The rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world has brought about evident drastic changes in almost every industry.
In a bid to stop the spreading coronavirus, the music industry has also become a victim of devastation on an unprecedented scale. Venues and bars are shut down from coast-to-coast, record shops have been closed and streaming rates have been altered; every tiny bit of the music industry has been affected.
Bars moved from being notably silent to utter silence. Livelihoods are at risk with venues closing their doors. Sound engineers, booking agents, record shop owners, DJs, managers, and other staff in the industry have been displaced from their jobs. The concert business stands to lose billions from the situation.
From the postponement of Coachella to the cancellation of the Glastonbury to the likes of Post Malone and Billie Eilish having to put their tours on hold, we can all agree that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly severed the inherent linkage between the music industry and live performances.
A quite surprising effect of the pandemic on the music industry is the sudden decrease in streaming numbers as a report from BuzzAngle recorded a 10% dip in on-demand streams. The collected data comprises major streaming platforms including Spotify and Apple Music. Classicals and children music are going up in streaming numbers but pop and other contemporary genres are on the decline.
As stars pop out only in darkness, many good things have however come out of this situation as well. The situation is allowing artists to connect with their fans and give personal insights into their off-stage selves. Fans are also having more time to figure out about whom they listen to and the story behind their favourite songs; I mean, can you imagine Billie Eilish wrote Ocean eyes when she was thirteen?
The pandemic is a major adjustment for everyone and artists have been working overtime to compensate for cancellations. Many artists and even services have devised ways to keep fans entertained and reduce the tension of the entire situation. Legacy-redefining Instagram live battles between producers have been proving efficient in entertaining fans.
It’s taken the unfortunate situation of a pandemic but concert live streaming could also be finally having its moment. Several artists including the likes of Miley Cyrus, Swae Lee, Diplo amongst others are taking shows to the digital realm to share some musical happiness during these trying times.
Music has acted as an antitoxin to the growing atmosphere of alienation by enhancing community connections in diverse ways.
With musical parodies, apartment block sing-alongs and people tossie sliding on TikTok, music is helping us maintain a sense of community, belonging and participation amidst the pandemic.
The most important thing in this time of panic and uncertainty is for us all to remain positive and keep our spirits high, and music does that for us.