Local Musicians That COVID-19 Became A Haven For
-Elisha Asif

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be a nightmare for nearly every industry, but musicians, who make most of their money from in-person concerts, may have had it worse than most job industries. 


Since the mandates kept concerts from happening, the billion dollar industry saw one of its worst days. But even through the worst of times, some local musicians found their way to success.


The global music industry accounts for nearly $50 billion and within the six-month shutdown, the music industry lost an estimate of $10 billion. International Dance Music Summit reported a 54% decline in value in 2020, making it a $3.6 billion deficit.  


The global music industry collects an estimated $50 billion through two major revenue streams: live concerts and several other combinations of income. Live music makes up 50% of the revenue. Most of the money from concerts comes from sales of tickets and merchandise. The other revenue stream involves: downloads, CD’s (which are rare nowadays), streaming, and licensing of music for movies,advertisement, games, and TV.


Music hubs like the state of Nashville where many early-career musicians go to find success found itself in a 72% deficit in revenue, $17 million in lost wages. Music is so vital to Nashville that the loss faced by the music industry affected the state's GDP by $24 million.  


Streaming has become a new way for artists to make money; however, it can be a rather slippery slope if the artists aren’t bringing enough listeners. Spotify, one of the most popular streaming platforms, pays its artists $0.0033 per stream, according to a report by Business Insider.

    Photo by: World Economic Forum

It would take 250 streamers for the artists to earn a dollar. 


Artists who have millions of streamers are usually the ones who are popular enough to have several other avenues of income like sponsorships, record labels, and live concerts. Thus the ones left to rely on streaming platforms for exposure and income are the independent artists.


Although much of the music industry was affected financially, many independent musicians took advantage of this unique situation. Many musicians who were struggling to focus on their personal music used the pandemic lockdown to focus on producing music. 


This was the situation that three Long Island musicians found themselves in and made the best out of it. 


Jules Renato, Laurie Anne Creus, and Gabi Rose are local Long Islanders who were part time musicians before the pandemic. Either they were busking, playing local gigs, or teaching music. None of them had time to produce original work. But once the lockdown took place in Spring 2020, they turned their focus to their individual work. 


The lockdown proved to their benefit. The three artists left the lockdown with their lives completely changed. All three were on their separate routes of music, but they were all full time musicians now. 


There were many negative sides to the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the music industry. However, many local artists found the pandemic to work in their favor. This turned out to be the break that independent musicians needed to focus on their personal music.