The music business like every other industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Live music and the live aspect plays a crucial role in generating revenue for the music industry. The pandemic shut down the live aspect. Live shows and live events were the lifeblood of artists. Artists had to go back to the drawing board and think of new strategies to combine with streaming revenues. Now, their is a clear view of the world returning to some form of normal. Live events will resume and probably with a certain angst. The question now, is how these new strategies will play into the post-pandemic landscape being called the “Coronaconomy”.
There has been a rumbling in the music industry for years amongst artists regarding streaming revenues. It has taken away the artist’s ability to sell records at the rate he or she or they decide its worth. One could argue Apple Music and similar outlets still offer a model for records to be sold and streamed. This is true, but we all know that the majority of people stream music instead of buying it. This is because we have been marketed to buy a monthly subscription service from Spotify, Apple Music, and others. Buy your subscription and listen to whatever you want. We don’t buy music anymore we buy subscriptions from streaming services to hear music. Streaming services pay artists around 1/3 of a penny per stream. That doesn’t equate to much unless your a major act or very hot act. Even when it does equate to dollar signs it doesn’t cover up the facts. Major revenue has been lost by artists not able to sell their records. They only have their records streamed by an audience marketed to do so.
Non-fungible token (NFT) is the biggest thing to hit music since streaming demolished the CD industry. I am not going to spend paragraphs explaining NFTs, you can refer to my previous article for that link. You can also refer to the following article that explains NFTs even further link. For the first time in a long time artists have been given back the ability to sell records and at the rate they determine. This will bring major revenue to the music industry and it will be a much more scalable model. Rather you’re a major act, hot up and coming act, or a rising independent, being able to sell your records at what you determine will put dollars back in your pocket. The word is out and acts from the majors to the independent scene or releasing records as NFTs. What is questionable is how the future of NFTs will roll out once the major labels and industry figure out a way to corner the market.
Streaming has become the choice of how to devour entertainment. Rather it is music, movies, or books streaming is the preferred choice. The audience is marketed toward streaming by being bombarded with advertisements to do so daily. Since the pandemic, everyone seems to be all aboard the streaming train also. Movie releases going to theaters before releasing on streaming services was one of the last standing holdouts. Those days are over, and the majors have been releasing movies straight to streaming since the pandemic. Streaming is not going away anytime soon. However, as mentioned above NFT’s have made artists rethink their strategies. Another interesting development is the utilization of the platform OnlyFans outside of the adult entertainment industry. OnlyFans is well known for providing a subscription-like service for fans to view new and often NSFW photos, videos, etc. to subscribers. These subscribers can only view the content by subscribing to the platform. Artists of all types including musicians have begun to utilize the platform’s subscription-based service as a new source of revenue.
Patreon a more family-friendly platform LOL, offers artists and others a similar subscription style platform. The industry was bound to shift in this direction considering YouTube and other services already push toward subscribership. It was only a matter of time before artists figured out a way to monetize their content in a more subscriber-like model. Artists have also been able to convert fans over to paid subscribers with relative ease since the audience is already primed to do so.
New strategies to make up for revenue loss have emerged out of the pandemic. These strategies such as NFTs and OnlyFans-like platforms will be combined with established strategies to navigate the Coronaconomy. The key to success in this post-pandemic world of the music business is diversification. You have to develop these new strategies and get them to work for you and with your revenue. NFT’s and OnlyFans like platforms are just two of the more popular and mainstream methods developed prior to and during the pandemic.