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The music industry’s business model has always been broken. For over 100 years artists have been paid a fraction of the earnings their music makes. Take Enrico Caruso, an Italian opera singer from the early 1900’s, credited with being one of the very first recorded artists. Over his lifetime he made over 488 recordings, almost exclusively for Victor, a record label now known as RCA and owned by Sony Music. While it is said that this made Caruso extremely rich, netting him nearly $ 2 million, his label scooped nearly twice that and is still making money from his recordings today.
Many think the golden age of vinyl and CD’s was a time when artists were fairly compensated, but even then musicians weren’t exactly raking it in. A report suggests that, when records were still popular, of every $ 1,000 of albums sold, 18% went to the musicians, 63% to the record label, and 24% to distributors. Meaning each artist got a grand total of $ 23.40.
Then along came the Internet.
Times They Are A-Changin’
According to The Economist, back in 1997 Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was looking for online retail opportunities. He considered selling music, but quickly realised there were only a few major music labels, and they would have the power to stifle any online venture that presented serious competition.
The first online music sharing service, Napster, bypassed the record labels altogether and facilitated free peer-to-peer sharing of compressed music files. Obviously that didn’t work out for them, and it wasn’t long before Napster found itself facing litigation from all angles. The company was closed by court order in 2001, after less than three years of operation. The Napster brand only survived because the company’s assets were liquidated and purchased by other companies through bankruptcy proceedings.
So what changed to make online streaming services a viable business model for companies like Spotify and Apple Music?
The answer is…. nothing.
Musicians are not earning more now, despite having a new revenue channel. Spotify admits the average per-stream payout to rights holders lands somewhere between $ 0.006 and $ 0.0084. As this model shows, an artist would need to get 200k plays per month on Apple Music and 230K plays to earn the US minimum wage.
Investors aren’t getting rich either. Despite a revenue growth rate of 40% a year and having 140 million monthly active users, Spotify reported a quarterly operating loss of €41 million (around $ 47,814,000) in May 2018. Jimmy Lovine, whose fledgling Beats Music service was acquired by Apple Music, warned last year that music streaming is not a great business and that there is no profit margin.
Despite losses, executive teams still brought home the bacon. Last year Spotify’s executives earned, on average, $ 1.34 million each, with the top five taking home over $ 26 million between them.
But by far the biggest winners are, unsurprisingly, the record labels. Last year the ‘big three’ made a record-breaking $ 14.2 million a day from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The Universal Music Group alone made $ 4.5 million every 24 hours.
So what can be done to fix this broken business model and ensure that artists receive fair compensation? Austrian producer and composer David Brandstaetter, believes he has the answer.
“Streaming services pay artists pennies, partly because so much is swallowed up by the record labels. Spotify isn’t profitable, but the public won’t support a price raise,” says David, “The only way for artists and collaborators to receive fair payment for their efforts is by decentralizing the industry and taking the power out of the hands of the record labels and streaming services. Blockchain technology is the perfect enabler for this.”
For the last two years, David and his business partner Dr. Sascha Dennstedt have been developing a platform called Qravity, which allows creatives to connect with each other and collectively develop and monetize original digital content. The platform uses virtual tokens on the Ethereum blockchain to track digital media creation and distribute project stakes among creative team members
David continues, “Using Qravity, musicians can collaborate and work in exchange for stakes in the project. The content will go direct to market, so if a songwriter has, for example, a 30% stake in the project, he receives 30% of the revenue every time his songs are streamed or downloaded.”
The platform contains a comprehensive suite of project management and communication tools to help creatives collaborate remotely; it also rewards them with a greater stake in projects as they complete each milestone.
“We want to completely overhaul the entire industry,” says David, “With Qravity, we’re transferring the power and profits from the executives to the talent, transparently and equitably.”
Get QCO during the Qravity token sale.
Presale with 30% bonus: July 2-16, 2018.
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The post PR: Musicians Have Always Been Ripped off – Qravity Wants to Fix It appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The myriad problems with the U.S. healthcare system aren’t the fault of any one person. But every so often, an industry executive spouts something so wrong-headed, it shines a helpful light on what we’re up against.
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Cryptocurrencies have been threatened at one point or another by nearly every country on the planet. Rarely does a government venture beyond rhetoric. Those resorting to crackdowns are often met with greater public appetite for decentralized virtual money, making all that initial fuss an exercise in futility. Be they communist strongholds or liberal democracies, bitcoin cannot be stopped.
