How Artists Can Stay Afloat Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus

How to create — art, cash flow and new opportunities — amid the current pandemic.

Coronavirus

3/26/2020

From live streaming to merch, here are ways artists can stay afloat throughout the coronavirus crisis

How to create — art, cash flow and new opportunities — amid the current pandemic.

Zola Jesus have increased their paid and free Patreon posts during the coronavirus crisis. “We hope that’s a safety net,” says Kerri Pollard, the company’s senior vp go-to-marketing. But the biggest beneficiary of the no-concert era may be Stageit, the Los Angeles company that sells tickets for livestreams and has recently posted 30 to 40 shows a day, mostly by singer-songwriters like Amy Ray of Indigo Girls. Founder/CEO Evan Lowenstein (once half of pop duo Evan & Jaron) says the company grossed nearly $100,000 on March 15, the Sunday after most tours had been canceled, and $25,000 the following day. “It’s absolutely bonkers,” he says. “People are at home with a lot more time on their hands, and there’s so much bingeing.” The intensity of livestreaming activity among the world’s biggest stars will soon change the landscape of music sponsorship — at least for now, according to Marcie Allen, founder/president of MAC Presents, an agency that connects corporations with artists and events. No major deals have emerged yet, but “the floodgates are beginning to open,” says Allen. “Everyone’s trying to figure out what works best. All the conversations are happening.” Artists are open to the idea, and some hint that their reps are already pursuing opportunities. Melissa Etheridge — who set up daily Facebook Live singalongs that drew thousands of viewers after her tour was canceled — says she’s open to some kind of sponsorship: “If there’s someone who wants to help me monetize it, sure! I’m a businesswoman, too, and I have bills to pay. I’m sure my manager’s thinking all kinds of things up — that’s his job.” Tommas Arnby, Yungblud’s manager, says he has fielded calls from companies: “Brands are looking to move their spend from the live industry elsewhere.” For struggling off-the-road bands, merch sales have become even more of a lifeline than GoFundMe donations. Raleigh, N.C.-based American Aquarium enlisted its fans to “answer that rally call,” says frontman BJ Barham, who has been making daily trips to the post office to distribute T-shirt orders. The band recently slashed T-shirt prices by $10, then tripled its usual merch income in the first week after shows were canceled. “[Fans] understood the reasoning behind the fire sale, with the future being as uncertain as it is,” says Barham. An Horse added new T-shirt designs on March 17 “in an attempt to ease the burden of this current hellscape,” the New York indie-rock band posted on Twitter. “We had a bunch of leftover merch from the tour, so we put it up on our Bandcamp and handled all the postage ourselves just to try to create any kind of income,” says drummer Damon Cox, who also works as a drum tech for and other acts, and is entirely dependent on the concert business. For 24 hours on March 20, Bandcamp also waived its revenue-sharing fees for musicians’ sales to put more money in the hands of creators. With a recession looming and the market in turmoil, is now the time for songwriters and producers to cash out and sell their future royalty streams for a lump sum that could get them through hard times ahead? Maybe. Catalogs may be more valuable, but the market crash of recent weeks means fewer investors may still have money to spend. “The number of players buying these catalogs is going to go down substantially,” says Larry Mestel, founder/CEO of publisher Primary Wave. “Prices are going to, for sure, come down.” Artists feeling momentarily desperate shouldn’t rush to give up a revenue stream that could provide financial security for decades to come. “I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions,” says Dan Weisman, an AllianceBernstein vp and former artist manager. If cash flow becomes an issue, artists can sell portions of their catalog through services like Royalty Exchange or take out advances based on future income without selling their entire portfolio of songs. Nashville-based Sound Royalties recently allocated $20 million in no-fee funding for artists who qualify after applying online. So an artist can take out $25,000 now, then generate $25,000 over the next year to repay it. The company’s applications jumped “several hundred percent” since the March 17 offer, says founder/CEO Alex Heiche: “We’ll do what we can to help.” Caylee Hammack ’s band started Family Tree Lawn Care in Nashville, rustling up a lawn mower and a chain saw from her publishers and charging $50 to $70 a job. “I just go out and help whenever they need an extra hand,” she says. “I can lug stuff — that’s something I’m good at. We’ve just got to pay the bills so we can keep doing music.” Justin Bell, keyboardist for Chicago band Rookie, has a background in teaching and is contemplating hourly virtual pay-what-you-can lessons. “Income’s income right now,” he says. Bowling for Soup frontman Jaret Reddick has taken to Cameo, the personalized video service, where he charges $30 for custom greetings, $23 of which he gets to keep. “I could probably do upwards of 10, 20 a day if I wanted to,” he says. “But my first-grader is being home-schooled now, so that’s part of our day.” For artists, the coronavirus crisis is the latest reminder to diversify when possible. Cypress Hill has been contemplating ramping up its livestreams in response, but lead rapper B-Real isn’t worried. “Fortunately for me,” says the owner of Dr. Greenthumb’s Dispensary in Sylmar, Calif., “I got into the cannabis industry long before all this stuff started to happen.” Read more: billboard

