The days of anxiously driving to the store to pick up a newly released CD, are over, according to Blokur.
With a million ways to stream music for free within in a split seconds producers, artists, and agencies are falling behind. Blokur, hopes to give money and power back to these groups. It’s essentially a rights management firm that uses the ethereum blockchain to record music rights.
Phil Barry, Blokur’s founder, started out first making electronic music as “Mr. Fogg” and ended up setting up his own label before founding the startup. The former Senior Product Innovation manager of Universal Music Group, Andres Martin-Lopez, has joined as the Chief Technical Officer and recently raised $1.2 million in seed funding. With this funding, they are planning on doubling their team while scaling their number of clients, with the help of Digital Currency Group, Ascension Ventures, media entrepreneur Remy Minute, and Innovate UK.
Presently, Blokur works with 3,000 music publishers and 10,000 songwriters, and its five-person team has already collaborated with Will.I.Am, Imogen Heap and Radiohead.
The first step in order to make sure publishers and musicians get paid what they’re due is consolidating information so that a consistent set of data can be added to the ethereum blockchain.
According to Martin-Lopez in an interview with CoinDesk:
“Reconciling all these different data sources, we’re using smart algorithms to resolve inconsistencies in the data automatically, and we’re capturing the data and writing a state on the blockchain for each individual’s music rights.”
If that sounds complicated to you, that’s because it is. Every record company, publisher, musician, music rights non-profit has its own list of the people, bands, song titles, and purchases. In many instances, those records have errors, with misspelled names or incorrect capitalization in band names, all errors that can lead to right holders not getting paid.
Blokur’s systematic foundation is based on machine learning software that helps the company catch these minor mistakes, and then fixing them on a new list that can be added to the blockchain. According to Martin-Lopes, this system makes music rights management as much as 70 percent more efficient.
In addition to the removal of inconsistencies, Blokur tracks the percentage stake each right holder has in a specific piece of music. They plan on paying them directly with cryptocurrency.
With music industry contributing $704 billion to the US economy in 2016 alone, Blokur, is starting to gain some strong competition as plenty of blockchain entrepreneurs have a piqued interest in this profitable space.
Even with its seasoned team, others in the market have advisers and founders with equally solid backgrounds. Viberate, a slovenia-based blockchain-based marketplace has two high profile advisors: Pinterest chief scientist Dr. Jure Leskovec and Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem. Ujo is a blockchain-based platform for music and Imogen Heap is leading its development.
After releasing its first beta project earlier this year to help music publishers manage composition right, Blokur plans on launching a commercial product very soon.
Currently, the company is negotiating deals with several large publishers and collecting data from early adopters on how to improve the platform.
Martin-Lopez, in an interview with CoinDesk states:
“We understand the problem that needs to be solved, and we’re using these participants to try to help us solve that problem.”
Featured Image: twitter