Indie Labels

Should Coronavirus Put Your Next Release On Hold?

A number of major, high-profile artists have hit the breaks on releasing new music while the pandemic continues to play out, but does it make sense for smaller, indie artists to pursue this strategy as well?

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Several high-profile artists are delaying their upcoming releases in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, but should indie artists follow their lead?

We are living in a new normal. How long we live in an industry without live music is anyone’s guess, and nobody knows exactly how to proceed in these uncertain times. Some high-profile talent is choosing to delay their upcoming releases, and others are choosing to forgo announcing their albums until the current wave of COVID-19 is over.

The reasons for these decisions are numerous because, like everything else in music, each career is different. But is delaying an upcoming release the best move for up and coming artists?

The answer isn’t that simple. Releasing music is easier now than ever, but the likelihood of a quick return on investment is low. There are also new hurdles to content creation, such as the inability to make elaborate videos or even schedule photo shoots. However, artists able to adapt to our new reality will find there is a lot of room for new music to break through and connect with a wide audience.

Think about it. When someone discovers a new song or artist during the pandemic, that listener now has something in their life to get them through these uncertain times. When the global economy reopens and live music returns, those artists whose work helped people are going to be the first musicians that listeners want to see.

Artists who wait until the fall are positioning themselves against a significant amount of competition. The demand for consumer attention and money is going to be at an all-time high later this year. Consumers may not have much to spend on much at the moment, but they do have plenty of time to listen and connect to an artist. Those who make the most of that opportunity are going to thrive when the industry reverts back to its (somewhat) normal operations.

In this episode of Music Biz, host James Shotwell explains the arguments for and against releasing music during the current pandemic, as well as how much or little those opinions should matter to independent artists.

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