It's not easy to find it rich in the $ 15 billion record industry – if you're a musician, that is. Spotify, the most popular audio streaming service in the world, with over 70 million paying subscribers, pays $ 0.006- $ 0.0084 per game (about $ 7,000 for a million streams), and the one divided between producers, record labels, songwriters and artists. Platforms with smaller footprints have even stiffer strings.
It is a problem MusicLife, a collaboration between the MusicLife Foundation without headquarters based in Singapore and the MusicLife Company based in Japan, aims to solve with a combination of blockchain technology and artificial intelligence (AI). The company today announced a $ 5 million financing round led by Metropolis VC, which it claims will use to increase its trading and music sharing platform.
"We are thrilled to work with Metropolis VC to achieve our vision of decentralization in the music industry," said Kaiming Liu, founder and president of MusicLife. "The music industry is currently dominated by giants, burdened by copyright restrictions and lacking fairness and transparency for artists, MusicLife will channel more profits to artists by giving fans the opportunity to become song owners."  MusicLife, like Pandora and Spotify, offers a mix of complementary and paid options through the MusicLife Exchange, a digital store. The songs are free for the first 50,000 games, after which they are priced by a system based on artificial intelligence that takes into account their popularity, defined here as total daily income generated, total playing time, number of listeners and places where they are played. In general, a larger number of reproductions corresponds to a higher value in MitCoin (MITC), one of MusicLife's two virtual currencies.
Purchases on the MusicLife Exchange – which range around one dollar per song on average – include more than playback privileges. The artists license the copyright of their work to the MusicLife Foundation for distribution, maintaining 95% ownership. (MusicLife says that a full 50% of his income will be invested in an incubation program for "music and musicians".) Each song generates a MusicToken (MSCT), whose actions are exchanged in MITC. And listeners can choose to pay MITC to stream songs or invest with MSCT (up to 45 percent of the 95 percent of the artists already mentioned), which earns MITC dividends while others buy.
Cash is just a way to acquire MITC. Another is through the hardware that exploits the MusicLife software development kit – people who voluntarily listen to their data can directly earn the MITC, effectively "undercutting" the cryptocurrency. MusicLens, a pair of $ 189 sunglasses with built-in bone conduction speakers and sensors that monitor one person's listening, will be the first of these products when they are on sale in "late 2018".
MusicLife is not the first to use blockchain technology in music distribution. The UjoMusic and New York blockchain study ConsenSys has created a platform based on Ethereum that allows users to pay artists directly for personal or business licenses, through an intelligent contract. (He collaborated with Imogen Heap to release a song in October 2015.)
PeerTracks, another music-based startup, allows fans to broadcast or download songs by buying "notes", token blockchain with a value linked to market forces. The higher the profile of an artist, the more expensive his music is.
However, MusicLife claims that its blockchain solution is one of the few designed specifically to protect against piracy. Its "hardware-embedded system" calculates the amount of music streaming over time on any hardware that draws on its API, avoiding fraudulent or forged reproduction data.
"MusicLife can perform fast transactions, accounting and confirmation of rights without the need for human verification," says MusicLife on its website. "Through MITC, all community members can be highly motivated, and everyone can actively promote the development of the platform."
The startup plans to launch a website and a first-party app in the coming months and has piloted the MusicLife exchange at the start of this year. The Chinese music service Echo integrated with it in July through the MusicLife API wallet.
MusicLife states that more than 600,000 people have registered to use the platform to date.