Blockchain can shake up the music industry
Blockchain technology could completely shake up the music industry, providing an alternative to the established ‘trusted intermediaries’ that run registries, keep records, handle transactions or negotiate terms.
“With trust, blockchain could become a powerful self-publishing channel for music makers and rights owners, allowing them to bypass a complex ecosystem and giving them more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans,” says PwC in its Blockchain: Recording the Music Industry report.
As well as bringing artistsand consumers closer together, blockchain has the potential to break down artificial geographical barriers restricting ownership to certain territories, the consultancy says. This comes at a time when demand for streaming services is expected to grow significantly across mature markets such as the US and Europe, and rapidly emerging ones like Asia Pacific and China.
But leading music labels and rights organisations need to make serious moves on the technology. “The threat to these groups is that a group of entrepreneurial artists, a music streaming service, or a blockchain player from outside the industry could lead this transformation, taking advantage of blockchain’s scalable architecture to grow incrementally,” warns the report.
“The potential economic value a blockchain-based rights tracking system has is so vast, and the moral imperative of a more secure rights system so strong, that someone will soon step in to pursue this opportunity.”