With much of the world currently on “lockdown” as we attempt to manage the spread of the virus, many high street stores have had to close their doors. This will inevitably impact the ordering habits of stores and the buying habits of their customers but many indie shops are continuing to operate on a mail order and local delivery basis (and Kudos are helping to highlight this through the #RecordStoreOfTheDay campaign).
Online sales are still operating largely as usual,and Kudos are still able to fulfil orders made through kudosrecords.co.uk, our Discogs store and Bandcamp (for labels using our Bandcamp fulfilment service). Amazon has temporarily suspended ordering all “non-essential” products, and has extended delivery times on music products while they focus on distributing essentials.
Our digital systems are always operated remotely and are highly automated, so the current situation has little effect on our ability to service digital releases. We have also received updates from most of our DMS partners confirming that they are operating normally with a distributed remote workforce. No disruption is currently expected to release dates, reporting or payments.
With so many currently working from home, the routine of the working day which underpins many user’s listening habits has gone out the window. Spotify are reporting that listeners are using a greater range of devices and that they are seeing increased evening listening rather than peaks during the daily commute. But the share of streams between genres and the split between new releases and catalogue remains largely unchanged. Early indicators suggest that total daily streams may be slightly lower than we’d usually see but overall paid subscribers numbers have not fluctuated more than we’d expect for the time of year.
Useful Resources for Musicians and Labels
Below is a round up of some of the initiatives we are aware of that have been set up to help and support those working in the music industry. Note that while many of these resources will be useful to all, some links (such as those to financial support from governments) may be territory-specific.
Corona Advice for Musicians
Help Musicians and several other UK industry bodies including the Musicians’ Union have collaborated to build a central hub providing support and advice for musicians during the coronavirus crisis – covering a wide range of topics and regularly updated.
A similar resource – but with more of a business focus – is being maintained by the British Phonographic Industry on their website.
CMU’s Lockdown Webinars
Use lockdown to expand your knowledge about the inner workings of the music business, best practice across the music industry, and all the latest trends and developments with CMU’s Lockdown Webinars.
SoundCloud: Keep The Music Going
SoundCloud are compiling a set of resources and ideas for musicians to help use time productively while staying home in a Keep the Music Going section of their site. They have also launched a new feature which allows creators to to ask for donations from fans using a Support Artist button on the profile which can be linked to a number of fundraising platforms.
Spotify Relief Fund / Artist Fundraising Pick
Spotify have pledged up to 10 million USD to match any donations made via their site to various relief funds set up in aid of artists and performers suffering hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This includes the scheme being run by PRS in the UK. Spotify have also launched a temporary new feature that enables artists to fund-raise directly from fans via Spotify for Artists.
PRS Emergency Relief Fund
Writers who have been registered with PRS for at least 2 years can apply for grants of up to £1000 if suffering genuine hardship due to loss of work as a result of the outbreak.
Mixcloud Select is a platform that allows creators to charge subscription fees to access longform audio content such as podcasts and mixes. They’re currently waiving their revenue share so that show creators get a bigger cut. And because MixCloud is a licensed music, the subscription revenue is also shared with rights-holders. That means if a label, artist or DJ makes a show featuring their own music, they can make money as both show creator (directly from Mixcloud) and rights-holder (accounted via Kudos).
Moog Free Synth App
Many music and tech companies are offering special deals. If you have an iOS device, you might be able to pass a bit of time playing with the Minimoog Model D App which is currently being offered for free.
Instagram Virtual Events Guide
Facebook has created this helpful guide to using Instagram for hosting virtual events online and producing content from home.
Jaxsta – Free Pro Subscriptions
Jaxsta is the world’s most comprehensive resource of official music credits. Their Pro subscription tier allows any artists, labels, songwriters and any other credited contributor to take ownership of their profile and access additional features.
In light of current events they have announced they will be making Jaxsta Pro available completely free-of-charge for the rest of 2020 – so there has never been a better time to try it out. And if you or anyone you work with wants to continue the subscription in 2021 there’s a discount code available for friends of Kudos.
Bandcamp Fee-Free Fridays
Bandcamp have announced that on the first Friday of May, June and July they will be waiving their platform commission fee to maximise returns to artists and labels.
Kudos will be offering our own recommendations from Kudos-distributed labels and supporting through our socials. We expect to be very busy packing customer orders for those labels that use our fulfilment services.