Music sharing, collaboration, intellectual property rights, even artists’ biographical information and social media presence are all concerns that those in the music industry must deal with.
Unfortunately, up until now, the solutions to these problems haven’t worked well for anybody. In many instances, it’s the artists themselves who lose out. It’s important to keep in mind that with 95% of music revenue coming from streaming, that’s not just ‘superstars’ being impacted. That’s local musicians, amateur artists, local producers, and regional artists as well.
Keep reading to learn how blockchain can force some needed change in the music industry.
Blockchain Can Help Continue The Direct to Consumer Model
Justin Bieber, Charlie Puth, Carly Rae Jepsen, Machine Gun Kelly, Alessia Cara, James Bay, and 5 Seconds of Summer, have more in common than international stardom. Each worked as an independent group or artist sharing musical content directly through platforms like YouTube. While these stars eventually signed with record labels, other artists are eschewing major labels altogether.
This is where companies like Ujo can really make major changes. Their business model allows artists to sell music directly to consumers. Then, thanks to blockchain and smart contracts, the process of paying out royalties is handled automatically and in a cost-efficient manner.
The Blockchain Can Bring More Transparency To The Industry
Electronic music artist Imogen Heap has founded Mycelia For Music. This foundation is intended to help create a musician’s ecosystem that guarantees that artists at all levels are properly recognized and compensated, create new and maximize emerging marketplaces, and encourage collaboration. Part of this is the Creative Passport.
The Creative Passport provides musicians with a single place to store verified information about themselves. This information includes:
- The artist’s works.
- Collaborations between the artist and others.
- Accepted payment methods.
- Terms about the usage of the artists music.
- Artist’s associated charities.
- Social media information.
- Additional details.
Essentially, this allows artists to create an official, verified, online identity that cannot be modified due to protections provided by the blockchain.
Most importantly, this brings the music industry one step closer to the creation of a centralized, information source of artists and their works. This is revolutionary as previous efforts to do just this have failed considerably. The next logical step may then be the creation of a GTLD for musicians.
Musicians And Cryptocurrencies
Recently, artist and producer Gramatik used the Ethereum app Tokit to create and introduce the GRMTK token. Fans and others who purchase the GRMTK become entitled to rights and royalties depending on the number of tokens they have purchased, and the value of those tokens. A larger artists’ initiative involved the cryptocurrency, ‘Monero’ and was supported by several major artists. In this case, fans were offered the opportunity to buy discounted merchandise if they used the Monero token as currency.
There are some concerns. For example, blockchain hasn’t yet been proven to handle the mass influx of transactions that would likely occur if a major artist attempted what Gramatik has. Still, it’s an interesting, if early, proof of concept of the idea that creators and consumers can build relationships and initiate transactions without middlemen.
There is no doubt that blockchain technology will play a game changing role in the music industry. It simply has too much potential to fix many of the problems facing the industry. However, there is still much to be figured out, and it remains to be seen how the application of blockchain will truly shake out in the future.