Blockchain might bring important innovations to a lot of industries. However, the music industry and even individual artists may win as well if they turn to blockchain.
Decentralized music distribution platform OPUS recently released a report “Royalties in the digital music report 2020”. The document reveals the way how decentralized platforms may contribute to increasing earnings for people in the music business.
According to the report, current royalty payments that artists get from global music streaming platforms, may be higher. OPUS claims that blockchain technology may help music industry insiders to ask for higher payouts.
Royalty payments might be higher
Royalties are the fixed streams of cash paid to an artist on the basis of their contractual arrangements with a given music streaming platform. They are calculated per stream of each song and the exact amount depends on the unique algorithm of each platform like Spotify or Apple Music.
The final value of royalty per stream received by an artist varies depending on the type of service subscribed by listeners, the time of listening, the type of distribution. However, usually, the platforms have high fees leaving the small share for the artist.
Reportedly, the trend of growth rates in royalties follows the rate of economic growth in developed countries. OPUS predicts that global coronavirus pandemic will change the current market outlook in the digital music industry as a major economic downturn may cause royalty payments to plummet.
Blockchain will play a key role in reshaping it in a long-term perspective, notes the report:
With the conventional royalty payments being more sensitive to shocks than the overall economy, artists will face their incomes plummeting in the upcoming year. Whereas this short-term economic costs are unavoidable, we identify that the blockchain is a tool whose long-term implementation will increase the royalty streams paid out to artists.
The report sees blockchain as a possible solution to avoid fluctuations of royalties’ growth rate as they may be paid by decentralized digital tokens. According to the report, the tokenization of royalties, however, requires a more wide-spread adoption of decentralized services among the general population.
Blockchain’s potential benefits for music industry
Blockchain technology might help musicians to eliminate middle parties and allow them to distribute their music independently, without losing money and at the same time protecting their creative work.
Furthermore, blockchain can help protect copyrights, says OPUS. Since songs published on the blockchain are immediately recorded in the chain, users are able to see the history of the song and its original source. Since no one can change the data of the blockchain, the music artwork can be easily recognised as belonging to the legitimate owner.
Besides that, the shift to tokenized royalties paid by decentralized music platforms might help artists to diversificate the sources of incoming funds. According to the digital music platform, the fact might be important if you take into account the difficult situation in the music industry, caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the market of digital music streaming platforms is currently dominated by large players, there is a significant room for new platforms to change the way and amount of royalties distributed to individual musicians, podcast producers, and all other artists. And, as says the OPUS, blockchain is already here to change the status quo.