The rapid spread of COVID-19 has brought multiple industries to a standstill, with the music and entertainment industry being one of the worst affected. Theatres and concert halls have been left empty almost a year on. Artists have lost income due to the absent concerts and tours, having to find other sources of income.

The digital age has provided us with a way to stay connected to music, even if it is not in person. Generally, there has been an increase in the demand for online streaming platforms. But, it should be noted that in April 2020, it was reported that Spotify streams were down by 11%.

That being said, according to Technavio, a global market research firm, the music streaming market will grow by $7.47bn from 2020 to 2024. Music streaming platforms can also provide a way to feel connected with others. Platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music allow their subscribers to share music to social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. This deeper social connection contributes to the attractiveness of these services during these times of limited social interaction.

The Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee conducted a music streaming inquiry. They expressed the need for record companies and artists to have copyright protection. It was also highlighted that revenue from streaming services is not often enough income to sustain artists, and how the demise of the live music sector has caused some artists to suffer greater than others.

Spotify has capitalised on this demise. They have formed a deal with Songkick to promote live streaming events. This would enable an artist to list events on their Spotify artist page to promote their virtual concert. Virtual concerts have been popularised during the pandemic out of necessity. Lil Nas X had a virtual concert, presented by Roblox, which was attended 33 million times. This shows that there is a new, growing market that artists can tap into.

Words by: Des Okongwu Legal & Business Affairs Correspondent