The Covid-19 pandemic has forced musical artists to move away from live performances in front of massive crowds to entertaining their fans from their homes through social media platforms.

Since the pandemic began and worsened over time, the music industry and especially live performances were put on hold. Packed crowds in concert halls and outdoor venues break social distancingguidelines and this has seen several venues closing down. Not to forget, local artists and their crew members have also been affected.

Live streaming has been the way to go for most artists, and this is one of the most popular ways for fans to get the closest experienceto a live show. They can be inadequate, but live streams have played a role in sustaining musicians’ income since they have lost out on profits from merchandise and ticket sales.

There are some artists and venues that have remained successful with outdoor events, but others in various countries face fans who don’t adhere to social distancing rules and government crackdowns.

Many people around the world have always relied on music for comfort and entertainment, but there is the question whether the music industry will survive this pandemic. Several venues are struggling to stay in business, and many don’t qualify for loans. Even when the pandemic is finally under control and tours return, venue owners say that it will take months to plan and schedule concerts.

Another challenge musicians have to deal with is the internet celebrities who are proficient at maintaining and nurturing a virtual fanbase. Early-career musicians will have to be innovative and find groundbreaking ways to attract fans, since they don’t have opportunities to perform at small concerts. In addition, the value of a live stream and a live show has been of great debate. For many, it doesn’t make sense charging the same price for a link to live stream as a seat in a concert hall.

As the profitability structure has been disrupted, the industry will need to make significant changes to stay alive. Some companies may need to consolidate further, artists might need to have more live performance or fans might be required to cough out more money for musicians. However, with the advancement of live streaming, there is a possibility that it will become more popular even after the pandemic.

The pandemic has also created new demand for music that people enjoy, and consequently, new revenue streams for musicians across the globe have been created. Besides live performances, some artists have moved on to online subscription platforms where they get paid for their behind-the-scenes music and content.

Predictions in the Music Industry Developments Due to the Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the music industry,especially in the live arena. More and more artists have delayed their releases because they can’t go on tours or perform at live concerts to promote their new songs. Nevertheless, online music consumption has been increasing. The following developments are anticipated to occur:

More than any other field of the entertainment sector (apart from sports), music is all about live experiences and with or without a pandemic, that will never change. Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters also made this point when he said, “There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music.” So, until it’ssafe to plan and hold live concerts, expect a progressive transition toward virtual events and increased online engagement between artists and fans. Even after the pandemic subsides, online engagement is likely to remain a huge part of the music industry.

Before the pandemic, the music industry was already undergoing a huge transformation, because of the growth of streaming services, disruptive technologies like music-creating AI algorithms, emergence of artist services platforms and the blurring of boundaries that used to separate content distributors from content producers. It’s likely that the pandemic will fuel these trends as new opportunities and business models are embraced and conventional ways are left behind.

Despite the increase in digital music consumption, rising levels of unemployment globally (because of the pandemic) could also affect subscriptions on music streaming platforms.Financially-challenged consumers who had continually embraced paid subscriptions on streaming apps might end up downgrading to free packages or even resort to pirated music shared through peer-to-peer file sharing networks. This would ultimately affect revenue streams for musicians as well as streaming apps.


How the Music Industry is Responding

With concerts and festivals postponed and streaming numbers going down, the industry is working hard to keep artists afloat, especially those who are losing out on streaming or tour income. Here are some examples.

Bandcamp was among the first companies to lead in the support of artists by waiving its revenue temporarily and allowing money spent on the platform to be given directly to the artists.

Spotify created a Covid-19 Music Relief Project, that aims to provide artists with financial support and vital resources and information that they would need in the event that they experience a major loss of income because of the pandemic.

Spotify also pledged to match the amount of funds raised by the public (up to $10 million) and accepted public donations for Covid relief charities. Artists will have access to the donations feature which will enable them to accept donations for charities of their choice.

Apple Music also launched “Come Together” which hosts several music videos, playlists, radio selections and beats to help listeners sail through the trying times. In addition, they also gave their customers 90 days free access to Logic Pro and Final cut to encourage people interested in boosting their creativity during the pandemic to produce and edit audio and visual content.

To sum it up, the pandemic has pushed industry players to be innovative and listen more keenly to their fans who want to listen to new and exclusive music. This in turn has provided artists with the opportunity to leverage ways to monetize engagement beyond live performances.There are also some labels and musicians who have their own websites, and this makes it easy to partner with other platforms, sell merchandise, promote their content and offer exclusive content.