Blockchain and the Music Industry — A Growing Trend
Continuing on from the groundwork laid in 2020, this year has witnessed the acceleration of blockchain adoption as industry leaders begin to discover the benefits that this emerging technology can provide. Decentralized finance or DeFi has seen further developments with the rise to fame of NFTs, and a wave of other alternatives to traditional finance at the same time.
Companies like VChain have implemented blockchain solutions to improve the products and information sector, Morpheus.network are revolutionizing how supply chains work and operate, while Clintex tackles medical trial delays and UTRUST provides a seamless payment gateway for millions of businesses.
The Music Industry: Time for a Tune-Up
The music industry has long been an industry in need of a shake-up and blockchain technology is helping to overcome many of its longstanding issues, including diminishing royalties for downloads, unethical practices and counterfeiting in ticketing, and a convoluted process for events management.
Transparency and Fairness
Artist royalties is a sore subject within the music content industry with many artists only seeing a fraction of the money from streaming services subscriptions, and song downloads. Spotify was once one of the worst offenders for this, forced to settle a class action lawsuit in 2017 to the tune of $43 million for unpaid mechanical royalties.
Since then, the music streaming giant has turned a corner, acquiring blockchain startup Mediachain to create a more fair, transparent, and rewarding structure for creators and rights owners. This revamp now brings transparency to rights of ownership, so musicians and labels can be properly acknowledged and paid fairly.
Opus.audio is a P2P network file sharing service for fans to create, upload and share with other users. OPUS lets musicians keep up to 90% of their profits for themselves and earns the majority of its revenue from ads, rather than from the artist’s pocket.
Unethical Ticket Purchases
Have you ever gotten up at 5 am to buy tickets to see your favorite band or singer only to see them sold out in a matter of seconds? Due to the priority placed by organizers to ensure events are sold out, the initially cheap event ticket prices are taken advantage of by unethical opportunists leveraging bots to buy up large batches, to then sell on 3rd party sites at exorbitant rates.
This problem can have a two-pronged effect, as it leads more patrons to source tickets from less reputable 3rd party sites or on Facebook, which have a higher chance of being counterfeit or scam sites.
A new leader in ticketing, GUTS uses blockchain technology to guarantee legitimate tickets and prevent fraud. The innovative solution uses dynamic QR-codes to retain control over the primary and secondary ticket market for the sale and resale of tickets between holders. Every smart ticket is unique and traceable, making fraud virtually impossible.
Events Done Better
The events industry and indeed the act of putting on a music event is a long and laborious one. Event planners are often prone to burnout as they juggle an endless stream of venue owners, ticketing companies, artists, patrons, and other intermediaries.
Traditionally, it takes multiple people to plan an event such as a festival or gig, but blockchain technology is making it possible for individuals to tackle the tasks of entire teams. The Evedo platform is a decentralized ecosystem that deals with all parties involved within the events industry. Its platform brings together venue owners, event organizers, ticketing companies, patrons, and performers in one seamless framework.
What About the Fans?
While blockchain has already helped music providers to offer artists more equitable revenue distribution, while mitigating unethical activities in ticketing and events, it can also be used to monetise music to reward fans for community engagement. The eMusic platform rewards its users through exclusive content and lower prices, while Vibrate gives fans free native VIB cryptocurrency tokens for helping to contribute to its music database.
Blockchain’s Future in Music
Although still an emergent technology, blockchain is becoming increasingly recognized and implemented in all areas of the music industry. For the first time, artists have the ability to seek a fair and transparent account of their downloads and the subsequent royalties that come with them. At the same time, patrons can avoid fraudulent 3rd party sites and counterfeit tickets, while organizers can utilize decentralized alternatives that streamline the entire process. With this new technological framework, creators and consumers in the music industry are starting to take back control from the few big names, empowering the artists and the fans.