I am sick to death of seeing that question.
"Can Blockchain Save The Music Industry?"
The industry has gotten back on it's feet already. All the major record labels cut their sweet deals with Spotify, Apple, Youtube, etc quite some time ago. They now make money from ticket sales, merch, endorsements, publishing... you name it, they've got a piece of that pie. I don't know this for a fact but I'd hazard a guess that these days "record labels" make the least of their revenue from, you know, actual records.
The model is as corrupt as it always has been (not all the people, some are quite nice), it's just adapted to survive, can't blame it for that but it certainly doesn't need 'saving'.
The problem is, we've been asking the wrong question. Survival isn't easy for everyone in the industry. We need to be asking:
"Can Blockchain Save The Musicians?"
So who the hell am I and why should you listen to me?
Well hello there Steemians! I'm Phil Humphreys, a record producer and mix engineer from Wales, UK. I'm 32 and started in this music business stuff when I was 15 (I'll keep it brief...). Back in 2000, I formed a band (Lethargy) and we kept it going until 2011. We got a record deal, did some touring, yadda yadda, we did alright for a while.
Best day ever. Even met Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath!
R: 2009 - Hard Rock Hell, North Wales. Opeth were on the main stage at the same time so we missed their set :(
Since 2010, I've been recording, mixing and producing bands - I always loved the studio side of things. I was the guy in the band who did the demos, read the manuals, etc so I guess it was a natural progression. I consider myself extremely lucky to be in the position I'm in. I can still work in music and these days I actually make some money.
Now over the last 7 years I've been trying to figure out how else I can help the musicians that I work with other than making a product that these days is VERY hard to sell.
I could use my contacts right? Well I did try that a couple of times and then I think I became annoying, only so many times you can hear "not what we're looking for right now".
Then the studio tried launching a compilation CD, that was just expensive with minimal results (the bands picked up a few more fans though I'm sure).
I could go on but I feel like I'm waffling already.
But now (via the power of blockchain no less) I think I got it, or at least something worth trying. Stick with me people...
Now you may have read this so far thinking "Crypto is already working for musicians, we've got Musicoin, Opus, Voise..." and yeah, that's great.
I've got nothing against those companies, I admire them for going in feet first. But I think they're trying to re-invent a wheel that's already looking square - Spotify isn't good for musicians yet a lot of us use it, if you rebrand it in the crypto world and paid artists double or triple it still wouldn't be good. Don't even get me started on consumer adoption...
Then there's the volatility in crypto. You could earn $10 and it could be $1,000 or $1 the next day. It's not a reliable source of income. Right now and for a few more years, it's an investment or a trading tool.
But there *is a place* on the internet that uses crypto as it's engine and has more than an ounce of stability.
- Almost 500,000 users (and growing daily)
- Over 250,000 active users (and growing daily)
- It's pretty stable against the dollar.
It's FUCKING Steemit!
Sorry, I got excited. And yes, I know the logo is outdated, best I could find at the time.
Anyway... bands love likes. Likes on their Facebook pages and posts, little hearts on instagram, retweets, all that good stuff. But we all know what 'Likes' are worth don't we?
Not a lot
Well, that's depends. Let's have a look shall we? Now this part isn't really for you seasoned Steemians, it's more for the bands and artists that may end up looking at this post.
That's the top 4 trending posts in the last 2 days, some in less than 20 hours.
Almost $500. That's insane. You Steemians did that, you gave music value again. And probably more than an independent artist could usually make from one song.
You fucking legends!
Now I'm new to steemit but I understand that (depending on the post type), half of that gets converted into SteemPower that can be used to upvote other blog posts, comments and such (keeps the community going, very good) whilst the other half is converted into SteemDollars (which is worth ~$1 USD, pretty stable).
Here's the thing though... who's getting those SteemDollars?
Does @joseph know or represent Dave East and Jhene Aiko? I certainly hope so cos he's just made $220.28 from their work (well half if we're talking SteemDollars). Are they getting that $110.14 that's instantly accessible, that can be sold for Bitcoin, then sold into cash?
Look, it's crypto, it's the new Wild West. If he's just making money for himself, that's on him and no one can really stop him. I hope my cynical assumptions are completely wrong and if they are I apologise for even insinuating it.
But musicians are my kin, my friends and in the last 7 years, my clients. And I see this as a way of paying them back for having faith in me and my work. Maybe if I can post about them and share their kick ass music, it could make them some cash.
So, when I introduce the band that I teased you with in the first image, remember your upvote to them could be worth as simple as buying a badge, sticker or single. It could be buying a whole album or putting fuel in their van for the next show. Who knows? It could even finance more studio time with me, that's up to them.
But first, it's up to you Steemit.
They don't know I'm doing this, I hope to get in touch with them in a week or two with a surprise so please don't spoil it by saying you found them on Steemit. If you go give them a like on Facebook or Twitter, just say you found them on YouTube. I'll make a follow up post, hopefully I can arrange a Skype with them and record it and put it up here or something, live reaction kinda thing. I don't even know if they know what a Bitcoin is, let alone a SteemDollar!? Hopefully I don't call them saying they need to split 50 cents 4 ways... as experiments go, that would definitely count as a fail.
So, enough waffling. Let's make this crypto work for musicians who may be oblivious to it's potential. Starting right now.
Steemians, I present... from the outskirts of London, England. The ever so fucking groovy:
Running With Wolves - What To Believe
Running With Wolves will be receiving 50% of this post's earnings (the SteemDollars), however they wish to receive it (SteemDollars, Bitcoin, any other cryptocurrency or fiat cash). The remaining 50% (SteemPower) will be used however I can on Steemit to keep this ball rolling and keep promoting artists I've worked with. I may power some down from time to time cos it's a lot of work writing a post like this.
If you liked the song, please consider upvoting and go find out about the band. Let me know what you thought of the song in the comments. I'm sure I'll be making another post about them where we can get into a bit more detail, I've taken up enough of your time already. Thanks for sticking around.
I've got a whole tonne of music I've worked on over the past 7 years, metal, pop, hard rock, classic rock, post-hardcore, hardcore, acoustic. Let me know in the comments what you want to hear next!
Oh and please me so you don't miss the next awesome artist!