🦠 Sony warns of COVID-19 hit; PRS expects decline in payouts for 2020; South Korean venues remain open despite spike; Mexican workers return to venues for paid livestreams; Live Nation to raise $800m
Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (May 15)
“The release of new music is being delayed primarily because some artists are unable to record songs and music videos,” chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki told analysts in Sony’s earnings call.
“With TV and film productions on hold, closure of businesses, public premises, and the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other live music events, we will inevitably see a decline in future royalties in 2020 and into 2021,” said CEO Andrea Martin.
TicketSwap, which has users in 22 countries, says the lay-offs fall most heavily on the marketing and customer support departments, “since these teams handle day-to-day activity, which has stopped almost entirely”.
While Korea-style contact tracing could provide the answer to reopening venues safely – and when faced with a choice between privacy invading contact tracing and socially distanced shows with 30 people, the latter arguably looks more appealing – not everyone is convinced.
The patchwork nature of America’s coronavirus response means that tours here are looking grim. “If you wanted me to book a new tour starting now, I would suggest April 2021,” says Chicago-based booking agent Mahmood Shaikh of Concerted Efforts.
Flexibility is precious. Instead of clinging to long-range plans, then scuttling them one at a time, organizations need productions that can be rustled together more or less on the fly. The mantra of the next few years must be smaller, quicker, cheaper.
The plan, called Reactivation of Entertainment and Music in Mexico (REMM), is to open two venues in June -- Pepsi Center WTC in Mexico City and Conjunto Santander de Artes Escénicas in Guadalajara -- where artists of all genres will offer concerts behind closed doors with fans watching the show via live streaming.
Zoom is giving fandoms a new place to hang (The Verge)
As Zoom has become a normal part of our school and work lives, it’s also transformed into another digital meeting space for fans. In the span of a week, Daniella Galatro went from putting out a call on Twitter for 5 Seconds of Summer fans to chat with to group chatting with three other fans and finally to cohosting a Zoom listening party with them for 5 Seconds of Summer’s latest album, CALM. None of the cohosts have ever met in person; they live in New York, Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama, and now they FaceTime regularly.
Now Houseparty is exploring music and livestreams through a three-day event called ‘In The House‘, which launches today (15 May). It’ll be a mixture of music performances, dance lessons, fitness workouts and cooking tutorials from celebrities, with the music lineup including Alicia Keys, Bad Bunny, DaBaby, Chvrches, Katy Perry, Miguel, Dua Lipa, Snoop Dogg and Idina Menzel.
The series starts on Sunday (May 16) at 2am BST, with an exclusive show from John Legend. MelodyVR said the performances will maintain the highest levels of safety for both performers and crew during the Covid-19 pandemic. The series will also include performances from Machine Gun Kelly, Katelyn Tarver and The Score during the first week, with more artists yet to be announced.
Live Nation Entertainment said Wednesday it plans to offer $800 million worth of bonds for sale and will use proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes. The move comes as media and entertainment companies continue to raise cash cushions as their finances are shaken by COVID-19.
The Wacken Foundation, a non-profit organisation run by Wacken Open Air founders Holger Hübner and Thomas Jensen, is providing aid of up to €1,000 to support musicians, bands and organisers struggling with the impact of the Covid-19 shutdown.
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A few weeks ago I had a session at Amplify Music 2020 with Tim Exile, in which we discussed the pandemic, its impact on the format of music, as well as Endlesss, a collaborative music-making app which Tim founded.
Unfortunately the audio on my end is not great, but Tim’s is crystal clear and after a brief intro, I made sure to let him do most of the talking.
Thanks for all the work you put into this: Gigi Johnson, Storm Gloor, Alex Dolven and Cassie Cowan.