Why I believe so strongly in Choon, and why it matters

in streaming •  5 months ago

NOTE: This post does not necessarily reflect the views of the Choon team. I have received no payment or other favor from Choon, and I am merely a user/artist of the platform.

So you may have seen the increasing hype about the new blockchain-based streaming platform called Choon. Either from me, from Choon themselves, or from other people. Or you might not have heard about it at all yet. Regardless of your previous knowledge about Choon, I will clarify why I believe so much in it below.

What and who

Choon was founded by the quite famous trance DJ and crypto enthusiast Gareth Emery. He didn’t just want to make a music startup with Choon. He wanted to change the music industry. As most music startups usually end up being owned by one of the 3 labels that are already controlling more than 67% of the ENTIRE music industry, they knew they had to do it differently.

I’m not going to describe all the founders in this post, but they have an incredible team.

There are numerous stakeholders in the music business. Still. Even though most of them are hardly needed any more. Back in the day, you needed a studio to produce music, which was usually offered by the label. Now, all you need is a laptop and a headset. So the job of the label is currently only marketing and distribution. Aside from this, you also have royalty-collecting societies that often claim the rights to all of your music and collect royalties on your behalf.

With Choon, they wanted to rethink the whole music industry in light of the dramatic changes over the last 10–20 years. If we were to rebuild the whole music ecosystem today, what would it look like?

The features

This is where it gets interesting. The features already implemented, and those slated to come. I will highlight a few of the most notable ones here. What they do, why it matters, and why I love it.

  • Daily payments

Something as simple as having daily payouts will already make a dramatic change from the current system. Getting paid from Spotify can take as much as 6 months to 2 years from the day a stream happens. Think about this for a second. —Would you take that new job if you had to work there for 6 months before getting your first paycheck? Hardly. Unless it paid you very generously. Which it doesn’t.

  • 80% of revenues goes to artists, with no middlemen

This is a biggie. 80% of the streaming revenue goes straight from listener to artist. No labels. No management. No lawyers. No bullshit. They might even be open to decreasing their platform cut in the long run once they have a big enough market share. But taking 20% in the early days will help them get revenue to grow in this very competitive market. —For comparison, Spotify takes a 30% platform cut, so 20% is not much at all.

  • 60/40 spilt of streaming income

This might seem insignificant to some, but is a major game-changer for smaller artists. Most streaming platforms in the current system have a flat fee that is often unknown as well. The only ones benefitting from a flat rate are the mainstream artists and their labels.

On Spotify, if you have 10,000 super loyal fans, listening to your music 10% of all their streaming time, you will still only get a few cents per play. But let’s take Tidal as an example because they wanted to “change the way artists gets paid”, kicked off with the most cringe-worthy video I have ever seen. They reportedly pay $0.01284 per stream.

In our example, let’s say you have an album of 10 tracks. 1000 people would play only this album in their month of streaming, which would result in 1000x$0.01284x10 = $128.40.While they are paying $10 each in subscription fees. So Tidal is getting $100.000 in revenues from your fans, they play your music 10% of the time, and you end up with $128.40. Hardly even a noticeable side income, and most likely a loss for you if you subtract all the promotions you need to do to get 10,000 real fans.

Now, let’s take the same example with Choon’s 60/40:

If a subscription costs $10 there as well, 20% goes to Choon, so there’s $8 left in royalties. The 60% that goes to artists streamed will be $4.80. Multiply this by 1000, and you’ll end up with $4800/mo, paid out in daily chunks. Now that’s a living! And we haven’t even counted the other 40% coming from the shared pool, nor the streaming as mining for the first 10 years.

In the current calculation, the royalties paid from Choon will be 37.5 times higher than what you would get from the exact same number of streams on Tidal. (4800/128) Again, this is the lowest number the artist would be paid, as it doesn’t include the remaining 40% from the shared revenue pool.

