A Preliminary Review of Blockchain in the Music Industry

28 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2018

Date Written: November 6, 2018

Abstract

Musicians in the music industry are the primary content creators, and yet, have little to no control over their musical works after assigning their rights and management to third party intermediaries such as record labels, performance rights organizations, and publishers. Before the rise of file sharing platforms in the 1990s, this scenario was the norm for all musicians as record labels controlled nearly all facets of the music industry from musician funding to distribution and even royalty payment collection. Many thought file sharing platforms such as Napster and LimeWire, which we deem "the first wave of disruption," would wrestle control of the music industry from record labels to musicians, but that has not occurred as of this writing. The rise of blockchain-based interventions in the music industry, which we have termed the "second wave of disruption," may finally lead the music industry to transition to a musician-centered ecosystem, with few if any intermediaries, and bring musicians and fans/consumers closer than ever before. Despite the various promises of blockchain technology, the use of blockchain is primed, and dare we say, destined, to change the music industry. Though, with any such change, there will be issues that must be properly managed to ease the transition from legacy systems to blockchain-based systems (\Legacy-to-Blockchain"). There are many issues pioneers in this field will have to face stemming from the music industry itself and the inherent limitations of blockchain technology, but in doing so, we recommend that blockchain-based intervention projects and pioneers implement six strategies to counter these issues and bring the blockchain-based music industry into fruition.

Keywords: music, blockchain, distributed, ledgers, licensing, decentralize, musician, artist, le, shar- ing, governance, education, cryptocurrency, token, platform, smart-contract, metadata, royalties, ico

Suggested Citation

Cooperative, Ledgerback, A Preliminary Review of Blockchain in the Music Industry (November 6, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3280838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3280838

Ledgerback Cooperative (Contact Author)

Ledgerback Co-operative ( email )

United States

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