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Music analytics firm Chartmetric has released its third and final report analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on the global music business. The analysis, which explores the effect of livestreaming on artists and their social media followings, follows Chartmetric’s previous reports detailing genre quarantine trends on Spotify and music consumption habits on YouTube during six countries’ lockdown timelines, respectively.

In order to explore the correlation between livestreaming social media follower growth, Chartmetric utilized data gathered from the streaming exploits of 12 different artists: Jill Scott and Erykah Badu (Verzuz battle), Tory Lanez (Quarantine Radio) and Ty Dolla $ign, Metallica and Iron Maiden, H.E.R. and SZA, Diplo and DJ Snake, and Charli XCX and Miley Cyrus.

The report is fascinating in terms of EDM, as it labels the effect of livestreaming on Diplo and DJ Snake's respective Instagram followings as "complicated."

"For Diplo, his follower trends are generally, if slightly erratically, trending upward from 50 days before he started livestreaming to 50 days after he started livestreaming," the analysis reads. "However, he does seem to experience his strongest uptick in Instagram followers immediately after he starts Corona Sabbath on March 14th. Following that, Diplo’s follower growth kind of tapers off, maybe as a result of him hitting a saturation point given his daily digital presence as well as the increasing competition from other artists turning to streaming as the quarantine lengthens."

"Luckily for DJ Snake, who has yet to embrace consistent livestreaming on his own artist channels, less is more," the report continues. "Up to 25 days before Diplo started livestreaming, Snake was seeing a general climb in his Instagram followers — a climb that consistently increased as Diplo’s growth started to taper off during the 12-50 days after his first livestream date."

According to Chartmetric's blog post on the subject, the following points represent the study's key takeaways.

If streaming and social media follower counts are the deciding factor, then livestreams are now officially “cool” for popular artists, virtually guaranteeing same and/or following day increases.
Livestreams scheduled by artists from their own channels generated significant lift in follower growth.

Artists making guest appearances on other artists’ livestreams also saw meaningful engagement lifts, though perhaps not as substantial as consistent livestreamers.

Future analyses should monitor premier livestream appearances (e.g., Verzuz or Quarantine Radio) for a higher rate of daily follower gain beyond a few days after each event, to better understand their long-term impact.

Once fan behavior adjusts to “expect” planned livestreams, a potential residual effect of consistent livestreaming is a reduction in non-live content consumption.