This is a big deal indeed — thank you for sharing your valuable insights. With Deezer’s approach to explore user centric royalty payment model (that opens the door for trustful engagement data share between artists and fans in my opinion which is a huge benefit to elevate connections to a next level + brings in greater transparency), with the dotblockchainmusic project by Benji Rogers and with other emerging projects such as Resonate founded by Peter Harris and Ujo Music and Musicoin there is a lot going on and I would imagine that the future music will be label-free and eventually this is closer than we may think. However current labels still count as owners of huge catalogues and this looks a difficult question as even with the transferring current ‘paper’ metadata to blockchain labels will still have the right where to plug-in the files (their actual catalogue) unless the owners of the actual files (artist) cannot influence these decisions significantly — and I guess this depends on their current individual contracts.
This means labels will still request lots of money to provide their catalogue for DSPs and while for new music blockchain will eliminate third-parties these still remain from the ‘old’ model. And by saying this even some DSPs who are paying in advance flat fees to labels currently for their catalogue may be considered as ‘third-parties’ as well as these are profit-oriented private companies. While with blockchain the opportunity is there to create mostly automated decentralized platforms to distribute music with the financial interest of the members of the platform and of course for the artists. To handle some real-world implications (e.g. taxes — if such will exist) a non-profit organization may be a linkage but this is how I would imagine the ideal future of music distribution.
To be able to move to a more automated decentralized environment for music created and currently is existing in the ‘old system’ an option would be if with now having the opportunity of blockchain labels would handle plugging in their files to distributor platforms individually and they would take off their fees from the royalties as percentage rates and they would not hold there position firmly of handling their catalogue in a whole and requesting millions of dollars as ‘in advance’ or ‘flat’ fees which cannot be handled by a decentralized — mostly automated platform.
This sounds to me pretty challenging. Interesting times.