How Is Blockchain Transforming The Music Industry
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, My dad would buy vinyl and cassettes of the Rolling Stones and play them throughout the weekend. Cassettes became popular because they were made to play music in a car but this is where a big issue started in the music industry, the ability to make illegal copies of music. Cassettes could be copied
The ’80s and ’90s brought newer trends, and we switched from Vinyl and cassettes to CDs. The artists made fortunes when millions of their CDs and Cassettes were bought by their fans globally. But again CD’s were very easy to make copies of and sell illegally
The late 90’s and the 2000s was a whole new world. That is when digital audio formats came into being as the music industry saw heights in piracy due to platforms like Napster and Limewire.
Then came iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, and other similar platforms. These platforms introduced emerging talents, and music lovers were able to listen to their old songs. But of course People could still illegally download almost any song they wanted in a matter of seconds
What Does Blockchain Have To Do With It?
I think my introduction went a little long. But, I had to do it to tell you how Blockchain is relevant to the music industry.
I’ve discussed vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and audio streaming. All of these services would help the artists earn royalties.
Mariah Carey wrote her legendary “All I Want for Christmas” in the 90s, and she is still earning millions of dollars every year in royalties.
The issue arises when someone illegally pirates a song and loots its loyalties. Yes, I’m talking about torrent sites and other illegal sources to stream music illegally. It’s unjust to the artist who has spent a great deal of time and money on it.
Blockchain technology has a decentralized framework that can counter this issue. Whether an artist wants to sell their concert tickets or want to make sure that all the people involved in their song team are paid correctly, Blockchain would be the key.
So, how is Blockchain technology transforming the music industry?
- Eradicating Piracy
Piracy is like cancer. The music industry has suffered heavy damages due to people pirating someone’s artistry and making huge money off of it.
The last decade has seen the highest piracy spike rate that has resulted in a substantial economic loss in the USA alone.
The music industry was constantly on edge. And it still is. The reason is that there is no such technology that could prevent content from being pirated. No regulatory authority is appropriately addressing the loopholes inside the system.
Piracy has become so easy that even kids can do it quickly. Backwhen Napster became a huge thing, I remember everyone would use Napster to get free access to songs. It became so normalized to the point that no one realized how piracy is a criminal offense.
As mentioned earlier, even YouTube isn’t safe where people can illegally download videos, convert them into audio format, and pirate them by uploading them on their websites.
Blockchain can provide an imminent end to music piracy and ticket scalping where people buy large amounts of tickets to resell them at a higher price. As well as making tickets impossible to copy or reproduce It can save billions of bucks, allowing the deserving of earning from their hard work
With blockchain all sales and ownership of tickets and music would be verifiable and also lets fans know they are buying from a legit product
2. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are agreements that would govern an artist’s terms with the music label, band, manager, album, and the whole team.
This intelligent contract would define how much of the royalties and earnings each team member will get. It will also ensure that no contributing member is left unpaid, and all get paid immediately.
The issue is that often music labels wouldn’t pay the band or artists on time, creating a huge mess. A transparent smart contract would instantly pay all the receiving parties — Problem solved.
3. Metadata 2.0
Metadata 2.0 is a blockchain technology that would ensure that no one can alter data on a record.
For example, no one can claim the right to “My heart will go on” by Celine Dion. It’s hers, and she and her music label/publishing hold the rights for it.
Blockchain would permanently store the data in its decentralized system as ledgers and fill out any missing information, so each person involved in the song gets the recognition they deserve.
It will also bring forth a mechanism that would help identify the rightful owner of the music record to be paid the royalties they deserve.
This technology will save many artists from spending their time in legal battles. Blockchain will provide a standard method for content ownership that each company has to abide by.
4. Instant Royalty Access
Usually, it takes about a year or two for an artist to monetize their royalties and earn profit from their albums. Big names might not have an issue with it, but the smaller artists can be badly affected by this slow payment process.
Implementing blockchain technology will end this waiting period. As soon as the song hits the chart, the artist will start to enjoy its royalties — which means no wait, just some straight profits.
5. More Exposure To New Talents
Blockchain technology is paving the way for new and independent artists. It will help them copyright their work and distribute it to get better engagement among the audiences.
But wait, there’s more to it.
Blockchain can help in emphasizing building a community that will help artists in creating more content. The initiative being taken is something like a “gofundme” for singers.
In this model, the fans will financially support their favorite emerging talents. So, apart from selling merch and doing concerts, this way of supporting local artists would help them a lot.
The peer-to-peer transparent transfer of tokens or music coins would eliminate any third-party involved and ensure that the artists receive 100% of the revenues.
A new blockchain-based method is also in its initial process where the fans would be asked to invest in music royalties. As soon as the royalties start to rise, a particular fan would start to gain money from it, considering how much they invested.
Music could now become a stock exchange between the artists and the investors. Apart from money, the investors can also gain collectibles like customized badges, non-fungible tokens, special concert discounts, and many other perks.
6. The Fan Reward
New blockchain-based projects are in talks that would help the fans earn some dollars too.
These projects would allow fans to create personalized playlists from their favorite artists. If the playlist becomes a hit, then the fans can earn some reward in return as royalties.
Major music companies are exploring new ways to lessen the distance between both the artist and their fans. This will help create a vast fandom where fans would engage with their favorite artists in ways that weren’t possible before.
Pitbull came forward with an idea to create a decentralized streaming platform based on blockchain. This music streaming platform will pay the listener too for every second of the song they listen to.
The idea is to create a huge fan base by bribing the listener a little bit.
Another idea was Bitsong which is a Blockchain-based system too. A user can donate tokens to any indie artists, and they can also purchase a song — imagine buying a hit song.
What Does The Future Hold?
The way blockchain is revolutionizing the music industry is epic. Significant developments are happening, and I’m happy to see that finally, artists would get what they deserve.
Although I believe that it would take time for Blockchain technology to take over our music industry fully, patience is key.
Till then, I hope that you don’t pirate any music and listen to the artists on their legal streaming platforms, so they get the appropriate royalties they deserve.
The future is bright for emerging singers, and with this decentralized system — fans and artists are genuinely going to enjoy what’s coming for them.