The Covid-19 pandemic had many devastating effects from across the world, not only on the healthcare system but also several businesses. Even the mighty global music industry, worth around £38 billion could not escape. To better understand this, we sat down with music producer Kevin Gani to get his expert opinion on the topic given his position within the music industry.
Kevin Gani is an international music producer that works with some of the U.K’s biggest artists and musicians from a variety of backgrounds. Recently he has collaborated with Bugzy Malone, producing 6 tracks on his latest album which is now in the Official Chart’s Top 10 Albums. Given how things have been going since mid-2020, Gani believes that the pandemic has transformed the music industry, impacting it in more ways than one.
Due to country lockdowns and venue closures, many musicians saw cancellations of their events, festivals, and tours. For many artists, live performances make up a huge amount of their income, with around 50% of the music industry revenue coming from live events. Kevin tells us that “the pandemic saw many musicians adapting and changing how they connect with their fans. Many artists utilised streaming platforms to showcase their live performances to fans across the globe.” This can be seen with artists including Cardi B and Neil Young even using subscription platforms to stream extra behind the scenes content and exclusive performances.
Famous musicians and aspiring musicians alike used social media platforms like Instagram, Twitch and YouTube to share their music. Gani, also known on Twitter as kevinGaniMusic, tells us that “the video streaming platform Twitch had viewership increase within the Music and Performance Arts category by an unbelievable 524%, based on widely available Twitch statistics released to the public.” House and Electronic artist Diplo even went as far as performing a world tour set on the platform, streaming it around the globe.
When it comes to streaming music, studies showed that for the first three weeks of many lockdowns, streaming rates declined. However, after around a month, streaming numbers increased throughout the rest of the year, even during the continuation of lockdown. Spotify’s first quarter report in 2020, found that the number of daily active Spotify users remained close to their predications. National markets that were most impacted by the pandemic such as Italy did however see a significant decline in streaming within the region.
Gani informed us that even the type of music that we are streaming has changed since the pandemic began. In March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic in the United States for example, the top 200 songs on Spotify were streaming around 14 million times less than the weeks before, and this pattern continued for several weeks. Instead, the music platform saw an increase in listeners seeking out more relaxed music that they described as being “more acoustic, less danceable, and have lower energy.” He also states that “during lockdown the public found themselves searching for other streaming alternatives, turning their attention to streaming radio shows.” The BBC for example, reported an increase in radio streaming of around 18% in March 2020. Gani, currently active on Instagram, is also known to provide extensive insights regarding the music industry based on his experience in the vast processes it carries out daily, while supported by thorough industry research.
While the long-term impacts of covid-19 on the music streaming industry and unknown, Kevin Gani estimates that the music streaming market will grow over 19% in the next three years, by around 7.47 billion. This is down to the increase demand for music at home, and the extra features that steaming platforms are trying to put in place for their users.
Gani finished off our conversation telling us that “while streaming services saw an initial slump in their users and streams at the start of the pandemic, this quickly changed as artists adapted. Now streaming services for music are seeing an increase in users around the world as our appetite for live performances and music increases – people can’t wait to see their favourite artists back on stage.”
Here, we likewise cannot wait till we can safely have interviews in person!