BLOCKCHAIN FOR THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

Cubic is a new music platform that enables artists to track the use of their digital assets on Blockchain, and be paid automatically when they are used.

The Problem:

Currently the Performing Rights Society (PRS) has a monopoly over royalty calculation and distribution in the UK but does not provide a seamless experience for artists. 

Through in-depth interviews with different stakeholders and after mapping out the current user journey when releasing a song, I was able to identify 4 key problems in the music industry:

  1. Artists don’t have access to real time sales data

  2. Digital service providers like Apple and Spotify hide how they calculate royalty payments

  3. Huge time lags

  4. Not all royalty payments are accounted for 

Spotify state in their licensing agreement that they don’t account for every stream!

 

Cubic also aims to tackle a cultural problem in regards to music:

  1. Music is inherently undervalued

  2. Listeners who pay for music have no idea where their money goes

The Opportunity:

How can we incorporate blockchain technology into the music industry in order to create a landscape that promotes transparency, trust and cooperation?

 

The Solution:

A new music platform for artists and listeners.

Built on the Ethereum Protocol it utilises a network of smart contracts to digitally facilitate, verify, and enforce contracts; negating the need for third party mediators, in this case; royalty collection agencies. 

Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform featuring smart contract functionality. A great explanatory video can be found here!

What Makes it Different?

Blockchain is a super hot topic right now, and there are lots of people playing around with its possible applications. The difference between Cubic and its competition is that Cubic was designed with the users at the heart of the process. 

Other start-ups that exist doing similar things have been built by technical engineers who do not fully understand the wants and needs of their users. 

Unlike its counterparts, Cubic does not demand that users like you and me convert their money into bitcoin, music tokens or any other form of cryptocurrency. Instead, I worked closely with the Department of Engineering at Imperial College London to ensure that all of the technical work was done behind the scenes with a payment exchange processor like Revolut.

By doing this Revolut (or any other payment exchange processor) acts as a gateway that enables listeners to pay into the service in Fiat currency (eg £/$) and artists to receive payments in the same way.

Tools:

  • Stakeholder map

  • Empathy map

  • User journey

  • Service landscape 

  • Storyboarding

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