#BuiltOnEOSIO: Sydney’s Emanate Determined to Create a New Musical Ecosystem
We turn our DAPP spotlight on the company that’s building a music streaming and collaboration network on EOSIO
The phrase “struggling musician” has become so much a part of the vocabulary of our times that it’s almost a cliché. Musicians were never universally rolling in cash, granted, but it’s undeniable that the digital age has disrupted traditional revenue models, even as it has become easier than ever to disseminate and find new music.
Inevitably, new players have emerged as industry giants by evolving paid streaming models that leverage economies of scale. This has led to a widening chasm, however, between pop’s superstars, who carry off the vast majority of the pie, and the rest. The ‘middle class’ of musicians who are able to make a good living by selling recorded music is generally understood to have shrunk.
Step forward the Sydney, Australia-based team behind Emanate. They’re building what they refer to as an “Audio Exchange Protocol” which — according to Emanate’s CEO, Sean Gardner — will “put the music community back at the center of their world.”
Emanate essentially brings two ideas together. The first is a decentralized streaming platform that allows musicians to earn money in real-time as their music is accessed by listeners. The second is potentially more transformative: it allows artists to work together, via “smart collaboration” contracts on the blockchain, wherever they are in the world and without the need for “trust” between parties.
“Each time artists collaborate an agreement is executed on the ledger,” explains the one-pager on the Emanate website. “This brings clear transparency to the artists, and for the music producers and record labels it expedites the processes of dealing with multiple parties and long negotiations.”
The team have produced an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) which demonstrates the fundamentals of their technology. A file sharing “smart collaboration” agreement tool, alongside the listening platform which pays out every two seconds a song is played. The MVP is running live on the EOS blockchain test-net and was showcased in the Block.one village at the Blockchain Live event in London, in September.
According to Gardner, who previously worked in marketing and digital innovation for brands such as Red Bull, Adidas and Volkswagen, Emanate takes the technology to the next level, laying the foundations for a viable Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
“We think there should be one place on the internet for artists to upload final audio tracks where they can be collaborated on, integrated into other systems, embedded and ultimately allow payments to flow back to the originators in real time,” he says.
So where did the original motivation for the company come from? Gardner says he and his co-founders had knocked the idea of building “some sort of real-time sound exchange” around for years before lighting on blockchain as the game-changing, bootstrap tech that could make it work. It probably also helped that “we were all musicians in some respect, some more than others.”
Besides Gardner, the core team includes COO Trent Shaw, and Industry Relations Director Jimi Frew, who brings unique insights from a successful career as an independent electronic music creator, producer, DJ and entrepreneur. Together, the four friends have experience across technology management, software engineering, music production, the music business, marketing and more.
The company is currently raising funds, building out and readying their MVP for launch. Signing a strategic partnership with Vampr.me, a mobile platform that was named among Apple’s “Best Apps of 2017,” and which facilitates music discovery and communication between musicians and music industry professionals, has added momentum. “The partnership means we have over 400,000 artists ready to onboard to as soon as the platform is ready,” says Gardner. “Vampr is growing by 1,700 new users every day so we’re excited to be a part of that.”
Those artists, and others, will be able to upload original tracks, or samples, for collaboration and rapid monetization. They will be able to share their work and get paid for it without having to rely on handshake agreements and percentage splits worked out on the backs of envelopes. And if they live in countries where access to the traditional music “business” is limited, they’ll be able to join a new and borderless musical ecosystem.
Emanate estimates that there are some five million professional musicians globally. And it’s clear that scalability is fundamental to the team’s outlook. “EOS is simply the only blockchain that is able to handle the kind of throughput that a project like Emanate will require,” says Gardner. Transactions per second translating to musicians rebuilding the economy around their beats per minute is an exciting prospect indeed.
Stay tuned to our EOSIO DAPP Spotlight series where we’ll highlight some of the truly exceptional projects being built on our platform. If you have a project you’d like to share with us, please email email@example.com.
-Developer Relations team