Four Fab Features of DLTs in the Music Industry
Our old foe Covid and the catastrophic effects of the pandemic restrictions have had a massive impact on all sectors, and the music industry hasn’t escaped its clutches. Cancelled tours, store closures and venues shutting up shop have all taken their toll.
Distributed Ledger Technologies have the potential to be the answer to multiple problems we face in the world, but how about DLTs in the music industry? Could it be that we can face this current onslaught as well as anything else that comes our way by utilizing blockchain and all it has to offer?
Let’s have a little look at how DLTs and music can work hand in hand, not to merely survive, but meet the future head on and thrive!
You may well have heard of non-fungible tokens (NFTs)–units of data stored on blockchain that represent a digital asset–which have become all the rage this past year or so. Some well known artists and labels have seen the potential; the band Kings of Leon being one who announced the release of an NFT album earlier last year and there are surely more to come.
And that Mars Man and self-titled ‘Technoking’ at Tesla, Elon Musk, couldn't help getting in on the act. Although be careful of not getting too caught up in what this kind of character is up to, as he can get a little excited on Twitter and sway the industry at the drop of a hat!
Miss Out the Middleman
This is one of the top features of blockchain and peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies. No middleman. Gatekeepers who are essentially parasites, siphoning off their cut. Not only that, but this always slows progress.
There may well have been a time that this was necessary and even desirable, but not now. If we can get things done between us with the code being the ‘boss’ then it’s better all round (apart from those doing very well from maintaining the status quo).
The direct-to-fan (D2F) approach is a new business model used by independent music makers which bypasses the big record labels and their distribution methods, leaving it to create interest with their fans, interact with them, and monetize the relationships.
Reap Rewards With Revenue & Incentives
The other magical feature of DLTs and cryptocurrency: the ability to incentivize and reward both artists and listeners. No longer is it all in the hands of the ‘big dogs’ and scraps handed out to the rest. Now there can be a true community with all taking a slice of the pie, depending on their contribution.
This also ties back into NFTs above. Those along with a new kind of crowdfunding where music creators can earn from selling tokens. As for the fans, they can have a more interactive experience and can be rewarded through exclusive content and better pricing. There are no limits to the possibilities with a little creativity and there really exists the potential for true abundance.
Tokenization & Transparency
Tokenization ties in with the reward aspect and is a bedrock of distributed ledger technologies as a whole. Smart contracts manage rights and enable all to run smoothly.
Transparency ensures all parties are aware at each stage and distribution is fair. So, everyone can see how much revenue a song brings, the timing and size of the returns and who gets what percentage.
A project like Dsound (a Soundcloud style decentralized audio app built on blockchain) is a great example of how some of these concepts can tie together in practice. It seems they are in a redevelopment phase but one to keep an eye on.
The music industry was hit hard with the digitization of everything (in particular the Napster file sharing revolution and now Spotify et al) and there were many that either lost out or went under completely. Only those that embraced new technology and worked with the times are the ones that succeeded. And there’s no exception now - adapt or die.
This whole technology–and dare I say movement–is mainly about giving the power back to people, cutting out middlemen, rent seekers and gatekeepers and interacting peer-to-peer. The individual (or entity) is back in control.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than with DLTs and music. Finally it's back to creators and their listeners to make the most of blockchain and associated tech to get full enjoyment as well as a sweet financial return where possible, and all without sacrificing integrity. Win-win!
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