Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (24 March) | Music Ally

Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities.

Start today with Bandcamp’s update on how last Friday’s big music sale went. “On a typical Friday, fans buy about 47,000 items on Bandcamp, but this past Friday, fans bought nearly 800,000, or $4.3 million worth of music and merch,” reported the company. “That’s more than 15 times our normal Friday, and at the peak, fans were buying 11 items per second.”

Continue with news that German collecting society GEMA has announced an ’emergency aid’ program of up to €40m (around $43.2m) for its members, over two stages of distribution for songwriters who get into financial difficulties as a result of the current pandemic. Detail of how to apply will be published later this week. GEMA is also promising to be “pragmatic and flexible” in its licensing dealings with music events organisers in the weeks and months ahead.

On the platform side, there’s news that TikTok is donating $10m to the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Response Fund, on top of a previously-announced $3m donation to provide food for American families whose children have lost free school meals. Spotify appears to also have committed to support the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund – according to this tweet from the UN Foundation – so we’ll chase down details of what that commitment is.

Elsewhere, metal-focused streaming service Gimme Radio is inviting metal bands whose tours have been cancelled to host a radio show on its platform, including helping them to sell merch and music. There’s also a new platform feature where listeners can ‘tip’ DJs directly through Gimme Radio, which will be available to guest artists – one artist already made more than $850 in tips from a two-hour show, the company told Music Ally. Its Gimme Country service will be making a similar offer to country artists.

Another streaming service, Mixcloud, is waiving its revenue share for its ‘Select’ subscriptions, and offering new joiners three-month free trials of its Pro accounts, which let artists and DJs turn on the ‘Select’ feature for their channel and start earning.

More news in from readers: Mountain Fever Records is waiving its revenue share for all music sales through its three labels’ websites, so that artists get 100% of the revenues; artist Father John Misty has released a live album, ‘Off Key in Hamburg‘, with all proceeds going to the US MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund; and Australian band The Cat Empire are trying to get a ‘Lockdown Get Down’ campaign going to encourage fans to “stream more music” including switching to a subscription if they’re not paying already. As ever, keep positive news from your part of the industry / world coming via email.

Read our previous posts in this series for more positive stories from the industry, or our broader coverage of the pandemic’s impact – which includes the challenges and bad news.

Photo by Spencer Imbrock on Unsplash

Stuart Dredge

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