9.9.2021 | 05:59
TikTok, a streaming blockchain music service, announced on August 17 that it would partner with Audius to manage its extensive internal audio library. Audius wasn’t the right choice to partner with the short-video giant. It a digital music streaming startup that was found in 2018.
However, it is not one of the major streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Audius is the first and only streaming platform to use blockchain technology.
Please Remind What Blockchain
Blockchain technology is a way to store data and transfer value without central ownership. These systems store transaction data in individual blocks, which are connect to each other by timestamps or unique identifiers to form chains. This means that each song has a unique code and clear records are kept for every play. This can also lead to more transparent and streamlined payments.
Spotify and Apple Music employ a pro-rata model to pay musicians. Artists get a share of the monthly platform revenues from subscription fees and ads. This base on how often their music has play. Independent artists and analysts have criticized the pro-rata model for maintaining a superstar economy in which the most well-known artists receive a majority of monthly revenues.
Audius’ blockchain-based system facilitates a user-centric model where artists get revenues from individual users who stream music. This means that artists receive more money from streaming their songs. While streaming giants have refused to give up pro-rata payments, Deezer, a French music streaming site with 16 million users monthly has made the first steps toward user-centric payments. It seems Tik Tok could be next.
How Does Blockchain TikTok Function?
TikTok has more than 800 million active monthly users and is a major force in the global music industry. Songs can used as background music for short videos on TikTok and they can even go viral. Presently, independent music cannot be place on TikTok without the assistance of a publisher. Companies like CD Baby and Tune Core either charge a fee or take a percentage of the revenues.
Audius will allow independent artists to upload their music to TikTok. This would be a huge boon for musicians, given the importance of music on TikTok as well as the platform’s tendency to not credit artists properly for their work.
Research into blockchain systems for book publishing has shown that the technology could lead to better tracking of intellectual property and higher royalty payments to independent authors. Independent musicians on TikTok may have the same opportunity, although there has been a history with overstated claims as well as unfulfilled promises. However, it is reasonable to expect that they will be able to track intellectual property more effectively.
Are These Fairer Payments?
TikTok has not indicated that it will use Audius Blockchain technology to create a user-centric revenue model. However, the inclusion of royalty payments for video plays is an acceptable expectation. Artists who paid via a platform such as Spotify are paid in cash. Audius, however, conducts blockchain transactions with its own cryptocurrency $AUDIO.
Cryptocurrencies can be describe as virtual currencies that are store on public ledgers and not in banks. They can use to facilitate transactions using blockchain systems. Audius cofounder claims that most users don’t know or aren’t intereste in cryptocurrency. However, the price of $AUDIO soared on the coin markets within minutes after the announcement.
Since cryptocurrencies are volatile, it is difficult to predict if an artist will receive $AUDIO in payments. Artists income will not only depend on how often they listen to their music, but also market speculation.
What Does This Blockchain All Mean For Artists?
Independent artists might be hesitant to accept payments via a digital currency decentralized, subject to fewer regulations. A user-centric model has its flaws. To truly test the model, it will require full cooperation from music publishers and record labels. Artists using different services would be in fundamentally unjustified circumstances.
Even TikTok doesn’t put all their eggs into the blockchain basket. TikTok formed partnerships with major labels, Indie consortia and music distributors in June 2020. In July 2021 TikTok announced a new partnership to Spotify to provide premium services exclusively for European artists.
After years of hype and empty promises about how blockchain would transform the music industry’s future, TikTok took a concrete step towards revealing what this future might look like for ordinary artists.