The impact that the Covid-19 Pandemic has had on the music industry is undeniable! With fluctuating consumer habits and unexpected changes in response to the pandemic, the music industry has suffered many losses.
So which branches of the music industry were affected? Live performances, sales, musicians, and the future of the industry were all heavily impacted. Now for the more important question, how were these different branches of the music industry affected?
Live music makes up nearly 50% of the music industry’s profits, with the other 50% of profit coming from recorded music. Many music festivals and live performances were forced to get canceled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
This has cost the industry billions of dollars in sponsorships. The unknown date by which things will get back to normal makes it extremely difficult for the industry to plan their response to these losses. In addition, online surveys reveal that US citizens do not intend on attending concerts and festivals unless there is a confirmed vaccine.
Accordingly, the music industry had to respond. Live concerts attempted to become virtual to maintain social distancing. For example, Dua Lipa had a Pandora Live concert last December. With her new album being released amidst the pandemic, she seized the opportunity to perform her songs live on Pandora.
Another example of the music industry adapting to this situation is the live rap battle hosted by Fortnite. The rap battle was a success that attracted nearly 30 million viewers!
DJs have utilized Instagram Live to provide their fans with great music whilst abiding by Covid-19 restrictions. The DJ, D-Nice, created one of the most memorable moments in quarantine when he started #ClubQuarantine. He attracted over one hundred thousand viewers, many of which were other celebrities!
Although home concerts are great for fans and for public safety, they still hinder the music industry’s profitability.
Physical sales of music have gone down by approximately 30% due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, this has forced many retail stores to close. Digital sales have also fallen.
However, streaming services gained many new users after quarantine. Streaming services such as iHeart Radio and LiveXLive have revolutionized the industry. They have provided consumers with a wide variety of music for free. In addition, they have exponentially decreased piracy since millions of songs are just one click away!
On the other hand, due to the decreased sales in the music industry, costs were reduced as well. The advertisement costs were reduced in order to avoid extreme financial losses. This impacted streaming services as the reduced budgets forced them to decrease advertisements.
Streaming services have integrated memberships to artist channels as well as exclusive access to music into the platform as a way of monetizing music and responding to the losses that the music industry has dealt with.
Many artists have delayed their music releases until further notice since tours are not a current medium for promoting music. Other artists have chosen to connect to their fans in a rather direct manner. Through Instagram TV, Twitch, and TikTok, artists have been able to share their music in a more connected way, far from the stress of live concerts. Fans truly enjoy listening to musicians without all the bright lights and fancy setup, as the experience is much more personal.
For new musicians, social media adapting to online music is a great opportunity to gain exposure. In addition, the technological advancements in the music industry have made it much easier for anyone to create a song from the comfort of their own home. With TikTok having over 1 billion users, music is not only shared through the artist but also through influencer’s music suggestions. Simply creating a 15-second TikTok of their song and going viral can lead new artists to sign with record labels! Accordingly, exposure of new talent rapidly increased with the pandemic. This resulted in the creation of countless music niches that satisfy every consumer’s preferences.
Although the music industry has suffered sudden and significant financial losses due to the pandemic, this is not how it ends. In the long-term, the losses will be rather insignificant. The means by which music is monetized will face some alterations, but the music industry will undeniably thrive as long as people listen to music! The period of adjustment will be difficult but temporary. On the bright side, this pandemic has resulted in countless new musicians gaining popularity and creating content that both they and their fans are passionate about.