The coronavirus pandemic has forced most people to self-isolate in their homes. It would be reasonable to expect, then, that since folks are spending more time inside, they’d be entertaining themselves by listening to more music. It turns out the opposite is true, though, as streaming music numbers in the US have actually gone down in recent days.
Citing data from analytics provider Alpha Data, NME notes that streams in the US dropped by about 7.6 percent during the week of March 13 to March 19, which is around when self-isolation became a widespread practice and businesses started closing their doors. Meanwhile, digital song sales dropped by 10.7 percent, digital album sales fell by 12.4 percent, and physical album sales plummeted by an astounding 27.6 percent. The latter figure really isn’t too surprising considering that many record stores shut down and Amazon has temporarily stopped selling CDs and vinyl records.
All that said, some parts of the music industry are actually doing better than before: Streams of classical music are up by 1.5 perfect, while folk music is up by 2.9 percent, and children’s music has seen a 3.8-percent increase.
It’s worth noting these numbers do not account for the massive day Bandcamp had this past Friday (March 20), when artists made over $4 million thanks to a Bandcamp promotion.
Even if music fans aren’t necessarily streaming or buying more music than usual, they’re still finding ways to entertain themselves, perhaps most notably by watching livestream concerts that a number of artists have been hosting lately. With that in mind, check out our list of the week’s best livestream concerts here.