  • Incentivized playlists — Playlist curators get a percentage of the royalties streamed

Another thing I am incredibly excited about. Playlist curators are working hard to find tracks, and it takes a lot of time. Now they can finally get rewarded for their efforts. For me as an artist, it means I will make *X% less from a stream I would otherwise not have received. Which is peanuts compared to alternative marketing channels that most often turn into a loss when it comes to streaming due to the low payouts.

The effect of this will be an increased focus on quality music. As artists can focus less on marketing, and more on producing quality music with features like this. And the curators getting rewarded will look long and deep for music, further supporting the small artists consistently making quality music. So in the long run, this will result in higher payouts for artists, more quality music available, and a lot of great playlist curators.

*The rates are set by the artists, but defaults to 5%. It can be turned off, or artists can even give away 100% if they want to.

  • Streaming as mining

Simply put, this is the most brilliant growth incentive I have ever seen. 50% of the total supply of the NOTES token, will be given out to artists over the course of 10 years. Where the majority will be given out in the first 5. This means 375,000 NOTES are given out to artists every single day, based on their % of the daily streams. If there are 10,000 streams on the platform one day and you get 1% of them (100 streams), you will get paid 3750 NOTES that day.

The reason they call this “Streaming as mining” is because it relates to normal crypto mining in the sense that it gets harder and harder due to competition, while they also increase in value. Right now you might get 15–50 NOTES per stream, but in a year from now you might get 1. Or even 0.1 as the streams pick up, and more artists join.

  • Smart Music Contracts

Another of my favorite things on Choon. The royalty distribution of a track is handled by a smart music contract. When an artist uploads a track, they set the royalty split here. Once. And it takes care of the rest. If you need to split with a singer, producer and composer for example, you just set their % when you upload the track, and it’s there. Nothing more you need to do. Every rights holder will get paid every single day on autopilot (if there are streams).

And this also opens up a lot of other interesting use cases in the future. What if you want to give some of your royalties to a charity for instance? Well you can! Directly even. Transparently too, thanks to the blockchain. Everyone can see the contract. This can also be used to pay your designer, mastering engineer, promoter, mentor, and other services you might require, with no upfront investment.

  • DJ Mixes with royalty payments

Say whaaaaaat?! Yes. It will be a thing. Composers getting featured in a DJ mix will now also earn their rightful royalty cut from within the mix. And the DJ will get their curator’s cut as well. Think about the massive amount of tracks currently getting played from mixes. All the producers currently get is their name in the track list. If they’re lucky. And many DJs even have their mixes up for free download. With DJ mixes on Choon, this will all change, and it makes me incredibly excited. This function is scheduled to be released in May 2019 according to their roadmap.

  • Remix support for smart music contracts

The days of creating remixes for free for promotional purposes only might be over! Around August 2019, we can expect support for smart remix contracts. Composers will be able to upload their stems, and pre-determine the royalty distribution for their remixes. It will open for a lot of interesting collaborations, and make sure everyone gets paid their fair share. I even got my first ever remix made through Choon already, and I am incredibly happy with it. (Deep/Progressive House)

  • “This content is not available in your region”

Ever seen this message before after clicking a Youtube video? Not on Choon! The internet is global, and so is Choon. Independent artists who own all their music ensures that listening to music is available for anyone around the world, by the same terms. What makes listening to a song in Germany different from listening to the same song in India? Nothing. If you go to the same link, playing the same song, your nationality shouldn’t matter.

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Possible criticism

I usually go full-force when explaining Choon to people, often leading to some healthy skepticism. When explaining that playlist curators get a share of the royalties, that the token value has price increases “built-in”, and that you get less and less tokens per stream, makes some people compare it with a pyramid scheme. Which is understandable to some extent, but also quite wrongfully so.

