Covid-19 might have turned the world on its head in 2020, but hi-tech advances have helped mitigate the damage. In this special report, covering everything from remote working to live streaming, Music Week unite a handful of forward-thinking execs to analyse how technology is changing the music business for the better…
PRS’ August AGM was held virtually and set a record for the highest participation in its history, with more than 1,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members engaged either on the day or through the voting process.
“Coronavirus has without doubt accelerated the shift towards a more digital world and we were perfectly placed to capitalise on that shift in the interest of our members,” said Martin. “We were able to seamlessly transition to remote working. The morning following the first lockdown announcement, all of our teams were up and running remotely without any disruption to our core services.”
Nyshka Chandran writes for Resident Advisor on how it’s time to get yourself acquainted with resident DJ’s.
The pandemic has devastated nightlife across the globe but as the sector recovers in parts of East Asia, a healthier ecosystem is poised to emerge.Across East Asia’s dance music communities, it’s no secret that overseas artists draw a bigger crowd than regular club nights. Organizers strive to balance the ratio of international and local artists at events, but the average clubber is more likely to buy a ticket if a popular European or American name is playing. COVID-19 could change this dynamic.
In some countries, clubs are cautiously reopening. In others, people are hitting up illegal raves. Gabriel Szatan explores what the dance music landscape will look like in the immediate aftermath of coronavirus.
“Everywhere you look, clubland is thawing and green shoots of recovery are sprouting.”
Following the closure of nightclubs across the world, business owners have turned to live streaming. Business Insider Australia spoke to One Six One and Poof Doof about their new live-streaming initiatives.
“Jane Slingo, executive producer of Australia’s Electronic Music Conference, and a board member of Music NSW, told Business Insider Australia via email it was “fantastic” to see the community so motivated and quick to keep their creativity alive online.”
“By nature, those in the electronic music community are digital natives,” she said. “In this part of the music sector there’s already a history of live streamed events well before COVID-19 – global streamed events from the likes of Boiler Room, Cercle, Worldwide FM events. So it’s not surprising how quickly DJs and club nights have made a significant imprint on our feeds as life moves more permanently to online.”
In an article in the New York Times, Brett Sokol catches up with some of America’s noncommercial, community radio programmers, who have been forced into hastily improvising a response to the growing spread of Covid-19.
Local stations have cut down on D.J.s coming to the studio, but playlists and personalities are holding strong as small stations get a chance to build bigger audiences.
“This is the situation that so many broadcasters dream of!” said Ken Freedman, the station manager and program director at WFMU. “You have a global, captive audience, and everyone can share and commiserate their experiences. But it’s not safe to go to the station!”
Matthew Dunn of WOMR : “As much as anything else, this is an opportunity to spread joy at a time when people really need it,” he said. “We’ve had some things taken away from us, but radio is not one of them.”
Promoter Dave Poe of New York-based Patchwork Presents, and Jessica Gordon from Broadberry Entertainment Group in Richmond, Virginia, have come together to form the Independent Promoter Alliance in light of COVID-19 and its dire effects on the live music industry
“At the end of the day, Jessica and I wanted to organize something so it gives people a place to go,” Poe tells Billboard. “It is really for the promoters and talent buyers and venue owners who don’t talk to other entities and are doing it on their own. Maybe it will help them just a little bit to hear other people who are all in the same boat and what everyone is doing to weather the storm, because it is going to be rough.”Read the full article in Billboard
Independent promoters, venue owners and talent buyers can register for the group here with more information to come.
In online publication Talkhouse, – an outlet for musicians, actors, filmmakers- artist John Colpitts talks to musicians from China, Italy, and South Korea about life in lockdown, the unique scenarios they’ve lived through, and what their experiences might have to teach us a few weeks later.
An interesting point to consider comes from South Korea, who up until Sunday March 22, had no official shut down of live performances or gatherings. The audiences decreased but the performers were still paid their fees. This is because the South Korean health institute was extremely thorough with testing and the digital tracking of the disease.
“The South Korean music economy was able to walk this razor’s edge between closure and partial openness through heavily investing in data and tracking. ”John Colpitts, Talkhouse
James Cattermole, label manager of UK-based Absolute, writes about the urgency for artists to keep going during this difficult period.
Founded in 1998, independent label services company Absolute has worked on high profile album releases from artists and labels including Steps, All Saints, Jake Shears, Kim Wilde, Alice Cooper, 67, Dappy, Ay Em, RAM Records, Danny Jones, Ferris & Sylvester and many more.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented moment in history right now. The last few weeks have seen Covid-19 affect our daily lives, bringing huge uncertainty and numerous challenges for everyone in the music industry.”
Label manager suggests working on social media presence, new releases, going live, bookkeeping, heath-checks and admin and last but not least, staying inside and staying healthy.
The Indian talent agency is brining the initiative, ‘LIVE FROM HQ’, that will feature 30-minute performances by independent artists.
The line-up includes Prateek Kuhad, Karsh Kale, Vir Das, Karan Singh Magic, Aisi Taisi Democracy, Kamakshi Khanna, Varun Grover and Indian Ocean.
In San Francisco, the LGBTQ communities have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.
“Beyond the effects of COVID-19 itself, it has meant a loss of income for so many servers, bartenders, performers, and others, along with a loss of beloved bars and gathering places that have shuttered indefinitely.”Peter Lawrence Kane– ,The THRILLIST
But the nightlife and queer communities have been models of resilience in times of crisis.
Check the article in THRILLIST to see ways of supporting the gayest city in America and how to help keep it that way!