Listening to music is easier than it has ever been. Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud are all ready to fill your ears with more music than you could ever listen to. As a user, you pay a fixed monthly fee for this easy access and the streaming service then passes that money on to the artist right? Well, not quite.
In theory, the artist receives a certain amount of money per play. Rights holders like music labels, producers, musicians, vocalists, etc., are all claiming their share of the revenue generated. Figuring out who to pay and how much to pay them, therefore, becomes a complicated task. Metadata, which accompanies tracks, contains info such as who the right holders are. However, this data is often incomplete and takes just a couple of seconds to be stripped away. Incorrect or missing metadata means that an artist may not get paid for their work. This is a huge problem for smaller artists, as every bit of revenue can make the difference between being able to pursue a career in music or having to find another source of income.
Revenue Sharing Solved With Blockchain
Blockchain has the potential to solve this problem. More specifically, the smart contract component of blockchain can include which percentage of the revenue goes to which member of the band, the label, the manager, etc. It can even give a quick way of contacting all the involved rights holders for licensing queries.
By logging all the rights holders to a specific song on the blockchain, you basically create one big transparent database which can be viewed by anyone at any time. Artists receive their share immediately instead of months or even years later as is now the case.
Musicoin, a streaming platform with its own accompanying cryptocurrency, is aiming to do exactly that. Artists who choose to publish their music on the Musicoin platform receive compensation on a pay per play basis. More surprisingly, the users listening to music on Musicoin can do so for free. You won’t find any ads on the platform. Instead, Musicoin encourages listeners to tip their favorite artists or purchase show tickets and merchandise all with the $MUSIC currency.
Underlying the Musicoin system is share-ism. It’s the belief that the content creator should be rewarded the most for creating and sharing his work. That compensation should increase in proportion to their activity on the platform.