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Emergence Of Blockchain Technology For Music

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In this piece, Mo Jalloh of Zimmi breaks down what blockchain tech can be defined as, and how the emergence of blockchain tech will affect artists and music industry in the near future.

Guest post by Mo Jalloh of Zimrii

The emergence of BlockChain Technology has been described as the greatest technology invention 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 it 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 that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers.

Rather than having each person have 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 same version of the truth

When we examine data in the music industry and the correct data that allows for the efficient evidence and payment of royalties, it’s clear the music industry over the years has suffered from a fragmented data landscape, which prevents the accurate collection of data related to music plays.

BlockChain technology has the potential to develop a system which alleviates these issues so that there is correct attribution of right to copyright holders

What BlockChain Will Mean For Musicians
The emergence and development of BlockChain technology heralds a new era in the progression of the music industry where technology is being used for the exchange of fair value between two parties.

It 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 and have a stronger voice in the determination of how they are rewarded and how successful they can make their music careers

In What Ways Can it Work?
There are a number of immediate areas where the benefits of BlockChain will be felt quite sharply. As this is an emerging technology, we believe we are scratching the surface of how musicians will benefit in the long run

These areas are some of the pain spots that musicians currently experience, namely:
  • Speed of transmission of royalty payments
  • Visibility and ownership of copyrights assertions
  • Raising funds for production, touring and marketing
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 is often the case where the rightful owners of copyright are not getting the correct amount of payment or in many cases no payment at all.

We believe that in this digital age, that this issue no longer needs to mean that musicians are not getting 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 assertion of copyright for artists so there are no disputes as to the ownership, and by association the rights to receipt the correct royalty payments that are due.

Raising funds for production, touring and marketing
The use of cryptocurrencies or artists tokens is a growing and innovative mechanism for artists to tap into their fan base and reward them in a novel way or attract new fans to support the artist/band

DJ Grammatik began the first artist to explore the use of cryptocurrencies and in the process raised a six figure sum to enable him to continue to produce music for his fans and others

With artists offering coins to music fans, the fans then have a vested interest in supporting the artist as this is directly tied to the value of the coins purchased by the fans. The more the artists does well, the more the fans benefit and vice versa.

It leads to a dramatic new and innovative way to create relationships with two interdependent parties.

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.

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