Background

The digital music industry is faced with a plethora of challenges. Piracy is rife, content is being used illegally and musicians are feeling the effect of low paying streaming services.

Fortunately, musicians and those working in the digital music industry can now see a solution to their financial and transactional woes, and the optimism is encouraged by the public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions in history – Blockchain.

This evolving system is ever changing and is revolutionising the digital music business in 4 simple ways.

1. Licensing 

One of the most challenging aspects for professionals in the digital music industry is identifying who owns recordings. Due to this, splitting the financials evenly and fairly between all parties involved can be a great challenge.

Blockchain maintains a cryptographic hash which represents all digital content of songs registered on the blockchain. Blockchain allows users to register and own their digital content without external parties or record labels needing to be involved.

2. Piracy

Many consumers believe that music is (or should be) free of charge. In the modern day, many digital musicians are making the majority of their money from their music by selling the rights to major corporations to use in advertising and marketing.

PledgeMusic presented a design concept for a blockchain-based music database which features a codec that could eliminate people accessing music for free (often through free trials) and substantially reduce piracy. The concept involves a .bc, a codec and content that needs to be connected to a blockchain to play. This system makes it impossible for the user to remove the music or ‘rip’ it as the content would not be able to play once removed.

3. Transparent payments

An estimated 20–40% of digital music payments do not go to their rightful owner. Blockchain is eradicating this with the use of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin eliminates the need for PROs and allows payments to forward automatically. The instant payment mechanism is extremely beneficial for those working in the digital music industry, particularly those who are freelancing and can find regular payment guarantees unreliable.

Bitcoin is a global currency, highlighting the ease of use, particularly when purchasing content from another nation. Bitcoin is also available in miniature amounts (0.00000001), which encourages consumers to make multiple transactions.

4. Cutting out the middleman

Blockchain encourages ownership from the source of the music and is revolutionising how the creators are being compensated.

Traditionally, publishers, agencies, management or record companies would take a cut of music sales, with the rest (and never fully guaranteed amount) being passed on to the artist after the fees were deducted.

Blockchain is proud to be an effective peer-to-peer platform that encourages direct contact, networking and relationships between the artist and their customer. The direct relationship ensures they are paid directly, and instantly, for their music.

After a consumer places a request on blockchain, they are given instant access to the song. When the song is purchased, the funds are sent directly to the crypto-wallets of the song’s owner.

Blockchain is creating a safety net for music artists working in the digital music industry to not only own and protect, but to be fully compensated for their hard work.

Startups involved

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