Let’s face it: these days, there is a blockchain band-aid to pretty much anything. Did anyone actively expect that the music industry, which is worth an estimated $45 billion globally, was going to be immune to the broadcast ledger disruption?

No, I didn’t think so. There are several startups currently alive on avant-garde ways to apply blockchain technology to music, as Allen Bargfred discusses in his article. While I agree with his view and share his optimism, I accept my action about these new possibilities comes from a altered place: the abeyant for blockchain to make the music industry fairer to creators and artists.

Take alive services, for instance. They are acceptable more popular. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) estimates a growth of 82% in 2015. Plus, Spotify letters having paid more than $3 billion in royalties since 2008.

From a legal standpoint, these casework might be better than having people simply downloading pirated content. Yet, the platforms still have many cogent shortcomings, like all-embracing lack of transparency, slow payments of royalties and high authoritative fees abbreviation the amount that is finer paid to artists and rights holders.

Blockchain technology could help artists to accept fairer compensations in at least two ways. Firstly, by having a database in which abundant absorb advice is stored. Secondly, by creating the achievability of micro-payments that go anon to the pockets of the ones who should be accepting them, instead of casual through a long list of intermediaries.

Storing advice about copyright

Every music piece contains at least two altered types of copyright, one accompanying to the agreement itself and other accompanying to the recording. In the accepted state of the music industry, each of these rights is about held by a altered owner and generates a altered acquirement stream.

In a very simplified manner, once a agreement is created and accounting down on a fixed medium, it already holds a copyright, behindhand of any registry.

Songwriters and composers usually assign this right to a agreeable publisher, which retains the absorb and issues licenses to several types of organizations, including record companies (which hold their own absorb once the recording is made and also hold a automated authorization for making copies of the work), sheet music printers, movie studios (which hold synchronization licenses to use the song in soundtracks), adopted sub-publishers and others.

If this sounds complicated to you, is because it is. To manage this anarchic amount of altered rights, a circuitous anatomy was developed. The music industry was turned into a complicated array of publishing and recording agreements and other licenses.

This means that finding who is the owner of a bent right in order to obtain a authorization can be difficult or even impossible. 

A large number of intermediaries on the industry also means that a very cogent admeasurement of royalties are not accustomed by artists, either because it is hard to actuate how much one is declared to accept or because of costly authoritative fees. It is estimated that only less than 20% of Spotify’s payments make it through to the artists, while record companies accept 55% of them.

In this accurate case, blockchain technology could be used to help disentangle the bearings and create a more able system by befitting a absolute database of music absorb buying absolute abreast advice that can be accessed by anyone absorbed in it.

Smart affairs and micro-payments

To make affairs worse in the accepted industry, even if an artist is found to have a assertive right and is declared to accept royalties, it can take years for the money to reach his or her bank account.

To solve this problem, blockchain smart affairs could be used to automate payments when the defined triggering altitude are met.

They could set the terms under which the music can be downloaded and used, as well as the allotment of royalties to be destined to each absorb holder. The acquittal of royalties in these ahead agreed accommodation could then be made as soon as the track is downloaded or streamed, even if they are mere fractions of cents. 

The botheration of able advantage for artists and rights holders could thus be solved with burning micro-payments, which are now achievable with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether.

These are just two of the many possibilities created by the acceptance of blockchain technology by the music industry, but there are many others. I candidly can’t say that I know what is going to happen, but I absolutely hope it will lead to the development of a more counterbalanced and fair music ecosystem, one focused on artists and consumers and not on opaque record labels.

 

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