How Blockchain Can Help Unsigned Artists Control their Own Destiny

Traditionally, getting ahead in the music industry wasn’t easy. Reaching the masses without the help of Sony, Universal or EMI was virtually impossible. Fortunately, times have changed. Today, anyone with the right resources can have a hit without a record label. For example, if you’re a budding producer, Pro Tools 2018 is the one-stop-shop for all your production needs. Indeed, this software has become so advanced that creators Avid have added a retrospective MIDI record. Put simply, if you’re using the MIDI controller, the software will automatically record everything for you. In other words, if the software is active and you start jamming, you don’t have to hit the record button to capture that once in a lifetime riff. This is just one way that technology is developing the music industry.

Steinberg’s Wavelab 9.5 Pro offers a similar service. With a spectrogram to help identify individual frequencies that need tweaking, you can basically do a professional editing job from the comfort of your own home. Finally, if you’re a complete novice, you can learn industry secrets via the power of the internet. If you wanted to know how to edit guitar recordings, you could listen to Trey Xavier talk through the nuances of using EZMix to edit DI guitars. Basically, if you want to create great music that people will appreciate, the technology is out there to help you do it.

The Bitcoin Boom Inspired by Useful Technology

Beyond the actual mechanics of recording music, the tech world is making artists’ dreams a reality. Naturally, there are the obvious avenues an independent artist can explore such as YouTube and Vevo. These platforms are a great way for someone to post their music and have it heard by millions. Indeed, if you look at YouTube alone, 1.5 billion users now visit the site every month. With an audience that big, it’s become the go-to site for any aspiring solo singer or bands that want to get noticed. But, when you delve further into the ways technology is helping unsigned artists, one word seems to appear over and over again: blockchain. Essentially the technology that’s made Bitcoin and its peers possible, blockchain technology is giving people the ability to distribute and, importantly, monetize their music without the help of a major player like Sony.

When Bitcoin’s price shot up to almost $20,000 in 2017, it was the power of blockchain technology that caused industry experts to start investing. Today, a wide variety of industries have been revolutionized by Bitcoin and, moreover, blockchain technology. In the financial world, major banks such as JP Morgan have invested a combined $364 billion in blockchain technology. Because these systems can process data in a more efficient and secure way, its fundamentals are now being applied to traditional banking methods. Similarly, in the gaming world, casino sites are now accepting Bitcoin as a payment method. As per Betway Casino’s crypto review, online currencies such as Bitcoin now offer faster, anonymous and, therefore, more secure deposit/withdrawal options for players. In line with this, Microsoft has also embraced Bitcoin for players wanting to purchase Xbox Live content.

Blockchain and Crypto Giving Individuals More Control

Away from finance and entertainment, the medical world is also using blockchain technology to better handle patient records. In cybersecurity, startups like Edge are making data more secure by allowing users to take control of their own records. With industries of all shapes and sizes embracing this new technology, it’s little wonder that musicians are doing the same. Bjork is perhaps one of the most famous crypto supporters. Working with UK company Blockpool, the Icelandic singer allowed fans to buy her 2017 album Utopia using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash and a new cryptocurrency called AudioCoin. Of the four, AudioCoin is the most interesting for unsigned artists as its aim is to “create a transparent music ecosystem.” At its core, AudioCoin is a decentralized platform that allows developers to build applications that can solve many of the problems with the music industry. For example, instead of an artist having to pay a cut of their revenue to a record label, anything based on the AudioCoin platform would allow them to own their content and keep more of the revenue it makes.

Another great application of this type of technology involves copyright and usage. Because blockchains are public, unalterable ledgers, an artist could see when, where and how their music is being used. By tagging each track with a marker, each transaction (i.e. when its bought and used) could be recorded on the blockchain and, in turn, monitored. This would enable aspiring artists to avoid the common problem of having their music used without their permission.

In practice, there is a long way to go before blockchain and cryptocurrencies are common in the music industry. However, the seeds have already been planted and, if they’re able to grow, it could give new artists more control over their content and, therefore, the ability to make it on their own.

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