blockchain and music industry

blockchain and music industry
Blockchain tech can potentially revolutionize the way we distribute and consume music.




Blockchain tech can potentially revolutionize the way we distribute and consume music.



What’s  The music streaming?

blockchain and music industry

Streaming music, or more accurately streaming audio, is a way of delivering sound — including music — without requiring you to download files from the internet.

Music services like Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music use this method to provide songs that can be enjoyed on all types of devices.

Streaming Audio Delivery

In the past, if you wanted to listen to music or any other type of audio, you downloaded an audio file in a format such as MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, or FLAC.

However, when you use a streaming delivery method, there’s no need to download a file. You can start listening through a device or smart speakers almost immediately.

Streaming music is not a new phenomenon by any means. Since the early 2000’s people have been streaming their music either from their phones, tablets or computers at mostly mp3 resolution either at home or on the go.

So what’s new in streaming audio today?

Probably the biggest advancement has been the ability to stream higher quality music than before.

Higher quality either being cd quality or better music streams from different streaming services and the hardware necessary to bring in those streams.

Streaming differs from downloads in that no copy of the music is saved to your hard drive.

If you want to hear it again, you can easily stream it again, although some paid streaming music services allow you the option to do both — stream and download.

The way the streaming process works is that the audio file is delivered in small packets so the data is buffered on your computer and played pretty much straight away.

As long as there is a steady stream of packets delivered to your computer, you’ll hear the sound without any interruptions.


What’s the Popular software media players?

include Windows 10 Bread Music Player, VLC, Winamp, and RealPlayer.

Because there are many streaming audio formats, you may need to install a few of these players to be able to play all streaming music from various sources on the internet.

what’s the popular and available music streaming services?

Pandora Radio, Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Streaming Devices, Sonos, Blue Sound and Heos by Denon.


Blockchain and music streaming 


blockchain and music industry

How does blockchain affect music streaming?

how the likes of Ethereum, NEO, and other decentralized ledgers can make bigger waves in the future by enabling developers to build applications and platforms that bolster the sharing economy.

Going beyond cryptocurrency, Ethereum lets users create, maintain, and execute smart contracts — all managed in a decentralized fashion through the blockchain.

What’s more interesting is how blockchain tech relates to other industries, like entertainment, for example.

As a decentralized ledger, the blockchain aims to democratize oversight over digital assets, increase transparency, reduce transactional friction, and enhance sharing.


Blockchain tech can potentially revolutionize the way we distribute and consume music.


Access and distribution

OPUS, a startup powered by the Ethereum blockchain is positioning itself as the world’s first decentralized music platform.

The startup intends to address long-standing issues in the entertainment and streaming industry, including the ones I have outlined above.

According to its whitepaper, OPUS “tackles the issue of music ownership and sharing at an infrastructure and protocol level.”

By leveraging Ethereum and the likewise decentralized interplanetary file system (IPFS), the platform can deliver thousands of tracks per second in a fully decentralized manner.

On a technical level, OPUS encrypts music tracks on the fly and stores these permanently through the IPFS swarm.

Meanwhile, you can listen to music through smart contracts, which will contain the decryption keys and file hashes.

These smart contracts also provide a way for end-users to compensate creators for their music.

These technical gains are advantageous enough and can potentially improve how just about any multimedia content is distributed and consumed online.

The concept is basic enough: Store the music files on the blockchain permanently, lock them for protected access, and give they keys to the people who have the right to access the content.

OPUS addresses this through its API-based distribution layer.

Even playback is decentralized so that users have a choice as to the compatible players they can use.

This also gives third-party developers the ability to build applications that can access rich content stored on the OPUS blockchain and swarm.

In addition, OPUS also plans to drastically change the business model of music.

The platform does not take a cut from artists’ earnings.

In addition, even playlist-makers — who are credited for actually driving traffic to artists’ works — can also earn from their activities.

But where does OPUS get its own business model, then?

Currently, the organization has taken support from angel investment, and it has launched its token sale — otherwise known as an initial coin offering or crowd sale — through which it plans to raise enough capital, in exchange for OPT, which are crypto-tokens that can be used for purchasing music.

OPUS is locking in 95 per cent of its tokens in a smart contract for at least a year, to ensure the longevity of the project.

blockchain and music industry

Global distribution

You would think that with cloud-based services like Spotify and Netflix, you can easily access multimedia content from anywhere at any time, right?

Unfortunately, there are restrictions, and these are mostly geographical.

Some tracks and video content, for instance, are not globally available due to copyright restrictions and other legal impediments that prevent a song’s publisher from distributing to certain countries.

In some cases, censorship might prevent creative work from being distributed in a certain country or region.

The blockchain can potentially resolve this.

