Choon, the music streaming service and digital payments ecosystem, has launched the beta version of their platform. They provide a platform to independent artists, who will get paid with their NOTES cryptocurrency.
Current state of music streaming industry (Source of diagram: Interview with Choon co-founder Bjorn Niclas)
The music industry is dominated by intermediaries. The process of paying artists for their music is sub-optimal and heavily dependent on paperwork. Artists often have to wait over a year to receive royalty payments from the music streaming services. Artists have to sign off the rights of their own music to the legacy streaming providers, and get their royalty payments daily.
The system lacks transparency, and there are chances that the royalty statements that the artists receive aren’t accurate. There is growing suspicion that the intermediaries are pocketing bulk of the revenue, while there isn’t sufficient protection for the artists due to the opaque system.
Choon is solving the inadequacies of the current system with the power of blockchain. This is a technology that ensures decentralization by design, and eliminated middlemen. Computers on the network, also called ‘nodes’, maintain this distributed database. All nodes have entire information present in the blockchain, which makes every node a ledger of all transactions recorded in the system. Hence, blockchain is also called ‘distributed ledger technology’ (DLT). The system is permanent, and can’t be destroyed by taking out any central server.
Block records, called ‘blocks’ are linked via a predetermined protocol. No existing block can be deleted or modified. The only way to update blockchain is to add a new block, and that can be done only by solving a complex cryptographic puzzle, amounting to a massive number crunching operation done at high-speed. Blockchain also employs consensus mechanism, where majority of nodes must approve transaction. This makes hacking a blockchain economically non-viable.
Smart contracts in blockchain, i.e. pieces of code governing relationship among stakeholders and enabling transfer of crypto tokens subject fulfillment of contractual obligations, ensure trust is established mathematically, without a need to trust any party explicitly.
Choon‘s independent music-streaming platform (Source of diagram: Interview with Choon co-founder Bjorn Niclas)
Choon‘s platform is built on Ethereum blockchain. It allows independent artists to list their work on the platform. The listeners can have their playlists, which are monetized using the crypto token NOTES, while the artists are paid daily with NOTES.
The smart contract on the platform is called ‘Smart Record Contract‘, and using which the real-time loyalty accounting and payments to the artists. If a piece of music is produced by collaboration between a number of artists, the smart record contract can be set up to ensure that every contributor gets paid fairly.
The artists can see the royalty calculations clearly, because the smart record contracts make them fully transparent. The payment is direct, without any intermediaries. To the significant advantage of the artists, the payment is also daily, possible due to elimination of paperwork.
Choon expects to conduct a public token sale this summer. At the time of writing this article, Choon ‘s beta platform has 1,304 artists are earning NOTES, with totally 6 million NOTES have been earned by them. Development of their iOS and Android apps are underway.