How Bitcoin Might Change the Way Streaming Music Works

Whenever you buy something from iTunes or stream a song from Rdio, there are people between you and the artist that take a cut of your subscription. But what if you could send your cash directly to the artist? That’s where Bitcoin comes in. From Bloomberg.

People in the music industry agree: The payments from streaming services are too damn low. But who is to blame? It’s nearly impossible to follow the money precisely as it flows from the fans to the people who write and sing the songs.

Now, a paper from a prominent music school untangles the web of royalty payments, service fees, and secret deals to give one of the fullest pictures yet of what is wrong with the economics of streaming music. It even proposes a potential solution: Bitcoin.

 The Rethink Music initiative at the Berklee College of Music’s Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship spent the last year examining the business practices of the music industry. While companies like Spotify and Pandora are often painted as the villains, Berklee’s report focuses on middlemen with incentives to keep things from getting simpler.

“This is an industry whose fundamental business model has been completely upended, but its cost structure and its intermediary structure haven’t changed from a very different era,” said Panos Panay, the institute’s managing director. “Let’s just face it, you don’t need all these people in the supply chain.”

Keep reading.

Full disclosure: I am an advisor to Bitcoin/Blockhain distributed DRM solution Bisantyum.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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