More than a year has passed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone around the world and musicians – signed and freelance – have been one of the hardest hit.
Even though it’s almost over for Americans and the rest of the West, for the majority of 7Bs around the world, there will still be a long way to go before concerts resume. Many established and up-and-coming musicians have taken some soul-searching and decided to give up a career in music altogether, take a break … and then there are these lucky, indestructible few guys who are actually thriving during the pandemic.
The pandemic was and obviously is bad for all of us, but it also brings out the good, especially if you’re trying to look for the bright side.
Here are some of the things that have dramatically changed in the music industry due to the pandemic:
CANCELED VISITS AND CONCERTS
Tours and performances are where a lot of the music industry’s sales come from, so it’s a big blow to artists’ careers and finances. They will struggle to gain more fans and listeners and as such will have fewer people buying their products and albums.
Last year Harry Styles had to cancel his show for Carson City, USA. iHeart Radio has also canceled their 2020 Wango Tango concert. And even legend Bob Dylan canceled his US summer tour due to the pandemic. Many artists have canceled, postponed and rescheduled their concert tours.
If you thought gigs aren’t a lot and digital album buying and physical album sales are more important, then you were wrong. Sales of these are just pocket money compared to ticket sales for stadiums, arenas and concert halls.
For 2019, the highest grossing tour was Pink’s âBeautiful Trauma Tourâ, which started in March 2018 and ended in November 2019. She raised a total of $ 215,200,000 for all 68 shows and 1 818,933 participants.
Take note, this was just an artist’s concert tour. imagine all the money if we also look at the income from concerts of other artists.
And while we marvel at how much money concert tours bring in, let’s take a look at the highest grossing tour of 2020. Elton John’s ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, the highest grossing tour of the year, no. ‘reported that 87 100,000 with only 38 shows and 644,749 attendees. Of course, this amount of money should not be minimized, but when we compare it to that of 2019, that would be quite small, right? In addition, the number of participants and shows also reflects the effect of the pandemic which prevents us from freely navigating the places and having mass gatherings.
LOSS OF LIVELIHOODS
Since there is less income due to canceled tours and concerts, independent pop artists are forced to use whatever savings they have. Instead of saving even more that money, they were forced to spend it all on their rent, utility costs and more.
An independent music artist, DebÃ³rah Bond, whose genre is RnB and Soul, lived in a small rental unit in Hyattsville, Maryland. Since she is a full time musician and earns her income from tons of vocal concerts like concerts in weddings, bars and theaters, this has been very difficult for her. And she had to use her savings to survive.
The worst part about this situation is that they cannot release singles or albums due to lack of budget. If they succeed, they will surely struggle. Even if they don’t release their songs into physical albums like CDs, cassettes, or vinyl records, and release them digitally, they will still spend money on it.
Now that we have given you the disasters caused by the pandemic, we would also like to present the opportunities it has provided for our signed and independent music artists.
MORE TIME TO MAKE MUSIC AND BECOME CREATIVE
As the pandemic does not allow people to go out, some artists have been out of the spotlight for quite some time. While some may take a break and live normal lives, some may be locked in their own bubble of creativity preparing songs to surprise their fans or just express themselves.
An example would be Taylor Swift, although of course she is able to be creative during this painful time, but still. Her album “Folklore” won the Album of the Year award at the 63rd Grammy Awards. It also topped US Billboard 200 for 8 straight weeks, making it the best-selling album of 2020. The album was released in the early months of the pandemic, where Taylor had more time to watch movies. and read books that ultimately inspired her to write the tracks for the album.
On top of that, there has been an increase in the number of singles and albums released each day from all over the world. And with nearly 70% of independent music artists using that time to create and write music, we’ll need to prepare for the volume of music releases in the coming months.
MORE ONLINE ACTIVITY
Since people are bored to death of being locked up in their homes, they have been using social media for much longer than before. With more and more active social media users, this can be an opportunity for artists to promote themselves in place of the usual concerts.
Most of the artists have also become active in social media. They update more frequently with their posts, tweets, stories, and lives. An example would be Johnny Orlando, an 18-year-old musical artist. He is very active on Instagram and promotes his upcoming songs there. He also posts videos of him covering songs. It’s a good way to promote him since most of the songs he covers are the ones that a lot of people like.
In addition, the IG Live Battles hosted by Verzuz also help artists promote themselves by showcasing their skill in combat. This IG live battle was born because of the pandemic and I guess it became a huge blessing for most of the participants.
MORE UNIQUE RELEASES LIKE VINYL AND MERCH
Yes, it is an opportunity for musicians. With the return of the vinyl record, artists will not only be able to showcase their musical prowess but also their talent in the visual arts. Vinyl records have plenty of spaces available for designs they might think of. They can design the vinyl covers as well as the interior covers of vinyl records. In addition to that, vinyl records can also be designed, so they will be really full of their touch.
There are many models of vinyl records. They can choose to have vinyl in black or other solid colors, or a mix of colors. They can also have clear clear vinyl, vinyl with patterns like glitter, blood, foil, etc., glow in the dark vinyl, image record vinyl, and differently shaped vinyl.
Here are some of the best custom vinyl records of 2020. And hey, if you are planning on ordering vinyls, you can visit UnifiedMFG vinyl pressing because they are one of the best custom vinyl record makers in Los Angeles.
â “Next Tomorrow” by Duval Timothy with a vinyl cover and two vinyl record covers that showcase excellent photography skills
â âHeaven to a Tortured Mindâ by Yves Tumor which has white and black vinyl and a cover that shows great digital art skills.
â “Future Nostalgia” by Dua Lipa who has her face on the vinyl record
â “Microphones in 2020” Microphones with its very aesthetic cover concept
And this is the end.
To answer the question of whether COVID-19 was a disaster or an opportunity for independent artists, the answer is both. Yes, it caused a disaster but also gave many opportunities.
Some have taken advantage of it, others are ruined. If you are one of those people who got something out of the pandemic, good for you. But if it has greatly affected your music career, that’s okay. Nothing can take away your talent and your passion.