This is no secret to anyone. The pandemic due to the coronavirus has had a strong impact on the cultural environment, especially the music scene. Between the postponed concerts and the release of new albums, the artists are at a standstill in this period of health crisis. To compensate for the confinement imposed by the government, many singers such as -M-, Chris Martin de Coldplay, Jean-Louis Aubert or Christine and the Queens have found a parade by playing mini-concerts in their homes, broadcast on their social networks. But beyond that, most of their activities are at a standstill.
A difficult period for our community
And this dramatic situation has led some players in the music industry to take the lead. As the Guardian reveals, an online petition has been launched by American musician Evan Greer to triple the "incredibly low" royalties paid to musicians, songwriters and composers by Spotify - and that's for good. It also calls on the streaming giant to donate $500,000 to the coronavirus fund of California-based Sweet Relief, a charity that provides financial assistance to musicians and other players in the music industry. "There's no doubt this is a difficult time for our creative community and we're trying to help them through MusiCares' Covid-19 relief fund to provide much-needed assistance," a Spotify spokesperson told the Guardian. He adds that the platform has made part of its advertising inventory available to governments and charities to share safety information about the pandemic.
Streaming audio is down sharply
Indeed, while confined citizens around the world could have been spending their time on streaming platforms, listening has dropped in recent weeks, as a study by the English business media Quartz shows. In Italy, for example, the Top 200 generated 18.3 million streams per day in February. Since the containment imposed by the Italian government, the number of listenings has not exceeded 14.4 million daily. In addition, Quartz observed a 23% drop in viewing between March 3 and 17, 2020. A figure that is also falling in the United States, England, France and Spain. A drop that directly affects artists, who feel that they are not sufficiently remunerated by streaming platforms. While the figure was never released, analysts have calculated that a listen on Spotify earned the artist $0.00318, or only $3.18 (€2.9) for every 1,000 listenings.
Could Spotify follow the example of Bandcamp? All this Friday, the platform gave all of its revenues to the artists in order to "support" them. According to Ethan Diamond, CEO of Bandcamp, "for many artists, just one day of increased sales can make the difference between being able to pay rent or not. Hopefully this initiative can make a difference.