In the past decade the blockchain technology has been considered a unique solution with the potential to solve business challenges in different industries – from insurance and banking to...

In the past decade the blockchain technology has been considered a unique solution with the potential to solve business challenges in different industries – from insurance and banking to healthcare, education, telecommunications and many more.

Entrepreneurs have been working hard to adopt the blockchain in the music industry, intending to solve issues that so far have not been effectively approached. According to the BSAC Business Paper, “What is the Blockchain and what could it mean for the audiovisual industries?”, many sectors in the music industry, including the audiovisual sector, regard the blockchain technology as a potential solution for the issues related to the compound and ownership rights.

According to experts, the lack of transparency of ownership data (i.e.metadata) is one of the biggest problems the music industry has been facing for a long time. As Benji Rogers, the CEO and Co-Founder of the company PledgeMusic, states in his blog Cuepoint: “Metadata in this case is the basic info that is needed to identify who wrote, performed, and owns the music that you listen to every day”. The validity of this data has been considered crucial for the performers and others that have created, and worked on a particular song, so that they could get paid when someone plays or distributes their music.

Therefore, Rogers suggests an innovative solution based on the blockchain – a globally accessible decentralized database that is expected to unite and keep the metadata for all of the music already made and also the music to be made in the future. This public space would allow artists to represent themselves and would give companies the chance to use this music database, and actually find the information they need, based on the gathered data.

Rogers calls this a “Fair Trade Music Database”, in which any song would need to have the so called Minimum Viable Data (MVD), attached to each work. If the project succeeds, the positive outcome will be that every song’s MVD could be put into a global decentralized ledger owned by everyone involved in the music industry on one hand, and on the other, music industry representatives would be able to cope with ownership, payments and transparency problems much easier.

This sounds almost futuristic, especially for people, who haven’t heard about blockchain technology and its potential applications in different industries before. Usually people consider that most of the industries, except for the banking and insurance sectors, need much more time, research and development to put the blockchain technology to good use.

However, we have been reading about industry projects on a daily basis, which are already testing this innovative technology and there are great examples in the music industry too – the last one announced this week, on February 1st. The dotBlockchain Music Project (dotBC) (Co-Founded by Benji Rogers), announced their collaboration with industry partners, SOCAN (including its subsidiary, MediaNet), Songtrust, CDBaby, and FUGA.

The idea behind the DotBC project is that by using the blockchain technology and open source systems, the industry will be able to create an easy-to-access cataloging system, solving issues related to music rights, ownership, payments and complex data. Though DotBC is still in its testing stage, Rogers is optimistic that the project will prove to be valuable enough to be adopted as the industry standard. As Rogers stated:“We hope to include not only companies, but also individual artists and songwriters, DJ’s, and musicians, so that they can all be represented within the system fairly.”

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