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Music On The Blockchain (Foreword by Nick Mason, Pink Floyd)

Blockchain For Creative Industries Research Cluster Middlesex University. Report Nº 1 July 2016.

Much has been made of the massive opportunity for artists in the digital economy but that potential has been tempered by stories of revenue streams that are too complex to understand, old-world structures within the music industry that are not fit for the digital age, a lack of good data and a decrease in remuneration for the majority of artists.

It has been said many times that if anyone were to design a music industry for the present, let alone the future, it might be very different from the historic one that young artists today have inherited. Yet credible strategies to modernise have so far proved elusive.

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), or ‘blockchain’, has started to receive increasing media attention and investment from several sectors including governments, financial services and the creative industries. The potential application in relation to music is of particular interest, as it appears to offer solutions to problems artists have highlighted for decades – around transparency, the sharing of value and the relationships with intermediaries that sit between the artist and fan, the central and most important relationship in music.

If blockchain technology can help the commercial and contractual relationships in music keep pace with technology and the communication between artists and fans then it could be truly revolutionary.

Critics of blockchain technology state that claims made about it are overstated and that it will be years, even in the best case scenario, before we see some of the benefits that many artists hope for. Through the debate, there clearly needs to be some objective and rational analysis to cut through the hype of a utopian vision and help us understand the reality of the current landscape, the potential for the future and what the next steps might be to bridge the gap. This report is a valuable contribution to that endeavour and I hope it can
help inform the debate and take us all forwards.

If blockchain technology is going to be the future, we need to dig in and make it happen.

Nick Mason
Pink Floyd

Read more, download the paper below (PDF 29 pages)

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Mercredi 14 Septembre 2016