The music streaming industry in today’s world has come a long way. The internet allowed music lovers to download and listen to their favorite tunes, as this combined with faster download speeds to make music sharing possible.
Likewise, cryptocurrencies have now been here for a decade, and both blockchain and cryptocurrencies have greatly disrupted almost every industry across the globe.
Music On Blockchain
So, before going into details, let us discuss “music on blockchain“. So, what exactly does music on blockchain mean?
With blockchain, musicians are able to receive their equitable royalty payments, and record companies that can easily trace music streams and instantly pay all artists who contributed to songs or albums.
Musicians will be able to generate time-stamped records of their creative works, make content ownership that will be publicly verifiable and unchangeable. And if a creator elects, their content will remain LIVE forever.
As we are already aware, there is no such thing as beneficial in complex and competitive markets like music. But the fact is that technological advancements are finding their way in almost every area of business. By giving way to cryptocurrencies, the music industry is set to change forever.
Cryptocurrencies In The Music Streaming Industry
In recent times, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have exploded in popularity. As far as the music sphere is concerned, it is no longer just the musicians who are making the big leap to cryptocurrency. Monero, one of the largest cryptocurrencies, has also started targeting the music industry by chasing top icons.
So far, more than 45 major artists have confirmed that they accept Monero on their online stores. However, the music industry is growing more competitive by the day.
So, if we say about the competition in the music streaming industry, Spotify is the perfect example of how competition has forced companies to pursue new users with a vengeance. Services like Google Play, Amazon Music, and Apple Music, the company began the year by providing subscribers free access to Hulu, its video platform.
Though cryptocurrencies have a great scope in music considering the large group of music lovers and artists, the answer to the question of whether cryptocurrencies will continue to stay and create a positive impact, depends greatly on the way fans receive it.
Here, we can take an example of Bjork, the Icelandic singer, songwriter, and actress, credited with being one of the first artists who realized the potential of entering the crypto music space by partnering with AudioCoin, the cryptocurrency, which launched by the startup Blockpool, by accepting Bitcoin and AudioCoin from her fans who purchased her 10th album titled ‘Utopia.’
This is one of the perfect examples of how cryptocurrency makes its way into the music industry.
AudioCoin is a digital currency that is decentralized and can be sent to one another directly, securely, and anonymously if needed. They are not subject to transaction fees, taxes, conversion rate robbery, brokerage charges, or tariffs.
You can simply send what you wish or what is asked, and the receiver gets that particular amount, globally, any time of the day, with no limits. It is also very transparent and impossible to fall victim to fraud as long as you control your own digital wallet.
How Does AudioCoin Work?
Fans can donate AudioCoin directly to the Artists.
Artists receive AudioCoin for every stream of their music.
Fans receive AudioCoin when they share the Artists’ music on social media, which can then be donated or spent with the Artist.
However, AudioCoin is adopted by all of the major music store retailers. For example, a fan decides to purchase an album from their favorite band for 10 ADC (the abbreviation for AudioCoin). At this time, 1 ADC may be equivalent to 1 USD. They decide to throw in 3 extra ADC as a tip.
Open Music Initiative
The Open Music Initiative (OMI) is a newly launched consortium that seeks to leverage blockchain technology to solve disputes like these, but it’s far from the only one.
However, OMI is being led by the Berklee College of Music Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE) in Boston, in collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and IDEO, and with support from a number of major music labels, media companies, streaming services, publishers, collection societies and nearly 100 other founding entities.
How Musicians Face Difficulties In Promoting Their Talents?
Today’s traditional streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have become a money-spinner for the music industry. Actually, people all around the world will begin to see on-demand audio streaming as the future of music consumption.
Likewise, music lovers will keep listening to their favorite tunes in the years to come. And the good thing is that artists who find it hard to get exposure to media can now release their songs on a streaming platform and rest easy knowing that they will be heard. Is that great news?
