- How it all began and what makes Soundeon special
I’d like to tell you the story of how Soundeon came to be. At an earlier point in my life, long before my hedge fund days, several startup endeavors and my involvement in popularizing Russian art and culture worldwide, I was an artist.
Yes, for 9 years I worked for the Bolshoi Theater, the world-renowned institution that embodies heritage and defines the classics. A monument to beaux-arts, the Bolshoi carries the weight of traditions, which in a contemporary, fast-paced environment are regretfully exploited. This is true for other artistic directions as well, including the music industry. At the Bolshoi, the theater box-office staff constantly battle with ticket scalpers and the artists suffer from losing much of the income.
Parallels between exploitation of music and performing arts are indeed overwhelming. I am confident however that all artistic individuals can stay true to their ethos and remain relevant by adopting the right tools.
With the advent of blockchain technology I have observed a number of startups attempt injecting the decentralized ledger into the music and ticketing markets. A few have true merit and exhibit consideration, while most bandwagon on the hype. Either way, no one has come up with any solutions that can serve the artist throughout his or her life. Therefore, I embarked to create one.
My years in the finance industry turned out to be very beneficial in forming Soundeon as well. I wanted to bring similar market efficiencies and informational symmetry that exist in the modern financial markets to the music industry, and empower the creators with tools to keep “bad actors” at bay and encourage fair play.
Musicians face numerous challenges. It is an industry infested with middlemen with near-term interests. Over the years, I have made the following observations:
· Undiscovered artists have extremely tough time funding their creative endeavors and building a fan following.
· The artist never sees a significant part of the earnings due to legal formalities of song registration and a confusing royalty collection process.
· There is a lack of a transparent IP exchange for existing music rights that provides both, market liquidity and price discovery. Low transaction cost is key.
· Tracking royalty collections is a delayed process with no means of audit or verification.
· Primary agents discount face value of tickets to ensure a sold-out show, short-changing artists.
· Artists have no control over ticket resales and can’t ensure that their core fans are rewarded for their loyalty. Ticket scalpers and fraudsters take advantage of artists and their fans.
Blockchain technology with its decentralized ledger, as well as smart contracts, has many unique features that provide effective strategies for addressing these problems. To find a solution, I have broken down the overall creative process into multiple phases of the artist’s life. Here they are: funding of future projects, creative collaborations, rights registration and legal formalities, distribution, royalty collection and administration, intellectual property marketplace, and event ticketing.
Creating Soundeon remains a major task. However, I am confident that bringing change to an archaic industry requires a holistic approach rather than patchwork. At the center of Soundeon is the Creative Smart ContractTM the keystone to bringing fairness, transparency, immutability and efficiency into the music business.
In order to make the process more manageable my team and I have taken on a 5-layer approach to dealing with the most pressing issues within recorded music and live ticketing. Step by step, we are using the Ethereum-based Soundeon Protocol and IPFS to address the intricacies of music rights management and ticketing with simplicity.
Funding and monetizing on existing works
Music Token Sale — gives artists an opportunity to finance their future projects with the support of the Soundeon community. Artists launch their very own token sales and receive tranches of tokens as they achieve project milestones. Fans and backers become stakeholders in their artist’s success story.
Soundeon Exchange — a tokenization tool and an intellectual property exchange that allows musicians to sell royalties for existing works to the Soundeon community. Fans and backers become co-owners of the creative works and may build up portfolios of assets.
Rights registration and royalty collection
Soundeon Monitor — allows musicians to register copyrights and ISRC, distribute their works and monitor royalty collection and touring income with data analysis. Allows Soundeon Exchange participants to monitor revenue streams from purchased assets.
Soundeon Tix — allows musicians to organize gigs and directly issues tickets on their own terms. Controlling not only the primary market but also resales. Thus, taking out tickets scalpers and fraudsters out of the equation.
Transparent royalty distribution
Soundeon Player — a blockchain player that tracks plays on an immutable, decentralized register to ensure transparent royalty distribution and highly accurate listener analytics.
Aforementioned market problems are long-standing. There is an abundance of scholarly articles, as well as those found in the popular press; they bring up well-researched statistics that all point to the same problems. The industry is ill and a remedy is long overdue. I hope that you will join me in supporting the artists and invigorating the music industry that has gifted us so much.
Co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer
- Date of publication:
- Fri, 03/16/2018 - 08:08
Click on the link - it will be copied to clipboard