Coronavirus Resources, Government Assistance, Charitable Initiatives For Artists & Music Businesses

See an updating list of charitable initiatives, grants and relief for those in the music business impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Electric Lady Studios

The impact of Coronavirus COVID-19 is being felt across society and business, but it is really hurting the music business now. Live music is shut down and millions have already been lost in potential revenue around the world. Musicians, industry professionals and events are in danger of going under and many have already lost their jobs. With this post, we will try and keep a tally of various resources designed to help musicians, venues and more during this tough time.

Music Platforms / Companies:

Ableton: Now one can download the Live 10 Suite for a free 90-day trial.

Amazon Music: Amazon Music contributed to MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund. Do more Bezos.

Apple: They have made Logic Pro X & Final Cut Pro available for free  90-day trials. According to Music Business Worldwide, Apple has made a $50m advance fund available for independent labels and distributors who are struggling paying out obligations. 

Bandcamp: Bandcamp waived their typical fee on Friday, March 20 and raised $4.3 million for artists and labels. Many labels waived their typical fee as well, netting even more money for musicians.

Bandsintown: Bandsintown is offering artists who have registered with Bandsintown for Artists free access to Twitch’s monetization tools. This means they can monetize streams on Twitch through paid subscriptions and virtual tips to the creator. It will also host a LIVE Music Marathon this Thursday March 26 and Friday March 27 on their newly founded Twitch channel found at live.bandsintown.com. All of the proceeds from the 2-day event will be donated to the recently established MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Cloudbounce: The online mastering service opened up their affiliate program to anyone and increased commissions from 25% to 50% of any income received. They also reduced the cost of their annual subscription from $199 to $59, as well as giving $10 to any new affiliate as a signing up bonus.

Glastonbury: Glasto donated thousands of liters of hand sanitizer, medical-grade masks, and gloves to frontline emergency service workers & NHS staff.

Live Nation: Live Nation have launched Crew Nation, which aims to raise money for backstage staff. It will include all the backstage staff that help bring concerts to life including: tour managers, production managers, riggers, sound engineers, backline techs, lighting directors/designers, special effects teams, carpenters, and more. They are donating $10 million: $5 million upfront + matching the next $5 million. 

Mixcloud: Mixcloud is waiving their SELECT revenue share for the next 3 calendar months, giving SELECT channel creators 100% of the income after the underlying artists & songwriters played in the shows have been paid. They are also offering new joiners extended 3 months trials of PRO account upgrades which enable you to turn on SELECT for your channel.

Pioneer DJ: Pioneer has extending the free trial period for its DJ mix recording app - DJM-REC - from 30 days up to 90 days. The extended DJM-REC trial period will run from April 7 until May 6, 2020.

SiriusXM/Pandora: They contributed to the MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund. They are making SiriusXM free until May 15. Find out more here.

Spotify: Spotify has launched the COVID-19 Music Relief project, which is raising money for a growing list of charitable initiatives to help musicians in financial hardship right now. They are matching donations up to $10 million. Spotify is also building a feature that will allow artists to fundraise directly through their Spotify Artist pages (either to their own charities - GoFundMe etc - or to a charity of their choice)

Songtradr: The company has agreed to give 100% of licensing fees on any new transaction through April 18 to artists. Songtradr announced today that they will be offering entirely free distribution services for the next six months. This means artists will have access to free, unlimited uploads for each release through all major platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.

Sony Corporation: Sony Corporation, the owner of Sony Music, has announced a $100 million fund to help those impacted by Coronavirus COVID-19. Since this is Sony Corp, this is not all going to Sony Music, but instead a handful of sources. They will offer assistance for those individuals engaged in frontline medical and first responder efforts to fight the virus, support for children and educators who must now work remotely, and support for members of the creative community in the entertainment industry, which has been greatly impacted by the spread of the virus.

SoundCloud: SoundCloud Pro Unlimited subscriptions will be 50% off through March 30 and they have announced a new partnership with Twitch to fast-track SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier and Repost by SoundCloud creators into the Twitch affiliate program to earn extra income. SoundCloud is giving away $5 million in free promo for the rest of 2020. Creators can tag their SoundCloud uploads #GetMorePlays and the company’s editorial team will select up to 5 artists per week to feature with promotion. They have launched a direct support button so fans can donate money up front to a create. SC has revealed a $10 million accelerator program of their marketing and distribution arm, Repost By SoundCloud.

