Written by: Minkyu
Edited by: Nichelle
Visual by: Allison
It’s been quite some time since the beginning of quarantine — one year and two months, to be exact — but it still doesn’t seem like it’s coming to an end. The stress, loneliness, and exhaustion that individuals feel are inevitable considering all the uncertainty they have to face. Not to mention, dealing with being trapped in your home for a long time can take a huge toll on your mental health. Hence, people needed to find a way to cope with these feelings immediately, and many found that music as the key. According to Rollingstone, the total music streaming percentage has increased by 19.9% since the pandemic, showing how music truly is a universal language that can appeal to anyone because of the various genres.
Because of the increase in music’s popularity, several platforms have emerged to help artists showcase their work. Some of these platforms have been proposing features to attract more users, and to set them apart from competitors. For example, Spotify recently made an update releasing an “Only You” feature. With this feature, listeners are able to know which artists and songs they listened to the most in the month. They have also created a series of stories for all the listeners where listeners can find out what distinguishes their music taste from others. Acknowledging spotify’s success, many other music platforms are also doing the same thing to help listeners enjoy the experience more. Although these changes may seem small, they make a valuable, positive difference in people’s lives, creating various moments of entertainment, making it easier to get through the quarantine.
Aside from the updates, music artists have started to release more music as a ‘thank you’ gift for their listeners. Many Youtube channels and broadcasting services have started collaborating with music artists to help the artist and the listener feel like they are at a real life concert, but from the comfort of their own homes. For example, Aminé, an American rapper, held a live online concert on Youtube after releasing his new album, performing all his popular songs, while simultaneously communicating with his fans through the chat function. In the comments of the concert, many people wrote kind words of appreciation whilst others reminisced of the in-person tours before the pandemic. Additionally, short Youtube shows such as ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’ hosted by NPR Music started inviting more artists. Even famous musicians accepted the channel’s request to perform on their show to connect with their fans. It’s an innovative way for artists to interact with their fans and still have the same energy that they would normally get at concerts.
Music is something that’s close to everyone’s hearts. Considering ways in which music can hype people up, comfort them, and share emotions, it is safe to say people and music are closely related to each other. To emphasize music’s essential role throughout the pandemic, music streaming platforms started updating their systems focusing on the interactions with the users rather than being just a music player. In collaboration with multiple broadcasting services, Youtube channels, and online communities, music artists kept in touch with their fans and listeners by releasing more music and holding online concerts. These hard-working members of the music industry deserve loads of appreciation for caring about their fans during this tough time. Even though the end of the pandemic seems to be uncertain, music assures us that the joy in life will never go away.
AmineTVMusic. “LIVE FROM LIMBO.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 Aug. 2020, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKOwkYIEE3k.
Stassen, Murray. “The World’s Recorded-Music Revenue Boomed During the Pandemic.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 26 Mar. 2021, http://www.rollingstone.com/pro/news/global-recorded-music-revenue-2020-1146149/#:~:text=Total streaming (including both paid,total global recorded-music revenues.
Stone, Mary. “Spotify ‘Only You’ and ‘Blend’ Features Now Live.” Whathifi, What Hi-Fi?, 3 June 2021, http://www.whathifi.com/news/spotify-only-you-and-blend-features-now-live.nprmusic. “BTS: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.” YouTube, YouTube, 21 Sept. 2020, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFYAXsa7pe8&t=585s.