Then you’re not alone. Whether you consume music on digital services and pay high premiums (Spotify, Apple Music), or, on the other hand, are a musician facing the music industry sharks, the whole industry is aggressively after your money and will give no truce.
As an amateur guitar player myself, I have always known the music industry to be a tough world, very difficult to succeed in, where everyone wants to go and where most lose their dream and their money, which explains why I never felt inclined to pursue that path. It just seemed so hard. Making a living out of this profession is a hard choice, that I would never make given the current conditions of the industry.
Since the 1999 launch of Napster’s music-sharing platform, the music industry has been facing piracy, dipping revenues, lack of transparency and disagreements over the fair distribution of dividends.
Music companies lose money to streaming services who lose money to file-sharing services, while artists and content creators lose money to everyone else who makes big bucks, while they are fed the crumbs. Indeed, musicians, while talented, are not educated enough on their rights, rates and royalties, to do business with companies without them taking advantage of their ignorance.
We are persuaded that Blockchain is the solution that can reconcile the music industry with the tech sector and revolutionize the way we consume and distribute music while satisfying all parties.
One of the main issues is we never really know who owns the content or not, and the rights associated with it. Blockchain restricts content access and distribution by storing the music files on the Blockchain permanently, locking them for protected access, and giving the keys to the people who have the right to access the content.
I thought I could access music content anywhere anytime with cloud based services like Spotify, but it turns out I cannot because of copyright and geographical restrictions and censorship! As blockchain is a decentralized and distributed ledger, there can be no entity that can unilaterally block valid access to content. No more middleman, and content is distributed globally, directly from publishers to me!
Platforms like Spotify take an 80% cut of what we pay for the music. Producers, publishers and so on also take their cuts. This hurts artists who get the remaining bucks months to years later. Blockchain can enable artists to connect directly with fans and earn from revenues without cuts. A more direct relationship is established. Monetization is disrupted to allow for proper compensation: consumers can pay for music content nearly instantaneously using smart contracts along with cryptocurrencies to reward the right stakeholders.
This could convince amateur musicians such as myself, without music labels for backup, to actually take the leap.
Blockchain can redistribute the pie appropriately and force the music industry parties into fairness and responsibility. Power can be returned to the artists and content creators, for a more sustainable music ecosystem.
Even if you were screwed over by the music industry, just know that a saviour is coming.
MiM Candidate at IE Business School & Bachelor of Commerce Graduate from McGill University