Somebody stop coronavirus pleaseeeee 😢😭

Coronavirus: Ant and Dec beg fans to stay at home for cancer sufferer Mila, 4EXCLUSIVE Ant and Dec's heartwarming bid to get everyone to stay home for cancer sufferer Mila, 4 amid the coronavirus crisis

Curren$y & Fendi P Talk New Project 'Smokin' Potnas'Curren$y and Fendi P talk about their new collaborative project &39;Smokin&39; Potnas&39; and how they&39;re staying productive during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lisa Marie Presley and Her Twin Daughters Are Fostering Puppies Amid Coronavirus CrisisShelters across the country are encouraging animal lovers to foster a pet during the coronavirus pandemic

How Jenna Dewan Is Handling a Newborn amid the Coronavirus Crisis: 'Focusing on the Positive'Jenna Dewan opens up about how their newly-expanded family is dealing with Coronovirus concerns

Fires of U.S. culture wars flare amid coronavirus crisisAs the coronavirus pandemic spread across the United States this week, Republica... like 911

Kelly Osbourne talks staying home as she pledges to #StayHomeforOzzy amid COVID-19Kelly Osbourne is asking others to StayHomeforOzzy in an effort to raise awareness for people like her father, who's particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic. It shouldn't take a famous person to get people to wisen up and listen. Maybe if he'd snorted less shit up his nizzie back in the day... Ozzy has been living on borrowed time anyway. It's easy when you've got money



BTS Performed 'Boy With Luv,' and It Was Everything I Needed

Police arrest Florida pastor for holding church services despite stay-at-home order

Coronavirus live updates: GAP, Kohl's, Macy's to furlough workers

Ariana Grande Shows Off Her Natural Hair in Head-Turning Selfie

Pizza Slice Only Has One Pepperoni

US reports highest daily death count

There are now more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in the US

Write Comment

Thank you for your comment.
Please try again later.

Latest News

News

26 March 2020, Thursday News

Previous news

Ingrid Andress' 'Lady Like' Album: Stories Behind the Songs

Next news

Sir Patrick Stewart is reading soothing Shakespeare on Twitter while social distancing
Smart goats, seizing the moment, take over town under coronavirus lockdown Coronavirus live updates: Cases top 787,000 globally - CNN The coronavirus pandemic could push 11 million people in Asia into poverty, World Bank warns Boston Globe Editorial Board: Trump ‘Has Blood On His Hands’ Over Coronavirus Here are the states restricting travel from within the US Viruspolitik at Play as Moscow Sends Soldiers to Help Italy Indian doctors fight coronavirus with raincoats, helmets amid lack of equipment US outlines plan for Venezuela transition, sanctions relief Most cruise lines don't pay taxes in the U.S. — just one of the reasons they aren't getting a bailout Zoom is being sued for allegedly handing over data to Facebook - Business Insider Why the U.S. Is Running Out of Medical Supplies 'Tiger King' May Help Police Solve Disappearance of Carole Baskin's Missing Husband
BTS Performed 'Boy With Luv,' and It Was Everything I Needed Police arrest Florida pastor for holding church services despite stay-at-home order Coronavirus live updates: GAP, Kohl's, Macy's to furlough workers Ariana Grande Shows Off Her Natural Hair in Head-Turning Selfie Pizza Slice Only Has One Pepperoni US reports highest daily death count There are now more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths in the US Battling the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 3,000 Americans will take cooperation from everyone, officials say National Guardsman is 1st US service member to die from coronavirus, Esper announces FOX's 'Living Room Concert' raises nearly $8M for coronavirus relief, attracts almost 9 million TV viewers Portugal gives migrants full citizenship rights during coronavirus outbreak Army researchers at Fort Detrick who helped discover Ebola treatment seek coronavirus vaccine