There are no referral bonuses giving you x% of what your referrals make 3 tiers deep. You don’t have to invite a single user to be a part of this. The % cut to playlist curators works just like any other business collaboration. Just like travel agents and booking engines get a (quite large) percentage of their bookings as commission from the hotels and airlines. This is nothing new, it’s a proven model that only pays for actual value created. No risk for any parties involved. It can be a great model, and it has finally hit the music industry.

And the whole part about streaming as mining might be odd to some. This is more understandable. If we look at the entire value chain, the value will become artificially high in the short term, compared to the value actually created. Making it seem a bit like some sort of scheme. But the good news is that there is an actual end-game to all this. Payments. In the end, as the platform expands and users start paying, the currency will stabilize itself, mitigating the somewhat artificial value from the early days. If we completely remove the whole speculative nature of crypto and just think about Choon in 5 years, my payment example above will be just as relevant as today. Getting 10,000 followers who play your music 10% of the time is hard, but doable. And it will make you a comfortable living on Choon, as opposed to the $150 you’ll get in the legacy streaming eco-system.

This last part here is what explains the “sounds too good to be true, but actually is true” kind of attitude towards Choon. They have an extremely incentivized machine for growth, making the artists do their very best to constantly attract listeners to the platform. Which is also why I believe in it so much. They are attacking the whole music industry head-on, and it will be a tough battle, but mechanisms like this will constantly bring in new users and artists practically for free. And growth will be crucial for them to succeed in the long run.

The value chain

Actual value is something that far too often gets overlooked. On Choon, the value is the amount of time you keep someone engaged. So the real currency is attention. This is what people will have to pay for in the end, just like on other content platforms like Spotify or Netflix. And everything surrounding this or facilitating it, is a part of the value chain. And on Choon, everyone who positively contributes to the platform one way or the other, can get rewarded. Being an early content creator on the platform, I play a big part in the platform’s success. Both from providing content, and for attracting users. And I get rewarded for it.

Playlist curators also do this. They organize all the music in relevant lists that people might enjoy. And they get a cut. Two-way tipping will also be a thing, so artists can even tip fans leaving nice or helpful comments on their tracks. Because it matters so much for artists, much more than most people really know. Some of my biggest motivational boosts in my early days of producing have come from strangers leaving nice comments on my tracks on Soundcloud. One nice comment can make your day, and tipping for it is a great way of showing gratitude.

So all in all, you will either pay a fair amount for access to all the great music, or you can get free access if you help the platform in different ways. It’s a win-win either way.

“Choon is like the fairtrade of the music industry”

And even though people care most about convenience in general, knowing that the artists you really like now gets paid fairly is an added bonus. You are actually supporting their music career, and allowing them to make more and even better music.

Community

I have personally never seen anything like it. I keep on meeting incredible individuals every single day. Well-meaning indie artists who just wants to make music and spread good vibes. It’s almost like everyone I meet are modern-day hippies like myself. It’s just so much love and compassion everywhere. People helping each other out, left and right. And everyone feels so strongly about Choon that they are inviting their other amazing friends and musicians to join. Everyone wants Choon to succeed so badly, because it represents a very real change to the status quo. Where making a consistent side-income from your music is a very real and realistic outcome. Where you can actually make a humble living just from making music, which is what most indie music producers dream of.

And when you have a community like that, it catches on. More and more people are jumping aboard the Choon train every day, and it’s spreading like wildfire — by itself.

Top this off with an experienced team who are hands-on, constantly. Where they listen to their users as best they can in-between their massive workload, where the founders and even Gareth himself jump in and takes action if someone hasn’t been heard in the telegram group. Details like this make you also want the founders to succeed too. They’re the good guys. A tiny detail that proves this is that the current genre playlists are randomized daily to give everyone a chance to get streams, not just the big guys. They are really aiming for a fair system in every way the can.

