The impact on music festivals from Coronavirus in 2020

For anyone who loves the festival season – definitely us – 2020 has been a very sad year for live music, but just how deep is the impact of the global shutdowns?

The heat of Summer is here and whilst we should be sat in a field sipping from tins and laughing with friends with the backdrop of nearby bands taking to the stage – unfortunately the Coronavirus, which I don’t think anyone needs catching up on, has scuppered any big festival plans.

Pretty much all of the festivals around the world have either been postponed or fully cancelled for the year. We’re all experiencing the sadness of missing our favourite festivals but I think we can all understand and accept the decisions made. But how is it affecting the music industry, festival organisers, and artists themselves?

A new report from Viberate, who provided us with the great resource Sick Festivals earlier in the year to track the status of festivals, looks into just this impact.

They’ve found that more than 750 festivals have been hit by the effects of Coronavirus shutdowns worldwide. Remarkably, the country who seems to have had the most festivals affected is the Netherlands. With 121 festivals feeling the effects of Coronavirus they were hit worse than the UK and the US, with 86 and 90 festivals reported to be affected respectively.

July was supposed to be the busiest month and would have seen the peak of the year’s festivals however the report from Viberate shows that festivals planned for between March and May were the worst hit. This is because the effects were still fresh and they sadly had little time to prepare.

Overall, the predicted impact of 2020’s unfortunate festival shutdown is predicted to have a $16.8 billion direct economic impact around the world. This includes ticket sales but also merchandising, food and drink, and other businesses based in festivals. The loss of ticket sales is predicted to $5.1 billion with 13.2 million fans unable to go to festivals.

This is a clear representation of how massive the losses are for everyone involved in the festival industry. It is clear that organisers, the musicians, and the people who work elsewhere at festivals – like food vans – need support with these damning losses.

It’s not just a simple case of festivals and event organisers cancelling for the year and delaying until next year. Huge losses have been seen and for many organisers it may be fatal. The UK’s Glastonbury festival organisers, one of the world’s most renowned festivals, have warned that if the effects continue through to next year they wouldn’t survive another postponement.

The WHO have warned that the worst may still be yet to come with the fallout of this global pandemic. If large events are still in such a questionable position next year it could be truly disastrous to an industry which is already struggling under the effects of what is essentially a write-off year for them.

For the full report from Viberate on the impact of Coronavirus on festivals around the world head here.

How to change the description on your YouTube music channel for artists

Your music is on YouTube and now you want to change what the channel bio says for your artist channel – here’s how.

In this article we’ll explain how to change your banner image but if you haven’t taken control of your Official Artist Channel yet then we have a guide to do so here:

If your music is on YouTube via distribution so that an artist channel has been created for you then you will need to take control of it first. Follow our link above to gain control of your Official Artist Channel so that you can edit it how you like.

First you’re going to want to write out your channel description. Make sure it represents you as best as you can. A bit about yourself and your music to inform new fans helps them to connect with you on a more personal level.

Your channel bio is the block of text on your channel page that describes what the channel is for new viewers. It’s a great place to share your story.

YouTube’s channel bio specifications:

Follow these requirements to make sure that your bio fits YouTube’s standards and isn’t rejected.

  • Keep it under 1500 Characters. After ~150 characters, YouTube Music truncates and puts the remaining bio behind a “More” link.
  • Make sure the content meets our Community Guidelines.
  • Keep your bio up to date. Promoting an upcoming album or new release in your bio may go out of date quickly.
Add or edit your channel’s bio:
  1. Sign into your account that is linked with your Official Artist Channel
  2. Head to
  3. Select ‘Profile‘ on the left
  4. Select the Biography box
  5. Click anywhere inside the box and enter your bio
  6. Select ‘Save Bio‘ and you’re done!

You have to use a desktop computer to change your bio as YouTube have removed the ability to do it on mobile devices.

Check out our other article on how to change your channel icon.

We also have an article here for changing your Channel banner.

What alternatives are there to Tunecore music distribution?

Tunecore are one of the top choices for artists to get their music out there but there are plenty of alternatives that might suit you better depending on your situation.


RouteNote offers you the choice of Free or Premium distribution which you can switch between at any time depending on how much revenue you think your music will earn.

For Free: you can distribute to all our partner stores and services which includes all of the top music streaming services and download stores in the world as well as another unique services opening opportunities for your music’s reach. Free users keep 85% of all the earnings their music makes.

Premium: All the benefits of worldwide distribution that you get for free and you keep 100% of the revenue your music makes. A great choice for artists who know their music is going to get lots of plays and downloads.


