Music is being used to convey an emotional message to listeners. It has long existed along with humans and it is distinctive to every society, culture, and era. The early American Indians and African natives have used music in religious ceremonies and this practice is still being carried out up to these days.

According to history, the Egyptians were the first to invent advanced instruments like harps and flute in 4000 BCE. Later in 3500 BCE, they have developed lyre and double-reeded clarinets.

In 2500 BCE, an early version of the trumpet was created in Denmark. A thousand-year after, the Hittites invented the guitar which later paved the way for the invention of the violin and harpsichord. 

The first recorded piece of music was a religious hymn in 800 BCE written in cuneiform. In 700 BCE, songs with vocals and accompanied by instrumentals were developed.

Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher, and mathematician invented music in 600 BCE according to a popular story from the Middle Ages.

This gave birth to the music we know today and the different genres that we all enjoy. In the IFPI Global Report in 2021, the music industry has now reached a total revenue of $21 billion. 

Blockchain, the technology that runs the crypto industry is one of the fastest-growing technologies in terms of innovation. It was first invented by David Chaum, an American scientist, and cryptographer in 1982. It was first conceptualized by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 in his creation of Bitcoin. From then on, its application expanded to the real-world disrupting major industries like banking, forecasting, retail, real estate, and the music industry. 

There were several avenues where blockchain technology can be utilized. With blockchain, several issues in the music industry can be properly addressed. Data rights database and automation of royalty payments were just two of the long-standing issues where blockchain can provide a concrete solution.

Blockchain: A Solution to Musicians Agony

Blockchain is decentralized that eliminates intermediaries hereby facilitates faster transactions. And its adoption in the music industry has offered convenience for musicians around the world. With the pandemic, the music streaming industry has grown tremendously. Its revenue is expected to grow up to $23,053 million by the end of 2021. 

The music industry has long been under the control of record labels. Every musician is under the mercy of these record labels and is in full control of their music.  

With blockchain, this ugly side of the music can soon be minimized if not totally eliminated. How? Some blockchain projects now offer a peer-to-peer network for file sharing and storage where users of the network also act as servers. One example of this is Opus, a decentralized music sharing platform that uses the InterPlanetary File System or IPFS. It also uses the Ethereum network as a payment layer. By using smart contracts, artists are paid directly upon the purchase or stream of a song. With this, both the content and royalties are independently distributed. The Opus system also allows artists to retain a bigger chunk of payments made by premium users or ad revenue generated by freemium users. This gives musicians to get what they truly deserve, control over their music, and the fruit of their labor. Opus is a company based in the United Arab Emirates and was founded in 2010. It uses OPT token in its platform with a total supply of 249 308 992 OPT. In recent data by Coinmarketcap, OPT has now a total market cap of $698,317. 

A good number of blockchain startups are also committed to the same mission and one of these is EarthTones. Since the onset of the pandemic, musicians were deprived of one of their favorite activities, engaging with their fans around the world by performing onstage. Earthtones is the world’s first micro concert live-streaming app & interactive social network powered by blockchain, designed for independent music creators and fans around the globe. JADE is the native token of the platform with a total supply of 90,000,000,000. With EarthTones, musicians can soon enjoy performing and engaging with their fans wherever they are in the world. There will be no need to sign-up contracts with record labels to be able to perform and recognized. The power of music will be finally within their hands. This will also create a level playing field for all aspiring musicians all over the world. That is definitely music to a musician’s ear, don’t you agree?

Blockchain can help reshape the music industry. Just like other major industries in the world, the music industry evolves at a very fast rate. But is there a better way to further push its innovation than using blockchain, the world’s most innovative technology? The answer is none. 

Disrupting the Music Industry Using Blockchain

Blockchain can also provide disruptions in the music industry and here’s how.

  • Musicians can use the blockchain as a spreadsheet where they can store all pertinent data on the song’s owners and rights
  • They can create a database as storage for information about music ownership and rights
  • Facilitate an easier and transparent licensing process 
  • Faster verification of song ownership using legal means
  • Offer swift micropayments to stakeholders when fans play or purchase their songs
  • Songwriters, performers, and musicians receive payment directly
  • Through the token sale, an artist can outsource money to support their music

With blockchain and the music industry working alongside each other, we expect more innovations to come in the future. A free artist can produce better music. With proper compensation, a struggling musician might just be a thing of the past. But of course, hard work is still needed to achieve that.