International DJ takes fight to record companies
An internationally renowned DJ has the traditional record companies in his sights with a new platform which will pay artists fairly and immediately in cryptocurrency.
Southampton-born Gareth Emery made his name producing and spinning trance and house tracks around the world and is now setting out to disrupt the legacy music industry through Choon.
Independent artists can use it to upload their music, share it with others and directly be paid 80 per cent of the proceeds from the streaming of their material.
The crypto enthusiast says the lack of intermediaries makes it a better bet for artists than traditional methods despite the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies.
“The existing music industry has set the bar so low in terms of paying people,” he said. “If I stream on Spotify today I probably won’t get paid for a year or even two because it’s all done on six-monthly accounting periods. It’s madness.
“Because of this the amount artists will be getting paid from us, even if the price of Notes – our token – were to completely collapse by 90 per cent, would still probably be more than they are from Spotify.
“If a major crash doesn’t happen they’ll be coming out many hundreds of times better.”
He continued: “95 per cent of money from artists’ royalties ends up in the hands of middlemen. It’s streaming services and existing legacy download services who take loads [of money], along with publishers, record labels and copyright societies.
“They are all people who, for the most part, don’t need to be there anymore. We offer a direct payment from listener to artist.”
The platform, which is looking to expand its artist catalogue, has around 500 already on board and only works with independent artists rather than record companies.
Choon’s innovation extends to Smart Record Contracts which simplifies music contracts, licensing and payments by securely storing the information on the blockchain.
This means, for example, that if several people write a song, rather than one of them getting paid and having to then figure out payment for the others, all sign a Smart Record Contract and get automatically paid correctly and quickly.
“In building Choon I wanted to take on a really big challenge and say there’s no reason why people shouldn’t be getting paid on a daily basis rather than waiting years,” said Emery.
“There’s also no reason why people shouldn’t be able to see transparent accounting showing when their music has been streamed.”
The tech is built on the Ethereum blockchain, which Emery describes as Bitcoin’s ‘younger, more technologically advanced sibling’, and says will be the future for the industry.
“In 10 years without a doubt this will be the way things are done,” he said. “Success for me is not about making Choon the biggest company in the world, it’s about solving the problem.
“It’s going to take a while because the institutions are very old fashioned and self-preservation kicks in when new tech disrupts existing ones.
“I hope the music industry has learned that embracing tech works better than fighting it.
“When Napster first appeared Metallica tried to basically ban the internet because people were sharing their songs. That didn’t work out too great.”
Founders and advisors include blockchain technologists as well as established music industry professionals such as Grammy Award-winning RAC and Dubstep DJ, Datsik.
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