Execution

I just wanted to drop one last point in before we’re closing here. Talking is free, but execution is what matters. Their white paper and roadmap is incredibly well crafted and planned. They obviously have some badass strategists. But more than anything else, they keep on executing well. Consistently, since day one. Remember #metoo? Yeah, me too. They had an advisor on board that turned out to be quite an asshat towards women. As soon as they heard, they kicked him out and removed him from the website. Within less than an hour from it being out. That is decisiveness right there! Possible negative publicity eliminated, and a douchebag thrown out. Heck, I’m even talking about it as a positive event now since it was handled so well.

They also never talk or speculate on the token price. It’s even in their white paper that they never will. And the updates they release are well-written, clear, and well communicated, while setting expectations right.

I agree with practically every single decision they have made so far.

Final words

For me personally, Choon represents a drastic change in my music “career”. I have put career in quotes because I still haven’t earned a cent with any of my music outside of Choon. 4 EP’s, and I have no idea what I will get, or when I will get it. I am not blaming the labels in this case, as the labels I have released with so far are quite small “for the love of music” kinds of labels, most likely releasing and promoting my music at a loss as well.

As a comparison to other services, I have had more than 14,000 streams in a month on Choon. vs. less than 6000 in total, while paying for Soundcloud pro for 2 years. And in the end, I care most about getting my music heard.

And on Choon, my music is getting heard AND I’m getting paid. It might mean the shift from being a passionate bedroom producer to becoming a professional. I’m getting my music out there now, and my phone storage is full from all the screenshots of every nice comment I’m getting these days. I’m absolutely loving it.

“What if it fails?”

This question might come up. And there is always a chance it might happen, even though it’s going well right now. It’s crypto after all. But even if Choon itself would fail, there is now a massive, growing community set out to change the industry. The seed has been planted, and it will live on. We have already seen it’s possible with Choon. Artists worldwide are uniting for this cause. It’s becoming a movement more than a streaming service. If something critical would happen to Choon that would somehow end it, another “Choon” will quickly pop up with a fix for whatever ended the first Choon. The change has started, and there is no stopping it now. The music industry itself will be radically different 10 years from now, regardless of what happens with Choon.

With this in mind, I will give Choon everything I’ve got, for as long as I can. And do my absolute best to help out and ensure it’s success.

Links
Whitepaper: https://info.choon.co/public/pdf/choon_white_paper.pdf
Roadmap: https://www.choon.co/public/pdf/choon_roadmap.pdf
My artist profile: https://choon.co/artists/kryptokind/
Artist waiting list: https://www.choon.co/about

My other articles about Choon and the Notes token:
https://steemit.com/streaming/@cryptoprebz/how-much-will-the-notes-be-worth
https://steemit.com/streaming/@cryptoprebz/my-take-on-the-price-predictions-actual-demand-for-notes-based-on-the-existing-music-market

P.S. If you liked this post, I would greatly appreciate an upvote, or that you support me by streaming some of my music on Choon. You can find my profile here: Kryptokind on Choon ( #melodictechno + #minimaltechno, #progressivehouse + #deephouse, and more. Some with inspirations from #italo and #psy)
I also have set the playlist split to 50% for all my tracks, allowing you to get 50% of the royalties from any of my songs streamed through your playlist

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WOW - I have been using Choon since day one and have integrated it into AtomCollectorRecords.com (where people listen to earn credits to get their own Choon tracks heard) so I was already onboard and excited but I just read every word of your article and I'm EVEN MORE EXCITED NOW!!

Your quote about it being like FairTrade for the music industry is spot on and yes the team behind Choon seem very professional and have really put some thought into this.

The real test will be if they can grow and attract enough high quality music to entice people to pay the subscription but hey, we have have 10 years to enjoy it before we find out!!

Choon to the moon!

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That was my intention, and it's great to hear you're getting even more excited!
Yes, compassionate and skilled team, fairtrade of the music industry, it's hard not to like it.

Yep. That is any platform's biggest challenge. And I am convinced Streaming as Mining will help a lot in doing that.
Well, we have 1 year before subscriptions begin! Streaming as mining will still be present, but the impact of it will be more and more reduced as they are getting more paying subscribers.

