While the Covid-19 pandemic’s biggest impact on music is in the live sector, the lockdown is also affecting the release schedule and the streaming market.
Various artists have pushed albums back, including Lady Gaga, Biffy Clyro, Seasick Steve, Alicia Keys and Sam Smith. Other acts including Dua Lipa, The Weeknd and Skepta, Chip & Young Adz have gone ahead with the scheduled release.
Here, Nigel Harding, VP of global artist marketing at Deezer, reveals how the DSP is adapting to the lockdown…
What impact are the release schedule changes having?
“There are still plenty of big releases around. Dua Lipa was smart to move her album forward - such an impressive, confident statement. The main challenge we’ve encountered is having to postpone or cancel live events to support new releases. As the lockdown drags on, I suspect some artists may decide it’s preferable to simply get their music out there rather than hope for ‘normality’ to return.”
Will Deezer work with artists to help them in the current crisis?
“Deezer is still very much open for business. We’re still planning promotional campaigns and remain fully committed to all of our label partners. The crisis has also created opportunities to help our listeners and we’re constantly adapting our product to suit the new life indoors. We’ve created a Stay at Home channel and we’re working with artists all over the world to produce exclusive content for this.”
We have unlimited space for new music
Should streaming-heavy acts consider sticking with their current schedule?
“While there was a dip in streams at the beginning of the lockdown, mostly due to changes of habit and demand for news, the [global] streams are recovering. There is literally a captive audience for new music, those acts with an established audience should definitely keep putting out tracks.”
Are you concerned about a release bottleneck later in the year if big albums go back?
“We have unlimited space for new music, so ultimately it’s not a problem for Deezer. It’s a bigger discussion for the labels, as we can only give so many artists prominence on the platform at any one time.”
How would you sum up the overall impact on streaming and what people are listening to – do users want new music right now?
“Everyday routines have been turned upside down so we’ve seen some volatility in listening patterns as a result. But Deezer has a playlist for every occasion and while commuting playlists might have suffered, we’ve seen our Home Office playlist surge to number one with an increase of over 800%. This playlist has a mixture of new releases and old favourites - people will always seek out a bit of both.”
To read the full Music Week report on the release schedule shake-up, subscribers can click here.
* To make sure you can access Music Week wherever you are, subscribe to our digital issue by clicking here.