The music industry has seen a great many shifts over the past several decades, music listeners initially had vinyl records, then CD’s, then the world was introduced to the powers of the internet and the worldwide web and the notion of pirating and sharing came along through software like LimeWire, Napster from Sean Parker, and Megaupload by Kim Dotcom. Of course, labels and artists had issues with this new aspect of sharing because it was eating into their profits and so so they sought a solution amidst filing suits to shut down sites that operated to share music for free. They didn’t really find one, but Apple did. Apple with its iPod that allowed you to hold 3500 and more songs in the palm of your hand, also gave you Itunes Itunes made it to where you didn’t have to buy the whole album, you could purchase whatever you wanted for just .99. Not a bad deal right? It was, for some time. Then we progressed into the era of streaming with sites like Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Rhapsody and more. Yet, still, labels play a role and extract profits, the music industry or rather artists, continues to deal with problems like how do I give my music to my fans while making a living? How do I cut out the middleman that is the label? Some innovators think that the answer lies in the blockchain.
The latest of the blockchain based music startups seems to be Choon, a startup founded by DJ Gareth Emery, the DJ behind songs like “Long Way Home” and “U.” DJ Gareth has had a great many accomplishments in the music field, as he has run his own label, released music and created podcasts. He initially dabbled with bitcoin in the early years of 2013.
Ethereum is where the beta version of Choon will be hosted. Choon will seek to be a music streaming service that has its own tokens built into the system. What are these tokens called? Notes. Artists will be able to earn “notes” for their work, but notes can also be traded by contributors and investors.
Gareth commented to Music Ally:
“I’ve been at the music-industry coalface for nearly 20 years, and I’ve seen the transitions from vinyl and CD through to downloads and streaming. But I feel we’ve never properly found a way to distribute music online in a way that was fair to the people making it.”
“Almost all of the solutions we’ve got are bolted on to this existing legacy system of processing royalties that is completely not fit-for-purpose. It goes back to the days of sheet music! So I felt we needed to create a new system completely from scratch.”
According to Music Ally, Choon can be thought of like a mix between “SoundCloud and Bandcamp, in the sense that independent artists upload their music to make it available to an audience online, but then receive royalties back based on an 80% revenue share deal.”
The platform seeks to comprehensive as it will also be a platform where artists can sell their music, their tickets for their tours and their tour merchandise. The platform also allows for streaming closed concerts and the acceptance of tips from a loyal and interested fanbase.
The startup will be using the concept of smart contracts to share royalties between creators and partners. The target audience of Choon is independent artists. Artists will be able to own their music and will receive their royalties.
Choon might also be working with labels as well to publish their catalogs through the creation of smart record contracts that will allocate notes to both the label and the artists.
Watch a video explaining choon further!
Choon does seem to be having an interesting and holistic approach to the problem and will be launching in Spring 2018.
Will they be able to sustain and really win out in the long term?
Time will tell. But they have looked into all aspects of the music industry and the problems that are plaguing artists and are addressing it in a modern manner.