By Kieran Webber
I am sure, like myself you are starting to get tired of hearing how we are in strange times and that things are uncertain. It’s scary time for us all during this pandemic for a variety of reasons. However, the music industry and musicians have arguably taken one of the biggest hits. It is incredibly hard for a musician or artist to make a real living from releasing music alone, Spotify hands out a pittance to artists, the album platform is not what it used to be (although there is an increase in physical sales, particularly with vinyl). A lot of artists, especially those in the underground survive off merch and playing live shows. Obviously with the restrictions in place we cannot go and see our favourite bands live, or any band for that matter. Most merch sales are done at a gig, so as you can see funding and living as a musician just got even harder.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as we can support them in a variety of ways. From buying streaming to purchasing physical copies of their music there is much for you to do.
Stream, Stream & Stream
Streaming platforms are a great way for artists to create a hub for their music and get themselves out there. However, the payout from platforms such as Spotify are a little unfair to say the least. For example for every stream Spotify pays out roughly $0.006 to $0.0084. This means that for every 1 million streams the artist can get $6,000-$8,400. This is no easy feat to achieve, but it is possible. You can help artists by streaming their music, you have a favourite song? Add it to a playlist. Vibing that album? Play that sucker on repeat!
This is a real easy way for you to support an artist, all you need to do is sit back and listen for the most part. With all the time we have on our hands for now and the foreseeable future this is an easy ask.
Share On Your Socials
This is super simple and very easy for EVERYONE to do. It may feel like you’ve not done much but sharing a bands page, a single or any form of content is a super important way to support artists and musicians. This takes almost no effort and you could be helping out your favourite band out in a huge way.
Buy That Merch
In the words of Jake Paul “Buy That Merch”. Now is the time to buy a band T-shirt, new EP, artwork or anything they are offering. Bandcamp have been doing special days where they waiver the fees for buying music, so all profit goes to the artist directly. There has been a huge bump in online shopping since the lockdown (for obvious reasons) but why give tax dodgers like Amazon your money when you could support a band?
Keep Hold Of Gig Tickets and Festival Tickets
It may seem like a distant dream but festivals and gigs will return, like you bands are eager to get back out there and play. Currently a lot of events have been rescheduled to later in the year, but it is still uncertain if these will go ahead. As time progresses well know what the government’s decision will be, currently it’s all a little up in the air.
Keep hold of your tickets, they will be rescheduled for another date. Trust us the artists and organisers want these shows and festivals to go ahead. Consider your ticket an investment, although you’re not using it yet you are putting your faith in them for it to at some point.
Word Of Mouth
We’re talking to people more than ever, in general but also especially during this lockdown. It may be old hat and cliche but word of mouth is still one one of the most powerful ways to support artists. In your next phone call, FaceTime or skype call mention a band you’ve discovered, or are obsessed with. As that massive shopping conglomerate says, every little helps.