Since the days of peer-to-peer music file sharing and downloadable music, the music streaming industry has come quite a long way. The rapid spread of the internet, that made it readily accessible nearly everywhere, and the ever-increasing download speeds, that served as the catalyst for the rapid spread of music sharing phenomenon.
The music industry has since witnessed the introduction of regulations and licensing structures, enabling music streaming companies to monetize on the content, and ensuring the security of intellectual property, all this powered by the emergence of new technologies applied to music streaming services.
Over time streaming took hold, and with rapidly-improving services, and the convenience they offered to an average user, the traditional CD players went out of style, giving way to the new media giants to take hold of the music industry.
But as CDs once became obsolete technology, the new media giants faced the same danger of their technologies becoming aged, thus a new direction was necessary for the music industry to evolve in, and it was here that the Cuptocurrecies came into play. It was rap legend 50Cent who broke the crypto ice back in 2018 when it was reported that his gamble back in 2014, to let fans buy his album - Animal Ambition with bitcoin, paid off massively, making a mind-boggling $8 million - a fact he was unaware of all the way to 2018. Although he denied the fact of being a crypto-magnate at a later date, the ice was already broken, and the ensuring crypto-fever followed
What exactly is crypto though? Most people have certainly heard about Bitcoin by this point, a thing that has been rocking the world for the past few years. Simply put, Cryptocurrency or Crypto is a digital, decentralized currency, and unlike traditional money, are not backed by any country or national bank. Instead, Cryptos rely on mathematical algorithms and self-regulating systems, linked together through the means of cryptography.
What crypto offers to customers, is the ability to make direct purchases say for purchasing music from specific musicians, without the involvement of any banks of regulatory bodies in the transaction.
It was an Icelandic music star - Björk, who pioneered the introduction of Crypto into the music industry in 2017 by announcing a crypto-paired album in partnership with the UK based blockchain startup - Blockpool, realizing the promising future that crypto held in the industry. Björk fans could purchase the album - Utopia, using either Bitcoin or AudioCoin, with an added bonus of receiving a gift of 100 AudioCoins with every purchase.
This move signaled a shift for artists, who now had the opportunity to conduct sales of their media content directly, eliminating the involvement of major labels from a good portion of the sales process, effectively granting them a full-sovereignty on their revenue streams through legitimate means. The easy access to a vast range of readily available Crypto options granted the flexibility to contact creators of every level, ranging from top-chart artists to local pub music bands, who now could conduct their sales in a completely new form, opening doors for new horizons to be explored.
This shift was felt in the entire industry, and it didn't take too much time for mainstream, top-chart musicians to get on board with the idea of diversifying their revenue streams. Monero, one of the biggest names in the Crypto field, have put significant effort in a bid to capitalize on the growing trend, securing contracts with a number of top-chart musicians, among them Sia, Marilyn Manson and Lana Del Rey, all of who agreed to receive direct Crypto payments for their content.
The widespread adoption of the Crypto-model carries with it the capacity to significantly increase the sales and revenues for content creators, transforming their music content into what are essentially financial assets. As the Crypto payments are slowly making their way into other sectors of the music industry, such as music festivals introducing alternative payment methods through Cryptos, it seems like a matter of time till we see greater implementation of blockchain-based currencies here and there.
The next step for artists to adopt Cryptos would be to start production of their own, branded Crypto coins, enabling them to further customize the terms for sales process for their content, gain greater autonomy over their revenue streams, and expand their personal brands in new ways. So keep an eye out for DelReyCoins, that might just become the primary way to pay for the album of your beloved artist.