audience as possible. Then cash in on your fans’ desire to sport merchandise that declares their allegiance to you.
It’s not likely to work for everyone – but will it work for you?