Posted 2 years ago | by Ben Armstrong
Artists Using Blockchain for Rights Management – Could Media go Decentralized?
While the music or film industries aren't using crypto or blockchain at-scale, there are signs that it could be the next major industry to roll out decentralized payments and rights management systems. The business is pretty simple, a person or group creates a marketable product – and then people buy it!
While this all appears to be dead easy – the industry that has grown up around the creatives puts the studios and distribution channels first – with many artists struggling to create enough income to live a decent life.
Blockchain and decentralized currency could change this media ecosystem, and allow artists a lot more control over how their work is marketed. The good part about blockchain is that is removes the need for so many people on the financial side of things, or complex record-keeping to monitor who is consuming the media.
Artists Seem to Like Blockchain
A Russian recording artist recently used blockchain to license a popular song to domestic media consumers. Oleg Kenzov licensed a popular piece via studio Soyuz and FONMIX to Russian businesses, and some of the largest players in the Russian music industry were there for the deal.
Fans seem to be interested in the technology as well. A recent survey found that more than half of music fans would be willing to pay with cryptos – especially if it means that the artists are able to make more money.
The blockchain that Kenzov used, called IPchain, is made specifically for content rights management, and also streamlines payments.
According to the company,
“IPChain is aimed at creating a comfortable environment for the joint work of labels and artists and increasing the volume of the music market as a whole.”
IPchain touches on a valid point.
If artists are able to make more from their work, not only will existing artists be able to see real-world results from using blockchain, but there are likely to be more artists entering the marketplace, as a more efficient market would allow more people to make a living from content creation.
Music Labels Deserve a Bad Reputation?
It is hard to overlook the money that recording companies make – and how little of it actually reaches the artists.
Not only do the companies create deals that lock artists into long-term contracts, they also force artists to cough up some of the most lucrative aspects of the music business as a part of a contract.
There was a time when recording and distributing music was difficult – but those days are long gone. An inexpensive recording studio can create high quality recordings, and there is no need for artists to hand over their rights to an abusive recording company.
The real question now is how distribution and payments will work – and crypto is likely part of the answer. Not only can they be used in small qualities at little cost, they also allow artists to sell their creations across national borders with ease.
Crypto Brings the World Together
The bottom line is that crypto and blockchain can make a big difference for creatives – especially as blockchain becomes a legal platform for rights management. There is no doubt that the transition will be slow – and that the massive media companies will fight the loss of their profits.
If you are able to support creatives via direct distribution platforms – it is probably a good idea to do so. The recording companies don't add much to the creative equation – although the do reap massive profits from artists.
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