For Better or For Worse: Will The Music Scene Change Forever because of COVID-19?

Elly Zulaikha
May 12, 2020
3 minutes

Like every industry taking the hit left and right, the music industry looked as if it’s standing on the edge of a cliff, clinging onto whatever that’s left as the virus stormed in and destroyed pretty much everything. So how will the music scene change in the future? Is it for better or for worse? Have a read on this article to find out and check out our (un)official part one to this article here

Damaged livelihood

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To begin with, for many who are working under the touring scene and are by large, if not all, freelancers. Just like the nature of being a freelancer, you don't really enjoy even the most basic form of employment benefits as opposed to their blue-collared counterpart.

If any form of emergencies were to happen to the tour and the rest of the crew, be it due to accidents or other unpredictable circumstances, the freelancers often don't get the cover they deserve and are left to fend for themselves (at worst) with little or sudden notice. This is due to the way insurance and other policies that were set in place, as it does not largely cater to these people in the face of an emergency such as this. 

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Additionally, since touring usually means they will get their paycheck upfront, now because of the virus, they are literally surviving on an empty plate for whoever knows how long this may last. 

This does not only affect the touring and gig industry but also other industries that exist in a symbiotic business ecosystem like tourism and hospitality suffered immensely as well.

Check out Spotify’s own Covid-19 Music relief here 

Check out this article on coronavirus and insurance coverage for people working in the music-and-gigs industry here:

‘Necessity is the other mother of invention’

Image via hiphopwired

While it may not be stellar and speedy progress, and especially since many of us are trying our best to adapt to this new norm, in the face of uncertainties, most of us tend to get the better out of a bad situation eventually.

For instance, more people can enjoy seeing classical music as concerts which were otherwise expensive for some, are widely available online. For the next level experience, some world-famous venues like The Met and Royal Opera House offer streamed concerts, where a lot of us could only dream to visit back in those days. 

Then some artists have chosen to connect even closer to fans by performing a variety of activities, from showing their pet dog to performing acoustic versions of their old songs. Though the means to see artists and visit concert venues in person seems like a distant dream, quarantine doesn't stop us from connecting. 

What happens then in the future?

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As the music industry continues to crash without government aid and support, the fate and the future of music seems bleak. 

Productions will be smaller to save costs since they've been losing profits exponentially since governments around the world issued the public to stay at home. Service charges will decrease, e-ticket purchasing will rise and more concession prices will be available to get as many hungry audiences as possible. 

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Streaming services giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon will continue to rake up the profits from consumer streaming music, and unfortunately, the smaller ones are in for another bumpy road. If this isn't already bad news for artists, imagine the real people working on every song like a songwriter, sound engineers, etc. 

Image via audiohertz

While the question continues to loom over our head and how this terrifyingly new reality means there are far too many sacrifices already on our plate, one thing is for sure: music will live on. But definitely a lot slower.