• David Hatton

Why only we can save the music industry

It may come as a surprise, but while right now you may be listening to more music than ever, seeing high activity from your favourite musicians, producers and DJs on social media and even getting round to learning that instrument that has been gathering dust for several years, the music industry could be about to fall off a cliff. We are the only ones who can catch it when it falls.

Live music is the most obvious thing to get hit by this worldwide pandemic. With Boomtown being the latest addition to a long list of cancelled and postponed festivals, alongside every gig and event planned for months along with it, the chances of us being within earshot of any musical performances in 2020 dwindles by the day. But I must stress this is entirely justified. There is nothing we can do about the fact we cannot go and watch our favourite band or DJ except wait, and hope that they are financially sound enough to return. Or is there more we can do?

The fact is that those who create music make very little from the music itself, with streaming sites paying as little as 0.006 pence per stream. In reality, you listening to an artist 'every day, all day, on repeat' will probably make them just enough for a Freddo. This means that musicians only really make their money - if they can - from performing live, and as that's not possible right now, your favourite artist behind the decks may have to go back to fitting sinks in order to make their living, which means we all miss out.

However, there is hope. More than ever independent artists can flourish, but only if we let them, instead of letting the industry fat cats take an ever bigger slice of the pie. I'm not saying you should feel guilty for using Spotify, simply that there is more you can do than put your favourite artist on shuffle. Immerse yourself in the music and take time to learn about the the artist, and you'll thank yourselves as much as the artists will for giving back to them.

So the solution: help those within the music industry that are hit hardest by this pandemic, not those whose new 52' Plasma is funded by the struggling musician. Buy the album you've been listening to non-stop on Spotify through lockdown in a physical copy from the band's website, donate to the DJ stream you've been watching every week, and if you've got tickets to something that's been postponed, hold on to them for the new date, because the music we love will be heard again, but the industry we love needs our support in order to rise once more.

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