There’s a true revolution going on where blockchain meets the music industry. The reason is that the music industry has a considerable networking cost that makes it perfect for blockchain technology to disrupt. Think that today streaming platforms provide less than 20% of streaming revenue to artists, who eventually need to pay their teams. With blockchain, this 20% can become 90%, a live changer for many artists (see Opus.audio).
Above, I mentioned an example of a smart contract that would distribute a song’s streaming revenues more equitably, but there are many more examples where the music industry can benefit from blockchain technology. For example, Sony Music (source) uses another Digital Rights Management (DRM) blockchain solution to make the industry go paperless. This blockchain solution though is permissioned, and hence will not benefit from the potentially more considerable network effects of permissionless ones.
Another example, artists usually receive their royalties when a song gets traction many months after releasing it. In case of an artist willing to cash in beforehand, s/he could issue an Initial Song Offering (ISO), working similarly to Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). See vezt.co, which has already acquired songs recorded by top-tiered artists.
One further example where the entire music industry would benefit from blockchain technology would be issuing Non-Fungible-Tokens (NFTs) as concert tickets on the blockchain. This technology would significantly reduce the number of counterfeit tickets (see tixngo.io)
And last but not least, the latest trend is coming from the metaverse, where you may have read that the Sotheby’s gallery held a virtual action in decentraland selling unique NFTs from rapper Jay-Z (source).
As explained above, there are several ways to reward artists on the blockchain, be it smart contracts, NFTs, ISOs, or even airdrops (see later). Still, for a streaming service to work like a marketplace and benefit from substantial network effects, it would need to entice not only artists (sellers), but listeners (buyers) as well. After all, there are zillions of listeners using online media streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, and Youtube Music. Rewarding existing listeners to move to a new blockchain platform would proof be difficult. Such a music marketplace platform based on blockchain technology could entice listeners to move by lowering the monthly subscription fee, which on these online streaming services is around 15USD. A new blockchain-based platform could basically half such fee with the expectation of benefiting from more extensive network effects. But to reward the mass listeners for moving to a blockchain streaming platform, more creative approaches would be welcoming. For example, the blockchain service could issue airdrops of its own token for its first 10M listeners (or also 1K artists), or for the top 1000 listeners of the month (or for the top ten artists of the month).