With the spread of COVID-19, millions of music fans around the world now find themselves confined to their homes and adhering to social distancing and self-quarantine guidelines while entire industries face the very real prospect of an all-out shutdown.
Earlier this week, Live For Live Music reported on the disturbing downward trends seen in music streaming during self-isolation. Recent streaming data show a notable decrease in both overall streaming numbers and new subscriptions even though fans are stuck at home with significantly more time on their hands. The seemingly counterintuitive trend has emerged across nearly every genre and musical style on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Tidal. Ska, however, remains the only genre unaffected by this discomforting trend.
According to a new report from Nielson Music/MRC Data, Ska music has seen a 0% change in overall streams, maintaining its steady rate of one daily listener and bucking the 7+% dip seen in other genres.
As Mighty Mighty Bosstones vocalist Dicky Barrett told Live For Live Music, “It’s crazy, man. We really thought we’d be hit hard by this pandemic, but so far we have been able to pull our usual amount of listener. That dude is ride or die. If you’re reading this, we love you.”
“I feel for all the people affected by this tragedy,” Barrett continued while expressing gratitude for all of the band’s fan. He did note, however, that the social distancing guidelines have had some impact. “Because of the ban on mass gatherings,” he explained, “The Bosstones and every other ska band have been unable to practice together. That’s honestly more of an issue for us than the live shows. I’m hopeful that our fan will be back to drinking overpriced IPA’s and skanking off beat in small bars within a couple of months.”
Good on you for always looking on the bright side, Dicky.