The music industry is one of the most lucrative and culturally significant domains, boasting a staggering global revenue of $26.2 billion in 2022 alone. This figure emphasizes the opportunities awaiting artists who aim to carve out a place among the industry’s elite.

However, the music industry still faces its fair share of challenges, with many professionals seeking new ways to overcome them. One alternative rapidly gaining traction is blockchain in the music industry, which offers solutions to some of the most pressing issues.

How does blockchain in music change the game? The following visual guide explores common industry challenges and how incorporating blockchain in music streaming and distribution can help you rise above them.


5 Top Challenges of the Music Industry

Obstacles in the music industry can make it challenging for musicians and producers to practice their craft and earn a living.

1. Limited access to resources and funding

A decades-old challenge among musicians and producers is securing enough capital to support one’s work. Equipment, studio time, promotions, and touring expenses cost a lot, to the extent that 75% of artists lose money when releasing music.

Although you could approach traditional funding avenues like record labels, these options often require you to surrender some creative control and a portion of your earnings in exchange for financial support. The situation can leave you unable to realize your full potential or reach your intended audience.

2. Susceptibility to copyright infringement and rampant piracy

Copyright infringement is the unauthorized use and piracy of musical works. For instance, peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks and streaming sites freely distribute music online at no cost, making it difficult to protect intellectual property (IP) online.

Of course, governments are constantly cracking down on copyright infringement and piracy by bolstering IP laws, but the problem persists. Nearly 26% of consumers use stream-ripping to obtain music, while 20% use unlicensed mobile apps—all in the name of not having to pay for streaming services.

3. Rise of streaming platforms

Online music distribution means consumers can, knowingly or unknowingly, use IP-protected songs for their benefit. Since streaming platforms are more popular than ever, it’s also much harder to identify if an individual is lawfully using music for commercial purposes due to the vast internet space.

For example, advertisements and TV programs sometimes use music without proper authorization. You could take legal action, but it would cost valuable time and resources.

This practice is also common in video-sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok, where users often utilize songs on their posts without permission and unknowingly commit copyright infringement. Obviously, you will experience diminishing returns.

4. Complexity of contracts and the insistence of intermediaries

Agreements are challenging for many artists, especially with traditional music industry contracts’ growing reputation of being highly exploitative.

Complications like these leave artists who lack legal expertise vulnerable to manipulation by industry intermediaries like record labels, publishers, or managers. Unclear contract terms and bargaining power imbalances also usually result in unfavorable terms, giving you limited control over your creative output. Hence, you may be unable to monetize your talents fully.

5. Evolution of music distribution methods

While streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify make music more accessible to consumers, these services offer fewer benefits to creators and may not pay musicians enough for their work.

At the same time, shifting industry economics introduces new uncertainties, such as fluctuating royalty rates and algorithm-driven playlist placements. Adapting to this changing landscape might be necessary to maximize your earning potential.

Advantages of Incorporating Blockchain in the Music Industry

What does blockchain bring to the table that makes the jobs of music industry stakeholders much more manageable and better compensated?

1. Reinforces transparency in royalties distribution

Royalties ensure that all parties creating and distributing music receive fair compensation for their contributions. However, royalty distribution is often unclear and inefficient, hindering timely and accurate payments.

Blockchain resolves this problem by introducing transparent and immutable public ledgers that track royalties from source to destination, offering you better visibility and control over your earnings.

2. Streamlines rights management

Many find managing the complex web of rights among music compositions and recordings tedious. Blockchain-based digital rights management (DRM) systems simplify the process by letting you track and administer IP rights efficiently. Smart contracts also enable automated licensing, eliminating the need for manual transactions.

3. Increases artists’ incomes through direct monetization opportunities

Blockchain enables the creation and sale of digital assets—something you can do with your music. For instance, you may tokenize and sell your work to create new revenue streams. Then, you can crowdfund and allow your fans to invest in shares of their favorite music.

Likewise, blockchain doesn’t require intermediaries like distributors and record labels to confirm or execute transactions. You can finally break free from traditional distribution channels and reclaim control over your creative output, allowing you to earn more independently.

4. Decreases production costs significantly

Blockchain in music distribution and production reduces costs by streamlining the financing process for creative projects. After all, you don’t need to rely as much on record label partners to produce and distribute music anymore. Plus, blockchain-based crowdfunding platforms and P2P lending networks enable you to acquire funds from investors and allocate resources more efficiently.

5. Enhances intellectual property protection

IP rights protection is a crucial concern among creatives, especially with the prevalence of piracy and unauthorized use of music. Blockchain offers a secure and tamper-proof ledger for registering and managing IP to resolve this problem. It timestamps digital assets on the network to establish irrefutable proof of ownership and create a permanent record of your creative works.

As mentioned, smart contracts also automate copyright licensing. Thus, you can more efficiently receive proper attribution and compensation.

Use Cases of Blockchain in Music

Now, let’s explore how blockchain can transform the music industry.

1. Tokenization of music assets

Besides turning your music into assets as additional revenue streams, you can also use blockchain to transform elements of your creative output into concert tickets, exclusive merchandise, and other non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

With this method, you create scarcity and exclusivity to boost the token’s value proposition. A great example of this is offering limited-edition NFTs with access to VIP experiences, meet-and-greets, or private concerts. Additionally, NFTs enable secondary market trading by allowing fans to buy and sell them on blockchain-powered marketplaces.

2. Utilization of smart contracts for royalty management

Smart contracts are powerful tools for managing music royalties on the blockchain. With this digital contract, encoding royalty agreements into these arrangements lets you automate royalty distribution according to predefined criteria. 

For example, you can program a contract to allocate royalties to songwriters, performers, producers, and other stakeholders based on predetermined revenue splits or usage metrics without relying on intermediaries. Smart contracts also reduce errors and disputes, ensuring you receive fair and timely pay for your contributions to a musical piece.

3. Creation of independent and decentralized music distribution platforms

Blockchain tech empowers you to bypass traditional music distribution channels and sell your music directly to fans sans intermediaries. It offers greater control over your craft, such as setting your terms and pricing structures, allowing you to earn more.

As an added benefit, many blockchain-based distribution platforms provide transparent and verifiable analytics. You can then use this data to learn more about your audience’s demographics and streaming behavior, bolstering your distribution strategies.

4. Utilization of blockchain-powered crowdfunding for financial support

If fund-raising is a significant hurdle in your musical journey, blockchain technology provides multiple viable solutions. You can use blockchain-based crowdfunding platforms to finance album recordings or merchandise production. Supporters can also contribute to these campaigns using cryptocurrencies, with donations being recorded transparently on the blockchain.

Likewise, you can use these platforms to offer incentives and rewards to backers, such as access to unreleased music, limited-edition merchandise, or VIP concert passes.

5. Establishment of a direct connection to your target audience

Since blockchain eliminates intermediaries, you can establish direct connections to enhance engagement and loyalty among listeners.

An excellent way to use blockchain-based social platforms is to share behind-the-scenes content and solicit feedback on your projects. You can leverage these channels to incentivize fan participation through loyalty programs and gamification.

This expedited way of connecting with your fanbase provides more personalized interactions that strengthen the bond between you and your followers.

Revolutionize the Music Industry with Blockchain

The music industry’s challenges might seem daunting, but blockchain’s potential can solve many of them. This tech offers a promising solution for artists and producers looking to navigate professional musicianship with greater control over their work.

As you venture into the music industry, leveraging blockchain innovations may help you unlock new opportunities to excel in your craft.

Want more information about recent trends and developments in blockchain? CoinGeek is the perfect place to start learning, whether you’re looking for articles on blockchain for beginners or experts

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