Blockchain Music Platforms: A New Paradigm
Facilitating the self-reliance of recording artists and incentivizing listeners using blockchain technology and smart contracts.
Decentralized platforms give more power to the individual. A music ecosystem without intermediaries and authorities allows artists to get paid immediately for their streams and merchandise sales, share a financially beneficial relationship with their fans, network directly with other music industry participants, and simplify digital-rights management.
A common feature among the majority of blockchain music platforms is micropayments; allowing creators to get paid immediately. Each platform may use the Ether cryptocurrency, an ERC20 token, or another utility token that is paid and divided among rights holders after their song is streamed or merchandise is sold. This process is made possible by smart contracts (a computer protocol intended to digitally facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a legally binding contract without a third party or manual implementation).
As a music producer and host of the music and crypto podcast, Crypto Until Infinity, on The Bitcoin Podcast Network, I premiered the podcast by speaking on my experiences using a few blockchain music platforms. I was impressed with the simplicity of setting up a profile, releasing music, and getting paid up to 11 cents per stream on one platform in particular this past winter due to Bitcoin’s explosive march up to $19,000. Payment rates from Spotify and Apple Music dwarfed in comparison.
I took advantage of what these platforms had to offer. Each user can customize their own experience. Artists can create a business model that specifically suits their needs.
What’s In It For The Artist?
Artists have the power to navigate their career with little or no intermediaries. While operating on the blockchain, they can choose to pursue a music career without record labels, banks, lawyers, etc.
Using blockchain technology, artists benefit in record-keeping. Data and transactions are validated and confirmed by multiple sources across the network, timestamped, and secured using cryptography. The blockchain is immutable.
Artists receive their revenue in real-time. The transactions from fan to artist occur without any middlemen.
What’s In It For The Listener?
Paid subscriptions to streaming services, obtrusive advertisements, and no direct way of financially supporting their preferred artists is the common experience for listeners on traditional platforms.
Blockchain music platforms made the listening experience free. Some have even allowed the listener to be compensated for sharing music from their platform.
There are no ads to disrupt the listening experience. The listener can transition from one song to another without ads to offset the mood.
On various platforms, listeners can receive shares of future revenue of artists in exchange for crowdfunding the artists.
Some Things Platforms Are Doing
Musicoin has an embeddable music player. An artist’s revenue can accrue from streams on websites and social media platforms. Creators have an advantage in accumulating more Musicoins than on the native musicoin.org site if their content is placed on sites with higher social engagement. This also raises awareness of the Musicoin platform and its content. Musicoins can traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, stored in wallets, or converted to fiat currency.
Choon is a blockchain music platform that provides incentives for curators on their platform to organize monetized playlists. Curators receive a designated percentage of the stream revenue that artists set in their smart contract for each song. Creators throughout the platform will likely consider assigning royalty percentages to curators, allowing their content to be more attractive for monetized playlists, ultimately boosting the marketing of the content. Rights holders get paid in NOTES. Sometime after the Choon token sale, NOTES will be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, stored in wallets, or converted to fiat currency.
The imusify platform will have a marketplace of music industry participants. Participants can list their products and services pertaining to the creation, advertising, and business development of the creative content. Artists can network and initiate transactions with engineers, producers, videographers, graphic designers, and others directly on the platform. imusify will use an Initial Token Offering infrastructure (similar to ICOs) for artist specific crowdfunding and other token transactions across their platform. imusify will provide their own utility token using the NEO blockchain, IMU, after the token sale. IMU will be traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, stored in wallets, or converted to fiat currency.
What’s Going On Now
As blockchain music platforms are improving their services, we’re seeing ways they’re decentralizing the online ticket industry, online booking, and more. In October 2018, San Francisco will host the first blockchain-powered music festival, the OMF Festival, headlined by popular EDM producer, Zedd. will. i. am is an adviser for Cre8tor.App, a platform that allows anyone to record vocals, write songs, lease beats and create music videos. Imogen Heap, RAC, and Giraffage have collaborated with the platform, Ujo. The blockchain music space has been a standout in the blockchain sector at large by having working products amid a slough. As blockchain music platforms achieve more popularity, they will continue to disrupt the entire traditional music industry.