Live & Touring

How Coronavirus Is Impacting The Music Business [July 2020]

Worsening cases in many parts of the United States have likely put the kibosh any lingering hopes of seeing live music in 2020, but the pandemic’s impact on the music industry extends well beyond just concerts and tours.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Three months into the coronavirus pandemic, Music Biz takes a look at where we’re at and where we go from here.

Anyone still betting that they get to attend a concert in the remaining half of 2020 would be wise to cash in their chips and stay home. The coronavirus pandemic is surging throughout the United States, and many parts of the country are seeing their worst case numbers to date. That boom is causing many reopening plans to be placed on hold, if not rolled back altogether, and that does not bode well for live music in the immediate future.

But the impact of COVID-19 on music goes beyond concerts. Thousands of industry professionals are laid off, with many more expected to join the unemployed ranks in the weeks to come. There are also venues on the brink of closure, labels bleeding money due to low album sales, and increasing uncertainty about when things will feel ‘normal’ again. To say the mood of the industry is anxious would be an understatement. People are scared.

That said, there is still hope. Tough times force us to adapt, and that change is often a good thing. The entire industry is currently evolving faster than it has at any other point in the last century. Marketing plans for artists and albums of all sizes are being overhauled to meet the demands of a socially distant world. Elsewhere, new jobs are popping up as the needs of the industry shift. There is a lot to be optimistic about, even if it doesn’t seem that way right now.

So, where we go from here is anyone’s guess. In this episode of Music Biz, host James Shotwell applies our current understanding of the virus and our response to it. He takes this information and uses it to make an informed guess about the future of our industry. Will live music return? Of course! When? Well, that’s a tough question to answer.

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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