Spotify Launches “Artist Fundraising Pick”
On April 22, Spotify announced a new feature, which allows artists to raise money for themselves, their team, or a charity during this tough period. Fans can donate via Cash App, GoFundMe, or PayPal. Spotify has also agreed to match donations up to a total of $10 million for select charities. Although this generous implementation from Spotify includes a list of best practices for artists, it is yet to be seen if artists will follow them or effectively market this new program. Branding the request will be crucial, as artists should be careful about asking for donations while fans may be financially struggling as well.
800 Music Venues Band Together Asking For Additional Congressional Support
A new national coalition of concert venues called the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) has petitioned the Paycheck Protection Program that independent concert venues are a “greatest need” industry and require additional compensation in the form of increased loan caps, grants, and tax reliefs. The arguments are simple:
1. Concerts are first to close and likely last to open (possibly closed through 2020)
2. No concerts = no revenue
3. Employees and artists will be unemployed with no revenue
For big label artists and independent artists, these venues need to stay in business as live concerts make up a significant portion of revenue and allow musicians to connect to fans. Unfortunately, many industries are in desperate need of loans too with the first $350 billion package drying up in two weeks and the new $484 billion bill passed on 04/25 likely to follow suit. As government funds are scarce, it will be interesting to see how effective the NIVA is at lobbying for these changes.
Netflix Adds 16 Million New Subscribers During Quarantine
Streaming giant Netflix has experienced a substantial growth in new subscribers in the quarantine era with the rise of home entertainment. The 16 million new Netflix user growth in its first quarter is close to double the initial estimate, increasing its total subscribers to 182.9 million members. However, even with Netflix’s new subscriber increase, the company still has many new issues to address as a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. Production on virtually all ongoing movie and series projects have been shut down, forcing Netflix to accelerate its own projects in post production and turn to third party providers to secure new content. This production hiatus also raises concerns about the actors and production staff working on these unfinished projects. Despite streaming platforms enjoying the short term rise in subscribers, continuation of content production must be of paramount importance for long term sustainability.
Madonna And Tyler Perry
Many companies and celebrities are helping fight against COVID-19 because 1. it’s the right thing to do, 2. are in a position to provide to help, and 3. get positive PR from it. However, with funds and donations popping up every day, these contributions all seem to blend together. Donations that do stand out are ones that directly support groups of people and the impacts are obvious. Here are a couple of our favorites:
Donated 100,000 surgical masks to jails and prisons (prisoners are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to close living conditions).
Picked up the tab initially anonymous for all groceries purchased during senior shopping hour at 73 supermarkets.
Large Gathering Events
Last week, Taylor Swift cancelled all tours for the rest of the year. While many large music festivals and artists have simply postponed their concerts until later this year, Taylor’s announcement presents an ominous warning that events with large gatherings of people will likely not be permitted or social distancing requirements will make them financially unfeasible for the rest of the year. It will be interesting to see if other large artists, festivals, and sports will follow suit. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how social distancing guidelines for the rest of the year impact smaller artists.
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