The music industry pretty much imploded about ten years ago with the death of CDs and the eager adoption by the masses of streaming music online. Streaming means that fans don’t have to shell out their hard-earned money to buy an entire album. They can just pick and choose the tracks they like and download them from a service like Spotify or iTunes.
Though the record companies howled in protest, they didn’t have an answer for the new streaming technology. Established music acts increased their touring to make up for the loss in revenue, and for years fans were treated to a constant variety of great acts visiting cities around the globe.
COVID-19 Changes the Status Quo
But the global pandemic created havoc with the new method of creating revenue by musicians. Some performers are unwisely fighting back against the need to curtail the gathering of large crowds; Eric Clapton and Van Morrison are among them. But the vast majority of working musicians recognise the need to cease the staging of large concerts for the time being. They don’t want to be responsible for causing a mass infection among their fans.
However, the music industry as a whole represents too much money to stay stagnant and dormant for long. Music fans should expect some changes to the method or cost that they get the artist’s products in the near future, particularly with the announcement of the African Omicron variant that sent stock markets around the world tumbling.
Most likely, it will mean higher prices on your favourite streaming service. But music is entertainment as well as art. And artists want to put their faces with their music. It’s how they create fan bases for when they eventually can tour again.
In the meantime, could a return to the MTV-style reliance on music videos be caused by the worldwide pandemic? The 80s was a colourful, vibrant time in the music business, and some fans and artists wouldn’t mind returning to music videos.