The Music Industry Isn’t Ready for the Blockchain

Medium:

Every day there are headlines about companies in the banking industry employing blockchain technology. Technologies like this could make the music industry more fair and transparent, and reduce a lot of friction around rights and payments, leaving more money to flow from fan to creator. The biggest obstacle, however, is the music industry itself.

The problem in getting the music industry to adopt the blockchain for anything beyond metadata is that there are competing interests. For instance, if you’ve invested a lot of money into marketing a sub-licensed work in a certain territory, you wouldn’t want everyone to be able to see when your right expires… because then you’ll have a lot of competitors who might try to secure those rights.

There’s a lot of interest in making payments transparent, so that it becomes clear how much a party like Spotify actually pays to certain labels, and what happens to that money along the chain to the creators. Creators are likely to have privacy concerns about having their income being public though.

Other organisations have a risk of redundancy — although they might secure a new role for themselves by participating.