Sep 24, 2020
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How Blockchain Technology Is ‘Disrupting’ The Art Economy As We Know It

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Vincent Van Gogh Sammy Davis Jr. Edgar Allen Poe and William Blake. What unites this list of stunning artists in their various fields? All of them died penniless victims of an artist and patron society that largely ignored the artist while appreciating the art. Now some start-ups are stepping up to redress the balance


Indeed if we take Sammy Davis to illustrate it’s incredible to think that he made $50 million (m) singing dancing and cavorting with the Rat Pack. Yet by the time he passed on to the great beyond he was impoverished and deeply in debt to the U. S Internal Revenue Service. And following his death Davis estate lost all rights to his name image and music


While these artists are now gone many artists today are in a similar position – making genuine works of art – but barely able to survive from their earnings as an artist. The cause of this disconnect between greatness and monetary gain is the problem of centralized patrons. In the nineteenth century the patrons were rich barons and dukes able to afford to maintain artists at the payroll for their own pleasure


In the 21st century the patrons are centralized corporations keeping artists at the payroll for financial gain. Yet much of the finest art never produces monetary gain either for the artist or people who promote them because corporations take the majority of profits. And it might probably shock many fans to find just how little artists make from the corporate structures that control their work


Music streaming media concept. (Image: Shutterstock). How Big Are The Art & Music Markets? Consistent with The Art Market Report that’s issued by The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) per annum during its 10-day March event in Maastricht in The Netherlands this year the art market was sized at c. $40 billion (bn)


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The Case For Intersectionality: Commemorating Pride Amidst COVID-19 While this is a big number produced by TEFAF whose findings are considered as something of bible for costs and trends in the world s art market the figure shrunk from last year s $60bn figure


This decline of around $20bn was accounted for by a change in the metrics used in measuring the art market by the hot economist and report s author Rachel Pownall Maastricht University professor of art market & finance. Moving over to the music business consistent with the IFPI Global Music Report (formerly called Recording Industry in Numbers ) published this April the worldwide recorded music market saw revenues grow by 5


9% in 2016 which represented the very best rate of growth because the IFPI started tracking the market back in 1997. And with total revenues hitting $15. 7bn 112m users of paid streaming subscriptions driving streaming revenue growth of 60. 4% and digital income now accounting for 50% of worldwide revenues there would appear much to disrupt


Their report which incorporates comprehensive data for almost 50 territories is one indicator of the state of play. Separately a forecast from statista of worldwide music industry revenues worldwide from 2012 to 2015 in addition a forecast for 2016 to 2021 indicated that revenues will grow from $45. 5bn in 2012 to just over $57bn in 2021


However despite the growing marketplace for music services the current bureaucratic system of labels artist managers and distribution services are argued to have largely choked the smaller artist who unable to negotiate sponsorship deals with big brands and who rely on direct artist-to-fan sales. Add to that centralized streaming platforms can take up to 80% of the whole revenue stream which clearly has an impact on many small artists


Consequently artists today are forced to rely on monopolized streaming platforms inclusive of Spotify which pay as low as $0. 0003 per play. While established artists that rely on tours and sponsorships can handle this smaller artists available who’ve a fan base of about a thousands simply struggle to survive in this tiny revenue stream


Blockchain Art So enter Blockchain technology a system designed to distribute the centralized management of data. The technology that supports Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and is now getting used to decentralize other industries as well. Because the blockchain is a distributed ledger and completely secure and transparent users may be able to be connected to each other without the centralized hub of a corporation


Simply put management has been replaced by machines. In this new decentralized world art has been one of the first and greatest use cases. Artists who otherwise would have been forced to apply a large-scale centralized company to distribute their work are now able to distribute work in a decentralized way and to receive rewards for his or her creations without profit-skimming corporate structures in place


And are there entities looking to disrupt matters although whether they can succeed in their endeavours is another matter. Monetizing Internet Content WildSpark to illustrate is a brand new decentralized platform that permits videos text and other content to be shared between users. The platform is the first application built by a team at Synereo and is designed to create a system where artists can upload and offer content be rewarded for that content monetarily


And all without the will for a company structure. The system is built on blockchain technology and uses a digital currency called AMPs. Currently worth about $0. 23 each AMPs are used to reward content creators and could be given to creators in order to have access to download or share their content


Users may be able to give AMPs in order to reward creators monetarily while creators are allowed to apply the digital currency in order to buy attention from users. The more AMPs the greater attention a video article or other content piece receives. Well that’s the logic. By this monetized system a marketplace for attention is born


Content creators have a way to upload distribute and advertise their creation and users ( curators in the WildSpark ecosystem terminology) may be able to reward creators they appreciate and also benefit themselves as content is accepted. Artists may be able to promote their latest works – in whatever medium – and receive compensation directly and nearly instantaneously via the tokenized decentralized ecosystem created by Synero s AMP model


The tech team behind the Synereo/WildSpark development. (Image: Synereo). (SOURCE: SYNEREO). Industries Ripe Other industries – from the music business to entrepreneurs in the Virtual Reality (VR) space amongst others – are getting in at the act too. The will for decentralized systems to distribute artistic content is clear. Companies are profiting from the blockchain system to create new and exciting how to share other content as well


Another organization Opus Foundation (Opus) has begun offering a fashion via their digital tokens for musicians to upload new music without the cost of paying YouTube Apple or Spotify. Touted as a decentralized music-sharing platform Opus claims to deal with the difficulty of music ownership and sharing in what’s described as an infrastructure and protocol level by leveraging the speed of a singular Interplanetary FileSystem at the Ethereum blockchain


(Note: A up to date 42-page whitepaper on the idea behind Opus looks at the issues being addressed and descriptions the technology and the project s roadmap). Here users of the platform can also download and enjoy the music anywhere in the world because the blockchain allows for a fully secure network of ownership


Some 97% of profits are funneled on to the artists themselves – all in real time. It sounds all too good to be true. Founded by Forbes 30 under 30 winner Mateusz Mach a 20-year old Polish serial entrepreneur from Gdansk Poland this company created as a simple but highly effective tool for artists and users alike


Removal of centralized music platforms can help to produce greater freedom for artists greater openness and availability for users their mantra goes. It was Mach who founded his first begin whilst still in middle school unveiling his app Five and raising around $150 000 finance in the process from venture capitalists in his homeland – not Silicon Valley


This app essentially allows people to send one another custom hand signs equivalent to what rappers do. With that slug of capital he wanted to turn Five into the world s first sign-language messenger for deaf people. Mateusz Mach Co-Founder and COO of OPUS created the world s first sign language messenger while he


[+] (SOURCE: FIVE-APP PR). Likewise Cappasity based in Santa Clara California has a stated mission to make 3D digitizing as easy as photography has created a system that permits artists creating 3D imagery to monetize their content and share it via their tokenized ecosystem. In these types of scenarios companies are considering that through the use of blockchain technology artists and content creators may be able to get paid for the work that they are doing while at the same time incentivizing others to find it


The decentralized system that blockchain provides creates a platform where management is machined and profits are kept. The longer term applications might be limitless as the buyer economy for art is destroyed by the power of blockchain as some protagonists contend. It s all rock n roll. Carpe diem

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