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What The Future Looks Like for Blockchain and Music

December 19, 2018

 Technology has been playing a considerable role in evolving music, from turning millions of records and CDs into one iPod to the introduction of music streaming through Spotify. For now, there's nothing stopping blockchain, one of the most exciting innovations of our time, from changing the music industry.


Regardless of multiple advances that changed the way we listened to music, the issues underlying the music industry has yet to change. These issues involve piracy of digital records, improper rights management, and royalty management, which are all due to centralized and mediated nature of production and distribution.


Rights management


Since the attribution of music is different from platforms to platforms, there are no Key insights available for better sales management.


When artists sell their music on Apple Music or Google Play Music, they are not able to gain access to real-time data for their production process, hence not able to fully control and improve their marketing efforts.


Another problem is that artists are entitled little to rights in deals between labels and streaming services and more. They are not aware of how their work is consumed or paid.


Digital piracy


Every year, the issue of music piracy steals away millions of dollars from original creators of records, which considerably brings down sales figures. This is due to the inefficiency in current preventive methods by music labels and streaming platforms. Anyone can easily convert a YouTube video into an mp3 file and keep copies for themselves or resell if they choose to.


Royalty management


Music rights organizations currently handle the collection of royalties. However, it takes years for these owed money to get deposited in the correct bank accounts, let alone never being able to make it. In this way, artists and industry professionals cannot know when they will get paid, or whom to contact when the money is missing.


On the other hand, streaming services don’t provide information on the flow of money, which may cause serious confusion.


The blockchain solution


By implementing blockchain solutions, the above problems will be much more improved and solved. When it officially goes mainstream, blockchain can completely remove all current intermediaries in the music business, which allows direct connection between music fans and their favorite artists or music companies. Copyrights can be registered much faster and less costly, and artists could become an entrepreneur of their own by making music and earning directly from their royalty.  


Blockchain smart contract feature allows content rights to be distributed to associated entities while keeping Intellectual Property Rights protected. When a song is put on a blockchain, it will be given a unique number, which can be protected from fraud. Illegal downloads will not be able to take place.


Smart contracts also allow content creators and copyright holders to receive royalty payments directly from fans or businesses in no time. The whole process is transparent, which provides valuable data and information for content owners.


All involved parties in the copyright of a music piece, including music publishers, rights societies, record labels, and musicians can monitor copyrights efficiently by looking at the accurate real-time data on the blockchain ledger. They could also see how much they earn from copyrights.


Despite such opportunities, the idea of implementing blockchain into the music industry is still merely a theory. The road is far to come, but the possibilities have all been brought to the table. It is now startups’ turn to deliver theories into reality.


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