Digital burnout fears: ‘It’s a lot we’re asking of artists’


The streaming and social media landscape brings many opportunities for artists, but also very real risks of burnout as they try to keep the plates spinning to make the most of those opportunities.

The issue was addressed at the NY:LON Connect conference yesterday during a panel on the future of streaming.

“We’re asking artists to do a lot. They’re not just recording and touring. Now they’re expected to understand crypto and NFTs, and expected to be using TikTok on a regular basis, and be on their Twitter feed, and on Instagram, and creating content and engaging with fans,” said Matthew Maysonet, head of sales and marketing at Empire.

“It’s a huge task! They’re holding multiple jobs in addition to creating art, and I think a lot of times, people forget that music is art, and it takes a certain mindset and level of focus to create that itself, let alone commercialise and monetise it.”

“We do risk burnout for some artists who are using all these socials, including having to worry about the algorithms on different DSPs. ‘If I don’t release a single every five to six weeks I’m not pinging that algorithm and my monthly listeners are going to decrease…’”

“Those are things that artists never had to really worry about before, at least on this score. I’m excited to see how we as an industry accommodate and approach that over the next few years to even things out a little bit… I think it’s something we should be addressing.”

Blaike Ford, SVP of streaming and artist development at Range Media, agreed, citing a recent Instagram post by artist Chelsea Cutler expressing her struggle with “how insatiable our content culture has become”.

She suggested that this “hit the nail on the head” and should spark a conversation to “make sure that these algorithms are in fact helping, and to make sure that this art is in fact getting in front of the audiences that these artists have worked so hard to cultivate.”

“Too many artists think, to your point Matt, ‘If I don’t do this by this, and this by this, I lose everything’. I can’t imagine that being my brain as an artist. I probably would quit! We don’t want to cultivate that.”

Read our full report on the panel here, which included Feed Media Group COO Lauren Pufpaf talking about fitness and music, and Anghami CEO Eddy Maroun discussing his company’s expansion. It also includes our report on a talk by Chartmetric’s Chaz Jenkins exploring the intersection of streams and socials.

We’ll have more coverage from NY:LON Connect this morning and over the week, which will be gathered here on our website.

Written by: Stuart Dredge