“Your money playing hide and seek”

Welcome to Ric’s regular musings looking at the current music industry, its challenges and overall why and how Daft Springer’s web3 platform works so well for the independent music industry. Written by Daft Springer Chairman, Ric Yerbury.

Now for me, common sense is too often in short supply around the music industry and frankly in many other walks of life. Don’t worry this is not the start of a polemic on the current government, the many failings in today’s society etc – that’s all well above my pay grade. No, I have borrowed a lyric out of J Hus’s incredible album of that name. Without a doubt for me one of the standout albums in 2017. (5 years old already!)

So the main point of this article, as we race towards a ‘whole new world’ with crypto in music or music in crypto, is that there is a strong argument that this ‘Web3’ move is a direct result of the money that artists have earned from their various endeavours playing a massive game of hide and seek! Also known as ‘the black box’. It should be so easy to account for, what with the majority of music being played now on streaming platforms and the increasing volume of sales from vinyl products which is a pretty visible product to monitor.

And yet and yet… it seems still really difficult to; a) find what you are owed and b) get paid and c) get paid a fair proportion of the revenue generated. Dealing with the last first, I continue to give a bow to the hard work of the likes of Tom Gray and the Broken Record campaign to get a fairer distribution of the revenues generated from the likes of Spotify streams etc. We know that the government, through DCMS, is at least acknowledging this disparity. It gets our support and we will watch with interest what actually happens.

In the meantime, transparency is a word that has been bandied around for some time in many industries and in theory, an artist in 2022 should be able to access all the data necessary to know where they are at any one time. Mmm. Not actually happening in a great way to date. The tech is there for sure and there are examples of platforms that offer that service and in fairness to many of the music distributors they provide pretty good data on their part of the story. However, there isn’t much transparency from the PROs (Performing Rights Organisations) in that the information is harder to collect in certain cases and the level of service offered to established acts is not so readily available to the early stage DIY artist. It is of course more complex than that and some good work is being done there but more needs to be done. 

Part of the problem to gain full accountability is the channels through which the data must pass to reach the artist and to be actioned with payments being sent, the legacy issue of money being generated and not being collected might be suitable for some. Also, many artists don’t fully understand the number of recipients there are in the revenue chain which means that the money they receive is often well below their expectations and often delayed as held by one or more parties to ‘process’ while they deduct their share.

So what does this all lead us to? Well, it is known that controlling agreements through blockchain where immutable smart contracts direct actions in seconds rather than relying on a number of centralised organisations is a massive step forward. There are good examples of this and this is why at Daft Springer we are totally committed to delivering a funding solution for future music that is centred on Web3, controlled through blockchain and supported by the development of focussed crypto instruments. 

We will shortly be allowing access to our NFT Factory with Revshare baked in, which is a first. Not to be confused with resale royalties, our NFTs will offer rights-holders the ability to share directly with their teams with the NFT becoming the financial distribution instrument. We are planning our token sale for later this year also and on this there is much more to come; safe to say that all this activity is going to continue our mission to provide funding for new talent, transparency across all transactions and timely receipt of the money earned and proportionate to the ownership and efforts of the creators. 

Now I realise there is a massive debate at the moment about what value there is in the new world of crypto tokens including the validity of NFTs in particular with the concerns about over-regulation.

So next time we will dig into this in a bit more detail to determine whether this a case of ‘Money For Nothing’ or something seismic in both terms of fintech and critically an alternative economy supported by real assets and revenues. 

Until next time.

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