Evolution in the music industry during COVID-19

The music industry, like every other sector of the entertainment business, has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. With live performances, concerts and gigs being impossible in the current scenario, this has drastically hurt the earning potential for most musicians, as these make up the bulk of their earnings, other than for the very biggest stars who have huge royalties paid to them.

Social distancing measures and lockdown rules have meant that parties and outdoor events are not allowed anymore, and so musicians have also been forced to stay at home. This has impacted recording sessions as well, with studios also being shut during the last few months, and so there have been almost no sources of revenue for performing artists. However, the widespread use of the internet and social media has meant that there are still ways in which musicians have been able to stay connected with their fans, and while these apps do not offer much by the way of earnings, they have allowed musicians to keep their fans in the loop and maintain communication, which could be vital once things do go back to some sort of normalcy.

There has also been a rise in the use of online streaming services for music consumption during this time, particularly in India. The country has seen an increase of 13% in music consumption so far this year, with those numbers set to go up even more as lockdown measures continue to be implemented. This is in line with the rise in popularity of most online forms of entertainment, as people have turned to the internet to keep them busy while being stuck inside their houses. Gaming, online streaming and even online gambling have all seen spurts in popularity, with new casinos in India also being popular online.

This increase in usage of streaming services for music access has allowed musicians to earn some money during lockdown, with many of them also putting on live performances from their homes over social media to support charitable causes as well as to earn for themselves as well. This has not been an easy switch to make for many performers who were not very active on social media before the pandemic, and it has also been tricky to put on live shows with instruments et al. However, most musicians seem to have adapted well enough, and the popularity of many of these online concerts has shown that there definitely is a market for this sort of entertainment, especially in the current scenario, but maybe also in the future once things do go back to normal.

Many artists have also been collaborating with each other on these platforms, with the majority of these happening for charity, as mentioned earlier. There have been a number of online concerts which have taken place, with the biggest of them having dozens or more of the biggest musicians in the world performing live from their homes to raise awareness and funds for a variety of causes, including for the fight against this current pandemic.

If there is one small silver lining from all this, it is that the demand for music has not died down. If anything, being at home has led to an increase in the need for entertainment options, if anything, and music has been one of the most popular sources of this entertainment for fans. The way in which fans are experiencing music is definitely different, however, and it remains to be seen if online streaming and live concerts through social media will remain as popular once the pandemic subsides. Nevertheless, at the moment, it has allowed musicians and fans to stay connected, while also giving the artists a way to earn some money while all other avenues have been closed off.

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