With no concerts to go to and no merch to buy, how can music fans help the artists they love to make sure they’re still making music?
A group has a suggestion: Buy music on Fridays.
Much like Giving Tuesday after Black Friday in November and the recent trend of #TakeOutWednesday to support local restaurants struggling to stay afloat during shutdown orders, #BuyMusicFridays looks to encourage people to support their favourite musicians.
The idea is to put money in the hands of musicians by paying for albums or individual songs instead of just streaming.
This is also inspired in part by Bandcamp’s pledge to give all proceeds from sales on the first Friday of each month through at least July to the artists on its platform, without taking its usual cut of the sale. The first Bandcamp Friday saw fans buy $4.3 million worth of music in March, with that amount expanding to $7.1 million on May 1. The next Bandcamp Fridays are slated for June 5 and July 3.
“I thought, why not take this further,” says Selina Martin, a musician who’s relocated back home to Canada from France during the pandemic. “Why not make every Friday buy music day? And why not encourage it on all music-selling platforms so that more music creators can benefit?”
Streaming music might be a terribly convenient way to have any and every song available with the touch of a few keys, but it’s a terrible revenue source for musicians, with Spotify paying out just $0.00331, or as much as $0.00437 per stream of a song. Relying solely on streaming could force musicians to change course and leave the industry altogether, taking with them the art we love.
“Instead of simply streaming, buy music,” she says. “Buy an album or even just a song. Support music and music makers, as revenues from streaming services will not provide a sustainable source of income for most artists. We all understand this is a difficult time financially for many people, but the cost of a song is only a fraction of the cost of that fancy coffee you may not be ordering.”
Of course, buying music on any day of the week is an excellent idea, just like ordering takeout from a favourite restaurant on any day will help them stay around a little bit longer until they’re able to reopen. Helping musicians to keep making music has ripple effects too: it gives record stores something to see, keeps t-shirt and merch manufacturers running and will help keep the lights on in those music venues you love so much once it’s safe to tour again.
So what do you say, are you in? Share your purchases, if you make any, on social media with #BuyMusicFriday and help keep musicians employed.