How blockchain can change the music industry?
Nov 05, 2017 Posted / 12497 Views
The music industry is a flourishing industry in the current decade. The amount of music being produced and consumed has drastically increased. The ways by which we can access music has also become simpler. For example, Millions of users at any point today are streaming live music, right this minute. Streaming music was an industry that was developed to, essentially, provide music listeners with music, WITHOUT piracy; and hence provide the due royalties to the ones who created them - the musicians themselves.
But in what was supposed to be a great time for a musician to be alive, being a musician is still tough. The streaming platforms today have turned to money minting platforms, with thousands of streams per day, while the actual content creators i.e. the musicians are fed crumbs in the name of royalties for the cake that they baked with their blood and sweat.
The people who compose, perform and record music are not rejoicing. The same people whose music is the prime fuel for money minting and whose songs are streamed in thousands every minute, making a living in the new age musical landscape seems impossible. And if you are an amateur producer looking to launch your own music, you'd inevitably have to go through companies who'd take a big chunk of the profits. It seems like the music industry is looking to monopolize and mint, but not share. Most streaming services are the puppets controlled by the record labels, especially the big hunks dominating the music industry now -: Sony, Universal, and Warner. Of course, all three and the small record labels too, have a nondisclosure agreement that keeps all parties from being more transparent.
According to Benji Rogers, founder of Pledge music, a surprising silver lining in the dark tumulus storm clouds would be the new technology taking up the other aspects of the market by storm - Blockchain.
The majority of the critical issues faced by the music industry, according to the experts, arises from a few sources, an important problem area being transparency and clarity of ownership data, also known as metadata.
Ownership data in this case essentially refers to the information regarding the writer-performer and the owner of each piece of music that a listener listens to on a daily basis. This data, and especially its accuracy, are vital to make sure that the owners and the creators get paid for their work, as and when and every time it is used - Whether it is streaming online, or played in a coffee shop, or licensed for a TV show or a radio broadcast, or played on your iPod.
But keeping a track of the playlist becomes tough when you regard the fact that there can be multiple sets of people involved from different countries and organizations for different stages of the production and creation of a single song. Adding to the woes is the lack of a single central database anywhere in the world that can track ownership.
A blockchain is essentially the same principle on which bitcoin works - i.e., it is an evenly distributed ledger, or list, of all transactions in a peer to peer network.
A blockchain is a data structure shared and synced among various nodes, with each node having a copy of the ledger. Each node then works with all others to maintain its consistency. To modify a data, a consensus has to be run through the network, and on approval, the modified list is updated and provided to all nodes in the network.
In terms of the music industry, music can potentially be published on a list stating a unique, unalterable timestamp and ID, hence effectively eliminating the problem of digital content being downloaded copied and modified.
Each record can store a metadata that is transparent for everyone to see and verify, thus ensuring the correct people get paid for the use of the content.
Blockchain also can make use of another aspect that creating demands- cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Cryptocurrencies can support micropayments i.e. No bar on minimum payment. (Effectively impossible with classic payment mediums). This can establish a new way of providing on-demand music services.
Music users worldwide can select the record of their choice, and upon playing it, immediately pay stakeholders with cryptocurrency.
However, and whatever a number of benefits, the biggest advantage would be the ease of a direct relationship that the blockchain ledger provides to the creators to interact with consumers, thus effectively bypassing purchasing platforms and brokers sucking in a hefty percentage of the profits.
This is surely a boon for creators of music, especially amateur producers without the backup of recording labels.
Current scenario of the blockchain ledger technology in the music industry:
An example would be Benji Rogers’ online music platform PledgeMusic, who has published a comprehensive blueprint for the Fair Trade Music Database which is a globally decentralized blockchain-based ledger. Each data stored in this ledger system is stored with the extension .bc or “dotblockchain” records, which Roger describes in his own words as a codec that is impossible to separate from its rightful owners.
PeerTrack, a company that uses the MUSE blockchain, a ledger customized for the music industry claims that it enables artists to instantly claim 90% of their sales income instants. It has also introduced a concept of artist tokens, a collectible and tradable cryptocurrency, the value of which depends on the popularity of the artist, and his fanbase.
Slowly but surely, blockchain is taking the trading arena of the music industry by storm.
Startups and musicians are increasingly turning to blockchain ledgers where owners are being paid every time their music is used.
Applancer is an open platform for discussion on all things like Blockchain , Cryptocurrency and Ico news updates. As such, the opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Applancer .
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