Web3, crypto and the music industry – Blockchain helping reshape entertainment

Blockchain is creating new opportunities for musicians and other entertainers to thrive.

The combination of music and blockchain technology sounds odd at first. In fact, not many people would have predicted that these two worlds would connect. Though the music industry has moved on from the days of CDs and tapes to online streaming, blockchain seems poised to help it achieve its next era of growth.

From music businesses to listeners, everyone can be part of the new music adventure that blockchain technology is creating. So, how exactly is blockchain transforming music and entertainment today? We’ve curated this detailed guide to help you understand how Web3 solutions are solving some of the challenges in the industry.

Understanding blockchain and Web 3

Blockchain and Web3 are two terms that have been causing a lot of excitement in the tech sector. Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that uses cryptography and allows secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions. It uses a decentralized network and validates transactions with a network of nodes rather than a central governing body. This anonymity has been a huge draw for online casinos, especially those looking to sidestep regulations by using cryptocurrencies. According to Alexander Reed, these Bitcoin casinos have become increasingly popular in the past few years, allowing many operators to avoid the strict regulations required by traditional online casinos (source: https://99bitcoins.com/best–bitcoin–casino/).

Web3, on the other hand, is built on top of blockchain technology to create a more decentralized and democratic internet experience. It allows users to take charge of their data and digital identities through decentralized applications (dApps). These dApps operate on a decentralized network, enabling users to engage with one another directly without relying on intermediaries. Web3 harnesses blockchain technology to ensure the transparency, security and permanence of its operations.

Current bottlenecks in the music and entertainment industry

Let’s look at some of the entertainment sector’s current challenges:

Copyright infringement

Years ago, people could purchase pirated CDs of music albums on the streets. In one sense, things haven’t really changed. People have moved to using websites to illegally download and share pirated music copies with little to no legal repercussions.

These musicians put in extensive work to produce content, but they end up losing revenue due to a lack of control over their production. This lack of intellectual property (IP) control makes it challenging for new entertainers to grow.

Unfair royalties

Music artists make most of their earnings from their cut of ticket sales at live shows and royalties from streaming platforms. However, many artists don’t know how much they really earn due to a lack of transparency.

Artists often complain about unfair royalties, which is a common industry reality. After entering complex agreements with their record labels, musicians are often paid less than they deserve. This is due to the dominant presence of record labels, which take a large cut of their royalties.

In addition, tracking and auditing their royalty payments across multiple streaming apps is challenging, and there is a lack of trust between artists and their music distributors and associates. These issues have led to conflicts between musicians who feel cheated and their record label bosses.

Limited audience

Due to the presence of massive gatekeepers in the sector, upcoming musicians find it difficult to get a big break and connect with diverse audiences. Many of these artists have had their presence limited to their countries or even a locality due to the huge funds required for global marketing.

While some musicians may get lucky through collaborations and record label deals, many more may have an audience limited to their locale.

Reduced fan interaction

Entertainers have social media accounts and keep their fans updated from time to time. However, most of them have their accounts under their management, limiting their engagements and interactions with the fans who listen to their music and pay to attend their shows.

It’s important to note that these issues didn’t start today. Musicians, songwriters and Artists and Repertoire (A&R) representatives have been complaining about a large percentage of their earnings going to the record label bosses and other middlemen for many years.

How blockchain is changing the narrative

Blockchain technology is already addressing the music industry’s bottlenecks with its innovative concepts. Some of the roles the technology plays include:

Decentralized licensing

Musicians and creators can resolve issues of unclear finances by using blockchain to license their music collection. They can use smart contracts to automate payments when people download or stream their music. Also, decentralized licensing platforms such as Dequency, which is built on Algorand, allow direct partnerships between licensing platforms and artists. This ensures musicians get the transparency required to control and monitor their cash flow.

Fan ownership/engagement

Blockchain technology can help combat copyright infringement and the IP issues that are prevalent in the entertainment industry by returning ownership to creators and their fans. Instead of downloading music illegally, fans can support their favourite musicians and be incentivized with partial ownership through decentralized blockchain communities. Since fans can trade these digital collectibles, they’ll be more encouraged to engage and support their favourites.

Fair royalties

Record labels and artists can distribute royalties fairly by using blockchain technology to track IP rights to a song and pay the contributors accordingly. For instance, if a musician, producer, song mixer and director combine on an album, they can specify their percentages and receive adequate payments, encouraging future collaborations.

International reach

Using blockchain technology, musicians can establish themselves internationally and distribute their content to a global audience. Since ownership is decentralized, entertainers don’t need to rely on industry gatekeepers. Instead, there’s a leveled playing field for independent musicians to market themselves without spending thousands of dollars.

Web3 provides opportunities for musicians

One of the features of Web3 is the tokenization of music, which allows artists to monetize their creations in various ways. They can turn their songs or albums into assets, explore revenue avenues and cultivate a more personal connection with their supporters. Web3 provides autonomy for artists by cutting out industry middlemen. Direct interaction with followers enables musicians to sell their work and earn money without intermediaries. This direct-to-consumer approach not only boosts artists’ earnings but also helps them develop stronger bonds with their fans.

In terms of managing rights, blockchains’ unchangeable nature and transparency offer a method for maintaining music metadata. Artists can track their contributions accurately to ensure they receive the appropriate royalties.


Many challenges plague the music industry, but blockchain is solving them one at a time. The union between blockchain technology and the music industry is still in its honeymoon phase, but it’s creating new opportunities for musicians and other entertainers to thrive.

The industry’s potential is massive. We can expect blockchain technology to take it to the next level by eliminating the current challenges and harmonizing the interests of musicians and their fans.