COVID-19's Impact on the Music Industry
Did you know that touring is the number one source of income for recording artists around the globe? The $26 billion live events industry is taking a HUGE hit during this time. Live events aren't expected to resume until 2021, which is a devastating blow to the industry. What does this mean for artists? According to Billboards annual money makers report, U2 makes 95% of their yearly revenue from performances. Not everyone is of the stature of U2, but this should put into perspective the significance of live performances for artists of all magnitudes. Developing and financing your music career runs through touring. Touring generates revenue through the likes of expanded exposure, ticket sales, and merchandising, to name a few. The loss of live shows is crippling to the industry.
Now you may be asking yourself how artists will be able to make up for these astronomical losses. The answer is that it's going to be extremely difficult. Digital streaming is the number one source of music consumption in the world today. This is significant for sure. It surprisingly has little to no impact on artists, especially those who are less established, though. On Spotify, an artist makes a whopping $.00437 per stream. This equates to $4,370 for every 1,000,000 streams. Unless you're an established artist with millions of loyal fans, you're not making a steady income on streams alone. What else can artists do to monetize their brand digitally? Three solutions are selling merchandise online, promoting music on YouTube to collect advertising, or licensing music for the likes of television. These can all be expensive options, though. For an up and coming artist, the most feasible option would be to start an online fundraiser. Really connect with your supporters on why you want to continue making music and hope they'll support your cause financially.
I'm pretty sure we can all agree that music plays a vital role in all of our lives, right? What can we do to continue to give aspiring artists the power and motivation to provide us with inspiring music? There are many initiatives within the music industry that have been developed to support the cause during this tough time. MusiCares is a charitable organization that was formed by the Recording Academy. In response to the pandemic, MusiCares has established a COVID-19 relief fund for musicians in need. This fund, which has been supported by millions already, is essential to help aspiring artists continue to support their families while pursuing their dreams. Please take a minute to visit their page and learn more about the initiative and support the cause if you feel inclined.