As part of CoinGeek’s SXSW coverage, we reached out to various music platforms building on Bitcoin SV (BSV) to learn more about how they empower artists, create unique revenue streams, and strengthen relationships with fans. In this series, we interview SmartLedger, who have introduced revolutionary blockchain music application called Rare Generation and Streamable FM.
How does your platform uniquely monetize audio content?
SmartLedger: We enable content creators and publishers to utilize the BSV blockchain ledger to publish Digital Rights Management NFTs and transactions to ensure stakeholders are paid the appropriate amounts of stream revenue and revenue streams, according to the publisher transactions.
What are the flaws in Spotify’s (for example) business model?
SmartLedger: Lack of micropayments, real-time payments, auditable trails of content streams, direct fan engagement, and a host of other flaws that Spotify and all other legacy models currently have.
How does your platform connect fans and artists more directly?
SmartLedger: Currently, content publishers are able to “mint” new content and share with their fans instantly, as they feel inspired. Fans can respond through streams and instant tipping features.
Do you view the pay-per-stream model as having too much friction for listening to songs vs. ads or subscription models?
SmartLedger: There are many ways to engage fans, artists, and sponsors in a friendly symbiotic relationship where everyone wins. We love fans being able to gain benefits from loyalty programs by doing micro-tasks on the platform or sharing content through our referral programs, where they gain credits on the platform for streams.
Sponsors love to provide the income for both our digital street teams as well as artists who provide potential new customers with their products. Freemium and premium models have a place in blockchain applications, but micropayments enable the best of both worlds.”
Do you view blockchain technology as disrupting the current music industry?
SmartLedger: Blockchain technology is the natural evolution of what the music industry has been in need of for decades. Artists deserve to get paid for their content; publishers deserve to be paid for finding new avenues of revenue. Furthermore, all of the other people in between who make the success of a creative work deserve recognition, whether financial or other means.
Transparency has been rare, and exploitation has been rampant throughout the history of music. The amazing thing about blockchain is that everyone who is truly contributing to the process stands to benefit from real-time accounting, increased efficiency, improved metrics, more equitable opportunity, and higher revenues.
What role do you see NFTs having for artists in engaging their fan base?
SmartLedger: First, we have to discuss what an NFT is. As ‘property’ or a ‘property right,’ NFTs can play incredible roles within the music industry. NFTs for the memorialization of Digital Rights Management publication can encapsulate the hash, as well as the data of rights holders.
NFTs can be a song itself, like a CD or record, that you own and can decrypt and listen to. It can be an access key, for limited or unlimited access to media, on-chain or off. And so on… This applies to every industry, and it is truly exciting to be a part of the creation of the standardization and protocols.
Why did you choose to implement BSV for your platform?
SmartLedger: With its unbounded block size, as well as smart contract and on-chain scripting language, Bitcoin SV is the only option for creating protocols for the music industry to adopt for long-term stability and scalability.
Have you, or do you plan to implement any aspects of other blockchains (for example, Ethereum, Solana) into your platform as well? If not, why?
SmartLedger: We don’t at this time see the need to implement any solutions on other blockchains.
We have looked, and we don’t see any other blockchains that can even come close to competing with the stability and scaling capabilities of Bitcoin SV. We want to provide our users, as well as our colleagues within the music industry, a simple and effective solution that will work for the international community.
What are the advantages of Digital Rights Management (DRM) on the blockchain?
SmartLedger: An authenticated and reliable source of rightsholders that all streaming platforms can look to as they enable their listeners to consume artists and publisher’s content. It also enables the payments and streams to be logged and tracked in real-time for better insights and instant payments.
Streamable FM sends satoshis to multiple people when a user clicks play to listen to a song. Can you describe how artists can leverage split payments along with royalties to boost their fan base?
SmartLedger: It is possible to break payments down utilizing various platforms like Paycircles.com to create royalty splits. Artists combine our PayCircles technology to empower street teams to share content, as well as build in shared revenue to a publishing of a piece of content for their fans. We have seen this used as an effective marketing tool for new releases.
Thank you, SmartLedger, for answering my questions. I hope the readers learned more about the platform and how they uniquely approach monetization in the music industry.
This article was lightly edited for clarity purposes.
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