In this, the first in a series of posts from Music 4.5’s The 4.5 Blog, editor Gayle O’Brien rounds up key interviews of global blockchain experts and disruptors, as well as providing analysis on the sector’s latest news and developments. Read & learn!
“Adopt, adapt, innovate – or face extinction.” – Jesse Grushack of ConsenSys
ConsenSys – a venture production studio that builds decentralised applications for blockchain ecosystems – was recently showcased in a New York Times article about Ethereum, seen by some as the much-improved successor to Bitcoin due its ability to provide smart contracts. Grushack believes a blockchain solution for the music industry is inevitable: “Companies will have to take a look in the mirror and ask what they care about more; the artist or the money.”
“Underlying data should be in a distributed system.” Joe Conyers III of Downtown Publishing
Downtown Publishing’s Songtrust is well known as a transparent digital rights management solution for the publishing house’s rightsholders. Conyers applies his experience and expertise to argue the case for a distributed blockchain system for music. “With distributed systems, people have to do a good job. If they don’t do a good job, it goes on record. This forces bad actors to be better, because they’ll get caught.”
Guest excerpt: “Blockchain and the music industry” by Deborah Newman
In this excerpt from the upcoming IAEL book, “Monetization of the Global Music Business – From Creators to Major Industry”, Newman asks: “Why is the money being paid by digital music services to record labels and music publishers (and collection organizations on their behalf) not making it to the bank accounts of artists and songwriters?”
Marcus O’Dair: “The [blockchain]problem is one of business and economic models, not technology.”
Marcus O’Dair is a music industry stalwart and is currently a lecturer in popular music at Middlesex University, where he also convenes the Blockchain For Creative Industries research cluster. In this interview, he gives his view on different players in the blockchain space, the role academia might play in crafting a solution not mired in business and politics, and the problem of legacy data.
Is the road to blockchain paved with the Spotify lawsuit?
“Say Spotify does build a database – will the music industry at large trust that its reporting is accurate? Wouldn’t it be better if Spotify, other streaming services, labels and CMOs invested in an industry-wide database built on blockchain technology?” 4.5 Blog dissects Spotify’s settlement deal with the National Music Publishers’ Association in the US.
Don’t miss Midem 2016’s “How Blockchain can change the music industry” panel (June 5, 14.30-15.30), with artist Imogen Heap, Downton Publishing’s Joe Conyers III, Revelator’s Bruno Guez, Ethereum’s Vinay Gupta and moderator Allen Bargfrede, of Berklee College of Music. More about Midem conferences…
To keep up-to-date on blockchain and other issues related to music and technology, please visit the 4.5 Blog.
Top image © Sergey Tarasov, via Shutterstock