Source: Crypto Slate
How Existing Distribution Platforms Exploit Artist-Audience Relationships
Early moviegoing audiences could only see their favorite stars by buying tickets to films made by certain studios. Third party intermediaries still control the flow of content and money between artists and audiences today. Those intermediaries don’t always prioritize the needs of artists or audience. Spotify, for example, only pays artists $.00397 for each track streamed.
Radiohead hit a breaking point dealing with record companies, and shattered previous music distribution models in 2007 when they provided theirs In Rainbows album through their website on a pay-what-you-want model. They avoided dealing with middlemen but chose to lose out on monetizing many of their album downloads; a cost less well-established artists would struggle with.
Blockchain Lets Artists and Audience Connect
Decentralized blockchain streaming allows creators and viewers to interact directly. Someone paying for access to a streaming album could use blockchain to send their payment directly to the artist, rather than to a platform such as Spotify that controls the audience’s access to the album and decides how to pay the artist after taking their cut. The artist, in turn, can use cost-effective blockchain to deliver content securely.
Utopi, a new streaming platform that lets performers with a fanbase of any size host charity live streams, uses this principle to enable audience donors to give directly to charities chosen by performing artists.
The blockchain-based donations flow directly to target charities, rather than into a shady fund that’s later diverted to charities at Utopi’s discretion.
Filmmaker Alex Winter is currently finishing his blockchain-funded and (eventually) blockchain-distributed documentary Trust Machine: The Story of Blockchain. Winters explained his choice to go with a blockchain distribution model:
We have huge internet-based technology companies that are moving media around, but [the distribution system is] still broken, and the artist is not getting properly compensated, or sometimes the audience has a hard time finding certain artists […] People like Bjork, people like Imogen Heap, other people in the film industry are making inroads into using blockchain technology which is essentially a way to directly connect to your audience.
Blockchain allows content creators to collect and distribute large libraries of video, ebooks, and audio files without having to rely on a third-party distributor. Success Resources is using blockchain to develop its content platform, the SuccessLife Marketplace, where users can use SuccessLife Tokens to access thousands of hours of content from Success Resources speakers such as Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki.
Empowering Small Creators
Third party distributors have historically thrived because producing and distributing art on one’s own can be brutally expensive and isolating. A singer-songwriter who wants to distribute their music, build up a fanbase, and get paid for their labor has few options other than signing a contract with a record label or other powerful gatekeeper.
Blockchain platforms provide a feasible tool for small content creators to distribute their work and get paid for it.
The result will be a more diverse and vibrant artistic sphere. Bloomberg recently profiled creators who moved their video content from Youtube, where they could be arbitrarily demonetized for content such as cryptocurrency discussions, to a blockchain-based platform called Steemit.
Blockchain allowed these content creators direct control over how they received donations and payments from their audiences, increasing their revenues. For anyone who cares about making independent art creation accessible in the 21st century, this is heartening news.
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