How Blockchain Platforms can deliver a music streaming platform
I recently saw this article https://www.ccn.com/five-questions-to-ask-before-investing-in-a-blockchain-company/ make the rounds on social media and decided to put my own project (SounDAC) through this test. Let’s tackle each of the five questions one at a time.
Does the blockchain have an earnable token?
In other words, does this ecosystem provide incentive to add value to it? With SounDAC there are two ways to earn more stake in the DAC: Firstly, and most common with blockchains, is by being a block producing node (a witness). Anyone that puts his time and computer hardware to the service of the network will be granted new tokens (XSD) every block they produce. They keep the ledger up-to-date and are rewarded for it. These XSD tokens are earnable tokens.
Secondly, SounDAC also rewards the content owners (i.e. the musicians, labels, publishers) that input content (music metadata) onto the distributed database. Although putting content onto SounDAC is not enough to receive crypto tokens, your content has to have been picked up by a music streaming platform such as PeerTracks.com and streamed/played by one of its users. If your music is good enough for users to spend their precious time listening to it, then – and only then – does the system pay you (the copyright holder) royalties. These royalties are paid in crypto tokens.
How will data get into the blockchain?
During our current “invite-only” Beta phase, we manually input the content of the musicians and labels we personally have vetted. This does not scale for the entire music industry. Which is why we’ve built the protocol-level tools that will allow many players to onboard content and do their own vetting processes. Once they’ve done these two things, it will be apparent on the SounDAC blockchain platform that this artist and/or song was vetting by ABC company or XYZ law firm – allowing any other business in the ecosystem to whitelist or blacklist that content for their own purposes.
This is similar to how you decide to trust a celebrity profile on Facebook or Twitter based on the badge proving the authenticity of their identity. The public interface for the DIY process is called the RMP (a digital Rights Management Portal) – This is a highly intuitive royalty management platform. This digital Rights Management Portal allows the content owner to input who gets paid according to the agreement that these writers, publisher’s, labels and performers have amongst themselves.
Does this require a consortium to agree to its use?
Does SounDAC require all the major labels to agree to this new standard in order for the project to take off? Are we at the mercy of the legacy system?
Not at all! This new ecosystem can thrive in justify ways. First, it can grow as a completely parallel system. Artists show up, upload their music to SounDAC, and get streamed by Blockchain Platforms like PeerTracks—receiving their royalties in crypto tokens within 24 hours! It is non-exclusive, nothing prevents you from having your music distributed through all the traditional means at the same time. This strategy is viable in itself, since the number of indie artists is growing at a faster rate than the number of label signed artists. We are catering to a rapidly growing market share where music consumption is increasing every year!
Companies can safely build new apps and services on top of this new stable, source of truth.
PeerTracks is one of the first proof-of-concepts to date where Consumers are Streaming,
and Musicians, Labels and Publishers are being paid.
Big labels as well as indie artists are music royalty recipients too! They also benefit from getting paid in 24 hours instead of waiting up to four(!) quarters. Once again this is merely an extra source of music royalty income for them. They can still be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play, but now they can be streamed on PeerTracks as well.
How will the data be analyzed and used?
From the article: “Think of how the data will be used and what benefits it will provide businesses. Simply storing music metadata on a blockchain and calling it a day is not going to drive value for businesses or adoption. So, consider the specific benefits a company or industry will gain by storing their data on a blockchain.”
We must all be careful during times of extreme hype and remember that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. We must not fall into the “let’s ‘blockchainify’ all the things!” trap. The music industry is different though, it is a nail! It has been in dire need of a clean, central source of truth for decades. At present, there are multiple music royalty databases around the world, each with a different music metadata standards, none of them in-sync with one another. This is such a pain point to the music world that the industry tried to solve it with a multi-million-dollar project called the GRD (Global Repertoire Database), which eventually failed due to politics. “Who is going to fund it? Maintain it? Have control over it?”
Blockchain technology is a better solution to this problem. Companies can now read the music metadata on SounDAC and know – in real time – who the most up-to-date copyright holder is for a specific song. Companies can safely build new apps and services on top of this new stable, source of truth. PeerTracks is one of the first proof-of-concepts to date where Consumers are Streaming, and Musicians, Labels and Publishers are being paid.
Musicians and copyright holders can also, for the first time, own and control the royalty data associated with their craft. Before SounDAC you had to entrust your royalty data to a third party. To top it off, music creators can now see the royalty data associated with music consumption! How many users are listening to my song? At what time? For how long? Most importantly to those trying to make a living from music: “Am I being paid royalties for each stream?” SounDAC provides an open, trustless, tamper-proof database for all this royalty data. No single company can “cook the books”. Case in point, Peertracks already has real time viewing of this royalty data built into the streaming platforms’ artist profile and music metadata. All streams can be viewed in real time through the ‘Peertracker’. A third-party block explorer is already live and in use.
Does the blockchain perform at the speed of business?
It certainly does! SounDAC is a Delegated Proof-Of-Stake blockchain. It is highly efficient, fast, and scalable. Blockchain transactions are free, and everything can be done securely through your web browser – no need to download a clunky app or pay crypto transaction fees for each little action you take within the app. In order to reach the masses, you need your applications to look and feel just as good as you would expect from a traditional, centralized (non-blockchain) application. Users don’t want crypto transaction fees to engage, listen or interact with this blockchain platform. Artists want to be paid royalties with full transparency. PeerTracks delivers music royalties through Blockchain transactions with the first Delegated Proof-of-Stake Blockchain created to stream music.
We at PeerTracks, Inc. are confident that SounDAC, our Delegated Proof of Stake blockchain, will pave the way for the next decade’s music world – an industry in dire need of a long overdue revamp.