Ethnomusicology Review, Volume 24 (2023) – Born to Be Alive: Contemporary Issues in Live Music Research (Special Issue)
Edited by Paula Guerra and Samuel Lamontagne
In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to nearly all live cultural activity, Mark Savage painted a devastating portrait of the music industry’s state (Savage 2019). In the United States, record sales had dropped by about eighty percent in the 2010s: from four hundred fifty to eighty-nine million. From 2017 to 2018, worldwide record sales percentage plummeted an additional twenty-three percent. At the 2019 Grammy Awards, H.E.R.’s and Cardi B’s albums, two of the nominated projects for the “album of the year” category never had a physical release. The situation becomes even clearer when analyzing 2018’s top selling records: most of them were film soundtracks. How could the music industry face such challenges?