Technology has changed the way people make, distribute, listen to and buy music, as well as the interaction between the artist and his fanbase. The blockchain can be part of this process bringing great benefits to artists: fair remuneration, protection of copyright and transparent division of royalties, especially for songs created with the contribution of different musicians. All this, often, by eliminating intermediation, which is one of the major items of expenditure for artists, who on average receive only 12% of the revenues from their works. The blockchain would replace all or part of the filters between artist and fan, eliminating or minimizing the need to pay someone to manage all these steps. Platforms like Inmusik and Chon allow the direct crowdsourcing of songs and albums, with their own token, and a system that rewards both the most listened to musicians and the most active fans. And there are also smart speakers, like Volareo, who integrate the blockchain to track ratings and instantly compensate artists. On the copyright side, companies like Digimarc, which specializes in intellectual property, provide a digital watermark to songs to track usage and estimate payments. Even in the case of shared royalties, we are starting to experiment with the use of smart contracts that automatically perform the division of revenues, keeping track of sales via blockchain. Are record companies in danger of being left out? No, if they fit. As did the young Legacy Records, specializing in rap with emerging names such as Suave Fello, KandymanBK and Jaymison Beverly. It is the first label to pay its artists in cryptocurrency, and more precisely in Bitcoin. But that’s not all: Legacy also announced the launch of NTF linked to auctions for or special content from its musicians. “What we are working on” they explain “is a way to generate new revenue streams for our artists, something that guarantees them a real economic return.” The controversy with the large and omnipresent music distributor, Spotify, is not too veiled. a million plays generates about 7 thousand dollars for the artist, which, after the intermediation and the fees, are reduced on average to just over 2 thousand. New streaming platforms are thus being developed that offer themselves as an alternative to Spotify, SoundCloud and other established ones. Audius and Bitsong, for example, use blockchain and smart contracts to track ratings and ensure immediate and fair payments.
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