If the music business were allowed to write its own history, every year's chronicle would glow with variations on the same theme — the words "transformation," "revolution," and "record-breaking sea change" chief among the lexicon — ad nauseam. But in the peculiar shadow of 2020, these bombastic end-of-year appraisals, for the first time, are quite accurate. Without lucrative live shows and a predictable event calendar, the industry — from record labels to artists to jaunty financial entrepreneurs — went off its rails in search of new revenue streams and new points of connection to music fans. As Universal Music boss Lucian Grainge said in an end-of-year email to his company last week: 2020 "will be a year we remember with sadness for what we lost, but it will also be a year we remember with pride for how we weathered the challenges we were forced to confront." Here are the 12 biggest ways the strange, twisty year shattered the norms of the multibillion-dollar hit-making business. The ascent of the computer concert Covid-19 turned livestreaming , once an idea that was widely balked at and discarded as a cheap thrill, into the fastest-growing ecosystem in music. With shows canceled and with… Read full this story
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