Startup Thenexus to launch ‘blockchain-ready’ distributor Muso

A blockchain-ready music distributor? But of course: it’s 2018 after all. The platform in question will be called Muso when it launches by early 2019, and it’s the work of a startup based in Malaysia called Thenexus. “Low costs and no annual fees for bands, artists and producers. Over 300+ stores. Worldwide digital music distribution,” pitches […]

eMusic claims it will raise $70m for its blockchain plans

We reported earlier this year, somewhat sceptically, on digital-music service eMusic’s plans for a blockchain-powered relaunch. Now the company has given more details about how much money it’s planning to raise to fund its pivot to a ‘decentralised music distribution and royalty management system’. eMusic says that it’s shooting for $70m in its token sale, which […]

Dot Blockchain teams up with Exactuals for song-data cleanup

One of the earliest blockchain-music startups, Dot Blockchain, has a new partnership this week. It’s working with payments and metadata firm Exactuals on a partnership that the pair say is “ensuring both company’s clients’ song data is clean, correct, and up-to-date and synchronised properly in conjunction with registering the datasets to dotBC’s blockchain solution”. That […]

Blockchain startup Tron buys BitTorrent for reported $126m

BitTorrent (the company) has a new owner: blockchain firm Tron, which bills itself as “the world’s largest decentralised ecosystem”. BitTorrent confirmed the acquisition on its site, noting that its products have more than 100 million active users worldwide, and that it will now “provide robust support for Tron’s global business development and partnerships”. Variety cites financial filings suggesting […]

Indie labels and tech: ‘We’re not going to start building our own blockchain…’

How can independent labels make the most of disruptive new technologies, from blockchain and AI to virtual and augmented reality? A session at the Midem conference last week explored the issue. The panel included Jason Reed, head of digital at Domino; Becky Brook, business development consultant at Jaak; and Luke Dzierzek, CEO at Scored. The […]

Blockpool / OpSec blockchain deal could power merch and ticket sales

British blockchain startup Blockpool is best known to Music Ally readers for its recent partnership with Björk and One Little Indian, to reward fans who pre-ordered her new album by giving them cryptocurrency. Now it has announced a partnership with a company called OpSec, which could also have implications for music. It needs a bit […]

Ticketfly co-founder’s blockchain startup Tari reveals plans – including ticketing

In early April, Music Ally was first to report on a new startup from ticketing firm Ticketfly’s co-founder Dan Teree. Codenamed Big Neon, it was slated to be a “highly scalable, mobile-centric event ticketing platform” using blockchain technology. Now the company has been officially announced, but with a new name – Tari – and a wider […]

Former Armonia CEO Virginie Berger joins VC fund LeanSquare

Virginie Berger has joined Belgian venture-capital fund LeanSquare as a venture partner, moving from pan-European licensing platform Armonia, where she served as CEO for the past two years. As well as being founder of Paris-based tech/media consultancy DBTH, Berger’s career has also included stints at Microsoft, NRJ, Omnicom and MySpace France. Her role at LeanSquare […]

SEC files charges over ICO that was promoted by DJ Khaled

This may seem obvious in the light of some recent news stories, but prominent artists really do need to be careful when endorsing brand-new blockchain startups running ICOs. The latest example is a company called Centra, which raised more than $32m last year from an ICO based on its CTR token, with plans to build […]

Blockchain music startup Opus is ‘ready to conquer’ in May

Music Ally is in the process of compiling a list of current blockchain-music startups, and at the time of writing we’re up to 31. One of them is Opus, which has been developing an “open-source decentralised music-sharing platform” with a demo based on the Ethereum blockchain and peer-to-peer technology IPFS. The company is one of […]

Google publishes latest report on how it tackles ‘bad ads’

Among the areas of historical tension between music rightsholders and Google has been the use of its advertising network on piracy sites. Although in this case, Google has been pretty responsive, regularly providing updates on how it’s cracking down on ‘bad ads’ and advertisers across that network – something that’s not just about piracy. The […]

How can blockchain make a real impact on music?

Today’s by:Larm conference in Oslo included a panel on blockchain technology and the music industry. No wait, stop! Don’t click away! Come back! In fact, there have been so many blockchain panels at music-industry conferences in the last two years, we’ve probably used that intro joke before. It’s true, though, that there’s a bit of […]

Check out the Music Ally digital sessions at by:Larm 2018

The by:Larm festival and conference is always a highlight of the year for Music Ally, and we’re delighted to be heading back to Oslo this week for the 2018 event. We’re also running five panel sessions and a couple of insights talks during the conference, covering some of the digital topics close to our heart […]

Report claims 46% of ICOs from 2017 are already defunct

Fears that the mania for blockchain startups and initial coin offerings (ICOs) are a bubble will hardly be assuaged by a new report published by news site Bitcoin.com. “Tokendata, one of the more comprehensive ICO trackers, lists 902 crowdsales which took place last year,” it explained. “Of these, 142 failed at the funding stage and […]

Jaak CEO warns music industry not to get ‘bored with blockchain’

There is, to put it mildly, a lot of hype and misinformation around the world of blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) – including their potential for the music industry. Music Ally has already noted a blockchain backlash within many rightsholders, who question whether the tech and its fresh-faced startups can ever deliver […]

