Tue. Mar 31st, 2020

Coronavirus in the Canary Islands: Canarian musicians collaborate on YouTube to obtain income during the crisis – La Provincia


The coronavirus crisis has also put the Canarian music industry to the test. The overwhelming cancellation of concerts and tours has left the sector very touched and, what is worse, it is impossible to even venture a certain date for the end of the state of alarm and the suspension of the current measures of confinement.

To begin to alleviate, at least a little, the first economic consequences in an already quite vulnerable sector, the musicians of the Islands have thrown in originality and solidarity. Social networks have been essential -as in so many other aspects- when communicating and starting to work together.

A week ago that the artists of the Islands have decided to start following each other on their respective YouTube channels in order to monetize them and enter some money. The initiative is a “global movement” that has quickly caught on among Canarian creators. The guitarist from Gran Canaria, Yul Ballesteros, was one of the first to promote this idea among his colleagues. “A Mexican friend of mine who is a bassist was the one who contacted me and told me about this movement, which seemed like a great idea to me and we have started promoting it also in the Islands,” he explained this week.

The idea is simple, it is about the musicians subscribing to the channels of their colleagues because from 1,000 followers there is the possibility of starting to monetize it. “In this type of channel, we all know, a lot of money moves. The issue is more complicated in our case because in addition to the number of subscribers, the views achieved are taken into account,” he clarified. “In addition you must have the copyright of what you hang, of course,” he clarified.

Against all odds

Despite these difficulties and the fact that it is difficult to obtain significant income, the truth is that Ballesteros also appreciates that this movement is giving artists new channels of communication, collaboration and different influences. “This will not really serve to alleviate the tremendous consequences of what we are experiencing, but it is a way of getting to know each other more and knowing what is being done in the world is very important in music,” he clarified.

At the moment, many Canarian artists have already chosen to join this movement. Among them, and to cite just a few examples, are Sergio Cebrián, Josele del Pino, Santi Bobet, Ruts Barreto and David Minguillón from Tenerife. His colleagues from Gran Canaria have also done the same. Some examples there are David Quevedo, Germán López, Flor de Canela or José Carlos Cubas.

For this reason, these days the profiles of the artists have been filled with the same message where they ask them to subscribe to their channel and they promise to correspond to all the people who do it with the same measure. “The thousand involved must subscribe to each other’s channels so that each one can monetize their channel,” they explain.

They also encourage each other to “play the videos on each other’s channels.” This initiative has been named #tumesiguesyotesigo. “Let’s make the networks work for us now that we’re stuck with them all day. Let’s try to upload content these days to continue working, producing art and contributing artistic creations,” they encourage each other.

Canary musicians continue to work from their homes during these days of mandatory confinement with the hope that the health situation will revert as soon as possible. Most are self-employed and the stoppage of their activity leads them to undergo a difficult economic situation in the coming months.

For its part, the Government of the Canary Islands has promised this week to launch a line of aid of at least one million euros to try to offset, in part, the expenses and losses derived from all the announced cancellations. The postponements and the suspension of activities already extend until the next month of May and if the infections are not reduced, it may be necessary to cancel new events.

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