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It’s too early to tell what coronavirus means for streaming


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It’s not great for your work/life balance to spend the weekend feeling grumpy every time you spot that ‘people are streaming music less due to coronavirus’ story doing the rounds – based on a limited comparison of stream counts from the Spotify charts. It’s true that other forms of media may be more appealing to people working and/or self-isolating from home: we wouldn’t be surprised if radio is experiencing a big bump, not just because it has news, but because it’s people talking live – something that feels important right now. But our irritation mainly comes from the limited nature of the data at an early stage of what’s a rapidly-evolving global pandemic.

Anyway, Midia Research has a good blog post taking a more considered view of the ‘COVID-19’s Impact on Streaming’ question, and we recommend it. “This is not a dynamic that can be understood properly by observing macro trends; instead it requires micro-trend analysis. It turns out that COVID-19 is creating different entertainment responses not just across different countries, but among different segments of consumers within countries,” suggested Midia. That said, it doesn’t shirk some of the longer-term worries: gaps in label release schedules as studios close down; and a potential battle to stop churn rates from rising if people start to limit their subscription spending.

Stuart Dredge

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