With the New Year arrived slightly over a week ago, we look back at how Covid-19 has changed the future of music in 2021. 

The initial impact of Covid-19 on the music industry was unexpected and has affected not only artists with their live shows but also, people losing their jobs in the live industry. Despite the pandemic, the industry managed to pull through and adapt to the situation, leaving some key changes to how music will be consumed in the new year.  

1. More opportunities for artists to utilise social trends for marketing.

The biggest change is how everyone became more connected to the internet than before. For example, Tiktok is now the new social media force – with over 500 million (and counting) Tiktok active users around the world. We have seen how the platform has successfully blowup artists such as Doja Cat, BENEE and Megan Thee Stallion where their songs were virally used for dances and memes that it became a trend that everyone hopped on. The platform has now become Gen Z’s latest obsession. 

With platforms like Tiktok, the future of music will transform artists into jumping on social media trends for their music. The use of social media will be a vital part of their marketing plan that in turn, the social media space will be more competitive and crowded for the artists to stand out. However, on the bright side, more traffic inevitably leads to significantly more content demand and overall content consumption. This would mean that there will be more opportunities for artists to creatively engage with their fans through content marketing on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. 

2. Gaming provides new demographics for artists.

In a world where music is constantly intertwined with other entertainment verticals, now gaming helps to provide a new demographic for artists. With the young demographic of 10-15 years old, most of them have yet to experience a live concert. Hence, virtual shows on games can potentially attract the younger generation to go for future shows, providing an alternative funnel for future live show tickets. There is also a cross-pollination of audiences from both music and gaming, where it directs people to download the game so that they will be able to watch their favourite artist’s show.

3. Virtual gigs will become more ambitious.

Next, the live industry was largely affected whereby both live music ticket sales and sponsorships has fallen to 64% in the past year. With touring used to be the biggest moneymaker for artists, this inevitably changed how people consumed music, leading to artists creating virtual live events for their fans. 

During the early days of lockdown, we have seen artists doing live streams in their kitchen, living room and bedroom. This is not the case for artists like Dua Lipa, BTS and 88rising – their live streams has set a new bar with their full-on production performances. For example, the recent Dua Lipa’s Studio 2054 live stream had more than five million viewers around the world tuned in for her show. 

Not only does virtual gigs digitally connect the artists with their fans, but it also created accessibility for the fans as tickets are priced much lower compared to the price of a live show ticket. Although some might argue that virtual shows do not have the same experience as the live shows, it didn’t stop artists to create a full-on production for their virtual shows. 

Besides, the best thing that virtual concerts offer is it provides data on audience demographics and give insights to the artists on specific online moments of their concert. It also helps artists to detect certain keywords from the fans that had high engagement throughout the live stream. In turn, artists will be able to use these data to either further enhance their future virtual shows or engage with their fans on other social media platforms. Not only does virtual gigs will be one of the priority revenue streams for artists in the coming years, but artists will be creatively and ambitiously producing virtual shows that will set new bars in the future.