The Promise and Threat of Blockchain to the Music Industry

Blockchain is a threat to IP, and yeah, I’m totally for that.  The threat to IP is already being felt in the music industry, but one artist, Imogen Heap, is using blockchain to her advantage in innovative ways.

The blockchain will disrupt the music business and beyond

….blockchain’s potential to disrupt content rights distribution is coming to fruition in the music business. Streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer require an additional layer of intermediaries to ensure that the artists’ rights management process is conducted properly. As a result, content creators need different contracts in each jurisdiction – often via multiple intermediaries – to protect their copyright and to enable distribution of their content.

But putting content on a blockchain, and having the connectivity for peer-to-peer transactions – via a digital currency such as Bitcoin, or a smart contract such as Ethereum – allows complete transparency and automation of execution, as well as direct payments to copyright holders. With these elements all in place, new players such as Musicoin and Revelator propose using the blockchain to simplify digital-rights management by bypassing the usual intermediaries, thus enabling micro-payments from fans who buy the music to the recording artists directly.

One of the early innovators in this area is Grammy-winning British singer and songwriter Imogen Heap, who in 2015 used the Ethereum blockchain-based Ujo platform to launch the song “Tiny Human” for $0.60 (45p) per download. Now she is working on her own blockchain-based offering, Mycelia, a fair-trade music business that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians.

Read More at Wired
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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at