Exclusive: How is Blockchain Disrupting the Music Industry Globally?

Matthew Lam   Jul 25, 2019 02:15

With the widespread of blockchain technology used in different industries in the past decade, Sean Jong from K-Tune in Korea explains how blockchain can address the current pain points in the traditional music industry. He also explains the role of blockchain in royalty distribution and copyright infringement!


What are the pain points in the music industry and how can blockchain be used to solve them?

There is a range of areas that blockchain technology can help improve the music industry. For instance, reducing transactional costs in the conventional and traditional music industry would be a major improvement. In the traditional methods, if you want to make music, you have to meet professionals from the industry and settle on the royalty shares. For instance, if I were more involved in the development of music then I would claim for 80% of the shares while the other party gets 20%. In the process of doing this involves a lot of intermediaries such as copyright agencies or even lawyers.

Thanks to the nature of blockchain technology, it would be very difficult or virtually impossible to infringe or manipulate data; therefore you will not need to use intermediaries as you can settle and write the division of shares and consensus with other parties on the blockchain.

What is royalty distribution and why is it important?

There are two phases, the first phase of royalty distribution is when they're making music together, they have to reach a consensus of the division of shares. In the music industry, it is hard to pinpoint, you know, who's your, what's your job, and what's mine. Roles in the music industry are quite arbitrary and hard to pinpoint from the royalty shares perspective. In short, the first stage is to make a consensus between artists.

The second phase is when the music is being sold and release that how to collect the royalties, from streaming companies such as iTunes, Spotify, Pandora or Melon in Korea. Blockchain technology has not been yet adopted around the second phase. A solution has not be found for the second phase but we can take care of at least the first phase of royalty sharing because between artists they must come to a conclusion or a consensus of who owns how many shares. Once they have reached a consensus, conventionally, they have to go to an authority or intermediary and report it. With the use of blockchain technology, artists involved will be able to come to a consensus and write it on the blockchain, and that’s the K-Tune solution.

How can blockchain address the copyright infringement issue in the music industry?

Copyright infringement happens most of the time when music is downloaded illegally. So far with the given technology, no one will be able to track every device that everybody owns. The role of blockchain technology could step in regarding copyright infringement when it comes to streaming engines as it can at least track which song is being played, the number of times being played and this data cannot be manipulated.

How are you encouraging more artists to use K-Tune and how has it been adopted in Korea and across the world?

In Korea, it is at a very nascent stage and not many people know about blockchain technology nor do they understand it. Since I am representing K-Tune, I believe it can be one of the pioneers who can spearhead the market awareness and public education of what blockchain is and how blockchain can disrupt the creative industry. I believe the awareness and the level of understanding will keep growing, we have just started our first step, not only in Korea, but also worldwide.

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