Is blockchain the answer that the music industry is looking for all these years?
There have been a lot of apps that have been recently developed in various industries that are using the technology of blockchain. But have we ever come to the conclusion as to why this is happening? Not many of us have asked this question.
However, the answer to this question lies within the entire definition of the blockchain technology in itself. In the most simplest of the simplest terms, if you look at it, blockchain is the technology that is more of a database that is not centralized. Meaning that whatever that runs on the blockchain cannot and is not going to be owned wholly by a single entity and everything is going to be super transparent.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the technology:
A blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. By design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is an open, distributed, decentralized ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way.
There are many pain points within the music industry alone and by using the technology of blockchain alone, the music industry can benefit a lot in just fixing these pain points. This article is intended to not address the pain points within the music industry, but rather how this technology can help the industry in a major way.
Due to the nature of everything being centralized and standardized, from the point of production to the point of distribution, the music industry now suffers mainly from these issues:
- Piracy Of Digital Records
- Improper Rights Management
- Cumbersome Royalty Management
- Delay In Rewards To Artists
Not only these, but the real concern is that the artists can never get to know the real time data of how their music is performing in the market for their production and their contribution, in spite of having everything now digital. If known otherwise, it would have helped them tremendously in a major way in strengthening and improving their marketing efforts. There is a huge problem when the relevant key insights are not available.
The main issue at hand over here is not the fact that the music is online or offline, but the fact that they are being marketed on different platforms and none of these platforms or brands on which the actual distribution of the music that happens actually don’t talk to each other. It is more like a silos of information.
So, hence if an artist sells his or her music on famous platforms like Song Music, Apple Music, and Google Play Music; they do not get to see the actual picture of the overall happening to their music on all the platforms combined. Because all the platforms act as a separate entity and the sharing of such sensitive information can be very harmful. But if the artists alone did have the insights that could be conclusive, then it would be very much beneficial for them. This is the main reason why having a database like a blockchain can be very easy to view the real-time data and make decisions that can help them in their careers and in their marketing in a very huge way.
Also, it does not end here. These production and distribution houses act more like agents and take a huge amount from the earning of the artists and in fact only pass on a very small amount to the artists, what they call as royalties. In some of the cases, it is even worse because the artist can get only 10 to 20 percent of the whole cut and it would take about 2 to 3 years to actually see the money coming into the artists’ bank accounts. This is very expensive more the artists when looking into the factors such as their time and their value.
This problem can be easily solved if put on the blockchain with a smart contract that is autonomous. This will then give the artist the real-time data of their sales and each time the sales occur, the amount is transferred to their account in just a matter of minutes. Looking at it, it is much better than to receive the amount in a period of 2 to 3 years. That is without a doubt to say is very long.
There are some start-ups who have already initiated work on this.
This is one problem that all the artists in the music industry face as of today. Apart from that, there is the privacy and copyright issues. This brings the loss to its creator at an all-time high as it drives down the overall sales of the music records to an all-time low. And the reason that this happens is that there are not enough means to prevent privacy to occur by these labelled houses.
By having it embedded on the cloud as on blockchain-based cloud storage platforms the problem will be immediately solved as the actual record will itself be broken to a number of pieces and it will be stored in a very organized and distributed manner.
The royalty management and distribution between various entities such as that of composers, producers, publishers, and singers can be solved by using the technology of blockchain. Even the most complicated of all problems can be solved by simply using this technology to save the industry and better the lives of the artists that contribute not just their music, time and energy, but most importantly their value within the society.