Kanye West sold $780,000 worth of merch during his Saint Pablo tour’s stop at Madison Square Garden on Monday. That’s almost a quarter million more than the $540,000 in sales Pope Francis generated when he held mass at the arena in 2015.
Now take that and consider how Kanye’s latest LP, The Life of Pablo, has yet to go platinum (or even gold)—a feat achieved by every single one of Yeezy’s prior albums. It’s clear that record sales are increasingly irrelevant in the face of merch. These days, fans are buying into the brand more than they’re buying music.
Outside of selling merch at his concerts, Kanye also hosts pop-up stores for Saint Pablo merch. Each pop-up is a major event with long lines, drawing a gathering of hypebeasts and fans eager to get their hands on Ye’s merch.
Pablo merch is lyrics from The Life of Pablo printed in gothic font on Gildan apparel with the prices jacked way up. And Kanye’s fan base can’t get enough.
But Kanye isn’t the only one making a killing off merch sales right now. In 2016, merch is the name of the game. A few more superstars are cashing too.
— VFILES (@VFILES) May 4, 2016
JB hosted a pop-up shop with VFILES back in May. It was there that he debuted his Purpose Tour merch, many of the pieces designed to look like the merch of a metal band. Beliebers came out in droves to support their idol.
We tried on key pieces from Beyoncé’s Ivy Park line when it dropped back in April. Check out our haul video here.