The rise of Napster and peer-to-peer sharing services has caused rampant piracy in the media industry which is nearly impossible to control. At the same time, free streaming services now control and limit the money artists receive for delivering their content, who are often being severely underpaid in this model. There have even been lawsuits against streaming music services, such as the $1.6 billion suit against Spotify, for not compensating artists fairly.
Big technology companies such as Spotify and Apple hold overwhelming power in the entire media and entertainment market. These streaming and downloadable services offer users an extensive array of content at all times and garner the most advertising revenue in the industry. However, due to the size and power of these companies, and the free streaming services offered by some companies, artists get paid next to nothing for allowing their art to be shared via these outlets.
The Decentralized Solutions
A decentralized marketplace for media and entertainment cuts out the middlemen currently running the industry and allows artists to be paid fairly for their work. The utilization of smart contracts can ensure artists are paid what they are promised and in a timely fashion. Users can make micropayments (pennies, or even fractions of a penny) to listen to and support their favorite artists, with most of the profits going directly to the artists themselves.
A host of cryptocurrency projects have been proposed to disrupt the one-sided music streaming industry. Even musical artist Pitbull announced a competition to solve this problem.
BitSong, built on the Ethereum blockchain with IPFS distributed file sharing, allows artists to publish music on the platform where advertisers can choose to attach advertisements. For each ad listened to, artists receive up to 90% of the profits.
MUSE uses its blockchain to time-stamp every individual song play, guaranteeing artists correct payment for their music every 24 hours. Artists directly control their music’s metadata and never have to rely on a third party for data management.
PeerTracks allows artists to engage with fans directly and for fans to purchase music cheaper than they would from other services, all while knowing their payment is contributing to the artist directly. In this way, PeerTracks brings promoters, artists, and fans together for the same goal, promote high-quality music.
Dan is a freelance cryptocurrency and blockchain content writer. He has written content for startups, ICOs, financial planners, venture capital firms, and more. Previously he founded an e-commerce company that grew to $1 million in revenue and profitability in less than 3 years. Dan has a degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University.