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The Impact of COVID-19 on the Music Industry

Technology has removed the cumbersome task of having to traditionally write, record, and produce sound.

The industry is fighting back with new ways to monetize music consumption and innovative models. One of the strategies used recently is the partnership between the music and gaming industries. Fortnite hosted a live rap concert that attracted nearly 30 million live viewers. While there was some impact on our social entertainment services, we have started to see a moderate recovery recently. In the first quarter of 2020, online music subscription revenues increased by 70.0% year-over-year. The number of online music-paying users reached 42.7 million, a year-over-year increase of 50.4%.” Tsai Chun Pan, Group Vice President, TME Content Cooperation Department. 

Dedicated musicians who refused to let COVID discourage them are now reaping the fruits of their labor. Studies show that the streaming of music is expected to increase from 7% to 49% of total revenue in the music industry during the next 6 years. Streaming has shown how effective it is with the most known example being The Astronomical event hosted by Travis Scott and Fortnite which managed to get over 30 million views and serve as a major promotion strategy for his new single The Scotts which debuted at no1 on the billboard top 100 and accumulating a total of 42.2 million streams in 6 days in the US alone.

While COVID-19 has affected the performance of music it has completely failed to hinder the workflow and recording of music. Technology has made it possible to record and work with people from anywhere in the world from the comfort of your home studio. This has been going on long before COVID ever existed. The pandemic definitely made remote recording an option for artists but it is something that all music professionals already knew how to do. 

With streaming growing by the day, musicians are now finding new ways of connecting with their fans. Making it enjoyable for their biggest fans to support them from the safety and comfort of their homes. Twitch TV (the biggest streaming platform) has recently partnered with rapper Logic to stream exclusively on Twitch TV for a deal worth seven figures. Deals like this are what fans and artists dream of. The ability to connect with your fans outside of music and still make money. 

Technology has definitely made it easier and highly rewarding for those dedicated to music. Producers being one of the biggest beneficiaries of it. In America, a full-time freelance producer makes an average of $89k (R1.35 million) in a year.

Technology has removed the cumbersome task of having to traditionally write, record, and produce sound. Many of these old methods made recording a long process and the tools used weren’t advanced enough (yet too expensive for the average person) resulting in tracks losing data, therefore, affecting the overall quality of the final product.

These days technology is so advanced and less demanding that people now have access to a studio just by clicking an app on their computer. These apps (eg. Pro Tools) have plugins that replicate native instruments such as pianos, drums, guitars, and when the sound you want is not readily available through plug-ins. Sound synthesis has made it possible to create any sound you desire.