Making Sense Of Coronavirus as a Musician
The following is a list of helpful articles and online resources that have helped me make sense of the effects of Coronavirus on my own career as an artist. I hope these resources, organized for your ease of access, might help you plan, as well.
Soundcharts.com | How Does The Music Industry Work?
This article is a primer. I wanted to take a holistic approach and try to understand how Coronavirus might affect the industry in all of its facets. So the first thing I did was find an overall guide to the various aspects of the industry, just as a reminder.
This helpful guide very briefly does the following:
- Briefly overviews the history of the music industry in 4 parts
- Breaks down the industry into 10 "parts"
- Offers a more in depth article for each of the 10 sections
Use this to give yourself a snapshot of where things were immediately before the epidemic. Identify the aspects of the industry that relate to you and develop search terms to find more reading material in particular directions.
You may already understand how Coronavirus affects touring. But maybe you need to put more thought into how it might affect Sync Licensing or Streaming.
Pitchfork.com | The Record Industry Expects A Windfall. Where Will The Money Go?
The majority of music industry revenue goes to Labels. This article, my second primer, reminded me that the vast majority of streaming revenue (which has been growing steadily for years) never reaches an artist's pocket. Artists make the majority of their money off of touring. Streaming revenues, for artists, is so small, it typically can't even support a minimum paycheck.
This is part of why the loss of touring revenues is such a big hit to artists; It's basically the only thing they were getting, in the first place.
This brings up the question: Will this crisis cause enough pain to force change in the split of revenues? Or will more artists take up the mantle of Twitch, Patreon and other direct-to-consumer formats so that they can keep a larger portion of the pie?
This article focuses on touring and does a good job explaining how touring provides fans opportunities for Exclusive, Unique Access and Memorabilia. This helped me realize that a lack of in-person touring is not the problem so much as the lack of opportunity to provide those two forms of value.
This helped me make decisions on the best virtual / digital solutions. My goal is to create digital / remote solutions that provide those forms of value to my fans.
By extension, I'm trying to come up with moments that feel rare and unique. As such, I might consider creating multiple tiers of content
In this article, 18 artists discuss their experience grappling with the loss of tours and, therefore, a lot of their paycheck. It helped me to know how others are preparing, finding solutions and generally handling things.
This one digs into various aspects of the industry and how they are affected in relation to artists, songwriters and the like. The article also goes beyond artists and explores the "trickle down" effect on other music professionals. Think roadies, music producers, and the like.
Bonus Video - Sync My Music (Youtube) - How Coronavirus Will Affect TV & Film Music Sync Licensing
Several songwriting professionals discuss how Coronavirus has affected their workflow and income. They spend some time discussing innovations that may come out of the next few months. It's a great conversation worth listening to if you're trying to figure out how to change with the times as a creative.
Don't sit on your hands. For better or worse, things are changing. We will have to change with them. The best way to equip ourselves is to gather knowledge and move forward as informed as possible.
If you find information that's worth sharing, send it to a fellow artist or creative. If you have any questions or want to talk shop about the music industry, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org