The Coronavirus has brought the Canadian entertainment and music industry to an unfortunate standstill over the last three weeks. Independent artists, venues, production crews, festivals, music stores, and labels across the country have taken major financial hits, with many losing thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential revenue.
Due to the uncertain timeline of the global COVID-19 pandemic, industry workers who rely on ticket and music sales to stay afloat are unsure if they’ll be able to support themselves in the coming months.
Luckily, there are many small things music fans can do to support the artists and organizations they love in this time of need.
BUY MUSIC & MERCH DIRECTLY FROM ARTISTS
In lieu of cancelled tour dates, music and merchandise sales are the two primary ways musicans are earning a living while social distancing. Show your support by downloading a new tune or ordering a comfy hoodie to lounge in.
We should note that during the pandemic, some pressing plants and mass suppliers have shut down, meaning there may be shipping holds on orders for physical music (CDs, vinyl records). However, many bands have put links on their social media pages directing fans on how to get merch from independent suppliers as quickly as possible.
Although streaming is arguably the easiest way for fans to listen to music, artists typically only receive a small portion of streaming profits. According to a study done by CNBC, musicians earn between $0.006 to $0.0084 per stream on Spotify and Apple Music. That means in order to make up for $1000 in lost ticket sales, an artist would have to have a song streamed over 167,000 times. On the flip side, an artist would only have to sell 100 $10 albums to make up the same costs.
We encourage you to keep on streaming, but consider also purchasing a song or album for the full price directly off an artist’s Bandcamp page or website. By doing so you ensure musicians receive 100 per cent of the proceeds for their work.
PROMOTE ARTISTS ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
It always feels good when someone gives you a special shoutout online.
You can promote your favourite local artists by posting about their music on social media, making playlists featuring their songs, tagging them in old concert photos, or sharing links to their live-streams. You don’t need to be an influencer to significantly expand an artist’s reach.
Getting people talking about a musician is the best way to grow their following and convert someone into a new fan.
We recently created a fun #SupportLocal questionnaire on our Instagram page, allowing you to share your favourite local artists with friends and family. Find the template here and tag us with your submission to get featured on our Sound Off Winnipeg weekly roundup.
DONATE TO A RELIEF FUND
In response to the economic impact of COVID-19, local and national organizations across Canada have created a number of music relief funds – providing grants to support out-of-work music industry professionals. Donating to these causes helps musicians pay their rent, provide for their families, pay their crew members, and allows venues and independent promotors to keep their doors open in the future. If you received a ticket refund for a cancelled show, consider donating a portion of the money to one of these organizations or to an individual artist’s fundraiser on GoFundMe or Patreon.
Find out how to make a donation and how to further support the local music scene by visiting the following websites:
- Manitoba Music COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund
- Unison Benevolent Fund
- Canada Music Fund
- Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief Fund
- The Photographer Fund
- Canada Council for the Arts
- Canadian Independent Music Association