Can crypto and distributed ledger technology help improve the music industry?
With the ability to bypass much of the profit-taking, musicians and listeners alike are beginning to turn their attention to the ways DLT can change the industry. For example, Tune.fm is a music streaming platform that uses a cryptocurrency (the JAM token) powered by the DLT network Hedera Hashgraph. JAM enables musicians to automatically receive micropayments for every second of music streamed.
With cryptocurrency, artists can receive their payments much faster — within minutes compared to months or even years with legacy systems.
And, remarkably, this system is far better for listeners as well. With no subscriptions fees and no add-ons or contracts, listeners have far better access to the music they love at a lower price. Cryptocurrency may come to be the great market-mover for future listening choices. With lower prices, better access and happier musicians, the future may be here.
Music on blockchain
So, what exactly does music on the blockchain mean? What would the industry look like? It will be a decentralized community of artists, fans and developers sharing and defending the world’s music in accordance with the following principles:
- Decentralization: Members of the network will operate it, maintaining control of their data. With no central authority, it will be censorship-resistant, secure and community-driven.
- Open-source: Anyone can contribute ideas, build new clients or features, or host nodes on the network.
- Aligned incentives: Everyone who contributes value is fairly compensated.
Musicians will be able to generate immutable and time-stamped records of their creative works, making content ownership publicly verifiable and unchangeable. With a network that is decentralized, content-addressed and secured by a blockchain, content cannot be tampered with. If a creator elects, their content will remain live forever.
Content moderation will be community-driven, with disputes being resolved by a jury of peers on the network. For example, this arbitration system could resolve claims of piracy or determine revenue shares for derivative content. No government intervention or centralized entity will be able to call the shots on what can and can’t be taken down in the way they do today to silent dissenting voices.
It’s time we protect vulnerable creators with censorship-resistant technology. Let’s enable artists to distribute what they like, when they like, to whom they like — making it impossible for a government to decide which content can and cannot be listened to by its citizens.