Musicians find new ways to connect with their fans online... and get paid

·3-min read

As a second wave of Covid-19 threatens the world, many musicians fear not being able to perform live anytime soon. This has led some of them, like Kid Cudi and Ricky Martin, to deploy a wealth of imaginative ways to continue to release music, interact with fans and perform.

David Guetta, Christine and the Queens, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones... Many A-list artists organized free virtual performances during the Covid-19 lockdowns this spring. Now they are trying to come up with ways to continue to interact with fans while making up for concert and tour cancellation losses.

Their loss of income for musicians this year is huge. According to Pollstar magazine, concert ticket prices had risen by 55 percent in the last ten years in the US, averaging about $94.83 per ticket.

That's why Kid Cudi decided to launch Encore, an interactive mobile application that allows musicians to develop new means of getting paid for their music while reaching wider audiences. The app, created in collaboration with screenwriter Ian Edelman and engineer Jonathan Gray, presents itself like an alternative to music streaming platform models that make artists compete with each other. "The current streaming model puts artists in competition with one another and only rewards the top 1% of artists who collect 90% of the money," a press release announcing the app noted. 

Musicians registered on Encore will be able to interact with their fans via live virtual concerts, as well as new music and a range of merchandizing. "Our goal is to transfer the same energy we get from live music into a mobile experience, controlled entirely by the artists themselves. We make it easy for the artist and fun for the fan," explained Edelman in a press release.

An audio experience worthy of a concert

Meanwhile, Ricky Martin wants to offer an immersive audio experience to music lovers. The king of Latino pop has been working with acclaimed sound engineer Jaycen Joshua to develop Orbital Audio, a new listening technology, to record his eleventh studio album called "Pausa." His aim was to offer his fans a listening experience as immersive as a live concert.

"We acquired the ability to isolate individual sounds and be able to have those individual sounds orbit around your head simultaneously without taking the listener to a place of dizziness," explained Joshua to Forbes.

While Orbital Audio is still in development, Martin has already shared it with a small group of artists, such as A$AP Rocky and Bad Bunny to experiment with for their upcoming albums. 

Subscribe to your favorite artists

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"We're gonna talk about personal stuff (...) just straight up live content," the musician  announced on social media in August, adding that she would not publish any nude pictures or videos of herself on her OnlyFans account.

This subscription model could be very lucrative according to the OnlyFans revenue calculator, which estimates that the "WAP" star could make up to $19.3 million a month based on her 77.4 million Instagram followers.