Music creation is a process that is continuously evolving, whether it is the process of making new music, distributing it, or even listening to it. There are new inventions every day and our devices are being remodeled to keep up with these changes. Perhaps the most exciting development has been the use of blockchain technology in the music industry.
The blockchain is essentially a public ledger that holds records of transactions or data exchange between parties. Being decentralized, it is not under the control of any corporation or governmental agency. There are many computers in the blockchain network and these have a continuously-updated blockchain version. This is why it cannot be hacked easily; every computer in the chain verifies the legitimacy of the blockchain constantly and must agree on the data contained in it. If this does not happen, you can easily spot a hack.
What problems can the blockchain hope to resolve?
In the music industry there were initially vinyl records, followed by cassette tapes and then CDs. It was when Napster happened that for the first time people came to know about digital downloads. However, the industry at present is experiencing a lot of turmoil and according to Forbes reports; it has witnessed a continuous fall in profits. While millions of soundtracks are being streamed online the revenues are not enough, and singer-composers are getting paid very less.
Even music rights companies who are responsible for compiling data about royalties cannot handle the huge volumes of data they have on hand. The industry is not being paid its dues and musicians and other music-industry related professionals are clueless when they will get paid, or who to get in touch with if the money goes missing. Music artists have hardly any say in negotiations between streaming services and music labels; this also adversely affects their payments. No one really knows who owns the data and how the data can be used.
But such problems can hope to be resolved with the blockchain technology. With this, people can actually own their data, and the power to give access to specific data for specific needs through different apps. Platforms like Ethereum make use of “smart contracts” that are digital contracts in the blockchain. These would let the money owed to composers, musicians, and producers to flow in the right amount without waiting periods.
Another possible way that the blockchain technology could be of use is in organizing song rights, license information and metadata that is needed to run a huge music industry. So, as fans, you can click on one link to know the producer, songwriter, musician, mastering engineers and all other involved in the making of one song. When all data is kept and updated in a single location, finding information becomes simpler for fans.
With the music industry becoming more and more globalized as one market entity, blockchain technology will help to streamline various processes involved in payments, collaborations, licenses, publishing and permissions. Two key projects in the blockchain space are Musicoin and Tatiana Coin, which are making new ways for audiences and music artists to interact with one another and support each other. Musicoin has been established as a decentralized system meant for consumption and publication of music, combining the latest digital currency with a P2P file-sharing network. This will bring fairness and transparency to the entire music industry. By using Musicoin artists know without any question that whenever any person hits play the payment will come to them directly.