As an artist, it is almost to release music in the entertainment industry, without involving record labels for recording, distribution and monetizing. At the same time, movie producers cannot distribute their work, without the help of production and studio companies.
While the Internet made it possible for people in the entertainment industry to share their work, they faced another roadblock, a new breed of middlemen. These days, there are various platforms such as Netflix, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Music, which allow users to upload their work. The platforms are responsible for distribution while monetizing the entire process through advertisements and subscriptions to pay the artists.
Image Credits: Pixabay
Despite the Internet giving freedom to the artists, the streaming platforms, and record labels, still, have major control over the artists. However, this is all set to change with the introduction of blockchain technology in the entertainment industry. With technologies such as smart contracts, artists don’t need middlemen for content distribution. To show the impact of blockchain technology, here are five changes the entertainment industry will witness:
Combats piracy effectively
One of the biggest problems faced by the entertainment industry is piracy. If you look online, you will find pirated copies of the latest music and movies. Law enforcement agencies, distributors, and studios are fighting an expensive battle against piracy.
However, with the introduction of blockchains in the entertainment industry, it will become easier to combat piracy. For example, Custos Media, a startup plans to take piracy down by using watermark technology, along with blockchains.
As blockchains use distributed ledgers, it becomes easier for artists to keep track of their content. Throughout their lifetime, they will know who sold the rights and ownership of their content. It will almost become impossible for anyone to distribute the work of artists without their knowledge and permission.
Another huge problem with the entertainment industry is fair payment of royalties to the artists. In the Internet age, it is quite easy to distribute and share copies of their work. As a result of this, it is quite easy to disrupt payment of royalties. Even Spotify was involved in a lawsuit worth $1.6 billion, for using specific songs, without compensating or acquiring the necessary licenses.
Warner, Music, and Sony, three huge labels have come together to modernize the payment of royalties to the artists by forming the Open Music Initiative (OMI). The program consists of 200 active members and its foundation technology will use blockchain. They aim to create a transparent ledger with all the rights and assets of the artist’s music. With the help of smart contracts, the artists will receive royalty payments every time users play their music. Artists will continue to receive payments even when users stream their music.
All entertainment products will get well-defined or become tangible, thanks to blockchain technology. For example, when a famous artist is performing in a city, the tickets get sold out within a couple of minutes. Although the artist is responsible for their widespread reach, they don’t reap the profits. At the same time, the end-users or the fans lose out as other sources buy a large number of tickets and sell them at extremely high prices, known as ticket scalping. Despite being an unfair practice, it is a problem in the entertainment industry.
Blockchain technology will overcome this problem, as it will help the entertainment industry retain its authenticity. Blockchains will make it possible to keep track of all the transactions that take place in the supply chain, through RFID tags, QR codes, or NFC chips.
Although streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify make it possible for users to access content easily, there are still restrictions when it comes to access. For example, users from certain geographical locations are unable to access specific content. Certain videos and tracks are not available because of copyright restrictions or legal problems. Also, censorship prevents users from accessing content from a specific region or country.
Although it isn’t the intent of the distributors, they can’t do anything when conflicts of interests exist. Thankfully, blockchains have a solution to these problems. As the ledger is distributed and decentralized, no entity will possess the power to block users from accessing content rightfully. There is a new platform known as DECENT, which distributes content worldwide while making it auditable and secure at the same time. The platform also aims to provide the content to the user, without the need of any middlemen.
Regardless of the popularity of the artist, the entire entertainment industry has a lot to gain from blockchain technology. Although implementation is slow, given the magnitude of the industry, it will solve countless problems, while making it fair for all the artists. It is only a matter of time before companies figure how to execute blockchain technology while offering maximum value to the artists and end-users.
Brought to you by BlockchainSingapore