Saturday, December 12, 2020

Report: State of Nashville Music Industry "Not Good"

Stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the music industry and especially Nashville, according to The Tennessean citing a new study.

The 2020 Music Industry Report tallied Nashville's exponential business growth through 2019 and the fallout this year that left most musicians without work.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce worked with music-data firm Exploration Group, Belmont University and other researchers to produce the paper.

"The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating," Aaron Davis, CEO of Exploration Group said. "On the other hand, people report their desire to experience live music and in-person experiences are through the roof."

A survey found that most venue owners expect a dramatic comeback within two years.

The impact hits hard in Nashville because it has the highest concentration of music industry workers in the country, carrying an economic impact of nearly $9 billion. More than 80,000 people held industry jobs in the region last year.

Nashville's music industry grew faster than any other part of the country, at 43% from 2012 to 2019, compared to 9.2% nationally. That upward trajectory is expected to keep growing because of relatively affordable housing compared to other major music scenes.

Nashville is not only where the world comes to hear music, it is where music comes to do business," the report states. "According to the Survey to the Music Industry, most industry professionals, 36.5%, think that it will be one to two years before they can live their lives more."

Livestreaming music performances has helped to bridge the income gap, but it doesn't compare to live events and in-person recordings, the report found.

Other report findings include:
  • Independent music venues in Nashville lost 72% of their revenue, or $22.6 million, and 73.5% of their jobs.
  • Most of the music created in Nashville is country, but rock, pop and alternative genres are the most sought-out live performances.
  • 50.2% of consumers say a livestream is nowhere near as good as the real experience.
  • 82.8% of music creators performed a live stream between March and April of 2020.
  • 50.4% of recording artists have performed zero times since March 2020.
  • Bookings for live performances in 2021 are lower for 86.9% of respondents.
  • 74.9% of consumers subscribe to a music streaming platform, and most of them chose Spotify.
  • 73.5% of music creators surveyed are making less music because of COVID-19.
Nationally, the music industry had a $514 billion overall economic impact in 2019 and created 1.2 million direct jobs.

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