Music Industry Response to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit all sectors and the creative industries, including the music industry, have been impacted in a variety of ways. Organisations from across the global music sector have rolled out a wide range of initiatives to help combat the effects of the pandemic on the music community. There are a large number of measures to support a huge network of those working in music, from artists and labels to publishers, composers, music charities and a wide range of employees in different roles across the music industry.
In April 2020, IFPI launched a microsite (Global Music Industry COVID-19 response tracker) which provides detailed info about the initiatives in place, at national and global level. Users can filter to find information about help and resources available from a range of bodies including industry organisations, record labels, governments, the live sector, digital service providers and others.
The initial impact of Covid-19 on the music industry was an unexpected one. Surely, with everyone confined to their homes, streaming figures would go through the roof, not least because it soon transpired that singing opera on your small Italian balcony is only so amusing for so long. Yet, in April, a good six weeks into global lockdown orders, it was reported that Spotify streams of the world’s biggest hits were actually down 11%.
See, it wasn’t just concert halls that had been shuttered, it was the bars and venues that would normally be playing recorded music; plus there was a lack of bored commuters standing glumly on trains listening to a playlist titled My Boss Is a Jerk.
Music was one of the many areas of employment under serious scrutiny in 2020, with Spotify singled out for giving its suppliers – and I am talking musicians rather than record labels – an extremely rum deal. An unlikely champion of the artist arrived in Tom Gray, member of gravelly Britpop blues dudes Gomez, and his #BrokenRecord campaign, which looked to hold streaming’s unjust financial model to account.