The New Age of Music

Driena Muca


The competition between singers and rappers for the number one spot on Billboard doesn’t stop, even during a pandemic. With artist’s once-beloved concerts and tours coming to a halt, they have been forced to think creatively about how to produce and release music in order to stay relevant. This, in turn, has changed how fanbases interact with artists, music, and even the internet. 

The absence of concerts has deprived artists of that coin, that bag if you will, therefore making streaming their biggest source of income. Live music used to make up roughly half of artists’ revenue, but it has quickly been replaced by paid streaming platforms, which now make up half of the recorded music revenue. Although artists have been making more and more money from streaming services, quarantine has made this amount increase rapidly. No concerts meant people had no other option but to stream their music on different applications. Many were at home due to work being closed, and others, such as students, were at home due to school being closed. Therefore people had more time to indulge in their hobbies and for many people, listening to music is a part of that. All of these factors combined can explain why there is a higher use of home applications to listen to music. 

The increase of streaming on home applications also correlates with the increase of people paying to listen to music. At the start of quarantine in March, paying subscribers to Tencent Music surged to 42.7 million people, which is a 50% increase. Revenue per user at Tencent Music also increased by 13%.To put this in context, Spotify (a stakeholder of Tencent Music) has had its paid music subscribers surge to 130 million in the first quarter of the year.  Streaming platforms including more forms of media such as podcasts etc. may also be contributing to the increase in music streams and paid subscribers. 


As mentioned before, consumers have had more time to spend at home during this quarantine. Unfortunately, whether it be the current political climate, the isolation from friends and family, or even fear and uncertainty for the future, the state of their surroundings may be inducing stress. Spotify has reported that they have noted a change in consumer routines. With the different podcasts and music genres available on their site, they have found increasing popularity in their relaxing genre. Although it may not necessarily have to be music, many people are turning to music platforms to relieve stress through their available content.


The Winners and the Losers -

At the end of the day, people go to art to receive a piece of their sanity. You put on earphones and start listening to music and you feel comfortable, you feel grounded. What has made ME feel grounded is watching the Travis Scott Fortnite concert for five days in a row. If you’re wondering what that is, google it. If you’re clicking on a Driena Muca article you better know the Travis Scott Fortnite concert. The basis of your knowledge should be the Travis Scott Fortnite concert. No further explanation. The rise of unconventional streaming platforms like Fortnite has also been a way for people to enthrall themselves with the elegance that is Fortnite and Travis Scott. He went as far as releasing a song exclusively on this video game. You can now have your 8-year-old next-door neighbor listen to the new Travis Scott song before you do. You can sit in your banana Fortnite skin in a lobby full of 12-year-old boys and all share this common experience of a large animated Travis Scott screaming autotuned lyrics through your TV speakers. There’s something beautiful about that. There's something beautiful about people default dancing as you listen to Kid Cudi sing his untouchable vocals. There’s something beautiful—no, more than beautiful—there’s something revolutionary. There’s something revolutionary about how people listen to music today. 30 million people tuned in to watch the Travis Scott Fortnite concert. Albania’s population is 3 million people. We could have all 3 million of them watch it and there would still be more 12-year-old Travis Scott ragers who have seen it. At the end of the day, this pandemic gifted me with the Travis Scott Fortnite concert. The 8th deadly sin is not attending the Travis Scott concert. The 9th one is attending it. 

Overall, there are those who win and those who lose. Travis Scott was the raging winner of this pandemic. Carol Baskin and Joe Exotic were the losers. The jellybeans of fall guys lost. They died. They’re dead. My animal crossing character (I’m so sorry), you lost. You didn’t even make it 3 months in. I still have dreams of the dopamine rush I got during the Travis Scott Fortnite concert. Travis Scott’s PR team needs a raise. Whatever they’re paying the PR team is clearly not enough. The biggest slap in the face was figuring out I could stream music by attending a concert in Fortnite. Instead of quarantine being a limitation for Travis Scott, he persisted and capitalized on the youth of America. Travis Scott for president 2024. This is just a big Travis Scott promotion. Thank you.