With the coronavirus all but ending music tours this year, the desire for live shows has been a constant topic on social media. But if Spotify is right, fans shouldn’t expect to see their favorite artists in person anytime soon.
Today, the music streaming giant announced that it is adding virtual event lists to its artist pages. The new function has hardly any earth-shattering effect on the overall business of Spotify. But the message is clear. As the company noted in a blog post, the pandemic appears almost certainly to continue, and a return to normal for the music industry is likely a long way off.
“With many touring postponed to 2021, the need for these virtual events will continue and we want to make it easier for Spotify listeners to learn the virtual events for artists they love and for artists who are discovering them for the first time Mal, “wrote the company in the post.
Like many companies, Spotify has tried to adapt to the pandemic without taking the crisis to its advantage. In the spring, after many countries and parts of the United States imposed bans on Spotify, listening to wearables, cars and web-based platforms fell, but consumption via TV and game consoles rose dramatically. Despite these shifts, Spotify̵
In the past few months, more and more musicians have organized virtual gigs to get in touch with fans. Spotify has even created a leaflet for musicians who give home concerts. Starting today, Spotify listeners will be able to search the artist pages for listings of these virtual events in the “On Tour” section. The entries are automatically fetched via Spotify’s partnership with the concert steam app Songkick. A limited number will be added through Ticketmaster.
The virtual events can be hosted on any platform and added to Songkick or Ticketmaster to appear on Spotify. This also gives artists new tools to promote the listings on their pages.
While this doesn’t necessarily bring direct new revenue for Spotify, the company does help artists and fans adapt to a new reality. As with other digital shifts during the pandemic, it will be interesting to see if these virtual events become a long-term part of the music scene, whether to complement or replace touring altogether.