RouteNote Premium$10 then $9.99 a year after the first year

TuneCore$9.99 a year


RouteNote Premium$20 then $9.99 a year after the first year

TuneCore$29.99 then $49.99 a year after the first year


RouteNote Premium$30 then $9.99 a year after the first year

TuneCore$29.99 then $49.99 a year after the first year

As you can see, you can make a huge saving whilst earning 100% of your musics streaming and download revenues by choosing RouteNote.

For a more in depth comparison of all the services both Tunecore and RouteNote offer read here.


DistroKid are a good choice for many if there are only a few specific services that artists want to get their music on. For distribution to select services they can be a good price but a lot of the extra features that come all included with other distributors cost extra hidden fees with DistroKid.

They offer a basic subscription for unlimited song uploads that is $19.99 a year under 1 band/artist name. Two upload 2 different artist/band names and have extra customisation it costs $35.99 a year.

There is then a label speciality tier that costs $79.99 a year for up to 100 artist/band names.

This makes it harder to do a direct comparison as DistroKid arranges their distribution quite uniquely but depending on the number of artists/names you want to distribute DistroKid may well be better value than Tunecore for your releases.

For an in-depth comparison between RouteNote and Distrokid head here.

Songkick report “175 million music fans annually” on their platform

According to a recent press release from the company, Songkick currently help 175m fans find concerts of their favourite artists near them.

The concert discovery service helps users track their favourite artists playing gigs near them. Acquired by Warner Music Group in 2017, the service very nearly shutdown later that year due to pressures from Ticketmaster and Live Nation. Despite this, two and a half years later, Songkick is thriving today.

A recent press release from the company appointing Alexey Blinov as VP, Technology revealed the following:

Blinov joined Songkick in 2014 as a software developer and since then helped evolve the platform that helps 175 million music fans annually track their favourite artists, discover concerts and buy tickets with confidence.

Songkick – Press Release

Blinov’s promotion sees him taking over from Aaron Randall who’s leaving the company. He’ll help develop virtual live events in the absence of shows and festivals during the pandemic.

My team is working hard to help build a virtual live business that’ll help artists make up some of the income they’re losing in the absence of shows and festivals. It’s vital work for the future of the artist community, and the wider music business.

Songkick – Press Release

Amazon Music subscriptions are up 104% year-on-year

The latest Q1 2020 streaming subscriber stats from Counterpoint Research confirm previous reports, with Spotify and Apple Music dominating the space, as well as increadible growth from Amazon.

Last month’s Q1 market share stats from MIDiA found Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music taking the top three spots in premium music subscriptions. The latest findings from Counterpoint Research’s revenue share back up this data. With minor differences between the two estimates, the underlying theme of subscription and revenue growth is true in both. For official stats, see IFPIs listening report from 2019.


Counterpoint Research report 394m music subscriptions globally, which is up 35% year-on-year growth. Spotify represent 33% global subscriptions with a 30% revenue share, and Apple Music showing 21% and 25% respectively. Amazon Music more than doubled from the previous period last year, with a 104% year-on-year growth and 12% market share. YouTube Music at 9% and Pandora at 5% hold fourth and fifth place with respectable shares.

Spotify’s latest podcast moves: $20 million deal with Omnicom

Spotify have signed a huge $20 million advertising deal with Omnicon as podcasts become a major priority for the music streaming service.

This new deal with Omnicom Media Group in their “largest global, strategic podcast advertising partnership to date”. The deal is worth $20 million and will see the American media marketing company gain first access to advertising on Spotify’s blossoming podcast offerings.

The deal with Omnicom comes just weeks after Spotify launched video advertising in the US, UK, and Canada. No doubt this was a very attractive prospect for Omnicom which may have helped seal the deal as they look to advertise their partners on popular new mediums like Spotify.

Their new partnership with Omnicom Media Group see the advertising conglomerate commited to spending $20 million in the second half of 2020. Just 0.06% of Omnicom’s $35bn annual spending budget.

Spotify’s Global Head of Advertising Business, Lee Brown said: “This partnership is a breakthrough moment for the podcast industry and audio advertising at large. We couldn’t be more ecstatic to have an agency of Omnicom Media Group’s global influence and imprint recognising the value of podcasts for their clients in such a significant way.”

At the start of the year Spotify began targeted advertising on their podcasts to appeal more to advertisers. They proved podcasts were a massive success after testing the new content on their huge music streaming platform in recent years.

Recently they have signed massive deals for some of the world’s biggest podcasts including an exclusive deal with Joe Rogan to distribute his podcast on Spotify only. They are now doubling down on both the content they have to offer for listeners and the possibilities for creators and advertisers with the new medium.

