The advent of the digital age brought along technological advancement in the music industry but presently, the streaming platforms and other agencies stand as intermediaries between artists and consumers. They charge a high fee and at the end, divide the spoils, leaving just a small share to the artists who toiled in producing the songs. This really affects upcoming and mid-range artists who have no record label backing.
By leveraging blockchain technology, the music industry can get better and help to foster independent artists, and also, this can help to improve the relationship between the artists and their fans and also random music listeners. This can also ensure the right distribution of earnings within the music industry
Brief History of Blockchain
Blockchain, which was initially created to be a decentralized ledger of Bitcoin had a principle of making the world decentralize from centralized financial institutions through digital currencies. Blockchain keeps sensitive data out of the hands of the third party, leaving them in the hands of the users, therefore disallowing anyone to hack into it (ensuring digital trust).
Blockchain has developed from being only the digital ledger of cryptocurrencies into one of the biggest ground-breaking technologies with the potential to impact virtually all industries known to man. As the technology evolves, Gartner Trend Insights expects an innovative business built on a blockchain to be worth about $10 billion by 2022. Another forecast by him states that the business value-added because of the digital ledger technology would grow to over $176 billion by 2025 and exceed the $3.1 trillion by 2030.
The Present State of The Music Industry
There has been a great shift in music-making from analog to digital processes and also new technological advancements have been made to help the creation and distribution of music to the final consumer.
One of these is the creation of streaming platforms which have improved the availability of music to the listeners but now stand as intermediaries between artists and fans. They collect such a high fee that they leave a small share to the artist depending on how their songs are streamed. There's a great competition on the streaming platforms because a thousand songs are being released every day, and due to this, star artists' songs get more streamed, rewarding them more and leaving upcoming and mid-range artists at the mercy of the number of people who stream their songs.
The Future of Blockchain in the Music Industry
After many years of rough relationship between the technology sector and the music industry, the music industry might finally find a way to move in a positive direction by leveraging on the blockchain.
Blockchain, a disintermediation technology eliminates the use of intermediaries and therefore would help shift control and revenue back into artists’ hands because it would also help artists and producers sell their music without intermediaries as they would get directly paid every time their songs are played, they would no longer go through purchasing platforms and financial brokers—who usually charge high fees. This would also be a blessing to new producers who don’t have the support of big record labels.
It would create a more direct relationship between artists and their fans. This would be of help to Music listeners because the cost of getting songs would be reduced due to the elimination of middlemen. Fans of artists and music listeners too would be able to enjoy monetary incentives through the decentralized platforms.
It can also protect the copyrights of artists' songs. Songs would be published on the blockchain with a unique identity in a way that cannot be altered. No one can change the data on the blockchain, therefore, the song will be known to belong to the right owner thus solving the problem of piracy.
Another way blockchain would improve the music industry is by accepting payment for music with cryptocurrency.