Being a decentralized and distributed ledger, there can be no entity that can unilaterally block valid access to content.

It does not only involve music but potentially any kind of digital content. DECENT, a recently-launched platform, offers the ability for publishers to distribute their content globally through its decentralized, encrypted, secure and auditable platform.

It aims to eliminate the middleman, thus bringing content directly from source to consumer.

Commercial viability

One big challenge in distributing creative works is whether these are also commercially viable. Here’s where blockchain tech can help – by enabling artists to connect directly with fans and earn from revenues without cuts.

A couple of years back, Imogen Heap collaborated with Ujo to deliver tracks directly to fans, whilst accepting payments in cryptocurrency.

Considered a proof of concept, that ideal is actually being pursued by contemporary startups such as Heap’s own Mycelia.


 Managing assets and digital rights

blockchain and music industry

The multi-billion-dollar movie industry is also ripe for disruption by innovative technologies like the blockchain.

It can be said that this industry is currently highly-centralized, with the real power residing in certain few (think Hollywood studios).

Movie production is often mired in legalese and fine print, which sometimes results in people not getting their fair share of the pie.

A startup called the 21 Million Project aims to decentralize film creation, which in particular can enable sourcing of talent, locations, and crew from across the globe.

Better transparency means everyone in the production outfit knows where exactly the production money and box office earnings go.

In particular, 21 Million aims to improve the way digital rights are managed, to ensure that filmmakers — and any stakeholder who truly has a share — will be properly compensated, all through smart contracts.

SingularDTV is another startup that aims to decentralize the entertainment industry after raising $7.5 Million in its successful ICO.


Combating piracy

As with music, the film is also no stranger to piracy, and it is often a costly battle for movie studios, distributors, and even law enforcement agencies to fight against piracy.

Essentially, a movie is a collection of copyrights and titles, which span across screenplays, derivative works from books, designs, technical works, licensing from other works, merchandize, and so forth.

Piracy can be a big expense and headache for movie studios.

But in the same light, studios can also exploit content creators who might not have enough clout to enforce their stake in a film’s revenue or production.

A distributed ledger can address this challenge by creating an immutable record of transactions on any asset, idea, creative work, and the like.

These can be tracked throughout their lifetime, even when ownership is sold or otherwise transferred or assigned, even when these assets are assigned to players in other industries, such as music, television, and the like.


copyright law

The copyright law of the United States is intended to encourage the creation of art and culture by rewarding authors and artists with a set of exclusive rights.

Copyright law grants authors and artists the exclusive right to make and sell copies of their works, the right to create derivative works, and the right to perform or display their works publicly.

These exclusive rights are subject to a time limit and generally expire 70 years after the author’s death. In the United States, any music composed before January 1, 1924, is generally considered public domain.

United States copyright law was last generally revised by the Copyright Act of 1976, codified in Title 17 of the United States Code.

The United States Constitution explicitly grants Congress the power to create copyright law under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, known as the Copyright Clause.

Under the Copyright Clause, Congress has the power, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

The United States Copyright Office handles copyright registration, recording of copyright transfers, and other administrative aspects of copyright law.

blockchain and music industry

 Transparent information about copyrights

There may not be enough incentives for sharing information in the music industry. Basically, the information concerning songs is scattered everywhere, and people do not have proper access to it.

Creative work suffers from this because it is difficult for creators to find information about ownership, and thus to acquire licenses or other permissions to use copyrighted works. Blockchain has the potential to create an international and public database that holds the metadata of songs.

However, blockchain technology is not the only technological way to accomplish this, but the benefit of blockchain is the distributed copies of that database, one party cannot block the access.


  The immutability of blockchain in the copyright environment

 What if a court rules that a certain song (that is downloaded to the blockchain) infringes someone other’s copyright?

Or what if there is a need for altering ownership information? In a public blockchain, this is solved by a new transaction.

It leaves the previous “wrong” data block as part of the ledger, thus it is still possible that someone finds this “wrong” data block and obtains wrong information.

Is a balanced copyright status obtained by applying certain dApp solutions?

For example, in a database by hiding the “wrong” data block as the last search result or adding a red flag to that data block so that the user could be more careful of the information validity.

In a private blockchain, an alteration of metadata or smart contract (e.g. to add a new creator as the copyright owner or inheritor) is possible.

Either way, because of the immutability of the blockchain, a written data block cannot be erased or encrypted ex-post to hide information.

Blockchain technology does not allow for the total removal of the data block, meaning that once downloaded, a song cannot be removed from the blockchain ex-post.

This is one of the biggest uncertainties of blockchain in the copyright environment because creative work is protected automatically when it is created and no authorization is needed. Moreover, there is a lot of artistic influence and uncertainty about what type of use constitutes copyright infringement.