New original podcasts are coming, with Arab-Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin bringing his weekly ‘Nas Talks’ show to Spotify Podcasts as well as ‘An Oral History of The Office’, covering the behind the scenes details of the US version of The Office.

Brown added: “We look forward to partnering with OMG to unlock the creative possibilities of audio and building rich connections with listeners worldwide.”

United Masters suddenly cuts their free distribution for artists

United Masters have launched a new model for artists to keep 100% of their earnings but it sees their free distribution’s offering slashed.

United Masters have been one of a few options for creators to get their music distributed to online services for free. Today they announced their Premium tier which offers artists all of their royalties but at a monthly cost and is now the only way artists can send their music to all platforms through United Masters.

They have cut their Free offering so that artists can only distribute their music to Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, and SoundCloud. To distribute to all other stores users will now have to pay for distribution, although that will allow them to keep 100% of their earnings.

Their United Masters SELECT offering requires a monthly payment of $5 to distribute to all major platforms. The payment must be paid for 12 months upfront, so it is actually $59.99 rather than on a month-to-month payment.

For free distribution forever to all of the world’s favourite streaming services, stores and more you can distribute your music to RouteNote.
We guarantee that we will never restrict our free distribution model.

Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist has been streamed for over 2.3 billion hours

Discover Weekly just celebrated its five year anniversary. Since launching in July 2015, Discover Weekly has been streamed for over 2.3 billion hours.

Discover Weekly is available for all Spotify users, every Monday bringing together a new collection of music tuned to your individual taste, helping audiences discover new artists, and artist find new fans. Discover Weekly has helped artists around the world promote their new music, such as R3HAB, Halsey, RAC, Khalid, MK and Alle Farben. Listeners are discovering new genres too “from EDM to grupera (a regional Mexican style), to indietronica and Lithuanian folk”.

Between July 2015 and 25 June 2020, Discover Weekly has been streamed over 2.3 billion hours. For reference, that’s:

  • 8.4 trillion seconds
  • 140 billion minutes
  • 2.3 billion hours
  • 97.3 million days
  • 13.9 million weeks
  • 266.5 thousand years

How to distribute lo-fi music to streaming platforms for free

With RouteNote you can distribute any kind of music to stores, streaming services and social media platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

RouteNote gives creators the power to distribute music to all major platforms, monetize social media content, promote releases and track performance, all totally free of charge.

RouteNote don’t favour any particular genre. In fact you can send any kind of music to us for distribution, with only a few specific exceptions on some partner stores. RouteNote do not distribute:

  • Audiobook content
  • Text/scripture excerpts
  • Speech (without backing music)
  • Podcasts
  • Advertisements/Reviews
  • Loops (identical loop repeated with no variation whatsoever)
  • Sample Packs
  • Excerpts from tracks/previews
  • Ringtones
  • ‘Non-profit’ releases

The following stores will not accept the follow kind of releases (feel free to distribute these releases through us, just be sure to untick the relevant stores):

  • Binaural, Frequency Healing, Meditation, Field Recordings, MIDI, Computer Generated Classical – iTunes, Facebook/Instagram and YouTube Content ID must be unticked
  • ASMR, White Noise – iTunes, Facebook, YouTube Content ID, Shazam and Gracenote must be unticked
Sign up to RouteNote today to start spreading your music around the world.

Audio Effects bring brand new control to Audiobridge’s collaborative music making app

Audiobridge have upped the capabilities on their mobile-only music recording app with 4 new effects available now.

Audiobridge is a mobile app that is designed to make collaboration easy from afar. With shared projects users can record and edit recordings together to create a collaborative track simply and quickly.

They’re making the potential even greater for musicians and creators with the brand new addition of Audio Effects. Packaged into the Experimental Settings suite, four new effects will give users far more options as to how they edit and record their songs.

They surveyed musicians and audio engineers from around the world to select the four favourite effects to add to their app. They chose Reverb, Delay, EQ, and Compression; the staples of music production.

Their app uses artificial intelligence to help its users add details to their tracks. Audiobridge founder and CEO, Matt Miller said: “We have built a tool that guides musicians through music creation. It will be like having an audio engineer in your pocket.”

They hope that their app provides a simple and intuitive way for people to record music that sounds good without the high costs of recording studios and expensive equipment. Miller adds: “We are breaking down the barriers of entry, making the process more accessible for all. We want to replace the 1,200 page Pro Tools user manual with a red record button.”

You can download audiobridge and make use of their new effects in your audio recordings on iOS now.