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Going to be interesting to see how that goes. SoundCloud has a huge catalogue but has struggled to attract enough subscribers but then again Choon's costs should be way less as they will be funding the IT with NOTES! What a great way to grow a business - with your own money! :-)

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Well, SC started out being for creators, and shifted to being for mainstream hiphop listeners when they wheren't making money. They could have made a GREAT advertising platform, but little happened there.
They could have made their once amazing app, a bit more modern to still be good. But no, they fucked up, and still have no means of que'ing tracks on IOS. The user experience is lacking and the platform does nothing for artists in itself in terms of promotions. Not any more at least.
Also, it's hard to go from "forever free", to "pay to hear mediocre music after being used to free".
Choon costs will be low for sure. They are very agile, and don't need a lot of people working on administrative bullshit.

Yeah! It's brilliant 👌

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Yes I agree about SC. I really can't understand how a company can be run so badly. It's not rocket science! They had such a great thing going on. They just needed to add more social features, be more supportive instead of pissing people off and then, as you say, build a great advertising platform. Removing groups was the beginning of the end really.

Wow man! Awesome write up, I've been on Choon for a while now, and I think exactly as you do, I enjoyed this post from start to end, great work, this definitely gives hope to indie artists all over the world, it is insane!!! A REVOLUTION has started!!!!!!

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Great to hear, and yes it has! ✊

V. thorough write-up and great job. I'm behind this project all the way and especially love the easy uploader and speed of the site.

I make original guitar song outlines as 'Embertime' (https://choon.co/playlists/0tox9fosbg8/miles-to-go-before-i-sleep-long-distance-driving-by-emb) and some electronic music for driving long-distance 'Embient' (https://choon.co/playlists/0tox9fosbg8/miles-to-go-before-i-sleep-long-distance-driving-by-emb)

I've now got all my tracks up there and am delving into the site to spread some love and create playlists. Finally, a site like this has arrived.

Resteemed and upvoted:) as I also chronicle 'real' earn crypto projects and general crypto stuff on my site https://adespress.blog

This is very interesting @cryptoprebz! We're a tech company that is building the first smart speaker that integrates blockchain music platforms like Musicoin, Emanate, Choon, etc. This is the first time that I read a comprehensive, compelling and complete article that explains what a "blockchain music platform" is. Well done on that!

I'd like to actually have a chat with you if possible. Could you hit me up at: antonio@volareo.live? That'll be much appreciated! Cheers.

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I love the fact that you are engaging with the music community and not distancing yourselves likke most companies do!

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The goal has been always to create a community more than selling a speaker and, of course, what goes around comes around!

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Never a truer word spoken!

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Awesome! Been looking forward to getting a Sonos app for Choon, but that will probably take ages. A dedicated startup for smart speakers integrated with crypto platforms will definitely help adoption =D

Thanks! The blockchain bit can be alienating for a lot of people, so I will keep on writing more articles like this for sure.
Sure thing! Sending an email now =)

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Great! Will wait for that. Just realised you're Amsterdam and we're in Rotterdam, so that makes things even easier. Speak soon!

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Awesome! Yes, let me know when there's a good time to meet =)

You can now also join Choon directly, while skipping the waiting list if you're an artist. You can do so by using this link, while also supporting me a little bit in the process =)
http://kryptokindmusic.com/out/choon-skip-waitlist

(and I just realized I cannot edit posts on Steemit, heh)

Great write up mate. Well written and thought out. I've been an early adopter of Choon as well and have to say, the platform is smooth, simple to use and it's great to see all the developments they've made.

Once again, top write up, looking forward to the DJ feature and comments coming in, that will bolster the community in my opinion.

Following you on choon now, looking forward to hearing more from you.

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Thanks! Going to write a massive write-up on the implications of the 60/40 split as well soon =)
I believe a lot of people hardly realize how big it is, even with this explanation.