Copyright enforcement with blockchain

Birgit Clark has envisioned that blockchain could make it possible to code ‘smart information’ about intellectual property right ownerships into digital form, and this coded information could be utilized for monitoring the Internet.

Savelyev [2017, page 8] on the other hand has envisioned a way to individualize each digital copy of a copyrighted work by using the hash function.

A serial number could be added to each digital copy which is enough to differentiate each digital copy from other copies, and thus individual data blocks are created, which in turn could be used to monitor the usage of each block (i.e. each digital copy).

The possibility of more monitoring tools provides creators with better control and may allow for dynamic pricing (pricing could follow the supply and demand or artists could offer discounts to their fans).


Cryptocurrency as compensation

Is it possible to negotiate license agreement fees when cryptocurrency is used for royalty payments?

In reality, it is necessary to solve the amount (and/or the way) of the payment for each stream in blockchain code.

It is possible to negotiate license agreements that would take into account the cryptocurrency sphere.

The problem here is that copyright organizations license their repertoire and in Finland, for example, labels themselves license their own copyrights.

Thus, it would require a collaborative and uniform licensing practice from all music copyright parties.

The Finnish Copyright Act (404/1961) is mainly dispositive.

The copyright owners have the power to constitute cryptocurrency as a reasonable copyright compensation.

Despite that, cryptocurrency is not a fiat currency, which could cause problems.

The Finnish Promissory Notes Act (622/1947), Section 7 states that when a promissory note has been made payable in a currency which is not legal tender at the place of payment, payment may unless otherwise agreed, be made in the currency of the place of payment.

According to this provision, an artist may demand payment in Euro in case there is no agreement about using cryptocurrency (especially considering the relationship between copyright organizations and artists).

The Finnish Act on Collective Management of Copyright (1494/2016):

Sections 1 and 19 require responsible economic management, and license agreement using cryptocurrency can be considered to fall under this requirement, which is why the unstable nature of cryptocurrency poses a risk for copyright organizations.

blockchain and music industry

Blockchain Solution Platform

The TYMLEZ Blockchain Solution Platform ( aka TBSP ) enables developers and companies to quickly develop, deploy, manage and operate enterprise-ready solutions for the blockchain.TBSP leverages the Tendermint Consensus protocol which is Byzantine Fault-Tolerant to ensure that in a distributed network :

transactions are recorded on all machines

in the same order

In the specific use case of creating and transferring assets in a distributed network, Tendermint :

shares blocks and transactions between nodes

establishes an immutable order of transactions (i.e. the blockchain)

replicates data on all nodes in a network

TBSP uses the Application Blockchain Interface ( aka ABCI ) to ensure replication of transactions to Tendermint; ABCI is the application process that communicates with the consensus process (Tendermint).

The TBSP ABCI does the following :

  • maintains the database
  • validates cryptographic signatures of transactions
  • enables clients to query the database
  • prevents double-spend

Examples of how the platform may benefit the Enterprise are “track and trace” in supply chain management, and managing proof of existence, verifying the existence of any computer file as of a specific time via timestamp transactions.

TBSP also allows developers to post transactions out of any application via the HTTP protocol.

The Solution platform on GCP works right out of the box and includes the Digital Asset Javascript Software Development Kit.

blockchain and music industry



The use of creative works has changed quite a lot during the 21st century as technology has rapidly developed.

The digital ways to use creative works have facilitated widespread use and made it less expensive, while copyright owners’ tools to monitor the digital environment (arguably) have not kept up with the development.

Blockchain has the potential to introduce new ways to control copyright-protected works.

It could be used for real-time royalty payments, which would allow a fair remuneration to artists, as they would get compensated from each stream of their songs and they would not have to wait months or even years to get compensated from each stream.

Also, the potential of increased transparency provided by blockchain could solve the problem of poor access to information about music rights in the music industry.

The technology and proposed blockchain applications to the music industry

Distributed ledger technology, colloquially known as the blockchain, is essentially an immutable record-keeping database that enables a digital ledger of transactions and that is stored across a peer-to-peer network and synchronized automatically.

It is a decentralized solution where all participants within a network have their own identical copies of the ledger, thus a way of avoiding the risk of malfunction or malicious action of one source.

Each block of data is cryptographically added to the chain of blocks according to the programmed protocol, (e.g. by the majority of blockchain users).

Hash function creates a unique ID to each block, and each block contains the ID of the previous block, which creates a chain of IDs.

A slight change in the data of the block creates a new unique ID to it, which creates a chain reaction that changes all the following blocks’ IDs. This change is then accepted or denied according to the programmed protocol.





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