By -Last Updated: June 2023-

In an era where music venues were shut down and musicians were put out of work, music live streams succeeded.

COVID-19 does not discriminate when it comes to music. Every discernible live music venue’s been shut down, artists with tours planned have had to cancel them, and even going down to your local music venue to catch a DJ set or an open mic is no longer possible.

Though financially, many – if not all – musicians have or are taking a hit, the spirit of music has moved forward with love, hope, and community.

Artists from every genre have gone to live streaming platforms to perform, connect, and brand. Coldplay’s Chris Martin, John Legend, Pink, Keith Urban, and Diplo are just a few of the names of started the quarantine live stream trend.

How Did The Fascination With Music Live Streams Happen?

No one expected coronavirus, or COVID-19, to progress to the point it did.

For musicians and creators, the shutdown has meant large gatherings are off-limits for the foreseeable future.

Plans are changing day-to-day but as of right now, it doesn’t seem likely live concerts in any venue will be allowed until the late summer or early fall at the earliest. Fortunately, with where social media and live streaming technology have come, hosting quarantine concerts have become the norm.

More Music, More Social Media, & Surprisingly Maybe A Little More Connection

Everyday people are looking to music to calm anxieties, stave off depression, and keep their spirits up.

Live streaming, music streaming services, and social media numbers are all up, in large part because everyone’s home. A captive audience means a big opportunity for musicians from every genre.

Even DJs are finding themselves spinning and mixing online to massive numbers. The biggest event thus far around the DJ scene was probably Beatport hosting a 24-hour live stream with 33 DJs working from their living rooms and private venues.

Once concluded, the Beatport live stream reached over 8.5 million people across 150 countries.

Social Media COVID-19 Live Stream Concerts Became A Trend Among Musicians

The most popular spots to share these sorts of live stream COVID-19 quarantine concerts is through social media, predominantly on Instagram and Facebook.

You also have music performances being given on Zoom, Twitch, and other platforms.

The great thing about music live streams is you can dance anywhere and listen to music anywhere. No matter what, it’s going to make you feel better. It doesn’t have to be in a field, sports stadium, club, or wherever.

DJs live streaming in quarantine is a great example. They sent out DJ music to homes all over the world, each person having their own little house party disconnected, but also connected to everyone else watching.

Why It’s A Smart Move For Any Musician To Go The Live Stream Route

The vast majority of us are at home and with not a whole lot to do. To have the opportunity to watch or participate in concerts from our favourite artists, it’s exciting.

As a musician, it’s a very smart move. It keeps you connected to your fan base. You may even make some new fans. The intimacy of communicating with your fans from a living room setting, for example, or your kitchen, it gives something authentic to those that are watching and listening.

It’s the best brand-building move an artist can make right now and at a very difficult time in the life of the average musician.

What To Do As A DJ In The COVID-19 Pandemic When You Don’t Have Crowds

You have numerous DJs attracting attention from hosting live streams during the COVID-19 quarantine.

An online electronic music festival on Twitch TV featuring indigenous DJ artists was hosted on the last weekend of March. This was the Virtual Pow Wow Fest attracted thousands of people tuning in, searching for EDM.

David Guetta hosted a two-hour DJ set charity live stream the third weekend of April on his Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch channels. This was to raise money for the World Health Organization and several charities.

DJ Padre Guilherme is a priest in Portugal and also a DJ. Throughout the pandemic, he’s been offering live streaming DJ sets to anyone stuck at home.

At a local level, DJs from Vancouver to Montreal, Los Angeles to New York, and London to Tokyo are spinning online to hundreds of thousands of music lovers and people searching for something to connect to.

The Music Industry Is Wrecked & Yet Music And Community Spirit Is Thriving

Despite all the amazing music being made and shared via live streams, the industry – as in, money being made – has taken a major hit.

Music festivals are cancelled, tours are unfathomable for the rest of 2020, and record labels are refusing to put out new albums from artists fearing a lack of commercial potential.

If you’re a musician and your bank account’s taken a hit, the best thing you can do is make music, create, and put it out. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially as an independent artist. DJs are broadcasting to thousands of people. Bands are making fans. There’s an audience out there, for all kinds of music.

How Do You Monetize Live Streaming In The COVID-19 Lockdown & Post-COVID Era?

Here’s the caveat. Let’s assume live music streaming takes off in a big way. This opens up a lot of opportunities for DJs and musicians.

How do you monetize live music? The answer’s unclear.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, it was estimated live music streaming as an industry was going to grow to $70 billion by the end of next year. What this will grow to or be reduced by is unknown. Music certainly has benefited audience-wise from the increased exposure. That said, who is making money – not the DJs nor the musicians. No one’s selling tickets to these events. Advertising or corporate sponsorship isn’t involved.

For now, it’s joy spreading joy. That’s fine for now. It’s a time of crisis. We need music. DJing music’s an international language we all speak.

That said, there’s going to come a time when platforms are created and money will be made. Whether that money’s in the pockets of the musicians or DJs is another story. Everything gets commercialized, eventually.

There’s no questioning the long-term potential of live streaming music. Lively nightspots will inevitably return. It’s coming. Even after it does, a new window in live music has been opened and it’s not shutting any time soon. That’s a very good thing, for DJs and audiences both.

*Please note that this article was originally written in spring 2020 and is a time capsule of the feeling of this period.

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