Life changed for everyone when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. The music industry was no exception to this, as it was heavily impacted and forced to adapt.
Live concerts became a thing of the past, as gathering in crowds was not allowed by COVID-19 restrictions.
These restrictions greatly impacted artists, as a large amount of their earnings come from live shows.
Rapper Young Thug said he missed out on an estimated $5 million due to not being able to perform at concerts and festivals.
Not many A-list music artists released albums during the pandemic, because new albums are usually accompanied by tours to capitalize off the attention the album brings.
With restrictions beginning to loosen, those big artists are coming out of hiding. A few notable artists with albums coming soon are J. Cole and Billie Eilish.
With the giants of the music industry in hiatus, other artists used this opportunity to grow.
In 2020, a record 32 different albums claimed the number one spot on the Billboard charts in the United States. Many of these artists were first-timers atop of the charts.
Even with concerts out of the picture and everyone staying at home, music sales reached an all-time high during the pandemic.
According to the Wall Street Journal, recorded music sales grew 9.2 percent in 2020, bringing the total revenue to $12.2 billion.
The pandemic further pushed the transformation of music sales, as 83 percent of total revenue came from streams. Streaming platforms reached new heights.
Platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube and Pandora accounted for $10.1 billion in 2020.
Aside from the rise in streams, some artists survived by doing varied versions of live shows.
One of these formats were livestream concerts. Artists could go live on social media or sell tickets in the form of exclusive links.
Rapper Swae Lee was the first artist to have a virtual concert on Instagram live in March 2020. Lee was supposed to be on tour with Post Malone, but he made the best of the situation.
The show was successful with tens of thousands of fans tuning in. Lee tried to make it as realistic as possible, with guest appearances, bringing a fan onstage (joining the live stream) and even a crowd surfing attempt.
Virtual concerts have been met with mixed reviews. They lack the intimacy of in-person concerts, but can be more comfortable for fans who don’t crave that hectic environment.
There has been a decent demand for these concerts, and a large percentage of fans hope that they continue even when the world goes back to normal.
Since the COVID-19 restrictions are on a state-by-state basis, some states are already back to normal-looking concerts.
Florida has fully opened its state and is holding concerts. The Rolling Loud Festival is set to take place from July 23-25 in Miami, which has already sold out. It seems that people missed in-person concerts.