The impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 is being felt across society and business, but it is really hurting the music business now. Live music is shut down and millions have already been lost in potential revenue around the world. Musicians, industry professionals and events are in danger of going under and many have already lost their jobs. With this post, we will try and keep a tally of various resources designed to help musicians, venues and more during this tough time.
Music Platforms / Companies:
Amazon Music: Amazon Music contributed to MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund. Do more Bezos.
Bandcamp: Bandcamp waived their typical fee on Friday, March 20 and raised $4.3 million for artists and labels. Many labels waived their typical fee as well, netting even more money for musicians.
Bandsintown: Bandsintown is offering artists who have registered with Bandsintown for Artists free access to Twitch’s monetization tools. This means they can monetize streams on Twitch through paid subscriptions and virtual tips to the creator. It will also host a LIVE Music Marathon this Thursday March 26 and Friday March 27 on their newly founded Twitch channel found at live.bandsintown.com. All of the proceeds from the 2-day event will be donated to the recently established MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
Glastonbury: Glasto donated thousands of liters of hand sanitizer, medical-grade masks, and gloves to frontline emergency service workers & NHS staff.
SiriusXM/Pandora: They contributed to the MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund.
Spotify: Spotify has launched the COVID-19 Music Relief project, which is raising money for a growing list of charitable initiatives to help musicians in financial hardship right now. They are matching donations up to $10 million. Spotify is also building a feature that will allow artists to fundraise directly through their Spotify Artist pages (either to their own charities - GoFundMe etc - or to a charity of their choice)
Songtradr: The company has agreed to give 100% of licensing fees on any new transaction through April 18 to artists.
SoundCloud: SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscriptions will be 50% off through March 30 and they have announced a new partnership with Twitch to fast-track SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier and Repost by SoundCloud creators into the Twitch affiliate program to earn extra income.
Sound Royalties: It has dedicated $20 million to offer a no-cost royalty advance funding option on every new application through April 16, or until the fund is depleted. Artists apply for the cash with a one-year repayment plan with no fees attached. One can apply for up to $25,000.
Studio 338: London club Studio 338 is starting up a shopping service and mobile food bank "for the most vulnerable and elderly members of our community."
Tidal: Donated to MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund and is doing a week of live shows from big artists starting tonight for TIDAL members.
YouTube: YouTube has contributed to the MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund. It is helping creators by expanding its YouTube Premieres program, which allows creators to pre-record a video and premiere it live along with their fans. It is looking to provide all creators and music partners access to features to make income beyond ad revenue like from merch and other commercial products. Charitable donations can also be funneled through their accounts.
Charitable Organizations / PROs:
Berlin Collective Action: Nightlife Emergency Fund – The Berlin nightlife community has launched a crowd-raising fund to help clubs stay open and pay nightlife workers while the clubs are closed.
Grammys / MusiCares: MusiCares, the charitable wing of the Recording Academy, has launched a COVID-19 relief fund that started with a $2 million pool, but has grown with other donations. Music industry professionals may apply for basic living assistance (rent or mortgage). Initial grant requests can be made up to $1000 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost
Help Musicians: Help Musicians in the UK has launched a special website to pool together public information and resources to assist musicians. They have updates from the government, NHS and elsewhere. They have also created a £5m fund to help give money to musicians in hardship. Applications for this fund are submitted through an online form and offer a one-off payment of £500 per applicant.
GEMA: German performing rights organization GEMA has announced the launch of an emergency aid fund worth up to €40m ($43m) for its songwriter and composer members. It will be given out in two phases – first for those who lose live music income and then those with “individual hardships.”
Music Venue Trust: The organization allows every venue in the UK to access free legal and expert advice on licensing, planning, development, noise, and even tenancy issues.
PRS: British collecting society PRS For Music has launched the PRS Emergency Relief Fund to support members affected by the pandemic. This is a partnership between the PRS Members’ Fund and the PRS Foundation that will offer grants of up to £1000 each for musicians in the UK. Find out how you can them here.
England Arts Council: The Arts Council is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organizations and individuals who will need it during this crisis. It is split up into various categories, so head to their website to see if you can get some funding.
Irish Government: The Irish government has created a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.
Scottish Government: The government is offering a £350m fund that will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. Additional money is being added to welfare, food and more. Get more information here.
Check if one of your local nightclubs is hosting a GoFundMe to help stay open and pay staff through this difficult time. Clubs generally don’t have tons of cash on hand and with event cancelations, they may be forced to pay a lot out of pocket if insurance doesn’t cover much.
Check out Grammys coverage of local US relief funds in the South, East and West for more localized look at relief funds, fundraisers and small business opportunities.