😷 State of the stream; pop stars on mental health; quarantine sex jams; French government extends ban on major events; Trivium's Twitch effect; Catalog acquisitions weather the pandemic

Daily update for the music business on the coronavirus (August 25)

The summer of quarantine sex jams (Pitchfork)

The now-infamous video for “WAP” echoes this remove. As the song ends, Cardi and Meg peek into various rooms of a Crayola pastel mansion where guest stars, including Normani, Rosalía, and rapper (and OnlyFans star) Rubi Rose—twerk, drop, and gyrate. None of them move toward the camera, which maintains its distance, and each shot only lasts a few seconds. The aesthetic is one part cam-girl, one part old-fashioned peep show. Everyone is looking, no one is touching.

Business as unusual: Catalog acquisitions weather the pandemic (Synchtank)

The overall slump in the market since March, however, is not appearing to land body blows on the content and catalog acquisition sector. Alaister Moughan, founder of music consultancy Moghan Music and until recently a music specialist at 23 Capital, says that income from live, synchronisation and public performance may be down, but streaming income continues to grow. If anything, this will draw in even more investors who seek to buy catalogs outright or take a passive cut of income.

State of the Stream July 2020: Just Chatting is still #1, TheRealKnossi camps his way to #2, and Bob Ross is still everyone’s favorite painter (StreamElements)

It’s no longer news that the pandemic drove a lot of musicians to give livestreaming a go, but what might be newsworthy is the fact that the amount of hours watched of this content has increased 387% year-over-year! Showcasing their commitment to this category, Twitch signed both Logic and Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda to exclusive Partnership deals.

'It all crumbled': pop stars on mental health in the age of Covid (The Guardian)

Olly Alexander, the actor and lead singer of pop group Years & Years who spoke about his own mental health journey with the Guardian in 2016, said the sudden career pause forced by lockdown was a shock to the system. “I’m really used to working all the time and distracting myself and it all just kind of crumbled and fell on top of me a little bit,” he said.

5B Artists + Media taking metal to the main street (and main stream) with UFC champ Josh Barnett, knotfest.com (Pollstar)

The first order of business was using a powerful platform they already had in place but hadn’t built out to its fullest yet – knotfest.com … The platform is nearly a Disney+ for metal heads, with a news hub, featured content including video premieres, archival streams and interview series with artists from the 5B roster and beyond, including Slipknot founding member Shawn “Clown” Crahan’s “Electric Theatre” in which he has interviewed everyone from Code Orange frontman Jami Morgan to original Knotfest producer John Reese, formerly of Synergy Global Entertainment.

Permanent staycation: What a long-term international travel ban could mean for the music business (Music Week)

How about the overseas conferences and festivals where new acts are discovered and fresh scenes stumbled across? Or the international business trips where contacts are made and productive business relationships forged? Have you factored in the global support tours where artists and songwriters find new influences and collaborate? And it works both ways of course: what is the absence of visiting execs and bands doing to the international prospects of UK acts? With the best will in the world, a Zoom call or livestream is no substitute for the buzz and connection of being in the same space.

How Trivium's livestream moved 12,000 tickets: The Twitch effect (Pollstar)

You can’t be charging for a Zoom chat, that’s my advice and where I draw the line for the fans. That’s not me as Matt from Trivium but as a consumer of music as well. Not every band has access to the kind of location we were able to get, but you’ve got to be a little bit savvy, and make it something worthy of being paid for. I’ve been streaming for five days a week, there’s no paywall, it’s free, we’ve streamed every single show for the last two and a half or three years on Twitch, it’s free every single time, with a properly mixed audio from the soundboard. That’s why we really went to the full to make sure this thing was properly something that people wanted to be part of, to make an event, and make it worthy at a time when people are unemployed or furloughed or working from home while trying to watch their kids. If it’s a paid model it has to be worth it, has to be every bang for the buck.

Matt Heafy, guitarist and lead vocalist for Trivium

Beethovenfest hosts one and only show in building site (Deutsche Welle)

"The Beethovenhalle was something like a pink elephant in the room," said Beethovenfest project manager, Thomas Scheider, of the decision to invite the Rimini Protokoll to make use of the iconic venue, if not for an actual performance. "The only place where there was not supposed to be a performance in the anniversary year is now the only one left," he noted.

Guild of Music Supervisors launches fall fundraising panel (Variety)

The online series is a continuing effort by the Guild of Music Supervisors to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic and to help the community of Music Supervisors, Music Creators, and other leaders in the TV/Film industry stay connected in these uncertain times. The guild is also on the hunt for quality content ideas, panel producers, and sponsors for their ongoing online panel series.

Local news

You can't dance in Ibiza anymore because COVID ruins everything (VICE News)

UK nightclubs propose reopening with ID scans and bouncer patrols (MixMag)

UK nightclubs have put forward a series of proposals that they hope will allow them to reopen, including compulsory wearing of face masks, bouncers patrolling dancefloors to ensure social distancing is in place, and temperature checks at the door … [An NTIA report] states: “Bearing in mind the behaviour we are witnessing in unregulated environments such as beaches, parks and raves, there is a strong argument to permit clubs to reopen, albeit under strict controls flowing from government guidance and individual risk assessments informed by other sectors.”

Reopen Mic Night: How Club Passim rocked the virtual space and revamped a staple (DigBoston)

While nothing will ever beat being in a room full of folks listening to music together, this has been a fun way to bring the open mic night back. People can be from literally anywhere to play. Recently we had someone from Brisbane, Australia, play a couple of songs at around 8:30 pm our time, which was 10:30 am their time.

Matt Smith, managing director and open-mic host at Club Passim

French gov extends ban on major events until winter (IQ Mag)

“Events of more than 5,000 people remain prohibited until 30 October, with the possibility for prefects to waive them subject to strict compliance with health protocols,” says a statement from the French government.

Qld state gov announces funding as live music reignites (The Music Network)

Funding varies from supporting shows over a number of weeks or months until December 31, or a single performance, up to $20,000. Play Local is part of the Queensland government’s Arts and Cultural Recovery Package of $22.5 million over two years. Minister for the arts Leeanne Enoch emphasised how the latest funding had a trickle-down effect.

Spike in coronavirus infections in Italy partly blamed on nightlife events (MixMag)

Experts say the spike is being caused by large gatherings such as holidaymakers and nightlife events. A number of raves with negligible safety measures and a lack of social distancing have been taking place in the country. Some have been documented on the Business Teshno Twitter account.


Composed while listening to a new mix by Montreal DJ Martyn Bootyspoon. It’s funky!

MUSIC x CORONA goes out every weekday and is composed by Bas Grasmayer and Maarten Walraven.

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