Blockchain technology comes with the power to enhance financial inclusion and transform the lives of various people globally, particularly in advancing economies where it is required the most. While blockchain’s potential has been recognized widely, blockchain’s potential use cases are usually thought of as restricted just to the industry of finance.
With that being stated, the music industry, which has been dominated by mediators, is also considered. With the internet’s advent, followed by music streaming platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, and Napster, the music industry has transformed to a degree. Blockchain technology appears to be the upcoming step, giving power back to listeners and the creators.
Problems in the Music Industry to be Solved by Blockchain
Various industry professionals, and particularly creators, agree that the current distribution system for royalty is unreliable, outdated, and does not prioritize the creator.
Along with that many inefficiencies in credit and digital media, payments result from inappropriate metadata. Metadata refers to the information about the music that is directly embedded into the file. Behind every music file is the metadata that contains the name of the songwriters, sound engineers, producers, artists, and copyrights. For music contributors to get due recognition, metadata needs to be accurate and consistent in every platform. However, that is not always the case.
In the music industry, there is no right or standardized method to log metadata. A critical thing is for the data to be captured accurately. However, when the music goes down the media supply chain, bits of data might get misinterpreted or misplaced because of human or computer errors. These are the problems that can be attributed to the lack of a central database for storing this data. When organizations receive inconsistent data regarding a song, the artists are left unaccounted for. It is something that can be solved by blockchain technology.
With blockchain, one can track and manage the various aspects of the media production process. It can help build a decentralized and shared metadata network, utilizing the technology that allows participants to share input data in one space throughout the digital media chain.
How is Blockchain Technology Changing the Music Industry?
Blockchain technology helps producers and musicians sell their music without mediators and high charges for recording labels. Moreover, it also comes with copyright protection.
While the music streaming platforms have transformed the way music is consumed, it additionally has created a new level of intermediation among fans and artists. In music, there are various parties involved in creating the ultimate work, be it an entire album or a single song, and every step and tells processes that cost hefty charges.
Coming as a stark advancement, the music streaming industry is providing a user-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to piracy, thereby enabling artists to get royalties for their job.
Potential Benefits of Blockchain Technology for the Music Industry
Blockchain technology helps eliminate intermediaries, allowing the artists and creators to share their music independently by protecting their work without losing money. Here are some of the possible advantages of blockchain for the music industry:
- Copyright Cannot be Claimed
If music is on the blockchain, no one can change the blockchain’s information, and the song will be recognized as the legitimate owner’s belonging.
- Empowering Independent Artists and Musicians
Blockchain technology can improve upcoming artists’ conditions and end up in a more diverse market, making a huge difference for them. Additionally, it can help shift the present control held by intermediaries like platforms and labels. Platforms and labels have considerable influence over music releases.
Blockchain-based platforms for streaming music are attempting to tackle this issue. Those platforms leverage different peer-to-peer networks for eliminating intermediaries, providing an entirely decentralized streaming platform. In this manner, all the hosting charges linked with streaming music are virtually eliminated.
- Artist’s New Revenue Sources
Blockchain technology is transforming the way creators, particularly independent artists, are paid. It increases the fees they receive while additionally streamlining the method of distributing their job, along with copywriting. With that being stated, blockchain technology also allows creators to harness another important category for independent creators’ revenue, that is, extremely engaged communities.
Upcoming independent artists are usually at the end of a robust sense of community. It helps in translating into a constant stream of economic support from their fans. Moreover, the “support local artists” mentality might explain why markets 32% share in revenue, for both digital and physical music sales, is acquired by independent labels. On the other hand, concerts are originally recognized for representing a large share of revenue; however, with blockchain technology, one can now provide many ways to explore it further.
The Future of Music Industry with Blockchain Technology
With all that has been stated above, can blockchain technology shift revenue and control back to the creator’s hands? With a lot of progress already being made, there is a lot of space for development as creators are attracted to relatively better earnings. When it comes to the listeners, the same is true as they can now enjoy incentives with decentralized platforms.
The music industry has witnessed a rapid transformation over the last 20 years, advancing an almost-entirely online presence with the labyrinth of modern players. While the music industry keeps up with the advancing technology, the complexities of payments and rights owners are still confusing.
Organizations worldwide are witnessing these problems and are looking forward to disrupting the music industry with blockchain technology. A successful blockchain solution is a need for the hour, reducing the uncertainties of forgotten creators and absent metadata. Developing a scalable and immutable network will need time; however, if advanced adopters, as popular as Spotify, proceed to take a step against laxity within the music industry, the music industry is likely to be a step closer in the right direction.