This is a guest article written by Mo Jalloh from Sydney based music platform Zimrii
The Emergence of BlockChain Technology
The emergence of BlockChain Technology has been described as one of the greatest technological advancements since the dawn of the internet, but for a good many people the concept is still quite alien.
This is especially true when this opportunity is related to the music industry.
To begin, we can come up with a definition of what BlockChain is:
“The BlockChain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
A good analogy is this:
- Picture a spreadsheet which is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers.
- Rather than each person having a different version of the spreadsheet, causing confusion, each person has the same version and when a change is made, the change is replicated to each spreadsheet. Everyone will have the same version of the truth.
When we examine data which allows for the efficient evidence and payment of royalties, it’s clear that the music industry over the years has suffered from a fragmented data landscape. This prevents the accurate collection of data related to music plays.
The BlockChain has the potential to develop a system which provides solutions to ensure that there is correct attribution of right to copyright holders. If implemented on a large scale, it can significantly contribute to the progression of the music industry where technology is used for the exchange of fair value between parties.
What BlockChain will mean for musicians
The use of BlockChain will lead to a new era of transparency and efficiency in a number of key areas which will enable musicians in the industry to feel more empowered. It will provide them with a stronger voice in the determination of how they are rewarded and how successful they can make their music careers. As this is a developing technology, we believe we are scratching the surface of how musicians will benefit in the long run.
In what ways can it work?
There are a number of immediate areas where the benefits of BlockChain will be felt quite prominently. Below are listed some of the pain spots musicians currently experience and how BlockChain can help alleviate these stressors:
Speed of transmission of royalty payments
In countries around the world, copyright bodies are responsible for the collection of royalties on behalf of artists. While the PRO’s bodies serve a purpose, they are able to dictate the terms on which musicians will receive royalties in relation to timing, frequency, and amounts.
BlockChain Technology provides a more direct system for artists to receive their copyright royalties without the intervention of a third party. This means artists are in control in determining when those royalties are received and crucially, providing a mechanism for the distribution of royalties as determined by the artist.
Visibility and ownership of copyrights assertions
Due to the fragmented information on who owns which copyrights across the music industry, there are often cases where the rightful copyright owners are not getting the correct amount of payment or in many cases no payment at all.
We believe that in the digital age, this issue no longer needs to deny musicians their proper rewards. By using BlockChain technology to provide a central repository of copyright information, not just for music but across various forms of digital assets, these can be recorded as immutable and transparent across the industry.
This leads to the correct allocation of copyright for artists so there are no disputes as to ownership and by association, the rights to receipt the correct royalty payments which are due.
Other interesting applications of BlockChain which will benefit musicians include providing a mechanism to generate increasing fan loyalty via the application of tokens. This mechanism will be designed to incentivise fans to promote an artist or band which in turn, generates financial gains for those fans as the musicians’ exposure grows.
The music industry has many challenges and BlockChain won’t be the panacea to solve all those issues but in the areas where it will make a difference, we at Zimrii Music believe it will have a profound impact.