The Impact of COVID-19 on Music

The Impact of COVID-19 on Music

Sage Slessor, Staff Reporter

While the rest of the entertainment industry continues to be shut down, the music business and its artists are still benefiting from today’s pandemic. However, not unlike most of their entertainment peers, music has also taken a solid hit–and while still active–many artists are struggling to continue producing music while finding ways to replace the monetary and social presence loss of concerts and large group events.

For a while now, music has been completely dominated in entertainment sales and views while other areas such as film and some T.V. production have shut down during the summer months. On the surface, it appears that artists must be thriving in COVID-19 times because it is the most popular at the moment. The evidence is that people are consuming more media while they are stuck at home in quarantine. Throughout the last six months, online consumption on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music have risen exponentially.  While this is the case, artists receive only tiny payouts from those sites and most are scrambling to compensate for the major revenue loss that comes with a lack of tours, concerts, and any live gigs in general. If you think that the pandemic has only affected massive festivals like Coachella and other big-scale tours, think again. As more metropolitan areas have increased COVID-19 regulations, smaller and smaller gigs were wiped out until group events completely disappeared. $10 billion in revenue (World Economic Forum) has been lost due to the inability to perform live, and as of now, these events will be some of the very last things to return to a COVID-free world.  

Although the concert industry is struggling, record labels are not. Artists can still create and release music in the comfort of their own homes, and many have also found ways to adapt and replace their live shows by sharing music through technology and social media. Without the positive experience of performing live in front of fans, artists are now trying to recreate this experience through live streaming. The interactions with fans and the adrenaline from performing is what appeals to most artists when it comes to making music.  Live streaming is something that everyone has been trying, playing songs in an attempt to feel that energy and liveliness once more, as well as provide some positivity, even if–like most things in our current world–is online. Artists have also found ways of making music videos with smartphones, Travis Scott for example, even held a concert over the game Fortnite. In these current times, how each individual musician copes with this devastation is going to affect if they thrive during the pandemic or lose everything by the time it is over.

Again, most are looking to spread some positivity into the world, so in response, we have seen more and more older artists and bands come forward and either livestream or release music when we haven’t seen them in years.  It’s comforting to see older performers getting back into it and releasing more unexpectedly

Music continues to become more prevalent because it connects us in a world that is falling apart.  The artists who are adapting to the circumstances, using livestreams, continuing to produce music, and more,  despite not performing will thrive and help the world through these times but others will not, luckily it is an industry that can continue to survive no matter the times we are in.