How Blockchain Is About To Change The Music Industry
Article by Forbes: Ilker Koksal
We hear music every day, we dance to it and sing along with it. Music moves us and even defines our mood and the ambiance of the space around us. But do we know how it is made? Writing music was indeed literally writing music notes on a manuscript, but this practice is now long outdated with modern technological advancements which have made musical endeavors accessible to more people. Today, all you need is a laptop and the relevant software.
The shift in music-making from analogue to digital has changed the music scene significantly in a permanent manner. With increased accessibility to music-making thanks to the digitalization of music production, competition is fierce with more players in the market due to the lower threshold. Thousands of songs are released daily with more and more musicians seeking to make it big in the pop scene. In this competitive environment, a trend has emerged in the music industry for survival and a greater chance at success: collaboration, with not just one, but up to a dozen artists.
Hit songs such as “Despacito” by Fonsi, “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande and “Boy With Luv” by BTS were written by at least five to almost a dozen writers at most. These writers each specialize in a certain part of music-making — creating the track, writing the lyrics, adding the top line or melody, and engineering. The fierce competition has led to this division for specialization in the music production market, and writers hone their respective skills and talent to increase competitiveness.
However, collaboration has its own problems and limitations, too. Writers and artists rarely collaborate outside their tight circle — resulting in the ‘cartelization’ of the industry — which means that amateurs barely get a chance to have their work heard. Even if they do get a break and sell a song, the royalty distribution is grossly unfair. Aspiring songwriters and producers continue to moonlight as waitresses or valets. Without the right network or a brilliant chance of fate, they cannot expect to benefit greatly from their musical talent.
K-Tune, a company founded by a financial specialist, a serial entrepreneur and a renowned K-pop producer, has created a platform of the same name designed to overcome the prevailing issues in the music-making industry. And the key solution is blockchain technology.
As the name indicates, they focus on K-pop music production, and how artists from all over the world can contribute to this musical and cultural phenomenon that has previously taken the form of Big Bang, PSY and, now, of course, BTS. On K-Tune, users can find partners to work with, open projects and purchase components of a song — track, melody, lyrics, vocals and so on — that best complement theirs. It offers amateurs a chance to work with professionals, and established writers, with fresh talent and sound. The synergy is augmented by a team of popular K-pop producers and writers called ‘Masters’ who offer guidance and help throughout the music production process from engineering to sales. They are also available for collaborations themselves for higher quality projects. These K-Tune affiliated ‘Masters’ have experience producing songs and selling them to major K-pop performers including EXO, TWICE, IZ*ONE, GOT7, and Beast.
“K-pop has moved beyond Korea and an increasing number of global musicians want to get involved,” says Dawn, music producer and co-founder of K-Tune. “But it is not easy for non-Koreans to overcome the language barrier and geographical difficulties that entail collaboration with multiple parties.” He explains that K-Tune breaks such barriers and ensures fair profit-sharing. “Anyone with talent can team up with another talent, sell their work to a major record label and get their fair share of the profit through our platform.”
Providing a virtual ubiquitous studio, blockchain-dependent examples like K-Tune expands opportunities for collaboration outside the boundaries of existing networks within the industry and highlights the importance of seeking talent rather than name value.