Nice article, what do you think of the Musicoin project ?
https://choon.co/artists/spleen-musical/

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Haven't read yet, but will do later. I tried it before Choon, and it was simply too buggy and annoying. I still wanted to start a blockchain-based streaming service after trying it. But not at all after learning about Choon.
Bought $10 of Music some months ago. They're worth $3.5 now or so...

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I made myself a small crypto wallet with my musicoin plays in the fall of 2017, and I invest 50% of my fiat royalties on other projects.

Choon is very promising and his playlist system is great !

I'm eager to see more, and really feel like posting a track to plant a seed that may be giving great fruit next season, and "on the moon".

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If you have some music you can upload, I would definitely do it asap if I was you! The income reports and all are very addicting, and it's a lot of fun. Really makes both crypto and music more fun again =)

Hey there,

I really wish I could share your enthusiasm but I am afraid your calculations are a little "unrealistic" :-).

I also didn't really get the 60/40 part - can you point out where you got that information? I cannot find anything in the whitepaper about it?

One main thing I suggest we remember: Choon will always be paying us in Notes. And nobody knows what the price will be.

I like to compare this with Musicoin - they pay 1 MC per track streamed and that is worth aprox $0.0077 atm (https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/musicoin/). If Spotify pays $0.01284 per stream they would have the far better deal ;-).

Btw. - just streaming Chapter 2 on Choon - thanks for that!!

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Heyhey, thanks for reading mate!

I'll get right to it. I also wish that, so I'll hopefully be able to somewhat convince you =)

Unrealistic? Might seem so if you didn't fully understand the 60/40 (It can be complex, and it requires some context). I got it directly from Gareth when asking about it in the Telegram group quite some time ago. Was certain it was in the WP, but you're right, it's not. It is briefly mentioned on page 9 though: (Can be they haven't disclosed the exact % because they might change)

"NOTES from streaming packages will be distributed via a hybrid model that will allow users’
subscription fees to be directly funneled to the artists whom they actually listened to (which no legacy
streaming service currently does).
The Choon Platform will show users and fans how much of their contributions went to each supported
artist. We expect this will provide users a feel-good factor and a sense of gratication in helping the
smaller artists. Dedicated fan bases will develop loyalty for their artists and the platform.
This is in stark contrast to the present industry standard of parimutuel royalty systems, in which users’
monthly fees are dumped into huge distribution pools, where the fees are claimed primarily by the
largest artists (regardless of whether or not the users had actually listened to them)." ...

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Well written, I feel very fortunate to see what is potentially an industry changing platform such as Choon from the beginning! (thx to you buddy) Hoping one day I will look back and be able to say "I was there!" and ppl be like "no way!" hah and I be like "Yes way!" Respect fist bump

Hahah well either way, its very exciting! and I hope in the future it will enable more producers, singers, and songwriters to earn a respectable living for their work.

Who knows maybe one day, because of Choon when a teen or young adult says to their friends, peers or parents "I want to make music for a living" ppl actually take them seriously! Just as they would if you had of said you wanted to do some trade.
Wouldn't that be a nice future for creative ppl?

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Thanks!
Haha, I'm also expecting some "respect fist bumps" in a few years xD

Yes! That is what I'm also hoping for! And it doesn't matter if you get in even after streaming as mining is over, as the whole system simply enables musicians to get a consistent income. The distribution of value just makes more sense, and the eco system getting built is very enabling for artists.

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fantastic write up my friend. I am really enjoying choon and all its features, i love the playlist option and the smart contract feature, its awesome. huge success to you on

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Thanks! So am I =D
Thank you, and likewise =)

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So good view

Been in Choon for quite some time and I am really glad to have got in early. If disruptive is the word, Choon is the name.

Will Choon cost money some day to be able to listen music ?

Thank you, Sir, for posting a beautiful music to you, this post has been very nice thanks to you many congratulations and greetings from me.