Using an iPad in the Music Industry Part 3: Merch, Marketing, Managing

Thanks everyone for checking out the series.  Here is the last installment, all about The Business. Along with being a great tool for musicians, engineers and producers, the iPad is well suited for everyone working in the business sector of the music industry.  By everyone, I really mean everyone.  Managers, marketers, merch retailers, bands, brands, bloggers, social media mavens and more.

Now let’s talk about merch.

Merch is one of those magical things that makes the music world go round.  Merch allows fans to support their favorite artists, proudly showing their colors and throwing artists some money to boot.  In this day and age, most money is spent either via cash, or credit cards.  While you’re up on stage rocking the universe, most likely your fans are imbibing adult beverages.  I’m not really a drinker, but if I’m buying a drink at a show, I pay in cash.  It’s just easier.  Come the end of the show, if I want to buy merch, it’s quite likely that I spent my cash at the bar and I can’t afford your CD or T-shirt anymore.  Check out Square.  This device/app easily lets you handle credit card payments via iPad.  If you can give your fans more freedom to pay you, you’re way more likely to sell your swag.

Marketing on the road

I travel a lot. I have been going back and forth from New York to Boston almost every week since may.  On average that’s around 9 hours in a bus, every week. Though there are power outlets and (barely functional) wifi on most coach busses these days, there is rarely enough room to make fumbling with laptops and power adapters appealing or worthwhile.  My laptop battery, when fully charged, usually lasts about half of a bus trip.  My iPad, when only half charged, lasts an entire bus trip with ease.  On the Bolt Bus, there are a few seats that have more legroom, at the cost of no power outlets.  I always choose those seats, I get a more comfortable ride and I never have to plug in.  Often times the seat next to me remains vacant as well, other travelers opting for seats with power outlets.

Of course I watch movies (Netflix streams over the 3G network), chat online, and sometimes play games when traveling, but much more importantly I have a powerful and portable portal to social media and blogging.  Anywhere I have wifi or cellphone service I can engage fans, readers, and join the conversation. Though I love HootSuite for its twitter analytics, my absolute favorite twitter client is Osfoora HD for the iPad.  It suits me and I wish they had a web app.

Often times travel takes us industry folks to conferences, as it did last week when I was at the New Music Seminar.  There was only barely functional wifi and no power outlets at the seminar.  The iPad, in my opinion, is the number one platform for live blogging.  I can touch type on my iPad.  It is way easier than it looks.  It’s not quite as fast as a traditional keyboard, but it is more than fast enough to keep up with speakers, and I had a really positive experience typing away all day on the iPad.  The battery never died, and I was always connected to the internet.  I used the CoverItLive blogging platform and it performed flawlessly.

Artists:  When you’re out playing shows, send tweets, get your fans pumped, give them updates and more.  Tell them if they come around back after the show everyone gets a free T-shirt.  Engage them via social media and get them to connect with you.

We love T.Mills

Orchard artist T.Mills gained over 2000 new fans on social media in just one day.  Engage your fans. It works.


Managers have the ability to maintain email communications anywhere they travel, and the battery will not die right before that important message comes in.  That’s just the start.  You can maintain and store all of your contacts, schedules, spreadsheets and more on the iPad.  It fully supports Microsoft Exchange right out of the box.  It also hosts powerful note-taking and filing apps such as Evernote and you can even run presentations off of it with Keynote.  iPads are great tools for meetings.  It alleviates the temptation to hide behind your laptop screen during a conference or presentation and keeps you focused.

One feature I find really cool is using an iPad stylus and writing people handwritten notes with Penultimate. It’s fast, personal, and the emails can be sent right out of the app.  This can also be a marketing tool.  Have followers direct message your account on twitter, and send the first 50 handwritten notes and pictures.  It’s fun, easy, and will leave a mark on your fans forever.

Well, thanks so much for checking out this 3 part series!  Hope you gained some tips and insights in the world of iPad.  It’s time for me to take off my blogger hat and head to the studio.  Tonight I’m recording multitalented blues artist and actor Jake La Botz.

-Graham Tobias


Music and Tech Recap |

[…] Using an iPad in the Music Industry – The Daily Rind has run an informative three part article on how artists can take advantage of the iPad. Part 1: Artist Assets, Part 2: In the Studio, On the Road, Part 3: Merch, Marketing and Managing. […]


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