As COVID-19 continues to spread, lockdowns and large-gathering bans have brought live entertainment — from concerts to sporting events — to a screeching halt. Sync powerhouse Songtradr is now part of the growing recovery effort to help affected artists.
Billions are being impacted worldwide by this pandemic, though musicians and artists are absorbing a substantial portion of COVID-19’s economic ramifications. Local acts and international stars alike depend on live gigs to pay the bills, and thousands of artists are facing dire financial consequences because they’re unable to play before audiences.
Thankfully, artists and others dependent on live-touring revenues are starting to get some help, with numerous companies, trade organizations, and fellow artists chipping in. That includes a growing number of platforms that facilitate non-touring revenue opportunities, including synchronization licensing for film, TV, advertising, gaming, and other video content.
Sync is now emerging as one opportunity for artists to earn non-touring, ‘isolation’ revenues.
With at-home streaming services like Netflix and Hulu surging, artists potentially have the opportunity to enjoy longer-term royalties from successful song placements. Immediate production schedules have been disrupted, though broader demand for visual media is growing, all of which offers hope of downstream revenues for composing artists.
Thankfully, large portions of the sync licensing process can be conducted while artists are isolated. Person-to-person contact is useful in the contract negotiation process, though the finer points of sync agreements can normally be hammered out remotely. Moreover, sync licensing platforms like Songtradr further simplify matters by connecting artists and sync agents over an easy-to-use platform.
Suddenly, this is a sector in a unique position to aid artists.
Against this backdrop, Songtradr has waived its commissions through April 18th, thereby affording creators additional financial resources and helping them through today’s difficulties and uncertainty.
Given the platform’s high transaction volume and its considerable number of negotiated sync licenses, foregoing fees could have a big impact on Songtradr’s earnings. But the decision was clearly made with artists in mind.
Songtradr CEO Paul Wiltshire is not only spearheading the initiative, he’s also on the horn getting the word out. Of course, we were more than happy to spread the news of the commission-free opportunity.
“With live performances canceled and no definitive end in sight, independent artists and musicians all around the world are suffering,” Wiltshire said. “These artists who make up our community have continued to support us through our journey. Now it’s time for us to step up and support them in a big way.”
For those wanting to take advantage of the offer, simply get started at songtradr.com.
Songtradr is one of the early movers on this front, though thankfully, they’re not operating alone.
Despite the serious impact on artists and broader world economies, the coronavirus crisis hasn’t come without a proverbial silver lining — however slim it may appear at the moment. Local communities are uniting to overcome the virus, and elements of the music industry, including fans, artists, companies, and groups, are supporting one another.
In the past ten days alone, numerous charitable efforts have popped up to help affected artists. The Recording Academy and its charitable organization, MusiCares, have donated $2 million to COVID-19 relief and expect to hold multiple fundraisers in the near future. Additionally, Rihanna and her charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, have pledged $5 million to an array of on-the-ground COVID-19 treatment and relief groups.
Los Angeles’ AFM Local 47, a musicians’ union, has established a coronavirus relief fund to benefit members, and Bandcamp temporarily waived its fees to put more money into artists’ pockets. Bandsintown, a platform normally dedicated to posting touring itineraries, has created a “Watch Live” feature to help musicians promote their livestream performances.
Elsewhere, online platforms like Twitch are providing a natural alternative for artists to showcase in front of fans — and collect money while doing it. When the virus finally passes, many artists may have developed an alternative (and additive) revenue stream.
In the face of the crisis, many artists are shifting their focus to non-performance revenue streams, including live-streaming, selling merchandise, releasing music, and securing licensing agreements like sync deals.
Hopefully, that’s helping to lessen the sting from coronavirus cancellations, with charitable companies contributing what they can to get musicians through.
Artists themselves are also helping fans through the coronavirus crisis, and fans, for their part, are aiding artists with their continued support.
Well-known stars have encouraged the public to practice social distancing and adhere to health professionals’ guidelines, with self-quarantining perhaps the most significant of these recommendations.
Needless to say, it’s extremely difficult for fans and artists alike to remain indoors, leaving home only for essential trips. To alleviate some of the stress created by self-quarantining (and possibly enjoy financial relief from tips), many artists are live-streaming performances free of charge.
Perhaps offering a splash of comic relief, Neil Diamond just repurposed his timeless hit, ‘Sweet Caroline,’ to include a decidedly ‘non-touchy’ tone. That includes a comically reworked lyric of “Hands, washing hands/ Reaching out/Don’t touch me, I won’t touch you.”
Elsewhere, the Dropkick Murphys proceeded with their much-anticipated St. Patrick’s Day concert, though the show lacked a physical crowd. That’s not to say that the band went without an audience; viewers across the world experienced the high-octane setlist from the comfort of home, on their computers and smartphones.
Ultra Miami organizers canceled their fan-favorite festival to protect would-be attendees and staff. Still, the show went on, as SiriusXM delivered a virtual edition of the event to fans.
Health officials are admittedly unsure how long the coronavirus pandemic will rage on, though countries like China and South Korea are already reporting substantial drops in cases.
Regardless of the health calamity’s duration, artists may at least have the opportunity to connect with fans – and stay financially afloat – remotely. The reality is far from ideal, though the importance of using alternatives cannot be understated.
It’s also worth noting that artists are engaging in “isolated” collaborations and production initiatives – connecting with fellow music professionals and creating new, exciting material. We’ll be covering more on this front in the coming days, though technology and ingenuity are at least making it possible for artists to use this trying time until they’re able to entertain live crowds once again.
Until that day, it’s imperative that fans, artists, companies, and organizations support one another in every possible way. Small and large efforts – tuning into an artist’s live-stream or waiving all commission fees, like Songtradr has – will have an overall positive influence and will greatly assist those who eat, sleep, and breathe music.