With the advent of decentralised digital cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, many industries are developing their best interpretation of this recent phenomenon to help improve monetary exchange. The music industry could be next to adopt cryptocurrencies to improve how money is distributed to artists and fans through the decentralised system of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain startup companies like Blockpool have figured out how to decentralise music currency through the use of AudioCoin, a version of Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency intended for the music industry. Until now, the music streaming model has been centralised by companies such as iTunes and Spotify through their monthly subscription plans. In cooperation with One Little Indian Records, Blockpool has paved the way for AudioCoin to be used for pre-ordering albums through the labels’ online store. In addition to AudioCoin, Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dashcoin can all be used invariably.
On the path that it is headed, Bitcoin is likely to revolutionise every industry in an online world. The best way to understand this system is to imagine the decentralised network as data independent of any owners where it is distributed equally to everyone through cryptocurrencies as the currency for purchase.
The biggest impact this shift to decentralisation can have is similar to the impact it had on other industries where the more the cryptocurrency was shared, the more its value increased. Because this system takes the ownership away from few, centralised, bank-tied companies and disperses it through the network which is its infrastructure, it also redistributes wealth. Ownership of these cryptocurrencies is ownership of assets which will increase as the system grows. In order for it to grow, however, it takes effort for the internet as a collective and, the more active you are in trading and purchasing through it, the bigger it will become. This increases the value of the currency allowing for everyone to be able to generate wealth from it.
Many artists have already begun to release material through Blockchain tech in order to legitimise and create faith and trust in the system. Many are weary of losing their money if the value of the cryptocurrency decreases, but when big artists put their name behind AudioCoin, they can help facilitate the growth of the system. As more and more artists take the leap and join AudioCoin, they can do away with the old system of charging flat rates for streaming services with no reward for engagement. All the while, big streaming companies continue to generate heaps of wealth through artists who see very little of the profit.
With major artists like Björk, Radiohead, Will.i.am, Imogen Heap, and others beginning to promote cryptocurrencies like AudioCoin, the technology has already gained widespread attention. It is only a matter of time before fans and other musicians adopt this change to take the industry in a direction of transparency and fairness.