But, the bad news is that today’s music streaming services give no compensation to musicians. For example, Spotify pays a meager $0.006 to $0.00084 per stream. By analyzing this, we can say that independent artists receive very little payment for their efforts and creativity.
With little payment, independent music artists also face the issue of transparency.
What’s The Solution To These Challenges?
By looking at these problems, we can easily say that blockchain technology is the ultimate solution. By decentralizing the entire music streaming model, record contracts will become less complex.
In other words, there will be more transparency in how it pays artists for their beautiful creations. So obviously, independent artists will get to enjoy their hard work. And yes, music fans will continue to have easy access to their favorite artists’ pieces of music.
Some Of The Best Blockchain-based Music Streaming Platforms
Choon: Choon is one of the leading blockchain-based music streaming services that are set to disrupt the industry. The primary purpose of this platform is to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by independent artists. Choon is actually a musical content ecosystem for artists and music lovers. Musicians can upload their music and get paid for streams. So unlike traditional music streaming platforms, Choon makes it possible for artists to earn what they deserve. In fact, it promises to give its artists up to 80% from the proceeds of streamed music. Artists can also share their music on the platform and fans can purchase their favorite hits by using Notes currency.
VOISE: VOISE is a decentralized Ethereum-powered music platform, which is built for music lovers and independent artists. Users can even buy and listen to music from artists who eventually receive 100% commission for their creativity. Artists can also upload their albums without the support of music labels. Basically, fans use VOISE tokens to complete transactions and music artists get paid directly — no fees and intermediaries. It is important to note that VOISE runs on a decentralized P2P system.
Resonate: Resonate is another blockchain-based platform, which is owned by the people. It operates on a stream2own model, a system where artists and fans get to enjoy the best streaming experience. With this model, artists will get paid fairly and fans will own the music.
BitSong: BitSong is the Ethereum-based platform that promises to offer great benefits to both artists and listeners. In fact, the most interesting thing about BitSong is that musicians get paid per stream, as well as fans or listeners also get to earn for every play. On this platform, artists can upload music at their own pace. The platform also gives artists the opportunity to resell their songs and even use them on social media to build fan-based loyalty. BitSong also makes it possible for artists to receive donations to fund their upcoming album.
Musicoin: With Musicoin, artists will get to enjoy the pay per play system, from where they get more views equal more money. Another impressive highlight of Musicoin is that users can listen to music for free. And the most interesting fact about this platform is that it has its own cryptocurrency which listeners can use to support their favorite artists.
Music Community Website
Aurovine is a music community website that connects artists and fans directly to enable them to support each other’s needs and wishes. Here, the artists receive their money sent from fans in full. It makes sure that they are compensated for the streams of their songs they upload to the community. They also help incentivize everyone to become involved in the marketing of their favorite bands.
Aurovine is able to do this because, unlike Bitcoin which was generated entirely through mining, AudioCoin was partially pre-mined by Aurovine in order to help to place the currency in the hands of the intended parties.
So, it has been analyzed that cryptocurrency is being used in peer-to-peer platforms as it provides musicians with the opportunity to sell their music directly to listeners. Similarly, distributed ledger technology (DLT) allows users to directly connect and get in touch with their favorite musicians and purchase and stream their music without the interference of a third-party.
Talking about DLT, we can also say that distributed ledger technology can change the music streaming industry by giving the ability to bypass a majority of the profit-taking. Here is an example of Tune.fm, which is a music streaming platform that makes use of cryptocurrency (the JAM token) that is powered by Hedera Hashgraph, the distributed ledger technology network.
However, JAM helps musicians automatically receive their micropayments for every second of music that is streamed. Cryptocurrency for music streaming aids artists in receiving their payments faster when compared to legacy systems that may take even months or even years. This system is highly beneficial for listeners also. With no add-ons or contracts and no subscription fees, listeners can access the music they love at a much lower price.
We hear music every day, we dance to it and sing along with it. So, the music must scale blockchain technologies if the industry wants to create a more transparent field for the creators and their creativity.