Jake Shaw Discusses the Pandemic’s Impact on the Music Industry

The world continues to reel from the impact of a once-in-a-generation pandemic. Few industries have had it as rough as the music industry, as the implications of COVID-19 become increasingly stark, and we struggle to figure out how to survive in particularly challenging times. For someone like Jake Shaw, the founder and CEO of music promotion agency YourOwnMusic, COVID-19 may have forever changed the way we consume music.

The immediate fallout of the global pandemic brought about cancellations of concerts and live music events. Forced lockdowns and cessation of international travel followed, and then, as interpersonal contact became impossible, staying at home became the new reality. The natural solution to the challenges posed seemed to be right in front of our eyes, as streaming music has been a part of our consumption since the advent of platforms such as YouTube, Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify.

Jake Shaw, a music curator from Blackpool in England, has had his finger on the pulse since the inception of his company, YourOwnMusic, in 2015. Shaw had always been passionate about music. Before his channel promoted up-and-coming musicians, it was dedicated to sharing music, predominantly featuring lyric videos. Today, that music fan page is a vibrant community promoting new artists, with over 1.2 million subscribers. Moreover, Shaw is now the biggest independent Spotify playlist curator in the U.K., having worked with artists like Young Thug and Skrillex.

Today, music exists almost entirely on our devices. “More than ever, music is within our reach,” says Jake Shaw, “and it’s also become more personal. Companies like Spotify reported that users are asking Siri and Alexa to help curate their playlists.” Having curated a number of playlists on Spotify himself, Shaw is very much aware of the growing need for newer and more unique music, as well as of the ways for people to discover it. More crucially, the gap between artists and fans has never been smaller. “Artists can now engage directly with their fans. Through platforms like TikTok, stars are promoting new music directly to their listeners. TikTok challenges are one of the most viral ways to get your music across to new ears. This is the future of music; the world will shrink as music explodes.”

Jake Shaw has been involved in the music industry for a considerable amount of time. According to him, the pandemic has forced us to evolve the way we consume, share, and discover music.

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