Say You Want a Revolution! – How Blockchain Will Empower Musicians!
Remember Napster, peer-to-peer music which was shutdown. Imagine if it couldn’t physically be should down as it doesn’t exist, at least not in the physical world. Purely on a digital network, decentralized and owned by the musicians and fans. Imagine as a musician you owned 100% of all your music (not a record label) and had full knowledge of who and when your music was listened too (not Spotify). Imagine their was a massive decentralized market place for music where the musician received a fee every time their song was played and nobody took a cut.
Welcome to the blockchain.
Welcome to the future of artistic copyright and a new completely decentralized, democratic music industry. But how?
Ethereum is like bitcoin, only its value is in the smart contracts. The blockchain is ridiculously secure. If you could crack it you could crack into every bank in the world (same cryptic codes) only, with so many nodes (computers) cross checking everything, it’s even harder than that to break.
With such security and as it openly acts as a ledger, its use is transparent and content cannot be replicated. The smart contracts are parcels of information which can only be used by the targeted and specific recipients. The notion of patents and intellectual property can then be safeguarded in the blockchain.
Not only this, but with DAPP’s (decentralized applications), the market places for transferring this data aren’t owned by anyone accept the holders of the tokens used to initially make it (ICO). i.e: the shares in the program will be the users of the market place.
Imagine HMV, but nobody controls or owns it. All movement of music is done by computers, nobody has to be paid, no overheads are required. The purchase price will go straight to the creator.
But what about Napster, won’t the music industry come down on this like a tonne of bricks?
When a DAPP is created on the blockchain it doesn’t sit on a main server. It’s essentially on an unbreakable cloud which means it cannot be cracked. An example of this is when the silk road was created, the government shut it down and arrested the owner as it was held on a physical server. Open bazaar, a blockchain market place is basically the same tech but completely decentralized, rendering it beyond the powers of governments. The same way they cannot shut down bitcoin.
So how will this manifest. Using Openbazaar as a blue print it’ll obviously be run on an app, with a set of parameters in the code which only allow the music to be used in specific conditions set by the creator e.g: if used for an advert, a payment is automatically taken or the music taken away if the payment can’t be made. The processes of the transactions will be automatic and your music will be safeguarded by a technology with limits defined by the artist.
Not only this but in the Ethereum smart contract there will be room, as with old CD’s to add information about the artist and be as creative as you please to package your music as you wish. Something the record labels have always had control of, done away by Mp3 and an opportunity for complete artistic license.
One of the things the record companies are good at is marketing. Marketing means understanding your audience which is difficult to do when everyone is a code. This will mean artists needing to market their own wares as independent labels unto themselves, albeit massively cheaper on a system that doesn’t require a middle man to be paid.
Will the efficiency counter the marketing cost. I bet, don’t forget the whole web will become more efficient as the blockchain whirls its way into all online systems. Eventually marketing your own goods will be much cheaper and more efficient as the marketing middlemen of say Facebook ads and Google Adwords are rendered obsolete.
If I was a musician now I would be seriously looking into creating and funding opportunities via ICO’s or local projects to develop systems which harbor local talent and put it on the blockchain. Or just wait and hop on later on, for it is coming, the longer it takes the less chances to reap the rewards of full artistic control.