• RiddimStyle Staff Writer

How Has COVID-19 Change the Music Industry Part 1

It is an understatement to say that virtually all entertainment industries around the world took a massive hit from the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Regarding the music industry specifically, producers and performers have lost significant sources of income due to restrictions on large-scale gatherings to achieve and maintain social distancing regulations. Alongside the inability to hold concerts, which provided artists with a significant portion of their regular income, travel bans and restrictions have also made touring impossible. 

These conditions in tandem also affected the revenues that artists earned from sponsorship. Because concerts and tours were cancelled, certain ad-supported brands and companies chose to halt promotions completely, meaning another all-important source of revenue loss for many recording and performing artists. 

However, not every artist in the music industry has spent their time wallowing in self-pity. Artists have adapted in their delivery of content as well as audience engagement. They have been making creative use of their resources to get through the economic crisis of COVID-19. 

For instance, one of the existing channels was the digital delivery of music through online streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music. With the low royalty rates of these services and the fact that many artists already had very little exposure. It seemed unlikely that they would be able to survive off of these services. 

 Rather than rely on the typical music streaming websites which were already difficult to earn sufficient revenues, some artists chose to allocate their resources towards live streaming platforms such as Twitch and Instagram TV. While online performances of this nature aren't a groundbreaking new concept, music lovers are now in search of another source of musical entertainment. This desire for entertainment makes this option far more viable. Additionally, this form of online interactive delivery and audience engagement has proven to be successful for many artists.

 American entertainment writer Hattie Collins, notes that Lady Gaga's 'One World: Together At Home' Livestream raised more than $127 million for the World Health Organisation among other charities.

 Travis Scott's Fortnite premier of 'Astronomical' garnered more than 7.54 million plays on Spotify within 24 hours as well as more than 28 million players have viewed and experienced the performance after five showings. According to Collins, 'Many more viewers than if he had played at this year's Coachella, as planned'. 

While these sorts of digital deliveries lack certain traits that make live, in-person concerts so unique, it can't be disputed that they satisfy the demand for entertainment to some extent. 

Is it of the same magnitude? Debatable; but people want to watch it, so it's up to the artists to deliver. 

Similarly, another adjustment made by some artists and companies in the music industry is to place more focus on on-demand music streaming services. Hall also observed that "the crisis is likely to accelerate underlying trends in the music industry, based on the importance of streaming, which has grown from 9% to 47% of total industry revenues in just six-year.