One of the biggest pain points for musicians in the streaming economy is slow payment for their work. Publishers and labels must process the streaming metadata before they can pay the artist. And if metadata is missing or incorrect, the intended recipients may never receive their income (in 2019, Billboard estimated there was about $250 million of unpaid revenue for musicians).
The problem the streaming industry has faced for a long time is that publishers and labels simply don’t have the technology to process such large amounts of data.
A new pilot involving Revelator‘s Original Works, a leading blockchain-based digital asset management and distribution platform for creative IP, and Family in Music, a Finland-based creator services company supporting independent music, has enabled payments to be made to participating artists within 24 hours.
The Artist Wallet within Original Works enables artists and labels to monitor their usage data, set up automated song splits and arrange daily royalty settlements ‘as easily as posting to social media’.
Family in Music invited around 20 creators to use the Wallet, first for song split management and then for daily royalty settlements, as opposed to the quarterly or longer settlement periods typical in the industry.
Family in Music’s Chief Commercial Officer Jani Jalonen said, ‘Family in Music is committed to improving and elevating the experience for independent music creators and industry professionals, including being able to receive royalties on a daily basis, taking advantage of creative rights management tools, and having greater security and transparency in transactions.
‘We’re at the forefront representing an exciting leap forward in helping the sector to do better business, and they’re powered by the Wallet.’
This pilot helps prove that blockchain-based music rights administration is not only possible, but stands to benefit artists in clear ways. It builds on several other highly successful tests of the technology with major global publishers and with Finnish CMO Teosto and music usage tracking experts BMAT, providing royalties to songwriters and publishers. This pilot used one smart contract per release to ensure money flowed into the Artist Wallet in a couple of minutes, with fees lower than what traditional structures charge for royalty collection.
Bruno Guez, founder and CEO of Revelator, said, ‘This is our first proof of how well this system can work for artists. These real-life stress tests are essential to progressing decentralised tools for an industry that desperately needs better and faster ways to pay for rights usage and to manage valuable digital assets.
‘The Artist Wallet is the cornerstone of what we hope will be a new approach that will increase efficiency and ultimately improve artists’ lives. There are many visions floating around for blockchain or other decentralized solutions for the music industry’s woes, but none that actually exists and works and pays artists – until now.’