With “Festival Season” all but officially canceled, the music industry is in shambles. The dance music scene, even more, and it’s all thanks to COVID-19. While a few lucky festivals such as CRSSD & Okeechobee managed to sneak on by, the vast majority of festivals both major & minor, were forced to either postpone or sadly, full-on cancel.
What this means for event promoters, musicians, artists, and really the music industry as a whole, is that millions of dollars in revenue has been lost. It is no secret, that touring and gigging, is the most lucrative form of revenue for artists, and this, in light of ongoing pandemics, has been all but wiped out. For most, this is their main source of income, and I can guarantee you, that even the most successful brands are feeling the after-effects of COVID-19 right about now.
While the majority of the music industry’s income revolves around live events, there are a few other ways that those being affected can still generate some revenue. I guarantee you that if you follow any of your favorite bands, DJs, promoters, or brands online, you may have seen them advertising some type of service already. For those of you who have not, this is how you can help.
How You Can Support Your Favorite Artists & Brands
Stream Their Music
Whether we’re talking about your favorite Producer/DJ, Promoter (Insomniac, Ultra, Tomorrowland), or record label (Armada, Spinnin’, Anjuna), they all have one thing in common. Music. The easiest, and arguably the cheapest way to support their music is simply by streaming it.
While not all streaming services are created equal, streaming nonetheless is the easiest way to put money in your favorite artists’ pockets. With that being said, below is a chart breaking down what streaming services have the best payouts. This might be worth taking into consideration considering the circumstances.
Buy Their Music
The next solution I propose to help your favorite artists & brands during this time of crisis is to buy their music. While straight out buying their music is, of course, more costly, it actually pays more than a simple stream. I understand that a single album purchase might cost more than a couple of months of your favorite streaming service, but if you have the means to do it, I recommend you do.
It’s no secret that streaming has killed physical & digital music purchases. As you can see from the graph below, they’ve lost over 50% of the market in JUST ten years. However, with these both making up 18% of the current market, they are still a substantial chunk of change. I would elaborate more on sync licensing, but this is an avenue more tailored towards corporations, and the major players in the digital media world.
Plus, it’s pretty neat to have a physical copy of your favorite record, or in the case of digital downloads, the actual digital files. You’ll have them forever, and won’t be dependant upon an active internet source, or streaming service. Anyone remember the days of mp3 players & CDs?
It should be noted that purchases through Bandcamp this Friday, March 20 (from midnight to midnight Pacific Time), will be devoid of their revenue share. Take that as you will.
Buy Their Merch
This is honestly my favorite way to support my favorite artists and its easily one of the oldest. It’s simple. Buy their merchandise. While it’s not always the cheapest way to support, it is one of the most effective. I’ve recently started buying more t-shirts from my favorite DJ/Producers as well as promoters, and I think it’s awesome. I get a piece of memorabilia, as well as a physical article of clothing that I get to rock out and show my support with.
Its always a good feeling going out somewhere and connecting with someone who may have been at the same event as me, or is also into my favorite artists. It’s a great way to make friends too, of which I’ve made many. Some of whom have become a part of the “rave fam”.
Also, it’s worth noting that a single t-shirt is worth can be worth as much as 10 digital song purchases, or in the case of the infographic below, 7 lattes. Merchandise isn’t solely regulated to t-shirts either. I’m sure your favorite artist might have keychains, bandanas, sweaters, flags, jerseys, and more. Check it out.
For more information on how exactly merch sales benefit your favorite artists, be sure to check out this informative video, here.
Buy Their Sample Packs
Buying a producer’s sample packs is hands down the best way to support them. There is usually no one taking a revenue cut from it, and all the proceeds go directly to the artists. In addition to this, it’s literally fueling their creative passion, and allowing them to make income from what they are already doing, and that is making music. While of course things like Splice and Sounds exist, these take a cut. Going directly through the artist avoids this.
If you don’t produce, this is a great way to wet your feet. If you aren’t willing to buy something you wouldn’t use, consider purchasing them, for a friend who does.
Order Their Services
Like sample packs, ordering services from artists is another great way to support during this time of need. Some artists are offering things, like track feedback, mixing, and even mastering services.
