A Challenge to Spotify ?
Streaming services such as spotify have opened up and radically changed the course of music distribution history in a way which is truly revolutionary. For established artists spotify is similar to radio play, but without the backup of PRS. It's a way to get music heard and out to a wider audience and a bit of extra pocket money to pay for social media. For unknowns, independent and unsigned artists, it's a way to be heard, build a profile and be associated with genre tight selections where labels and A&R people prowl. It's also a recruitment tool (for the very best bedroom producers and teenage garage bands), but importantly the amounts per stream are so low that spotify in particular, as it's a major force has come under a lot of heavy criticism. The story of a popular artist clocking up 10million streams and receiving $40k has caused outrage in the music community, except said artist, who still has a day job seems quite pleased with the pocket money.
BlockChain has a tremendous opportunity to challenge the spotify model by offering a more fair distribution and with BlockChain, as all steemians know, the earned coins are deposited in real time (technically, it's not quite but hey let's not over geek here) the middle man becomes a very lean organisation and musicoin seems to have caught the imagination of many up and coming if not yet, many established artists. 32,000 tracks from over 3,000 artists. As a listener you can stream them all for free with no ads. Not bad, but what's the quality of the music like. Let's just say there is a lot of really good quality underground music and some up and coming artists. It gets better ever day as more artists are attracted to the prospect of fair compensation.
Keep in Touch
you can communicate directly with artists which could become a bit of a nightmare for the most successful artists who are likely to get blammed with comments but not possibly have time to respond to all comments. They say never meet your heroes as you are likely to be disappointed. That's not always true but I can see how this could get sticky. although I'm all in favour of the big red telephone / hotline to the president. You can also create playlists and share tracks. This is a really grassroots option which provides it's own dynamic. Playlists are today's mixtapes and being on a playlist among peers can push out music to the right ears.
As a dedicated and full blown 5 Star CryptoNaut and electronic music producer, (who isn't these days?), I thought I'd have to give it a go and here's my finding so far. It's a bit of a weird log in process. In a (valiant) attempt to prevent the bot spam invasion, they verify artists and use various social media logins as part of the process. It's a good idea. Soundcloud's hundreds of millions of plays on artist's songs you've never heard of is dubious at most and this is down to the proliferation of bot accounts which sell plays. Musicoin use blockchain in the way that you'd expect them to and it's a promising set up for the artist but unlike Spotify's $0.0038 per play, musicoin's proposition rests on the future value of musicoin.
cover art for Aardark Lucid Space Stratospheric my debut track on musicoin
outerground on musicoin.org
In addition to pay per play music streaming, you can tip an artist which is a very likely future trend for the tokenisation of all internet based assets. I wouldn't be surprised if tipping migrated to Faceduck , MooTube & Twotter when they eventually go token based, which they will. Tipping has been popular for cam performers for a long time and the platforms have their own redeemable tokens which customers buy. Of course, like many internet innovations including high bandwidth video, the adult entertainment industry leads the way. Sex is potent and fuels new ways of doing things because the demand and profits are high and the internet allows for the privacy which people want. In the same way, having control over creative output from a desktop console allows for many people to dip in and out of a secondary or wannabe career path.
streetdrummers NYC image copyright Outerground
"As the 21st Century blossomed, many people began to have 3 or 5 different professions, often using different avatars or monikers for each platform. Although many people still worked 9-5 in boring jobs, the internet allowed them to feel like an active part of truly creative communities and networks with positive feedback, support and guidance from peers. The popularity of creative writing, photography, art, music and many more activities from coding to a host of crafts, each became highly tokenised, globalised cottage industries. The most successful in each often made the leap to mainstream as enterprise saw opportunities to profit from association with popular cult figures.
Use Chrome ? nah
Here comes the rub, musicoin's web presence is a bit of a mess on Firefox and they recommend Chrome. Simple things like how to change your profile image is almost impossible to find and their menu layout for your feed and your profile can easily become a bit confusing. I don't favour Chrome so this might become a problem as they expand. I'm sure as they develop further, they will address these issues. Steemit is a seamless experience on Firefox and it's still in beta mode, so this is something they will surely look at. Their mobile site on Android is a total mess but the musicoin app offers a path to a more seamless future. Mobile is massive and for music the prospect of integrating wallet / exchange and spend makes the whole offering much more realistic.
I think it's a Great Idea.
They are not alone in the music space. There are numerous blockchain music innovations with different offerings and no doubt there will be many more to come. I think it would be a good idea for aspiring musicians and producers to prudently pick a few to work with which suit their style, genre and ambitions. Work to eradicate piracy and track music royalties through embedded metadata will form a harmonic suite of services for the artist of near tomorrow, guaranteeing that artists will retain more of their income due than today. Back in the days of Napster and Limewire people found the idea of buying a nonphysical track unrealistic, now it's normal. Streaming made it pay per listen radio and there's a long way to go. Technology has made it easier for artists to self publish but as someone who has been creating music for many years, it doesn't get any easier to produce original, high quality tracks which people want to listen to. There are so many people doing it, and so many just using bought sample packs that it's difficult to tell what's original. Writing original music is hard work and I find it incredibly rewarding, challenging and emotionally significant. I don't write music for the money, but I also recognise the duty to share what you've created. I've been sharing my music in one way or another for many years since the days of IUMA to myspace, selling albums on i-tunes through tunetribe and now to Musicoin and beyond, I want people to enjoy and get something out of it. If someone enjoys what I write 10% as much as I did writing and producing it, I'd be happy with that.
Musicoin has the potential
to become an income stream generator to not only challenge but surpass Spotify. depending on how the project is received by a wider audience and it's coin value accordingly it could actually provide an income. Perhaps for most artists not enough to live on (yet) but the music industry move from major label distribution of hard copies to independent and small labels purely digital, is still deep in transition. Many would say the only real income stream is in live music but for studio producers, the rewards of success can often be commissioning to work with international artists, bringing their magic to the mainstream through third party artists.