How Could Blockchain Change the Music Industry?

Andrew Barber

How Could Blockchain Change the Music Industry?

The music industry is constantly changing, whether this relates to how people are scouted and signed to record contracts, how people are eschewing traditional recording contracts in order to benefit as an independent artist, or even how fans engage with the music. Submitting tapes to radio stations or being scouted at gigs was the only way some decade or so ago, but the rise of technology means that the music industry has far greater ways of shining light on people’s musical talents.

One such example of this technological change is the rise of cryptocurrency and blockchain, the tech that powers it, which look to be the next big change in the music industry, but what exactly does that mean for the artists, management, and fans involved?S

Blockchain and Music

The blockchain industry is already changing how we consume music. For instance, the decentralized ledger that blockchain represents can solve many of the issues present in the music industry. Indeed, piracy of digital records, rights management, royalty management and rewarding artists are often contested as major problems within the music industry. So applying a centralized ledger to these issues means that they can be better monitored, and contracts can be developed to ensure that the correct artists are rewarded and piracy is curbed. Artist Imogen Heap utilized blockchain for platform Mycelia, which offers the artist greater control and protection over their content. Indeed, big record labels can often take 70-80% of the revenue of a track, but blockchain contracts from a decentralized database mean that the artist can be paid directly and take almost the entire cut, offering greater opportunities to inexperienced and independent artists.S

Cryptocurrency on the Rise

The rise of cryptocurrency in many sectors could also be beneficial for the music industry. Cryptocurrency payments could be used in conjunction with sites that offer content creators money from their fans. There are many, including forerunner Patreon, which allows fans to credit artists directly. Bitbacker.io has announced that they plan to offer a similar platform that offers cryptocurrency as a payment option. Allowing it as a payment option means that more people will have access to crypto funds and will need more places to spend and exchange their cryptocurrency. Indeed, there are other options for storing and spending cryptocurrency, including digital payment option Skrill. Skrill operates across many sectors, including online gaming, where sites that offer games that are instant play with no download required can accept their payment in Skrill, which can then be taken as cryptocurrency. The proliferation of cryptocurrency as a payment method means that it will likely be adopted on a greater scale.

The music industry will always be based on interesting artists creating emotive and exciting pieces of music. But, the intricacies that follow will constantly be in flux and will be dependent on tech developments. The ability to rise up through YouTube before playing live anywhere means that talent is easier to find, but that appropriating rights and rewards is harder to manage. The blockchain advancements in the music industry will help reshape the industry in the years to come and will offer greater opportunities in conjunction with technology.

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