Does Blockchain Revolutionize The Music Industry?
August 1, 2023 Blog Details Anusha Shivaram
Does Blockchain Revolutionize The Music Industry?

There are hundreds of Blockchain based startups in the music industry, and several opinions and blogs that have compelling arguments for it.

Blockchain technology has the potential for industry disruption that can bring artists and consumers much closer.

The publishers and labels still play a vital role in promoting the artist’s work in the modern day production and marketing.

Our search was to understand the impact and benefit of blockchain based technology in the royalty collection & distribution.

What are they trying to solve in this industry?

  • Transparency
  • Data accuracy
  • Data completeness
  • A single view of fragmented data

Let us view this from the angles of media creation, content distribution, and consumption of economic value chain of the media industry.

Creative Process

The Song – Lyricists and composers create the work and publish this through a publisher.

The Sound Recording – Labels, producer, and artists create the sound recording.

Typically both of the above properties are created in two-time period and in complete isolation. In other cases, it can all be part of a project. Whatever the case may be, various parties hold different types of rights for their creations. We need to understand how these rights are documented, maintained, and used in the collection and distribution process in the new models.

Information required to identify Performance Rights, Master Recording Rights, and Mechanical Rights are documented in various time frames during the creation, however, Neighboring Rights are an afterthought and derived from the performers and producer data which is made available. There are solutions that are available to collect this information at the time of recording such as Auddley.

A blockchain based solution that can capture the metadata of these two properties (Song and Sound Recording) and provide the ability to link these together with transparency, accuracy, completeness, and a single view can be a true winner.

Content Distribution

The distribution of content has drastically changed in the last two decades from mp3 to p2p sharing to music download to streaming without the help of blockchain technology. These technologies have added convenience to users. Now music lovers can pick and choose their favorite artists and songs whenever they want to just by a swipe of their finger. Music consumption is exploding but revenue is not being returned fairly to those who create, own and invest in the songs.

How are these startups trying to create value in this area? Many of them are trying to use the cryptocurrencies to use as the remuneration medium. Some service models provide free music to consumers and mined cryptocurrencies as the remuneration to the creators. This assumes the long-term sustainability of a given crypto. The success of these type of models truly depends on crypto economics and adoption of the currencies in a highly fluctuating market.

Some of the blockchain based startups

For Music Streaming
  • Choon – Streaming service with cryptocurrencies
  • PeerTracks – Streaming service using MUSE cryptocurrency
  • Resonate – Streaming service based on blockchain
For the Creators
  • Blackpool – Cryptocurrency based platform with Audiocoin
  • Musiconomi – Cryptocurrency based platform
  • Vezt – Cryptocurrency in exchange of rights
  • Fanmob – Cryptocurrency crowdfunding similar to Vezt
  • Mycelia – A Creative Passport to hold creator’s content and metadata
For Rights Management
  • Blokur – Blockchain based rights management
  • BigchainDB – A blockchain database for rights management
  • UJO Music – Ethereum based cryptocurrency platform to support music creation and distribution.
  • Dot Blockchain Media – Blockchain based metadata and content management

Adoption of any changes must be convenient and/or be of monetary value to the users. Do any of the new blockchain based startup solutions add value to the consumer so that they can change the way they purchase or consume music?

There is no silver bullet to solve all the problems in the industry but there are disrupters and visionaries in various parts of the industry. We will have to wait and see who will survive and be successful to create the standards to operate the future of the music business.

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