Again these services might be aimed at the producer crowd, but they allow you to support said artist 100%. I’ve noticed some managers online offering branding and marketing services at the moment, so that might be worth looking into as well. You can also purchase access to a lot of artists Twitch streams so that helps.
Gift Their Services
If the above doesn’t pertain to you, there might be someone in your immediate circle of friends who would greatly appreciate this. Who knows, maybe your extended network might be in need too. You never who needs helps, and good karma is always a good thing.
Purchase Their OnlyFans Account
Alright, alright, I’m only kidding. Or am I?
With that being said…
Purchase Their Patreons
Buy Tickets To Future Events
This is a hard one, I know, but while a lot of the bigger promoters might be able to weather the storm, a lot of smaller ones, can’t. I’ve seen posts from numerous smaller promoters saying they will be unable to continue business once this all goes away, which is a very sad thought in itself.
Some would even go as far as to say that the bigger ones are in trouble too. It would make a lot of sense considering how Ultra has handled this ordeal.
Share Their Posts/Streams/ Content
This is one that has all but consumed my various social media feeds. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the whole lot of them. I’m sure you’ve seen it too. From your local opening DJ to numerous headlining DJs. Sharing these streams, as well as any other content they may put out is a great way to show your support. It might also lead to them getting new fans, which will be very useful once this all blows over.
As unavoidable as this one seems, I can’t be upset with it. It’s all about the music. Some artists & brands have even gone as far as to create totally digital concert experiences, with the bigger ones even teaming up to bring us full-on digital festivals. A perfect example of this is SiriusXM and Ultra. Their festival starts this Friday. Don’t forget to tune in.
Moral Support/ Interact With Them Online
This last one, as well as the last point I made, don’t do much to financially support artists, but they do do a lot for mental health, and morale. At a time like this when it’s easy to be forgotten, it’s important to let your favorite artists know you care, and that their careers/art still mean something.
I would double down, and say this is even more important with the current state of mental health in the music industry, but perhaps this time off is exactly what some artists needed. I do, however, feel very bad for artists who were just picking up steam.
When I say this, I’m talking about the type of artists who were about to perform their first Ultra, who just had a song breakthrough,or who finally started getting booked. While all artists need our support at this time, it might be the hardest for these particular hungry ladies & gentlemen. If you personally know anyone who might fall into this category, continue to root them on, show them support, and let them know that this too, shall pass.
Share This Article
I typically don’t insert calls to action in my articles, much less within editorials, but with the current state of affairs, I think this is information worth sharing, and that festival-goers, & music lovers alike should be aware of. With that being said, share away, I’m sure your favorite artist will appreciate it, I would.
As someone with a bit of experience in public relations & marketing, I believe that it is vital that fans & supporters alike know how to support their favorite artists & brands during these turbulent times.
We all know nothing is guaranteed in music or any of the arts for that matter. As an aspiring producer myself, I know this first hand. Artists typically spend their whole lives building their careers and chasing success. For every 16-year-old Martin Garrix, we have 10+ Kaskades. People who might be stars now, but have been in the scene for 25+ years, and who have truly put the work in to get where they are at.
Between the two of these parallels, you can find thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of producers, DJs, up & comers, and rising talents. While I urge you to nonetheless support your favorite headliners, I think it’s important to state that their not exactly who this article is directed towards. It’s not the Zed’s Dead‘s & the Afrojacks who are living gig to gig. Nor are they throwing their complete life savings into their next tours.
Its the support acts, and the DJs with the early festival slots who are being hurt the most by the cancellation of all festival & club events. The new signees to their labels, who are making all the bangers the headliners are playing, to begin with. These are the artists who need the support the most in these dire times of need. Plus, in time they’ll hopefully be headliners/major players themselves.
I’m not going to tell you who and who not to support. If you have the means, buy all the merch, and stream all the songs. Just do something. It is because of brands & artists like these that we are able to enjoy this beautiful scene that we have in the first place. If raving for the better part of 11+ years has taught me anything, its that the world of Dance Music is a beautiful place. One in which those who make it work, should be cherished and protected.
For more information on what the music industry as a whole is doing to combat the effects of COVID-19, be sure to read about the creation of their new task force, here.