Sound Royalties: It has dedicated $20 million to offer a no-cost royalty advance funding option on every new application through April 16, or until the fund is depleted. Artists apply for the cash with a one-year repayment plan with no fees attached. One can apply for up to $25,000.

Studio 338: London club Studio 338 is starting up a shopping service and mobile food bank "for the most vulnerable and elderly members of our community."

Tidal: Donated to MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund and is doing a week of live shows from big artists starting tonight for TIDAL members.

YouTube: YouTube has contributed to the MusiCares' COVID-19 relief fund. It is helping creators by expanding its YouTube Premieres program, which allows creators to pre-record a video and premiere it live along with their fans. It is looking to provide all creators and music partners access to features to make income beyond ad revenue like from merch and other commercial products. Charitable donations can also be funneled through their accounts.

Charitable Organizations / PROs:

Berlin Collective Action: Nightlife Emergency Fund – The Berlin nightlife community has launched a crowd-raising fund to provide emergency financial aid to at-risk nightlife workers in Berlin — those whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by COVID-19, and especially those who do not have access to other support systems.

Equal Sound: Los Angeles-based organization Equal Sound launched the Corona Relief Fund that gives money to musicians out of work. It allows musicians with gigs in the US to apply for grants that pay out a maximum of $500 per gig on a first-come, first-served basis.

Grammys / MusiCares: MusiCares, the charitable wing of the Recording Academy, has launched a COVID-19 relief fund that started with a $2 million pool, but has grown with other donations. Music industry professionals may apply for basic living assistance (rent or mortgage). Initial grant requests can be made up to $1000 to compensate for cancelled work that was scheduled and lost

Help Musicians: Help Musicians in the UK has launched a special website to pool together public information and resources to assist musicians. They have updates from the government, NHS and elsewhere. They have also created a £5m fund to help give money to musicians in hardship. Applications for this fund are submitted through an online form and offer a one-off payment of £500 per applicant.

GEMA: German performing rights organization GEMA has announced the launch of an emergency aid fund worth up to €40m ($43m) for its songwriter and composer members. It will be given out in two phases – first for those who lose live music income and then those with “individual hardships.”

Music COVID Relief: A slew of US organizations including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, the Artist Rights Alliance (ARA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the Music Artists Coalition (MAC), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Recording Academy, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), major booking agencies UTA, CAA, WME and more have launched a new website for those in the arts and entertainment community in need with guidance and resource materials.

Music Venue Trust: The organization allows every venue in the UK to access free legal and expert advice on licensing, planning, development, noise, and even tenancy issues.

PRS: British collecting society PRS For Music has launched the PRS Emergency Relief Fund to support members affected by the pandemic. This is a partnership between the PRS Members’ Fund and the PRS Foundation that will offer grants of up to £1000 each for musicians in the UK. Find out how you can them here.

Government Assistance:

England Arts Council: The Arts Council is making £160 million of emergency funding available for those organizations and individuals who will need it during this crisis. It is split up into various categories, so head to their website to see if you can get some funding.

Irish Government: The Irish government has created a fund to provide financial relief to Irish artists experiencing lost income related to COVID-19. Small grants of up to €500 will be paid rapidly on a first-come, first-served basis to affected artists and groups.

German Government: The German government has put together a fund of up €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid for artists and cultural institutions. It will provide emergency financial aid in the form of grants , with immediate operating costs such as renting cinemas, music clubs or artist studios, but also loans for business premises or leasing installments. In addition, social security (including unemployment insurance) will be made available to freelancers—including artists—for a period of six months. This will cover housing, child care and more. An additional €10 billion will be provided by local governments.

Scottish Government: The government is offering a £350m fund that will be made available to councils, charities, businesses and community groups. Additional money is being added to welfare, food and more. Get more information here.

Check if one of your local nightclubs is hosting a GoFundMe to help stay open and pay staff through this difficult time. Clubs generally don’t have tons of cash on hand and with event cancelations, they may be forced to pay a lot out of pocket if insurance doesn’t cover much.

Check out Grammys coverage of local US relief funds in the South, East and West for more localized look at relief funds, fundraisers and small business opportunities. 

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