A Decentralised Art Industry
From Big Stars To Underground Artists – How Blockchain Can Benefit the Music, Art, Literature, & Creative Industries.
It’s no secret that for musicians, artists and creative people, it’s not easy to earn a good income... Even for top music artists that we see on TV, by the time their record label takes their cut, expenses are paid and the government takes their tax, artists are left with a surprisingly small % of their earnings.
Streaming and file sharing sites over the internet have made the situation twice as challenging since their music is now available for a fraction of the price. This has led several artists choosing to keep their work off some of the popular music sites like Spotify and Apple Music.
Authors are in a similar position. Whether they write their books through a traditional publisher or they self-publish, they will usually have to pay a substantial percentage of every book sale to 3rdparties along the way. I talk from experience here...
Even if creative people were to sell their work directly from their own website, there are still a few 3rdparties needed, each taking a fee for every sale. Wouldn’t it be great if authors, artists and musicians could just sell their work DIRECTLY and securely to fans?
This is exactly what Blockchain enables, making it possible for more underground artists to make a living from their work.
What is Blockchain anyway?
· Blockchain was originally developed as the technology behind Bitcoin cryptocurrency, but is now being trialled and used in many different industries.
· Although it can be presented in an intimidating way, Blockchain is a really just a highly secure, distributed ledger that can record transactions and store data like digital products such as media, eBooks and documentation.
· It’s called a distributed ledger because thousands of computers will carry the same information, updated in real-time and continuously.
· A Blockchain can either be public or private and anything entered onto it is permanent and unchangeable, highly secured by cryptography and consensus.
To you and I, Blockchain would just look like another website or app. Creators of music, digital art, photography, books and other works, would host their content on a Blockchain based app or website and buyers would purchase it with cryptocurrency, or fiat currency (normal money).
The transaction would be peer-to-peer without the need for any 3rdparty because the nature of Blockchain provides trust and transparency, possibly more so than there would be with traditional 3rdparties.
What’s cool is that not only the content itself could be stored on the Blockchain, but every detail of it too. For music tracks, the owner could store information like the tempo, key, and stem of the track alongside ownership rights. The track could be encoded so that a new record would be made every time the song is played, to prevent ‘ripping’ of content.
This would also apply to artwork and photography. It could live securely on the Blockchain with every detail recorded and be encoded to stop image theft and unauthorized distribution. A decentralized art industry...now that would be interesting.
With the use of smart contacts, Blockchain could also help solve the current issues with complicated royalty payments on all digital music and products. The current infrastructure makes it hard to ensure all stakeholders receive a fair share of royalties. Smart contracts are self-executing computer instructions (code) that would automatically pay royalty payments to those involved such as the record company, artists, writers and producers.
A new transparent ecosystem
For the first time ever it would be possible to have complete transparency for all parties involved in creative projects. In the movie industry for example, everyone involved would be able to see how much the film was generating and the smart contracts would automatically pay them!
The old-age structures are not enough to keep up with the digital demands of today. The time for change is now. As Nick Mason of Pink Floydsaid, “If Blockchain technology is going to be the future, we need to dig in and make it happen.”
If you are in the music, film, art or creative industries I invite you to learn more about how Blockchain will affect you over the next decade and explore some of the websites and apps already created.
Some of the most notable Blockchain platforms for music artists are; Imusify, Potentiam, EMusic, and Voise.
For other creative works there are Blockchain platforms such as CreativeChain, Muzeum, Po.et, and Qravity.
One thing is for sure, Blockchain will make it easier for everyone’s natural creative energy to be brought into the world in a more ethical, transparent and secure way. That’s why I am passionate about Blockchain and inspiring you to use it and get involved!