05 Jun 2020 // 5 minute read
First of all I hope you are all well and I hope one day the music industry will return back to what it was. I've heard stories of musicians who have lost every bit of their income they expected for the year and that is truly devastating.
In this article we would like to discuss some of the changes we have made to Band Pencil over the last few months to support musicians. We will also look at some cool statistics and discuss what impact coronavirus had on us.
As governments around the world issued lockdown orders almost all venues were forced to close. Events cancelled and subsequently, live music stopped. No weddings, bar gigs, birthday parties, graduations, the list is endless.
We recognised there would be a need to allow users to state an event as cancelled so we quickly added in the cancelled status. From looking back we've discovered users haven't actually used the cancel status as much as we thought. We believe most users are simple rearranging the event by changing the event date in Band Pencil, rather than marking the event as cancelled and adding a new event. Two solutions, either add another status of Confirmed (Rescheduled), or allowed users to duplicate their event so they can still track which events have been cancelled. We'll be looking into this further.
Unfortunately, the music industry is not 'recession-proof'. We were expecting a drop in new users and a drop in activity. To try and support musicians we offered a 60-day payment holiday to all UK monthly paying users. We were only able to offer this to UK users as we are able to monitor the situation better, as we are a UK based site. We also extended our 14-day free trial to 60 days (world-wide) to allow musicians to get up and running with our software without the worry of more expenditure during an already difficult time.
We expected to see a fall of new users signing up and a fall in current users using the site. There's two main data sources we can use. Google Analytics and our Audit Log system.
Google Analytics is perfect for looking at the amount of website visitors we receive and we wanted to look at was how many people have been visiting our website. The first time a person visits Band Pencil, a Google Analytics cookie will be set and a unique identifier will be assigned to them. This will help distinguish the person as a 'new user'. As you can see there hasn't been any huge change in the amount of new users to the site. There was a little drop mid March, but it soon picked back up. Why has there only been a little or no change? Well, this could be because musicians have little to do, so are looking a new ways they can manage their gigs - to tell the truth we have no idea!
Next up we downloaded an audit report. On Band Pencil everything a user does is tracked, and no don't worry, big brother isn't watching as no sensitive data stored within an audit log! For example, if you update an event the audit log records:
Audit ID: 14060404 | Audit Title: Event Updated | Audit Description: The user successfully updated an event. | Audit Page ID: /event/e678902 | Audit Time: 2020-06-05 13:41:45 | Audit User: 56789
We mainly use the audit log when people are having a technical issue, but it also comes in handy when you want to see how 'active' the site is. We have only used data which shows when a user has logged in, or is back active on their account. If we used all the data the graph would be chaotic and show us nothing!
We expect the activity to peak during the first few weeks of lockdown as people would be cancelling/ rescheduling event. We then expected the activity to drop right down as not many events are being organised, so no reason to be on Band Pencil.
That kind of did happen. March was a pretty normal following the upward trend and then website activity dropped in April. All looking good, until we look at May where it went back up! Yes, it was going to return to normal at some point, but we think this is still pretty early. Why? Well, firstly our user base was still continuing to grow (new users = more logins, hence why the upward trajectory on the graph) and secondly, countries like USA lifted their lockdown restrictions much earlier than the UK so new events could be planned etc. It's really difficult to say without more extensive research. P.S. June looks a little low and that's because this report was created on the 5th June!
We were concerned coronavirus would impact us a lot more. We were expecting registrations to decrease, website traffic to fall and site activity to drop. Fortunately, this didn't really happen. Sure, we aren't out of this storm just yet, but looking at the data for March-May I'm sure we'll find a way to muddle our way through this. If you're a musician and need a hand managing your gigs, give Band Pencil a try.
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