Back to the list

DLT in The Music Industry: How Musicians Can Earn More

20 September 2018 11:48, UTC
Daniil Danchenko

The music industry is very complex inner workings. This is a world where the very essence of processes remains conservative, but the business side is changing day by day. Platforms of distribution, formats of performances, realization, and monetization of creativity - all this has changed radically due to the technological progress. And where there is progress, there will be the blockchain - the most important technical innovation of recent years.

Bitnewstoday.com talked with the Lauren BISSELL, music industry veteran that works in it for 11 years, during international crypto investor summit Block Seoul. We discussed the usage for the blockchain in music, ways of its monetization, and its potential to disrupt the industry.

"The company that I founded has a branch engaged in the entertainment industry, which is why I have been busy with music issues for a long time. If we talk about the blockchain, then, in my opinion, its value is in an automated, unchanging system. Everything is simple and clear: a person clicks a song, listens to it, information flies across the network to the supplier, and royalty to the creator of the content. This, in fact, is a record of intellectual rights on the stone, about which the ordinary listener needs absolutely nothing to know," - says Lauren.

On modern platforms, the mechanism has already been implemented that makes it possible to forget about intermediaries, but even so, money passes through a huge number of hands. On average, performers receive less than a dollar from each song. In fact, in order to get by on music, the performer or the creator of the music content must have high enough sales volumes or a large number of clicks. On YouTube, a performer needs about 4.5 million reproductions to earn any tangible fee. On sites like Bandicam and iTunes, figures are more realistic, but still very high, especially for newcomers who do not have media support.

"I respect the opinion of other people and those who are trying to create their own platform for distribution, but to be honest, I do not see any indication that the industry will continue to develop in this direction. I believe that as soon as a greater acceptance of the blockchain occurs in the industry, it will no longer be perceived as an independent technology, it will become a technical solution,” - Mrs. BISSELL is sure.

In her opinion, the monetization of the blockchain in music is a specific task in which it is necessary to understand the rules of the game. If the proposed solution on its basis is fast and cheap, the blockchain will very quickly become extremely interesting for music labels and distributors. And this means that it can be sold at a profit, for instance, to Spotify.

At the same time, labels have a very specific motivation for such a purchase: the blockchain is the solution of accounting issues and some other aspects of automation. Of course, there is a tense moment here, since someone will definitely lose his or her work during the implementation of the blockchain. But in fact, there will be no need for those who will rifle around public places and check whether music is playing there without the permission from the copyright holder or not. Eventually, this will do well: since money will not be spent on testing, but will go to the performer. Thus, because of its structure, the blockchain will help save money.

Other creators of blockchain-projects have a corresponding idea. So, for example, the British singer and composer Imogen Heap came up with a project similar in essence, making performers the main part of the creative process. Her project is a platform for authors, allowing to distribute content, as well as automatically collect information about the listeners’ interest in certain compositions.

As you know, the blockchain is the information that cannot be changed, and it is very valuable for music. Because, even if we take the context of intellectual property, then any song, music, and even a separate part will be recorded in the blockchain.

Also, the blockchain will help solve a very specific problem - corruption in the music industry.

"With the advent of the blockchain, the situation when distributors cheat and do not actually pay the producers or performers the money they deserve will no longer be ordinary. In fact, the blockchain in the music industry will be the guarantor of balance, but this is only one example of the useful application of DLT-technologies in music. Apart from that, there is a huge variety of options: tokenization of media personalities, the creation of coins for the fans," - says Lauren.

And indeed, streaming can be called the only really big change in music since the 50s. All the rest remained the same at the material and technical level. And this is the problem: according to Lauren, the essence of the industry has remained on the criminal and extortive level, which it was in the 50s. Of course, there is copyright, but in the music environment, there is a huge number of unwritten laws, the violation of which leads to the fact that a person is put on the blacklist and simply cannot find a job anywhere. The music industry works on fear in many ways, without any legislative aspects. The situation is that large labels, which give tone to the industry, care only about the monetization of content, and some other things do not bother them at all.

That’s exactly why blockchain solutions for distribution emerge simplifying the work with the copyright for one’s own songs and creating their own infrastructure for micro-payment operations that go directly from listeners to the musician, due to the characteristic properties of the blockchain.

"I would say that the problem is much more comprehensive. Any musician is something like a company: he creates his own product, and he needs those who will provide him with venture capital investments necessary for development, as well as with platforms for distribution. But the problem is the imbalance in making contracts between the musicians and labels, and here, the blockchain will be able to balance the situation," - Lauren said, completing our conversation.