This website is the main contact point for anybody interested in our research project, which investigated how musicians can generate income from livestreaming performances. The outcome of the research project is a report for musicians, featuring best practice guidelines, published on this website on 12 May 2021.
The research was funded by ESRC as part of UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19 and carried out in partnership with the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the Musicians’ Union, the Music Venue Trust, Serious Ltd, the Cultural Centre of Value, and the Sheffield Performer and Audience Research Centre (SPARC). A more detailed description of the project and its deliverables can be found below.
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Live performances are a vital income source for over 80% of musicians. The COVID19 lockdown put a temporary stop to performances in concert venues, while social distancing measures are likely to restrict audiences for months to come, with regular attenders deciding to stay at home and venues having to reduce capacity to adhere to government regulations. The result is a severe loss of income for musicians.
Lockdown saw a number of musicians turn to streaming performances live from their homes. However, while having the potential to make up for loss of earnings from other sources, these live streams were often not being monetised. COVID19 has the potential to be the catalyst for ‘creative destruction’, bringing into question traditional music industry business models while offering new ones. This research project will investigate optimum ways of monetising live streamed performances.
The outcome of the research is an Open Access report for musicians, featuring best practice guidelines and focusing on the staging of virtual concerts; technical requirements; streaming platforms; methods of generating income; collaborations with venues; and online audience engagement.
Our aim is to enable musicians to quickly and effectively access new income streams.
Key findings from the report will be disseminated to over 50,000 UK musicians by the project’s partner organisations, including the Musicians’ Union, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and the Music Venue Trust, while the full report is downloadable from this website. Download the Quantitative Analysis.
 Musicians’ Union, The Working Musician report, 2012