Over the last year, we’ve written some blogs looking at how blockchain could work in the music streaming industry. With so many controversies still at play in royalty payments, some artists think it’s a dead-end to any solutions. Yet, we’ve noted how much blockchain could change the entire music streaming game.
It’s about to start with one music streaming service getting the most beef: Spotify.
They just acquired a new tech startup called Mediachain that’s working on creating blockchain technology. At the heart of this is designing a peer-to-peer network to track digital works online.
The full intention is to apply blockchain technology to allow artists to acquire royalties they deserve. At the same time, it’s going to create a better relationship among artists and their fans.
How Blockchain Technology Could Help Spotify
As popular as Spotify continues being, they’ve run into their share of legal issues related to royalty attribution. TechCrunch recently noted Spotify’s licensing dispute with the National Music Publishers Association that settled last year.
However, this led to a bigger problem in Spotify and similar streaming services: not acquiring mechanical licenses. Despite paying a significant fee to settle the above case, Spotify simply stated they had no way to measure royalty payouts. Without a proper database to tap into to find this information, they could only guesstimate what they had to pay.
Perhaps musical artists find this a poor excuse. It’s a legitimate one, though, and an example in how blockchain can literally save the music industry.
With so many musical artists still not receiving royalties from music streaming options, what can blockchain do to finally change things?
Registering Creative Works Online
Lesser-known musical artists are the ones with the most to lose in not receiving streaming royalties. Blockchain technology uses a digital public ledger to time-stamp when something enters a database.
In the music-streaming world, it means instant registration of a musical work once placed on Spotify. Transparency like this prevents any protracted legal arguments about when a musical work entered the digital landscape.
Most importantly, blockchain lets musical artists claim ownership on their streamed work. It’s going to reduce litigation time deciding who actually owns musical rights.
Tracking Distribution of Musical Works
At the top of the list in using blockchain is being able to track where music gets distributed. Keeping up with where music ends up online is almost impossible without having a reliable and transparent database.
Now you know why blockchain became a major standard for digital bitcoin transfers over the years. This helped prevent third-party middleman issues in distributing cryptocurrencies from one place to the other.
Spotify using a peer-to-peer blockchain network does much the same thing to assure those in the middle don’t take a big fee during royalty transfers. Now artists can enjoy direct benefits of getting faster royalty payments while confirming their music ownership.
In Spotify’s case, this is going to help them become a blockchain leader, something we could see snowball.
What Lies Ahead in Blockchain Technology for Music Distribution?
Recent reports have Spotify with over 50 million subscribers, which now exceeds Apple Music. Their strategic effort to use blockchain to help the royalty issue could place them in the forefront as a music streaming giant.
Their plans to go public soon may force other music streaming services to start using blockchain. It seems it always takes one innovator before everyone else follows suit.
At stake is to create a better relationship among artists and their fans. As such, it provides a symbiotic relationship where artists don’t recoil when hearing their fans listen to music strictly through streaming outlets.
Keep reading us at Blockchain Revolution as we explore blockchain’s usage in other places beyond music.