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Today’s positive coronavirus-related music industry news (3 April)


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Music Ally is trying to write a story every working day, rounding up the good, practical things happening in and around our industry: focusing on relief efforts and other initiatives from the music industry and music / tech communities.

Start today with another streaming service setting out its stall: SoundCloud. It is letting creators add a button to their profile page so that fans can give them direct financial support via platforms including Kickstarter, Bandcamp, Patreon and PayPal.

SoundCloud has also committed $15m itself to support creators: $5m in ‘free promotional support’ to drive more streams on the platform itself – five artists a week who include the hashtag #GetMorePlays on their uploads will be chosen to benefit – and a $10m ‘artist accelerator program’ for independent artists which is tied to the DSP’s new Repose by SoundCloud distribution tier. See our separate story on that today.

Yesterday also saw a big announcement from Sony Music’s parent company Sony Corporation, which has launched a $100m Covid-19 Global Relief Fund. It’ll support three groups of people: frontline medical and first responders; children and educators; and the creative communities within the entertainment industry. On the latter front: “Sony will seek ways to support up-and-coming creators, artists and all those in professions supporting the industry, who have been impacted by the cancellation or postponement of concerts and live events, or the shutting down of film and television productions.” Sony will also match donations made by its staff to support the global relief effort.

Elsewhere, Indian music streaming service JioSaavn will be livestreaming artist sets on its Facebook page, then making audio recordings of the sessions available on its service and giving 100% of the revenues to the artists. Fans watching the ‘JioSaavn Live Anywhere’ livestreams will also be able to donate to the musicians directly. The performances will be scheduled “for the month of April, and possibly longer”. The first is scheduled for later today with artist Tejas Menon.

More news? Canadian collecting society Socan is allocating up to $2m for ‘emergency royalty advances’ for songwriter and composer members who’ve been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic’s impact; Taylor Swift has paid for three months of a Nashville indie record store’s staff health insurance plan as part of a wider donation to keep the shop running; and karaoke app Singa is letting people buying its subscription gift cards nominate a local karaoke venue to share 50% of the proceeds.

Read our previous posts in this series for more positive stories from the industry, or our broader coverage of the pandemic’s impact – which includes the challenges and bad news.

Stuart Dredge

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