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Quick Hits: The coronavirus edition

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

“Alexa, what is coronavirus?” Lots of people are using their voice assistants to keep up with the daily headlines, but unusual circumstances may create unusual results for this new technology. Recode ran an article with the AI responses to different queries about the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many companies are working hard to combat misinformation, suffice to say you should double check anything Alexa or Siri tells you with the latest updates from the WHO or CDC.

Get your classical concert fix in isolation: Classical music frequently gets mis-characterized as for the old and stuck-in-the-past. But many organizations for classical music and opera around the world are responding to COVID-19 cancellations with the au courant approach of livestreaming. Classical FM collected details about the latest lineup of digital shows being hosted by everyone from the Met Opera to the Berlin Philharmonic.

Don’t despair, indie artists: Raine Group released a white paper with predictions for independent artists this year. The outlook was rosy, projecting more than $2 billion in recorded music revenue during 2020 for artists not signed to record labels. Unfortunately, it likely does not account for the impact of the coronavirus either on the music industry or on the broader global economy. The sliver of good news is that the $2 billion figure doesn’t reflect any income from live shows, which are getting cancelled en masse. Changes in consumption and losses in synch/production will likely still cut into the projection, but it’s comforting to hear some good news about the power of indies, especially for the performers who can expect to be hard hit during the pandemic.

Anna Washenko

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