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Hybrid of cryptocurrency and download-only songs

The music industry has changed of late, and perhaps for the better. This idea attempts to couple what you’re purchasing with to the thing you’re purchasing.
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Music has largely moved into the digital domain by becoming predominantly a download-only product. Physical media exists (including fond revival of vinyl (but for some reason not so much in favour of cassette)), but the tide is moving toward download-only being the mainstream, if not now, then soon.

One of the problems facing the music industry is that of piracy. People purchase the music, someone else fancies a copy of it without having to buy their own published copy, so they sit down with a pen and write out the manuscript by hand. Fast forward a century and people are still copying off the radio onto tape — home taping is skill in music. Into the early 21st century we saw the whole story all over again with illegally obtained downloads and napster and file sharing and all that.

We still have a situation where downloading is easy, but the market is different now. We no longer really have record companies (what with no records and all that), which seemed like the onset of the collapse of the whole industry, but actually has turned out to be a good thing. People are only just realising that they were making money before, in the days of the 45, but the record labels were making a considerable amount more money for a pennies worth of vinyl. Now, the artist is in position to keep most of what they make, if they indeed do what the record companies themselves used to do with all of that easy money — promote, market, persuade (hence the excessive parties, press launches, publicity stunts etc. of the past). Also, the market model is different, with iTunes, Google Play, Amazon setting quite low unit prices, as a norm. People are more inclined toward purchasing if the price is hardly a commitment or crucial decision. Again, this is a good thing.

Still, it is possible to launch a record and see it copied whilst selling hardly any at all through legitimate channels. How can we solve this? Rights organisations exist to try and protect the artist and label in terms of catching airplay and other types of performance or broadcast. There exist fingerprinting technologies to identify songs and link these up to the identity of the owner/publisher.

Cryptocurrency such as bitcoin and the like are also disrupting their own domain, and I don’t think many of us doubt that soon all money will be of that sort, even permitting a few public outrage disaster stories along the way. It’s simply the way things will go.

What about combining these two digital assets?

A song (digital download) is fingerprinted in such a steganographic manner that it has no aural effect on the sound of the song, but is also an entry into a blockchain of a cryptocurrency. In other words, the song is also the coin used to pay for it. The digital song is an individual cryptocurrency coin, the face value of which is the value of that song.

It would be interesting to divide it such that the coin for your purchase of your instance of a song is an individual coin unlike the coin I used to purchase my instance of the same song. However, for a given song, there is also a part of the coin that is in common. Hence maybe in the future, some songs will become more valuable than others, based on some attribute of the song itself (since to a future collector, they’ll all be in mint condition forever, being digital). So the market value of a song is the price of a single or an album when it is released and charting, then it sinks into obscurity or sustains a long tail of sales, then later it gets rediscovered (or not) and the value may exceed the original release / face value of the coin, for all coins of that song.

Ian Tindale, Nov 01 2014

Robot Christmas / Ian Tindale https://itunes.appl...2145&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
A random off-the-top-of-my-head example of a digital download-only single on the commonly used iTunes store [Ian Tindale, Nov 01 2014]


       If the entire soong is written into the public ledger for each transaction, that might cause problems.
pocmloc, Nov 02 2014

       I'm bunning this for the hmmm... factor.
RayfordSteele, Nov 02 2014

       So, would this mean that I can sell (or give away, or lend) my digital music, movies and books?   

       If (and only if) so, then all well and good. I resent the fact that I can't do this both legally and easily at present.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 02 2014


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