One of the “industry verticals” that Blocktonite is tracking is the broad area of applications to protect intellectual property (IP). And within IP, the music business is one area of growing interest. The issue: unless you are the Rolling Stones, artists today get a ever decreasing fraction of the royalties due them when their song is played, or covered by another band, or their lyrics are used, or their work is used by advertisers, etc. Some musicians (such as Imogen Heap, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), 22Hertz, and others) have spoken out in favor of using blockchain technology to manage the distribution and use of music, and making this usage far more transparent and fair. Mycelia is one group of musical artists promoting blockchain use, and one start-up, UjoMusic, is working on developing a streaming service based on blockchain smart contract technology. 22Hertz has created hashes of some of their songs (both lyrics and melody) as proof of their ownership.
This past week the whole notion of using blockchain for rights management in music got a boost when ASCAP, SACEM and PRS announced a joint blockchain project to improve data accuracy for music rightsholders (such as artists).