As we all navigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, we’re inspired by those who are making a difference. Some of what makes a difference, as in any difficult time, is art. In an effort to stay connected with and uplift fans, give back to COVID-related causes, and stay afloat in the wake of tour cancellations, musicians are turning in unparalleled numbers to livestreams, virtual festivals, and other unique forms of digital content while in quarantine.
At the same time, audiences who are staying home are turning to music content more than ever. In March, for example, music demand on YouTube was up 63% over the same period last year. In addition, broadband internet providers have seen a 30%-50% rise in use due to increasing music and entertainment streaming.
You’ve probably noticed the incredible spike in music livestreams, even if only from those artists you follow online. Perhaps you’ve also seen performances powered by brands, and artists partnering with brands to help raise funds for organizations like Feed America, The World Health Organization, and more.
Artists are more interested than ever in partnering with brands to create meaningful, feel-good content and to provide relief to those in need. As a result, we’re in the midst of a rare and special moment, enabling brands and artists to readily produce entertaining, impactful content on a scale not seen in our lifetimes. Brands who have approached the current landscape with that intention are making a real difference, fostering long-term goodwill, and empowering art while they’re at it.
Consumers agree. According to a recent study from Nielsen Music, fans expect brands and artists with means to do more to give back during this time . For artists unable to tour, the study found that 52% of households with kids and 58% of Latinx households would favor a brand that supports them. Innovative brands are doing both: supporting their communities through artist collaborations.
Jessie Reyez partnered with Jameson to bring her fans an intimate, acoustic performance of her latest album which also covered the wages her team lost when her tour had to be cancelled. Remaining proceeds went to Feeding America, MusiCares, Together Rising and United Way Canada.
Levi’s announced it would donate $3 million to support communities impacted by the COVID-19 crisis while also launching it’s 5:01 livestream series, encouraging fans to stay home and stay connected with artists like Doja Cat, Jaden Smith and Brett Young.
Several other global brands (including those in customarily competitive arenas, such as Coke and Pepsi), have come aboard to support Global Citizen’s “One World: Together At Home” digital and broadcast event, with artist performances curated by Lady Gaga, to benefit frontline healthcare workers and The World Health Organization.
While we find ourselves an unprecedented and difficult time, there is also unprecedented room to do good. Conscientious brands have a unique opportunity to forge more meaningful partnerships that bring joy and support to the artistic community and global community at large. Consumers, artists, and fans will remember them for having done so.