But introducing blockchain into the music industry could change all of that. Let’s take a look at the current blockchain projects tackling the current music industry issues.
Ujo — Distributed Music Storage System
Ujo holds an encrypted decentralized database with music rights on Ethereum. The platform utilizes Ethereum to build out flexible and modular licensing systems using smart contracts. It enables automated payments to rights holders according to licenses they design themselves.
This can be extended to incorporate a wide range of additional functionality such as programmatic contracts, variable pricing, or payment routing. Once you’ve sent a payment to the smart contract, it will return you access codes for downloads in various formats.
Project link: Website.
eMusic — Decentralized Music Distribution and Royalty Management System
Using a system of simple smart contracts, the eMusic blockchain platform will include everything artists need to publish and distribute music and manage rights and royalties.
Artists simply upload their music, document the rights and choose where fans can stream or buy their music. When a song is played or sold, the revenue gets split between service provider and rights holders, fairly, and with full visibility to plays and payouts.
Smart contracts take care of fair revenue distribution whenever a song is sold.
In addition, eMusic is building a crowdfunding platform to further engage fans and raise money for music projects that would allow artists to create new works — or utilize existing works for which they control the rights — to raise money through an SEC-registered crowdsale, requiring a fee paid with tokens to be able to participate in the purchase of these rights. That way fans would be able to support their favorite artist.
To increase engagement on the platform, users are rewarded tokens whenever they interact with others like creating and sharing playlists or referring new members.
At last, the eMusic token can even be used to trade the rights of music assets, particularly artists’ rights, music scores, and memorabilia, for rights to access other music-related assets available through the eMusic Platform.
eMusic wants to raise $70 million in their token sale to build this product idea. Interesting fact, eMusic is an existing well-known company in the music industry and a champion of independent artists and labels since 1998. For over 20 years, eMusic has helped 47 million fans helping them to discover new music and artists, selling nearly one billion downloads.
Mycelia — Creative Passport
Mycelia Creative Passport is a project pioneered by Imogen Heap. Imogen is no stranger to the cryptocurrency industry. She has been experimenting with blockchain in the music industry since around 2014. Mycelia is a research and development hub for music makers. They aim to ensure that the music industry fully acknowledges and pays for an artists services.
Using emergent blockchain technology, featuring template ‘smart contracts’, the ‘Creative Passport’ will enable quick and easy direct payments, to simplify and democratise collaboration from meaningful commercial partnerships to creativity.”
Other Relevant Projects
- Bitsong — Blockchain music streaming.
- Choon — Blockchain streaming that promises artists to help them keep 80% of their revenue.
- SingularDTV — Content portal to monetize your work online, peer-to-peer distribution, rights management.
Risks of Tokenized Music
First of all, as you can see, many projects try to tackle music industry related problems with blockchain technology. However, platform adoption is as well a crucial element; designing an easy to understand interface for using cryptocurrency for non-crypto people is equally important. Platforms like eMusic are one step ahead as they already have a large existing client base.
On the other side, we can’t buy bread yet using our cryptocurrency. The question is if artists feel comfortable using Ethereum tokens and it’s daily price fluctuations. There is a real risk of artists dumping their tokens as they get them. This kind of downward pressure on prices could ultimately cause artists to want to get paid in something that actually holds its value and can be exchanged easily, like Bitcoin or Ethereum.
In addition, don’t think that record labels are just going to sit around and watch as blockchain moves in on the industry. Large record labels have the time, money and resources to launch their own projects or possibly even undermine others.