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As technology has advanced, artists have generally been treated worse in terms of royalties and recognition. Streaming giants like Spotify and Apple Music have rendered the music industry unlucrative, with only a small percentage of viral hitmakers making enough money to sustain themselves.

However, the decentralized nature of crypto and the blockchain proves that, for once, new technology could actually work in favor of the musician. From distribution to music consumption, the blockchain could potentially change every aspect of how we fund our music habits.

As Alan Draper explores in this article on top meme coins, cryptocurrency holds a host of other benefits, too, including its decentralized and community-driven nature, which could also help those in the music industry.

The blockchain is decentralized

One of the biggest benefits of crypto and the blockchain across the board is the fact that the technology is decentralized. This means that it isn’t controlled by a centralized governing body such as a bank.

Normally, musicians need to go through a central body to distribute their music on a wide scale - i.e., a record label or a streaming platform. This is not the case when it comes to blockchain technology. Instead of involving a middleman, musicians can harness the blockchain to send their music to their fans directly.

By selling their music via the blockchain, musicians can decide how much to sell it for, how frequently to release music, how long to make their albums, and so on. Plus, they’ll no longer lose up to 90% of their sales to record labels.

In other words, blockchain technology can give artists full control over their music. This could work more in the artists' favor financially, as they get to retain all the money they make from music. Plus, it creates a more personal and direct listening experience between the artist and the listener.

Of course, the artist would first need a considerable following to make this kind of approach to music distribution work. One of the main benefits of streaming services is that they can distribute your music to a wide audience, so it would make sense to release music on the likes of Spotify initially.

But, once a musician establishes themselves as a blockchain artist, they could earn a significant amount more than they do from streaming royalties. Given that Spotify only pays between $0.003 and $0.004 per stream, this wouldn’t be very difficult!

The blockchain records everything

Every new piece of information that gets submitted to the blockchain constitutes a new block on the chain. Each new block leaves an indelible mark on the chain as a hole. This provides full transparency for artists wishing to use the blockchain for music distribution purposes.

Every time a song is downloaded or streamed, a new block gets added to the chain. Artists can then review the chain to get an exact figure of how many times their track has been listened to, for example. This then lets them accurately determine the royalties that are owed to them.

Royalty distribution could also be automated on the blockchain. As soon as a new listen or stream block is added, a smart contract could be initiated that ensures the artist receives a royalty payment immediately. Royalties could not be collected this quickly on a streaming platform or via any other type of music distribution.

The blockchain and piracy

While blockchain cannot prevent piracy totally, it can control it better. By releasing music encoded onto a block, you can keep it secure. Plus, not only can you review how your intellectual property is being used - i.e., streamed, downloaded, etc - but you can also identify who is using it.

Being P2P in nature, piracy can be better detected. Digital watermarking and content surveillance can also be implemented on the blockchain.

With far greater transparency, you can control your music better and mitigate the risk of it being pirated.

The blockchain and fan engagement

Not only is the blockchain beneficial for the artist, but it can also make the experience of investing in and listening to music more rewarding for the fans. Rather than the impersonal feeling of streaming an artist on Spotify, the act of purchasing music directly from the artist using cryptocurrency can feel more personal.

Besides using the blockchain for the buying and selling of music itself, it can also be used to sell merchandise and concert tickets directly to the fans. Again, buying tickets directly from the artist rather than through the likes of Ticketmaster can feel like more of a worthwhile investment to the buyer. Plus, with no fees in place to cover the middleman, it can also work out cheaper.

Final thoughts

Cryptocurrency and the blockchain have the potential to revolutionize how music is distributed and consumed. It offers a decentralized solution to music distribution, meaning that it cuts out the middleman. Plus, it can be used to record streams and downloads, curb musical piracy, and strengthen musical engagement.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are definitely on the rise, with 40% of Americans now owning crypto. Given the exponential rise of the technology type, it makes sense for musicians to start distributing their music and merchandise via the blockchain. A whole generation of music listeners is already using digital currencies to play online crypto casinos, shop online, and complete international transactions, so they may as well start paying for their music through it as well!

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