How To Fix The Music Business
About This Show
The music business is in serious trouble. Or is it?
There are endless opinions on the subject. Some people think the music business is done, that Elvis has left the building permanently, pushed out a 10th floor window by the internet. Others believe that technology has brought about a state of democracy that has levelled the playing field.
So who's right? That depends on your perspective.
On "How To Fix The Music Business", people from all sides of the music industry share their perspectives about the past, present and future of business. They share their stories and opinions about what is broken and how to fix it - or how to kill it - without filters and without BS. Everyone appearing on the show has put in their 10,000 hours - so the opinions shared are qualified opinions.
"How To Fix The Music Business" is hosted by music industry veteran Jim McDermott, who has over 30 years experience in artist development and new technology at major labels, and with independent and major label artists.
Most Recent Episode
Benji Rogers Blockchain Without BS
My guest today is Benji Rogers, the Founder of Pledgemusic and Co-Founder of the Dot Blockchain Music Project. Digital music is a mutation. Like a virus, it adapts, looking for new ways to be consumed, defying efforts to be fixed in some predictable context. Zeros and ones phantasmagorically appear and recede across networks, bought, sold, streamed and shared. Artists have little control over where their creations travel, how they’re used, how they are mutated by others. Rights, ownership information, sales data and payment are managed by multiple entities in the music business who often have competing agendas. Releasing music into the digital world can be a bit like putting a message in a bottle and throwing it into a vast, wild sea. So how can this all be made more transparent? How can permanance and mutability co-exist? Enter the Blockchain. The .BC Music Project is the first attempt to use Blockchain technology to create a global, decentralized database of music rights wherein a song cannot be separated from its usage rights and still be played. There’s the transparency and permanence. If you haven’t heard of Blockchain, it is basically a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. So you write a song, and create a block with data about the authors, who played on it, who the publisher and record company is. Once data is entered, it cannot be altered retroactively - BUT as rights or usage rules evolve over time, the information can appended, and there’s a record of who changed it, and a validation process to make sure the changes are true. So along with permanence and truth, you get mutability. There is huge enthusiasm around .BC Music, and the project recently announced partnerships with its first industry partners: Canadian Music Rights organization SOCAN, CD Baby, MediaNet, Songtrust, and FUGA. But Benji and his partners at the Dot BC Music project are not the first people to try to fix the morass of problems in digital music. There have been many other industry initiatives going back nearly 20 years that have tried and failed to solve these issues - so in our chat, I pressed Rogers to outline exactly why Blockchain technology and his initiative are different and why they might finally be the beginning of a very bright future indeed for the music business. Benji and I sat down at Ludlow House on the Lower East Side for this chat. So pull up a ch