Issue 31

We sip Cotes de Provence from blush-colored wine glasses under the summer sun at the end of a European business day, talking about technology and the international music business. Not surprisingly, he slips ‘blockchain’ into our conversation, a subject I have avoided writing about despite being urged to do so by some Music Confidential readers in the finance and banking industries.

Although this innovative technology is not yet ready for prime time use in our industry, now seems to be a good time to approach the subjects of blockchain and cloud computing…. First and most importantly, to those of you who think of blockchain in terms of what you have read about, or heard people touting, the use of blockchain in the music industry to license music or to get rid of “the middlemen” so creators can receive more money, or about an experiment of sorts with music by Imogen Heap using blockchain, please set that all aside for the moment. These concepts are apparently becoming a distraction because they are, at least for the next several years, quite unworkable for many reasons—not the least of which the naïve or simply uninformed belief that initial and long-term commercial success can be had in music without middlemen and a lack of understanding about music pricing. Instead, look in another and much more important direction for now.