There’s no doubt about it: the coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the music industry.

All live shows have been cancelled for the immediate future, with several refund policies (or lack thereof) leaving fans up in arms. Additionally, a reported 60 percent of Americans polled said they will not return to live events unless a coronavirus vaccine is invented. 

And while nothing is certain, it’s reported that the concert industry alone could lose $9 billion by the end of 2020 due to the pandemic.

With tours and live events in jeopardy for the remainder of 2020, what are artists and fans to do?

Livestreams

The answer (for now) may be enjoying concerts from the comfort of your own home with livestreams. Since the pandemic began, countless artists have taken to livestreaming sets at home, connecting with fans while simultaneously raising funds for a charity of their choosing.

We know that the coronavirus has caused audio music streams to take a nosedive, but video streams, like YouTube music videos and livestreamed events, are a different story.

Twitch, the world’s leading livestream platform, saw average viewership increase by a whopping 10 percent over the course of just one week. And Bandsintown, a platform that connects fans and artists through upcoming tour dates, aggregates listings of virtual concerts for streaming on Twitch. Fans can sign up for alerts for upcoming livestreams, so even if you’re missing out on your favorite band or artist in person, you can tune in virtually.

According to Billboard, Bandsintown has hosted “a total of 8,244 music livestreams by 3,830 acts, (and) artists have played an average of 2.15 livestreams each over the course of 26 days.”  

In addition to livestreams, virtual concerts are gaining in popularity. At the end of April, nearly 28 million gamers tuned in to rapper Travis Scott’s in-game Fortnite concert, “Astronomical.”

So, what does all of this mean and how does it correlate to streaming data that drives your fantasy record label?

What this means for fans (and FanLabel users)

As you’re tuning in to these at-home concerts, keep an eye out to see which artists are participating, as well as those who aren’t. It’s quite likely that those who are participating in livestreaming events will have higher streams for the week—and you’ll want to select those artists when you see them featured in FanLabel contests and challenges. 

The aforementioned Billboard article also noted that the population of artists hosting livestreams veers dramatically toward smaller acts, rather than big name players. However, we’ve seen plenty of high-caliber artists livestreaming shows, so don’t let this commentary influence your choices too much.

In fact, many of the virtual events put on by big name acts are raking in tons of charity dollars, which means they’ve caught plenty of attention. Post Malone’s recent Nirvana virtual tribute tour raised $3 million for coronavirus relief, while Lady Gaga’s “One World” concert raised $127 million for the World Health Organization (WHO) and other coronavirus efforts.

You’ll also want to keep an ear out for any topical quarantine-related songs, and yes, there are surprisingly several of these jams to choose from, including Ben Gibbard’s “Life in Quarantine” and Alec Benjamin’s “Six Feet Apart.”

While it’s not quite the same, “live” music is still here to provide some much-needed relief in the form of entertainment, while continuing to unite us all.

Be sure to to keep all of this in mind when honing your FanLabel gameplay!