Also read: India’s Banks Block Crypto Accounts
Government Threats Met with Pushback
In response to a recent Republic of Korea (ROK) bureaucrat’s statement, causing mainstream media to roar about a “ban” on bitcoin, the South Korean street riled to virtual barricades. Citizens flooded petition signatures to the President. Social media contained oceans of angry comments demanding the offending minister’s sacking. The pressure grew so intense, agencies within the same government began contradicting one another, ending with an official presidential announcement no “ban” was forthcoming. Sensing a political market opening, normally reticent ROK politicians jumped on the bandwagon to defend cryptocurrency legitimacy.
The above is something like a rare historical scientific control with regard to just why bitcoin and cryptocurrencies cannot be banned. For our purposes, ROK’s geographical juxtaposition and its post-war politics fit comfortably beside its northern neighbor, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea. The two nations share a peninsula, a people, and a history, ripe for an organic experiment in prohibition.
Cryptocurrency probably made its way to DPRK through its wealthier brethren, and perhaps even China in bitcoin’s early years. Obviously, DPRK has a “ban” on bitcoin, de facto. Yet cryptocurrencies are still an issue for the country, something it must address, a problem some reports have as the regime tacitly embracing, and likely as a way around sanctions. Arguably the most closed country in the world is being confronted by a new monetary reality, which illustrates bitcoin’s inherent power under the most extreme of circumstances.
Pronouncement after pronouncement, rule changes, fines, bank harassment, appeals for international cooperation, taxes, emergency measures, the liberal democracy of ROK has been very busy. To be sure, the last round of news from South Korean regulators brought about double digit dips in bitcoin’s price, domestically and internationally. But even that appears to be temporary as markets see bitcoin retain relative price resiliency.
A Dozen Countries are Experimenting with Bans
The side-by-side control of having a hermit kingdom and republican democracy both grapple with bitcoin yields insight into what sort of prohibition is possible, and what is even meant by the word “ban.” Bitcoin cannot be banned in the ultimate sense, as it resembles the character of pushing on a sturdy balloon. Push it down on one side, and it grows on the other.
Of the 195 countries of the world, 12 have openly tried to ban bitcoin and crypto at various levels: Brazil, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Israel, Morocco, Bolivia, Algeria, Ecuador, Kyrgyz Republic, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
However, that list is misleading. Not all governments have banned cryptocurrency in the same way. Israel, for example, has effectively prevented crypo stocks from being listed on its indices and aided the practice of its banks not allowing bitcoin business accounts. Yet its prime minister has made positive comments, and still another regulator has advocated making Israel a welcoming environment for bitcoin.
It’s worth pointing out Israel is a representative democracy, one of the only in Southwest Asia. The Israeli street is passionate about cryptocurrency and its potential, and, like South Korea, has the electoral ability to influence outcomes should regulators overplay their hand.
Wealthy Will Not Allow Ban
Charles Hugh Smith argued crypto prohibition won’t happen due to the influence of wealthy investors using it as a store of value unable to be monkeyed with by politicians. His point at once affirms and jettisons the democratic thesis, as it all comes down to levers of power. The same way assets such as housing are owned and closely guarded, Mr. Smith postulates, bitcoin will be protected even more. Wealthy holders have gone to great lengths already to keep the currency away from governments.
For South American countries such as Brazil, Bolivia, and Ecuador, the challenges are both political and economic when it comes to prohibition. Each has versions of command economies, and nationalist fervor is easily whipped up when supposed threats are made against their respective currencies, and bitcoin can certainly represent that. However, even where economic expression is limited and politics are a crazy mix of bureaus and committees, crypto has found a way through. Its popularity grows in Latin America.
The remaining half, from China to Nepal, have almost no tradition of what anyone would ever call democracy, though in some cases governments have pulled back and allowed their populace more expression in personal economic matters. That too is debatable. For odious governments such as Nepal, cracks are appearing. Smartphone adoption continues apace, as does internet access generally. Add to those its young population, some 40 percent under 20 years, and there’s a recipe for crypto.
Prohibition, in the sense Mr. Smith might be thinking, almost always only impacts those without the means to subvert laws. That’s not as true when it comes to cryptocurrency. Whatever else its positives, all anyone needs is a $ 20 Android phone and they’re immediately able to participate in a huge transfer of wealth. Governments can shut down websites; they can arrest exchange owners; they can make onboarding hell; they can tax it as capital gains. Governments cannot stop an idea whose time has come.
Do you think bitcoin can be banned? Let us know in the comments section below.
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The post The Futility of Government Bans – Bitcoin Always Finds a Way appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Question: It drives me batty any time a supervisor says, “We should …,” or “Have we done such and such?” when I am the one doing the work. I find it strange and annoying — implying that the supervisor is somehow participating in the work itself. Do you think the person using this word believes…