Lino raises $20m funding round to build a ‘crypto YouTube’

Lino wants to build “a decentralised autonomous content economy, where content value can be recognised efficiently and all contributors can be incentivised directly and effectively to promote long-term economic growth”. Not bad for something named after your carpet, eh? Lino is the latest startup hoping to tap blockchain technology in an attempt to eat at […]

Gareth Emery of blockchain music startup Choon: ‘We’re committed to radical transparency’

We’ve seen a few blockchain-music startups in our time, but Choon is the first one named after what you might shout at the DJ when feeling over-excited and emotional in a club. That’s a world that the startup’s founder Gareth Emery knows well, mind. His career has seen him crack the top 10 twice in […]

Online audio-mastering startup CloudBounce to launch ICO

Drag’n’drop audio-mastering startup CloudBounce is joining the blockchain bandwagon, with plans to launch an initial coin offering (ICO). The company, which competes with services like Landr, announced its plans tonight at the Abbey Road Red incubator’s demo event in London. “We’re doing the next step in building a better community and better and faster audio-processing […]

Guest Column: How fixing the secondary ticketing market will help future music events be better

This guest column comes from Maarten Bloemers, CEO and co-founder of GUTS: “The secondary ticketing market has recently been under scrutiny in the UK, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) this month publishing the findings of a year-long investigation. The post Guest Column: How fixing the secondary ticketing market will help future music events […]

PRS for Music CEO: ‘How to unlock rightsholders’ money around the world’

This guest column comes from Robert Ashcroft, CEO of PRS for Music: “The issues of data, value and protection for songwriters have never been so high on the agenda. In early 2016 I had a conversation with George Howard for a blog he was writing for Forbes about the biggest issue facing the industry in […]

Artists, blockchain and experimentation: ‘We’re at the very start of what’s possible’

Imogen Heap’s Mycelia event in London today wasn’t just about announcing a world tour and Creative Passport initiative for artists. There was also a panel of ‘reflective bytes from absorbent minds’ about some of the issues raised in Heap’s keyonote. The panel included Eva Kaili, Member of the European Parliament; Sammy Andrews, CEO of Deviate […]

Imogen Heap is taking Mycelia on tour… with Creative Passports

We’ve seen a few music-industry conference venues in our time, but never a giant tipi until today. Built in the grounds of musician Imogen Heap’s home in Havering-atte-Bower, it was the location for Heap to talk about the next steps for her Mycelia project. She was unveiling Mycelia’s proposal for a ‘Creative Passport’, which is […]

Blockchain music: rights, artists and ‘the big spreadsheet in the sky’ (#SlushMusic)

Jaak is one of the startups exploring the potential that blockchain technology has for the music industry. The company is working on a number of pilot schemes, and its CEO Vaughn McKenzie has been a regular speaker on blockchain panels at industry conferences. Yesterday he flew solo at the Slush Music conference in Helsinki, interviewed about […]

Salute Music Makers contest gives cryptocurrency to entrants

Salute Music Makers is the latest attempt to adapt the idea of a musical talent contest to the digital world. Announced in March, it has attracted more than 2,000 entrants so far, with six chosen as finalists this past weekend. Now Salute is announcing a very-topical additional element to its contest: plans to distribute free […]

Q&A: Blockpool’s Kevin Bacon talks Björk, blockchain and cryptocurrency

Earlier today, Björk announced more details about her upcoming album ‘Utopia’, including plans to reward fans who pre-order the album with free AudioCoins cryptocurrency, through a partnership with British blockchain startup Blockpool. The company’s CEO Kevin Bacon has been talking about the project in an interview published this morning. We used selected quotes from it […]

Björk hits the blockchain with cryptocurrency fan rewards

Fans will be able to buy Björk’s new album ‘Utopia’ using cryptocurrencies, and pre-ordering it directly from the star or her label will earn them crypto rewards too. The musician has teamed up with British blockchain startup Blockpool, which is working with label One Little Indian on the online store to process ‘Utopia’ pre-orders using […]

Blockchain startup Guts Tickets raises $2.5m (so far) from ICO

Dutch startup Guts Tickets is one of the companies exploring blockchain technology’s potential for the music industry – but in its case, the focus is on selling tickets rather than recorded music. The company has just raised $2.5m through 2017’s buzziest funding mechanism: an initial coin offering (ICO). However, this is just from the pre-sale: […]

Blockchain ticketing startup Aventus to test its tech in the UK

Ed Sheeran’s manager may loathe online ticket-touting, but could blockchain technology be part of the solution in stamping it out? Startup Aventus Systems hopes so: it has announced a partnership with music D2C firm Townsend Music to test its blockchain-ticketing technology in the UK. That tech “mirrors the creation, transfer, and sale of tickets throughout […]

ICOs raised $797m in the second quarter of 2017 alone

Despite being banned in China and regulated more strictly in the US, initial coin offerings (ICOs) for blockchain-based startups are going to be drumming up large amounts of funding for a while yet. A new report by Coindesk quantifies the ICOs market before the two crackdowns above were announced: it claims that ICOs raised $797m […]

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